7 Tips To Help Build Your Backlink Profile
Whether you recently launched your website or have been at this for a while, you may have noticed something peculiar. Most sites don’t get any traffic unless the business drives traffic to it through ads, emails or social media sharing.
Why is this the case? Well, even if a website has been around for years, it’s nearly invisible in the organic search results unless you’ve actively worked to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO). And while creating amazing content and investing in a fast and friendly site are both important, without backlinks Google is not likely to recognise you as a high-authority website, earning higher rankings.
Your site stays at the bottom of the barrel.
But the great news is that SEO backlinking can help you increase your website’s authority relatively quickly, compared to the “wait and see” method. Learning how to create backlinks effectively is key to the health of your site. But all backlinks aren’t weighed equally in the eyes of Google. Some can even hurt your site. These 7 expert tips to build backlinks will help you do it right.
1. Look Natural
In a perfect world, all backlink building would be 100% natural. People see your website, like it, and link to it. That’s how to create backlinks naturally. But in the real world, most business websites, even those with a lot of traffic, don’t attract that many people who have a reason to link to your site. That’s why backlink building is important.
But Google will punish sites who look like they’re manipulating the search results. So any SEO backlinks you create should:
- Come from websites that would logically link to your site. These sites include primarily non-competitor industry sites. But local businesses, news sites, high-quality blogs, social media sites, etc. can look natural in the right context.
- Make sure the link is relevant. Context on a page makes the link look natural.
- Avoiding using a single tactic over and over. Diversify for a stronger link profile.
2. Aim for High-Quality SEO Backlinks
If it’s really easy to get a backlink from a website, then it’s probably a low-quality link. If someone offers to sell you a backlink, even from a great site, that’s a low-quality link. If you can get multiple links from one site with little effort, you know what types of links those are.
If you’re able to create another website and link it to your website…need we say more. Backlink building is intentionally hard so that it’s harder for people to game the system. SEO companies have a network of systems and tools in place that streamlines the process, making it easier for them to build backlinks without the spam.
Spam links won’t just fail to help your site; Google may lower your ranking because of them. In their eyes, you’re trying to trick the search engine.
Instead focus on backlink building from sites that:
- Have a high authority. You can view a site’s estimated authority by using the Mozbar plugin in Chrome.
- Allow the link to seem relevant.
- Don’t excessively link out. If pages appear spammed with links, this isn’t a good site. It may help you in the short term, but when Google notices, it may hurt you.
- Don’t charge you. Buying backlinks is strictly prohibited. It may give you short-term gain only.
3. Know the Types of Backlinks & Mix It Up
There are two primary types of SEO backlinks in your backlink strategy.
- Do follow backlinks – Google sees these as a vote of confidence for your site
- No follow backlinks – People can click the link to visit your website, but it’s not a vote of confidence.
Do Follow Vs No Follow SEO Backlinks
The default for a backlink is “do follow”, so you won’t see “do follow” anywhere in the code to know its identity. Popular websites like Linkedin, Amazon, Wall Street Journal, etc. automatically add code to each link that a person creates on their site that tells search engines that this link is not a “vote of confidence” for the website. They do this for three reasons:
- They don’t want people spamming their sites with SEO backlinks. They know people would because of the value of these types of backlinks.
- They don’t want the link to be considered a vote of confidence.
- They are concerned that too many followed links out will hurt their site’s ranking. They will look like the spammy one.
When you’re learning how to build backlinks, you may start with no follow links because they’re easier to obtain. But you need those do follow links as well to rise in the ranks. It’s a good idea to build both types of backlinks because it will look unnatural to have only do follow links.
4. Build Partnerships
Want to know how to create backlinks the right way? Build partnerships with other businesses and websites. This takes time. But can help you in your backlink building efforts.
- Host a fundraiser for a local non-profit
- Interview a college professor, dean, or Chancellor at a nearby university
- Create a how-to blog post or video for another business in your industry
- Create a Top 10, Best of, etc. in your industry. The businesses mentioned will want to share and link to it.
Make a do follow backlink a part of the arrangement when possible. Trying to build backlinks alone will lead to more low-quality links. But working with others achieves more.
SEO companies invest in these partnerships and then leverage them to help many clients build backlinks. This creates great efficiency in the process, saving time and money.
5. Create Linkable Content
Mediocre content won’t earn backlinks. Creating compelling content that people want to link to will. People link to content that:
- Is compelling from start to finish
- Includes valuable stats and information they need to cite
- Includes unique studies, case studies, images, etc.
- Otherwise adds value to their website (video, infographic, or tool they can embed on their site)
- Attracts industry professionals, not just customers.
In the industry, we call content like this a link magnet. It’s specifically designed for backlinking and it’s measured by its ability to generate links.
6. Expand Your Social Media Presence
When you’re exploring how to build backlinks, social media may not come to mind. It’s true that the links from a social media site are “no follow”. They do not increase your ranking by themselves. But social media is an important tool that helps you get your content out there. The more people who see it, the more likely you are to earn links.
Additionally, some websites log popular websites in different industries. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to make it onto these lists.
7. Share the Juice Strategically
Your link magnet content can help the rest of your website increase its own authority, through what SEO professionals call “link juice”. Using tools like Ahrefs or Moz, find your most linked to pages. Carefully link out from those pages to other pages. Again, don’t spam, but also don’t allow these highly-linked pages to go to waste.
Any backlink strategy should absolutely include an internal linking strategy to enhance the benefits of backlinks. Measure your performance over time and optimise your backlink strategy to increase your rank.