If backlinks are “the currency of the Internet,” link building is like scooping money from a tree.
If you want to grow your organic traffic and SEO, your strategy should include some form of link building. Even marketers on a limited budget can still achieve tremendous results, because linking correctly will tell search engines that your site ranks just as well as the sites that link to it.
Link building is a pillar of SEO. Without quality links, you don’t rank on search engines, so organic traffic remains low as well.
With that in mind, we’ve created this beginner’s guide to bonding for you! Read on to find out what link building is, why it’s important, what a quality link looks like, and five link building techniques you can use to build a solid backlink portfolio.
What is link building?
Before we can define link building, we need to take a moment to understand what links are.
An inbound link, often referred to as a backlink or external link, is an HTML hyperlink that transports web users from one website to another. in the wise words Moz, inbound links are the “currency of the Internet” because they help define your site’s reputation.
Link building is the process of generating hyperlinks that point to your own website. There are many ways to do this, which we’ll talk about in a later section of this article. But first…
The benefits of link building
What is the problem? It’s just a link, right? The internet has billions (trillions?) …
The truth is, links are extremely important to your site’s SEO because they signal search engines that your site is reputable and in turn search engines drive targeted traffic to your content for free.
Search engines rely on links to determine the quality of a web page. For example, if only spam sites link to your site (toxic backlinks), the search engines will think your site is spam as well and your search engine rankings will be excruciating.
Links also help search engines rank content in search results. Have you ever wondered why Google shows some web pages and not others when you type a query into its search bar? This is because Google decided on these specific web pages provide reliable answers.
See also: How to write SEO content.
“Okay,” you think, “But how does Google determine reliability?”
Search engines like Google evaluate many factors to determine a page’s reliability, but links are certainly one of them. Google believes that if a bunch of reputable sites are linking to specific content, there must be a good reason.
Links can also help you drive targeted traffic to your website.
Suppose you are reading some content on the Nutshell blog. You are blown away by the quality of our writing and think to yourself: “Dude, if only Nutshell wrote on [Topic]. I certainly would have read that! ”
Suddenly you notice a bit of orange text indicating a link to the exact content you are interested in. You click on it immediately. So after all, your favorite (short) post-related content creators have to be helpful, right?
Now that you are on a website that you have never visited before, you are reading a blog post on a topic that interests you very much. As long as the article is well written, you have a good chance of finding out about the company that wrote it, browse their website, download a free eBook …
This is what we mean by targeted traffic. By acquiring backlinks you can drive traffic to your website who is already interested in what you have to say and offer.
What does a quality link look like?
Here’s the problem: not all links are created equal. In fact, links from unreported websites can hurt your SEO efforts. So the question is, what does a quality link look like?
Quality, in our opinion, comes down to three things: trust, reach and relevance.
- Trust: Trust refers to the website linked to yours. Is this a website that search engines respect? Otherwise, the link is unlikely to benefit your site. It can even have a negative impact.
- Range: The range refers to number and type sites linked to yours. Search engines don’t want to see 1,000 web directories pointing to your site and nothing else. You’ll want to create a link profile that has a wide variety of link domains.
- Relevance: Relevance refers to the anchor text that connects a web page to yours. If search engines can’t accurately determine what your page is about based on the anchor text of a back link, they won’t appreciate the link as much.
When building a strong portfolio of backlinks for your site, you should acquire links from a wide range of trusted website types, whose anchor text reflects your linked content.
5 link building techniques
A solid backlink portfolio is like a first class ticket to the top of Google search results. But how do you really acquire quality links? Start With These Five Link Building Techniques!
1. Create great content
Mr. Bill Gates called it in 1996 when he wrote “Content is king“. To acquire links, start by creating amazing content that people actually go to. want to to link to.
Now incredible content comes in a variety of flavors …
For example, you can create visuals like diagrams, infographics, and memes, which often work well because they are very easy to establish for web users.
You can also write in-depth blog posts, ultimate guides, and original research articles for your website. These types of content are popular because they are very valuable to readers and don’t cost money to produce, as long as you can write the content in-house.
What about video content? Yes, videos can also be used for linking! According to Google, 60% of people prefers to watch videos online rather than TV, which makes video marketing a fantastic way to promote a website and gain backlinks.
There is no shortage of the types of content you can use to build a strong link portfolio. The trick is to create the kind of valuable content that your target audience actually wants.
Don’t skimp on this, because the success of your link building efforts largely depends on your ability to create amazing content that the whole world will be able to read, watch, listen to or otherwise consume.
2. Contact influencers
Quality content is essential, but you need more than good blogs and videos to build a stellar backlink portfolio. If you want to make your competition green with envy at the astonishing number of links on your website, you must promote your content.
