If you think link building is the same today as it was a decade ago – you’re mistaken. While some principles remain the same, a lot has changed. Thankfully, you’re in the right place to find out what really works in 2018.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best and most relevant link building tips for boosting your site’s rankings – so you can make your business a success.
Why quality now beats quantity Link Building
If you’re like most traditional online marketers, you probably think that more is always better when it comes to link building. Makes sense, right? Wrong. The reality is – more isn’t always better in today’s link building climate. Here’s why…
Google uses a number of different algorithms to rank a page. While the number of links is still an important factor, it’s not the only one.
It goes without saying that a site with 10,000 backlinks should rank higher than one with just a 100 – but that’s an extreme example. Google also places importance on both the relevance of a site that links to you and its authority. But what does that really mean?
Why is relevance so important?
Firstly, relevance is important in link building. Google likes sites that are somehow related to what they’re linking to. If you’re trying running a milk-free chocolate site, links from other sites somehow related to this (diet, food) are going to be “worth” more when trying to rank your site.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore all non-relevant links (especially from high-quality general sites), but that link from a health food supplier is going to be treated with more value than one from a tech and gadgets blog (all other things being equal).
You can find loads more on link relevance and why it’s important in this article.
What about the authority of sites that link to you?
Now let’s have a look at authority. Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that has a look at not just how much punch a site has online. The higher the better – and it’s a metric that replaces the old PageRank system (Moz gives some detailed info on DA here).
While DA wasn’t created by Google itself, it’s believed by practically all internet marketers to be offer a good representation of how much importance Google is placing on certain sites. That means those higher authority sites offer more “link juice” with their links – and these are the sort of links you want to fight for.
There’s a reason why those link building gigs on Fiverr that offer tens of thousands of links overnight only cost $5. They’re practically worthless. In fact – they could even harm the ranking of your site and see it penalised. Avoid these.
You might have been able to trick or spam your way to the top with tons of worthless links in the past – but you can’t anymore. While you do want to get plenty of backlinks, it’s important that you target quality ones. Anything that looks unnatural as a linking strategy these days is normally a no-no. You want to build an organic strategy with real visitors to help your business grow.
You can find a bit more on the importance of DA in this article and here’s a bit more on the quality vs quantity debate
A bit more on the benefit of high-quality links
Let’s face it, a lot of links people try and get are on sites that simply don’t have any real visitors. Yes – they might have a good DA and pass on some valuable link juice (helping your site rank), but that’s all they do.
It would be difficult to tell you to avoid these sorts of links altogether, especially if you’re just starting out – as using these backlinks to fill-out your strategy can still be okay within reason (as long as you don’t take it too far). However, real sites are so much better for a number of reasons.
You shouldn’t underestimate the value of real visitors as a way to help grow your business. That’s one mistake many link-builders are still making in 2018. They see a backlink as just that – a link from an authority as a way to boost your site up Google’s rankings. A good link is worth much, much more than that.
Every real visitor to a site that links to you is a potential visitor to yours. It’s not just about “link juice”. If you get on a relevant authority in your niche – that means you’ll be exposing your brand to lots of other people who have similar interested, and may be interested to see what you have to offer.
There’s a bit more on the benefits of “real” visitors here.
The bigger the site
The bigger the site you get a link from – the better. Not only will you get a link from a higher authority site (hopefully improving your ranking so much more than tons of low authority links). You’ll also be getting more residual traffic from clicks to that link. That’s relevant, targeted traffic that didn’t even have to go through a search engine.
And that’s not all. The more real people who get to see your site – the better. You’ll get people coming to your page who didn’t know they were interested in your product or service. You only get people who already know what they’re looking for on Google. These new visitors will also help spread the word for you if they go on to share the link somewhere else (like on social media).
So, what does this mean for you? Here’s how to get some high quality links that work best for your site in 2018…
How to find the best quality links for your website
Hopefully, you’ve got the picture by now. Quality beats quantity. But you still want to try and get as many quality backlinks as you can. You’re probably now wondering how to go about it. Here’s how:
First thing’s first when trying to get quality baclinks. You need to have quality content to promote. Again, just like you used to be able to spam yourself to the top with low quality backinks, you used to be able to get poor-quality content to work for you. You can’t anymore.
