To build links or not to build links in 2020 – and how – that is what we want to discuss with you today.
But before we can get into any of that,
Table of Contents
Link-building, in plain terms, refers to the process of getting different websites to link back to your site.
A marketer’s SEO strategy is not complete without quality link-building. The reason for that is simple.
Have you been putting off making link-building outreach a part of your digital marketing strategy?
Now might be the time to stop. And we are going to tell you exactly why.
You are a baker who creates finger-licking creations that are too good to resist once you get your hands on them.
After years of practice and gathering capital, you finally manage to open your own store but not in a busy marketplace – on a deserted street.
No traffic passes by this street. And if people don’t know you exist and your baked goods can transport them to heaven, they won’t make an effort to pass by the street either.
Now let’s introduce a twist:
Suddenly, your street and your store get flooded with traffic. How did it get there? It was redirected to your bakery from other stores.
That, basically, is how link-building works.
It basically redirects traffic from popular, trustworthy, independent sites to your own.
And that is why obtaining inbound, or external, links is a crucial part of the SEO strategy of any business.
There are two basic reasons why any business can’t unlock their true marketing potential without quality link-building in 2020.
When a web page has a large number of high-quality links, Google’ algorithms view the page more favorably. Google sees the site as trustworthy and the content as relevant, in turn improving the ranking of your site in the SERPs.
What we’ve been talking about all along – links are a means by which people will land on your page. If you secure a link on an authority website that people trust, they will, in turn, trust you too!
The short story: You’ll be connected to other parts of the web in a way that people will inevitably land on your web page too.
We’ve covered the whats and whys of link-building – now let’s come to the how.
What are some ways to build links? What are some of the link-building strategies you can use?
Let us give you some tips so you can get started.
Let’s suppose you create a blog post about kitchen hacks that you know, from experience, work. You also explain each hack immaculately so that there is no room for error.
Your content is valuable as it will solve problems for tonnes of individuals out there.
In such a scenario, websites will automatically link back to you, simply because your content is great.
We’ll come back to ‘linkable’ content again later – for now, know that your content marketing needs to be on point.
This does two things:
One way to get links is to create the best content possible and let it work its magic.
However, you can also speed up the process by sharing the content with your friends and family who may also have businesses in your niche and ask them to link to you in their content.
In addition, you can reach out to influencers with your product or service so that when they right or speak about you, you automatically get a link. Influencer marketing is a sure-shot way of getting good-quality links if you can make it work.
Follow links are the healthy links we have been discussing in this blog post – the ones that give you SEO juice and tell people to come to your site and Google to rank you higher on the SERPs.
Understandably, then, you cannot do without follow links.
So what are nofollow links? Simply put, they are the opposite of follow links – they do not play a role in Google enhancing your ranking.
Nofollow links aim to filter out spam links such as those mentioned in comments under blog posts, those that are paid for, and so on.
So should you not use them at all? No – you should maintain a smart balance. While nofollow links do not help your ranking in the SERPs, if they have been placed in a relevant comment or forum, for example, they can still direct traffic to your site.
Read more about these links here:
Follow Links Vs. No Follow Links: Should You Care?
The anchor text, which is the word or phrase which you will hyperlink, must be relevant to the page you want to get a link for.
You should also try to get links to same page with similar anchor texts because Google will recognize that as the topic your page talks about.
There must be some variation in the keyword/phrase through so that Google doesn’t start to wrongly identify it as spam.
Sometimes, people try to take shortcuts as opposed to putting in the hard work and finding link-building opportunities that can truly benefit their brand.
While a lot of these activities can be carried out discreetly, the search engine starts detecting them when they start happening on a regular basis.
What activities we talking about? Here are some ways in which links are obtained that, contrary to what links are supposed to achieve, negatively affect your site’s ranking:
The list goes on. You can find more details about the kind of linking activities that will do you more harm than good here!
Links have weight. That’s right – and you want your link to be heavy.
But what does that mean?
Well, it simply means that the link you just built should have value. And perhaps the most important way of ensuring that is that the link originates from a site that exhibits traits such as authority and trustworthiness.
For our purposes, let’s say we manage to achieve a backlink from Neil Patel’s blog. Regarded as an expert in his field, few marketers can question Neil Patel.
And if he links back to your site, people will know that there is something worth seeing on your site. And that is JUST what you are trying to achieve – you get a relevant audience for your pages.
