4 Strategies for Getting Natural High-Quality Links for Your Content

The process of “link building” has long been touted as the key to ranking in search engines. After all, research on the relationship between inbound links and rankings has shown that without them, rankings are next to impossible.

In fact, a Moz study of over 15,000 keywords found that 99.2% of all top ranking websites have at least one external link.

But while getting links is still critical to SEO, the way you get those links has changed.

Link building tactics through spamming, article publishing, and trade links are strategies of the past. Today, if you want to build links, you must work hard to earn them.

“If you want to build backlinks, you have to earn them,” says @JuliaEMcCoy. #SEO Click to tweet

How? Let’s dive in and find out.

What is a quality backlink?

First, we need to define exactly what is a quality backlink and what is not. Because, as Neil Patel mentions about quality backlinks:

While the right inbound link to a website can boost your Google rankings, earnings, and brand, the wrong link can result in your site being penalized.

The right inbound link can boost rankings and ROI. Incorrect ones may result in penalties for your site. @neilpatel Click to tweet

As we try to avoid penalties at all costs, we want to focus on getting the RIGHT incoming links.

What makes a good backlink?

SEO consultant Mark Walters explains it in the simplest way possible. He talks about quality backlinks:

  • From the relevant source
  • From a trusted source
  • Send traffic
  • Main content
  • Are on a page with Google’s PageRank
  • Next to backlinks to authority sites

Mark also shares that quality backlinks are NOT:

  • Earned from link exchange
  • Included in dozens of other links in the content
  • Easily purchased
  • Paid to be included

Now that we know what a quality backlink is, let’s look at a few strategies for getting them.

RELATED RELATED CONTENT: 6 linking methods to help your content rank, be found and read

Why Links Work

If I didn’t explain, all of these strategies are about getting links, not building them.

By making the decision to earn rather than build, you no longer have to worry about constant updates to Google’s algorithms affecting your rankings. Because at the end of the day, trying to outsmart Google engineers is a game you lose.

Strive to earn links, not build them. And do it using these four strategies.

1. Create the best content for your topic.

While this strategy is easier said than done, it is by far the best way to earn a large number of links.

To do this, look at content that already ranks high on the target topic.

For example, let’s say you want to create content around the definition of conversion copywriting. The first thing you need to do is search Google for “what is conversion copywriting?”

Looking at the results, you can see that there is a good opportunity to create more valuable content – a piece of content with a high degree of links – on the topic. And since most of the results don’t directly answer the question, you can even create content that will appear in the Google answer box for that phrase.

Here’s what the process looks like after searching Google for your topic:

  • Take notes on the highest ranked content – open and view each result on the first page of the rankings to see in detail what each piece of content does and doesn’t.
  • Identify where and how your brand can improve content – Use these notes to identify opportunities for improvement . Ask yourself questions like “Could my content be more actionable?” or “Can I add more attractive images?” or “Can I include original research or a case study?”
  • Create a Plan – Now that you know what you’re up against, create a detailed plan outlining the research, visuals, how-to’s, etc. you’ll use.
  • Create Better Content – With Schema, you can now create posts that will better search for your chosen topic.

And, as you’re trying to cover this topic as fully as possible, be aware that you’ll probably need to create long content. This not only helps ensure your message is highly informative, but it also allows you to rank higher in search results.

 Remember to develop detailed content to have a better chance of getting links, @JuliaEMcCoy advises. #SEO Click to tweet

2. Conduct exclusive interviews with industry experts and/or influencers.

This strategy of influential or expert content is becoming more and more common. My team used it for an episode of our Write podcast, interviewing conversion copywriting expert Joanna Wibey. One of the quotes from the recorded interview was used as a backlink in Crazy Egg’s “Conversion Copywriting Guide”.

The best part? The backlink phrase was “describe conversion copywriting”. As a result, when search engines use the phrase “describe conversion copywriting,” our podcast interview ranks third, and content including its backlink ranks first.

In addition to this authoritative reference, 12 other references were obtained during the course of the interview. This is the power of an interview with an industry expert.

3. Create your own infographic.

Visuals have long been an important component in creating engaging content. But you may not know their link building power. For example, take a look at this infographic from Search Engine Land, which describes SEO success factors:

This visual, which has its own page on Search Engine Land, has received over 4,000 links and generated over 30,000 social media shares.

Infographics can be a great way to earn backlinks, says @JuliaEMcCoy. #SEO Click to tweet

Which keyword do you think ranks first in the search engines for the keyword “SEO success factors”?

This is a simple answer. The Periodic Table of the Search Land Engine is displayed in the Google Answers window.

BACKGROUND: 7 principles for creating great infographics

4. Participate in collaborative content marketing.

Collaborative content is a way to combine the experiences of other influencers in your field to create amazing content. Collaboration not only saves time and resources, but also gives you a much greater potential for getting links and shares on social networks, because your collaborators have their own audiences and platforms.

Let’s look at a post by Robbie Richards asking 143 experts to list their top three SEO tools.

The post has collected more than 10,000 reposts in social networks and received 250 links. It ranks on the first page of search results for “best SEO tools”.

Start earning links

With the four strategies outlined, you now have everything you need to get started on proper link building.

Use this tactic to start earning links and move up the SERPs without worrying about being affected by Google’s algorithm updates.

It’s worth it. I promise.

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