The quality of the content on your site, and that you’re trying to promote, is the cornerstone of any successful backlinking strategy in 2018. You can’t get one without the other.
No relevant, high authority site in your industry is going to link to you if you don’t have anything important to say or if you don’t offer some value to their readers.
There isn’t a quick-fix trick with backlinking today. Any successful one requires time and effort and is built organically. One of the best ways to go out and get relevant authority links is with content marketing. Either create some highly informative and compelling articles, put together an engaging video or create a quality inforgraphic and let this content go out there and work for you.
Put the videos you create on relevant video sites, and send the infographics to other interested publications who can offer quality authority backlinks. With your articles, go out and approach relevant blogs in your industry and be frank about what you’re trying to achieve and why you’d like to work with them.
Some internet marketers try and trick their way onto blogs – but if you’ve got quality content that speaks for itself, you shouldn’t have to. People should be fighting to get your content on their site if it’s good enough. They’re normally more than happy to offer a link in return,
And that’s how a quality organic link building strategy gets started in 2018. With quality content. If you can’t produce the quality yourself – hire someone who can. There’s no way around it.
Link Building partnerships
If you’re wondering how to find actual sites to approach – that’s more straightforward than you might think. Hopefully, you already know a few relevant authorities in your niche. If you don’t, you should. Start with them and try and build a partnership. You can offer them a similar link on your site if they’re interested – although this will generally work better with other sites that are a similar size to yours.
To find more opportunities, do a few searches on your keywords. Think outside the box a bit. While relevance is important, that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other ideas you could use. For your milk-free chocolate site, you don’t have to just use health and food blogs – you could look for those interested in sustainability, green living, eco-tourism and more.
If you’re creating each piece of content on a bespoke basis for different sites you work with, then you should be able to tie your topic into something that’s relevant for them, too.
You can find more on getting great backlinks here.
How to target the right sort of keywords to get the right sort of traffic
There’s one other important thing we need to look at with backlinking with link building in 2018. Getting the right sort of backlinks to target certain keywords. As you’re probably aware, the anchor text you use for your links will help build a profile that associates your site with those search terms. You probably already know that you should target a range of different keywords that are relevant to your business – but how much thought are you really putting into this?
The reality is – some keywords are delivering you the sort of traffic that’s next to worthless. These are they keywords you might want to avoid. While more traffic is normally better – certain visitors will just be looking for a free ride and might rarely ever convert. If you target keywords like with additions like “free”, this might be the sort of traffic you’re getting. It could even be a waste of bandwidth.
Alternatively, you can look at “active” keyword additions that deliver fine-tuned traffic that already knows it might be spending some money soon. These sort of visitors are much easier to convert and are what you should be targeting.
Try building backlinks for keywords like “discount” – these people know they need to spend some money, but are just looking to see if they can save before they do. If you can offer them that saving, you could be onto a winner. Other good active additions are the current year, and things like “review”.
Another thing to remember – sometimes you want to target longer-tail niche keywords instead of trying to rank for that catch-all major search term. As you’re probably aware, if you’re not on the first page of Google, you might as well be nowhere.
Those broad search terms with hundreds of thousands of searches each month might seem appetising. But what if they’re almost impossible to rank for as a new blog or site?
Your link building strategy could be much more successful if you target multiple terms with lower searches. These should be much easier to rank for (with much less competition) and you could find you get plenty of good traffic from these niche terms.
The growth in importance of social media Link Building
While some of these social media links might be nofollow, meaning they don’t pass on any “link-juice” as far as search engines see – that doesn’t mean they’re worthless.
Getting backlinks through link building from social media is growing in popularity. Not only has social media become the only place many people operate online. It is also where they share things and find out about new products and ideas.
As part of your quality content creating strategy if you can create something people are interested in, you could see your business grow. The more someone likes or shares something you post the more they’re doing a lot of the marketing legwork for you. They’re telling their friends about you, and this sort of marketing reach used to be unheard of.
So, treat your followers with respect and offer them value, and you could see your business grow.
Hopefully, you’ve now seen an up-to-date and relevant linking building strategy for 2018. Start using these tips today, and you should be onto a winner.