All in all, make sure you get links from
Until now, we have been discussing how you can drive traffic to your site through inbound links.
But how can you make them stay there?
Well, one way is to make the content so addictive they’re hooked (we discuss this next!)
The other thing you need to do is to keep them on the site for as long as possible, but not necessarily on the same page!
That is where internal linking comes into the picture. You want to introduce links on your page that lead people to other parts of the website.
This is easily achievable through the smart and relevant use of anchor text to get people interested in other aspects of your site.
The traffic that you redirected to one of your web pages, thus, will stick around to explore a large part of the site.
We said we’d come back to content – and here we are!
Remember our example about the bakery? Let’s go back to it once again.
You managed to get people into the bakery but when they tried your goods, they didn’t like them at all – they weren’t at all as good as they expected.
Will they stick around or consider coming back?
That’s highly unlikely.
When it comes to link building, outreach is your goal.
But what is the secret ingredient that helps you retain the people you attract?
The answer is: GOOD CONTENT!
Your content should be linkable – it should add some value to the page who is linking it.
Here are some content marketing hacks that can aid you in gaining high-quality links.
Longer content has been found to be more shareworthy and linkable.
But why does long-form content get more backlinks?
The reason is that it is immensely detailed and covers everything that a person may want to know regarding the topic. This is why it is popular and has a greater chance of being linked to by others in the niche.
Also, the average length of the content that appears in the top 10 results on Google is 2000 words or more. Which means longer content ranks better too.
Longer content is also shared more on social media.
So all in all, it is in your best interest to snap out of the ‘bite-sized information’ zone and start focusing on more detailed, comprehensive pieces of content.
The format of your content plays a massive role in how many links or shares your content gets.
List posts, for example, top the list of content formats that generate links and shares.
Some other content formats right up there at the top include:
Based on the industry you operate in and the audience you are targeting, choose a content format that you know will more likely be consumed.
You can read more about this here:
Content, Shares, and Links: Insights from Analyzing 1 Million Articles
You want to focus on creating content that people are interested in when you’re creating it.
Simply because if that is want people want to consume, that is what authority websites will create. And to get links from these sites, you content topics should be similar to theirs.
Let’s take the newly launched Tesla, for example. If the kind of sites you want links from are talking about the recent launch, you definitely want in on some of that action.
Create content that will provide other pages value so that they link to you – choose what you talk about smartly.
Evergreen content is content that remains relevant for years to come.
This means that its value does not decrease over time, at least not for a very long time anyway.
This makes it an ideal content type as it has the capacity to get linked to for years to come.
Now that we’ve discussed some link-worthy content tips, let us discuss a strategy that isn’t likely to fail you.
Here’s a tip:
Use the tried-and-tested Skyscraper Technique devised by Brian Dean of Backlinko.
Don’t know what the Skyscraper Technique is? Let us tell you all about it!
Before we get into how you can apply the technique, here’s why you should: it doubled organic search traffic to Brian’s site in – wait for it – less than half a month!
That is one of the best, most successful link-building examples you will find anywhere.
Here is how you do it:
By this point, you will have a fairly good idea of what linkable content should look like.
The first thing you need to do now is to find content that is popular and that you know you would instantly want to link to.
You found content that people are linking left, right, and center because of how good it is.
What do you do now?
You improve it!
That’s right – you make it even better, otherwise, why would people want to read your content when it already exists elsewhere?
The best you can make the content better is by adding more information to it. By covering more aspects, you have created an even more in-depth post that will definitely provide value to the readers.
Some other techniques include:
If you followed steps 1 and 2, you will have created content that will generate a substantial amount of links, simply because it’s great.
But your job is not done yet.
You now have to reach out to the right people and request them to link back to your site. These should be people who have, in the past, linked to similar items because they are recognized as being associated with the kinds of topics you cover.
Confused about how to figure out who these people are and reach out to them?
Brian shares the step-by-step process to achieve this in detail here – learn all about it:
Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days
You can also learn about the Skyscraper Technique 2.0 here!
If you haven’t yet incorporated link-building as a core element in your SEO strategy, now is the time to do that.
2019 is about to end and beginning of the new year gives the chance to implement fresh changes to your strategies, the effects of which you can witness throughout the year.
Don’t forget to let us know how it goes!