What are backlinks?
Backlinks, also called “inbound links” or “incoming links”, are hyperlinks from external web pages that links to a page on your site. Two examples of backlinks are any time a third party website:
- Sources your content and links back to your website
- Recommends your website as a resource and shares a link so their readers can visit your site
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are important for SEO and driving organic traffic since pages with more backlinks are more likely to rank higher on the SERP. On a larger scale, a strong collection of links back to your site gives incremental value to your web authority and can grow your SEO authority.
There’s one major caveat. While high-quality links are one of the best ranking factors used by Google, spammy link-building can also be a way to get your website de-indexed. Google’s algorithms are now actively devaluing black hat link-building. Google would prefer to give value to websites that deserve it through well-written and informative content that provides the best user experience to readers. This is why your goal should be to get highly trusted backlinks on a consistent basis.
While backlinking isn’t entirely in our control, since anyone can link to your site, there are techniques you can apply that will improve your chances of having quality websites find, reference, and link back to your content thus improving your backlink SEO.
What are some ways you can safely build backlinks in 2022?
Five ways to safely build backlinks are:
- Be PR worthy
- Position your content as the expert resource
- Create infographics and other easily sharable visualizations
- Build a social community
- Bookmark your work
Let’s dive deeper into each backlink strategy:
1. Be PR-worthy
Embrace a PR oriented content strategy centered around highly helpful, informative, and valuable content:
- Create content that’s likely to be sourced by news sites, bloggers, and others writing similar content. Use previously shared content as a reference
- Prioritize getting relevant news and updates live faster so others find your content first
- Network with writers and industry publishers
- Incorporate guest writing from reputable partners
2. Position your content as the expert resource
In the same way you consider what topics to write about, consider how others in your industry might seek out and source your work.
Compose original ”skyscraper” or ‘ultimate guides’ that include easily shareable and relevant tips, recommendations, quotes, statistics, etc., especially as part of:
- Large scale comprehensive reports
- Step-based processes
- ‘Why’ and ‘What’ based content
3. Infographics and shareable visualizations
Do you have any great information that can be turned into a visually appealing infographic? If your answer is yes, then this tactic should be at the top of your list.
Build a great infographic and give it to your contacts as content that they can put on their own sites. Blog owners are always looking for easily sharable content to give them traffic. Giving them a large part of a page, where all they have to write is a few hundred words, can easily motivate them to share your work.
In addition you can reach out to new blogs in your industry and email them with your infographic. Then you can take the ones that replied or shared your content and add them to your social community.
Besides infographics, other examples of useful visualizations are:
- Graphs and charts
- Downloadable reports
- Interactive experiences
4. Build a social community
Build a community of people that will trust you with the information you provide.
Social Media is the first and obvious way to build a community. When someone makes the conscious choice to link or follow your page, they are going to organically see your posts. They will be more inclined to share this post than a sponsored post that they randomly come across. The information still has to be relative but, through Facebook’s organic targeting of posts, it’s beginning to get easier to see organic social results.
Personally contacting influencers in the industry is also a great way to build a community. Direct messaging on LinkedIn can yield great results, because they’ll get a notification to their email as well as to the app on their phone.
Social media outreach does not have to be the only choice. An email list of users that have shared your posts in the past can have a high conversion rate. This would take longer to build up, but, with this method, your content will definitely get shared and posted on other sites at a greater frequency.
5. Bookmark your work
The first part of a content marketer’s job is to create content. The second would be getting it into the right channels.
Engage and network with audiences by sharing out content on accessible channels so they can upvote and like your content. There are key social websites that you can submit to that can give you great links and value.
- Reddit: Not every link gives value, but it seems like if it gets enough upvotes and traffic to the post, the link is recognized by Majestic/Moz. Initially they are No Follows.
- LinkedIn Pulse/Groups: Groups have their own social ecosystem. And although they are no follow links, the shares that come from them can boost site authority.
- Mix: StumbleUpon’s new platform aggregates links from across the web and shares them to interested readers.
While these channels don’t give you direct links, they can give your content greater exposure, introducing new opportunities for links. The more people you reach through them, the more backlinks your content can have.
With so much content out there, websites must be especially creative about building high quality links through the creation of highly quality content. These techniques, along with patience and time, will help build your brand, community, authority, and traffic.