Many blog writers or content managers think that building links isn’t important. This isn’t true – high-quality content is something that many are capable of creating, and links are the difference between them. With that in mind, what are the best ways to build links, and what links should you be looking for? This blog ties directly into inbound/digital marketing, which you can read more on here.
Option 1: Buying them
Buying links to your content is something that small businesses often consider. However, think carefully before doing this, as there’s far more to consider about the action than just the heavy cost.
Most websites that are willing to sell links are often untrustworthy, thus negatively affecting your rating. It’s also against Google guidelines: possible sanctions include a reduced rating or removal from the search index.
Option 2: Targetted content promotions
It isn’t uncommon to have “friends in high places” when in a business. In fact, it’s usually why people decide to start their own business. Links from said sources are incredibly valuable, so making content that appeals to them and gets them to share it is an effective way to build traction.
Option 3: Skyscraper and reverse skyscraper content
This is when you target content that is already at the top of Google. You do this by making a better piece of content or a more up-to-date piece depending on the content. You then contact those backlinking to them with a friendly message in order to try to take the backlink. Reverse skyscraper content is the same as this, but with existing content which you believe to be of higher quality, the only difference being that you don’t create a piece of content for this.
An example of a friendly message could be: “Hey, I noticed that you link to (blog) in (other blog). We noticed that their content isn’t currently updated and thought it might be more beneficial to link with ours instead.”
Option 4: Guest content
Guest blogging is when you create content for another page. By doing so, you can insert a link to your own page. It’s difficult to begin, as without merit or something to offer, not many high-quality pages will be interested.
To have an easier time creating guest content, try to find your unique selling point. This can be your position in the industry, the views you get, your expertise, or unique information.
Option 5: Broken link building
Broken link building is when you find links that no longer function and ask to have them linked to your content instead. This only works in the case that the content links to you effectively. Notable causes for broken links are websites that have gone down, domains that have changed or even the content being taken down.
Option 6: Best X in Y lists
There are lists that compile the best of something in a category. Reaching out to these creators in order to get a feature and a link is a promising way to build links. Various people check these lists before they delve into content, meaning they are almost a guaranteed way to get clicks.
Option 7: HARO
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free online page that allows bloggers to interact and create content. One side consists of journalists, and the other, sources. They provide each other with things such as backlinks in exchange for the services they offer.
Option 8: Unlinked mentions
An unlinked mention is where a brand or owned property is mentioned without a link. These are hard to find and often only work when the content or business has traction behind it already.
The process of taking advantage of this is simple: just point out that they have mentioned you without a link and ask for them to rectify this. It helps to provide where you want the link to lead, as this shows you have read the content.
Option 9: Pitch to content roundups
Content roundups are small lists that get remade often. They feature the most recent and exceptional content in a genre. Pitching to creators which make these is an effective way to get links and views, similar to the “best x in y lists” section.
Some of these options require you to contact and converse with the content creator. So how exactly do you do this? Here is a small list of easy ways to do so:
- Use LinkedIn – First, get the company or business you are trying to work with. After that, you can look up the employees, and find the content manager or similar title.
- Use Social Media – Content creators often have a social presence. By finding the content creator on social media, you can contact them in a similar fashion to LinkedIn. Be aware that this might look less professional than the previous option.
- Email Finding Tools – Tools such as Hunter allow you to find email addresses linked to websites. From there, you can figure out the correct email using names. This might seem odd at first, but consider that the person you are emailing has likely used this method too.
Not all backlinking is good, which is where Ahrefs comes into play. By using Ahrefs to check the domain rating of a website, you can decide which backlinks you want to chase. Untrusted domains with a low score actually bring down the score of domains they link with.
Generally, an Ahrefs domain ranking of 40 or below is considered bad, 40-50 is considered average and 60+ is considered excellent. When first starting out, you can aim for 30+, but ideally, you should move to above 40 as soon as possible.