In 2019, link building is still a very important factor for your SEO strategy. As a matter of fact, you are not going to rank without new back-links, they are the best way to let Google-bots find your page.
Link building has changed over the years. Back in the good old days, you were able to buy lots of links from any old dodgy website because link building was a volume game. It was all about quantity over quality. Today, the key to link building is quality.
We are going to review a smart link building strategy: Focus on quality to improve the domain authority of your website.
Before we start, here are a few useful terms you should know:
1. Domain authority (DA) is a score, generally between 1 and 100, that indicates the authority of a domain. If people were websites, an Oscar-winning actress might have a score close to 90. In contrast, someone in prison may have a domain authority score that’s closer to 0.
2. A topical relevance (TR) indicates a relevant content topic relation. Soy sauce has high relevance to Chinese cooking. Juventus has high relevance to football and sports in general.
3. As I mentioned before, we will focus on the quality. A perfect backlink for your website is a high TR and a solid DA.
For example, a car garage website should have backlinks from car related websites that cover topics like like car parts or motor fluids.
4. Prioritise branded keywords in your anchor text. Only use between 1% and 5% of anchor text for exact match keywords.
So let´s start with the smart link building strategy.
Customers & Distributors
This is a must do. All companies have customers, distributors or some partnerships.
Don´t hesitate to call or send an email asking for a backlink. Be clear with the purpose and explain to your customer/distributor why are you asking for a link to avoid a no-follow link.
This is one of my favourite tactics, normally you can get lots of high-quality links really quickly because your clients and distributors are in similar markets so you will ensure a high topical relevance.
Make a list and start to organize your customer and/or distributors websites, I would advise checking the customer’s websites domain authority before asking for the link to have just high-quality links.
There are plenty of relevant organizations for most markets so it´s good practice to have a look online and check for those organizations for your relevant market (best case scenario, they’ll have domains like .org or .govt.
Most of them use a paid membership system, so you will need to subscribe and pay for the membership but those backlinks are going to be really helpful for your backlink strategy.
Keep in mind that a .org or .govt website normally has a really high DA and TR so a link from those websites can be very useful for your ranks.
Check if they allow backlinks or if they have a directory or partners sections before paying any membership fees.
Original & Useful Content
This is basically the best way to generate natural backlinks. The benefits of good content are endless. You’re not only generating natural backlinks but you´re also engaging with your customers and providing useful information to build your authority and reputation in your the market.
A clear example of this is all the out-bound links in this article! I naturally use out-bound links to other knowledge sources to support the authority of my own content. So all those knowledge sources are getting a natural backlink from my site for free!
Analyse your site and think how you can engage with your website users or which topics could be useful content for your audience. Avoid empty or unhelpful content.
Maps & Local Directories
This is standard practice. These types of links are particularly useful for local SEO.
There are plenty of maps and local directories out there, just be sure that the core information such as phone number, email, URL, and address are the same on all the maps and directories.
Double check the DA and the spam score especially for directories. There are a myriad of dodgy or outdated directories around, take care to avoid them.
This is a list of maps that I recommend for business to subscribe to. Most of them are free and should support your search visibility, local SEO, and referral traffic.
Go forth and find backlinks! Let me know if I’ve missed any relevant tactics in this smart backlink strategy.