No matter how amazing your content is, without a little promotion no one will ever see it, let alone a link to it. There is already too much going on on the web. Luckily, there’s a perfectly easy way to market your content: contact influencers.
By connecting with people whose audiences are like yours and giving them a compelling reason to link to / share your latest creation, you will be able to bond quickly.
Here’s the simplified three-step process for influencer outreach:
- Find an influencer in your niche
- Find out the contact details of this influencer.
- Contact them with a compelling reason to link to your content.
Brian Dean, SEO Assistant at Backlinko, recommends the following script to find links. Just personalize it to your recipient and click send!
To acquire a significant number of links, you will need to contact a significant number of people, which can easily get out of hand. Fortunately, a CRM like Nutshell can simplify the process by providing you with top-notch organizational tools.
We suggest that you add any influencers you contact to your CRM so that you can easily follow them and their responses. Jack Virag, of Nutshell, organized his link serving in his CRM and increased organic traffic by 11%!
3. Chase away broken links
A broken link is exactly what it looks like: a link that no longer works.
In fact, the internet is full of broken links, which is great news for any budding link builder. Why? Because this will allow you to contact an influencer or site owner, notify them of the broken link, and suggest your replacement content.
Here’s how broken link building works:
- Sign up for a broken link checker like Ahrefs. The software costs $ 99 + per month, but if you’re serious about link building, it’s definitely worth the investment. Free options include Check my links and LinkMiner, although they are not as powerful.
- If you are using Ahrefs, create a list of authoritative sites in your niche and add them to the tool’s site explorer. If you are using any of the free link checkers above, you will need to visit individual web pages to check for broken links.
- Choose a site from your list to study and configure your results in Ahrefs to show only HTTP 404 errors. Next, view the number of broken links on the site. Or visit individual web pages and use a free link checker to identify broken links.
- Contact the site owner using the email template above and have them fix their broken link by linking to your amazing content.
This process is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it, although it is time consuming and not always successful. In fact, you will probably only get one 5-10% success rate with this tactic. But if you contact enough sites, the backlinks will start to pile up!
4. Recover lost backlinks
Just because you mark a new backlink doesn’t mean you’ll have it forever. Unfortunately, important backlinks can go missing at any time for a variety of reasons. Hey, no one said SEO was easy… The good news is you can work to get those lost backlinks back!
- First of all, you need to find out which links you have lost. Again, this can be done with Ahrefs, although there are many other tools that can do the job as well.
- Now that you’ve identified your lost links, you need to know why you lost them. Has the referring site issued a new linking policy? Has the site content been recently updated and your site is no longer relevant? Maybe they’ve found better content to link to.
- It’s time to try and get your lost links back! How you do this will depend on why you lost the link in the first place.
Obviously, the three steps listed above are just a general overview of getting backlinks. We suggest you read this link recovery guide for more details.
5. Syndicate your content
The last link building technique we’ll mention is content syndication.
Content syndication is the process of posting a piece of content to multiple websites. If every site that publishes your blog, for example, links to your website, you can quickly add multiple links to your backlink portfolio at once.
To be clear, content syndication is not the same as guest blogging, which is when you create a new post for a website other than yours. (Note: guest blogging can help you build backlinks as well, as long as you are allowed to link to your website content in the blog.)
Now that we have no more definitions, let’s talk about how to syndicate your content.
The first step is to create amazing content. We told you that would be a recurring theme, right? If your content sucks, why would anyone want to repost it on their own site? Do the job, do something awesome, then try to repost it.
Then find websites that might want your content. A free way to do this is to simply type phrases like “Reposted with permission” + “Subject of your article” into Google and sift through the results.
When you find potential republishers, contact them with a respectful email that clearly explains the value they will receive by posting your work.
We also have to mention that it’s entirely possible to syndicate your own content by reposting it on sites like Medium, Reddit, and LinkedIn.
Bonus tip: disavow toxic backlinks
If you create quality content that people want to link and share with, naturally you will acquire toxic backlinks. A toxic backlink is a link that does more harm than good to your SEO efforts. Fortunately, Google allows you to disavow these links so that you don’t get penalized for them.
- Visit Google disavow the links page.
- Select your website and choose “Disavow links”.
- Click “Choose file” and upload your .csv file of links to disavow.
- Wait for Google to process the details. It may take a few weeks.
And that’s all there is to it! Although Google suggests trying to remove poor links yourself, this is a viable alternative that will save your link building efforts.
Quality backlinks will empower your business and get you to the top of Google search results, driving quality traffic to your website on autopilot. To build a strong link portfolio, simply implement the five techniques listed in this article:
- Create great content
- Reach out to influencers
- Chase away broken ties
- Recover lost backlinks
- Syndicate your content