Backlinks are essential since Google and other major search engines consider them an endorsement for a page or post. Pages with high numbers of backlinks tend to have better organic search engine rankings. Backlinks are all about getting votes from other websites! Each of these “votes” lets search engines know that the content is credible, valuable, and useful for search engine users.
One can then infer that the higher number of backlinks you have, the higher your site will rank in Google and the other search engines. However, one must note that not all backlinks are created equal. When looking to build backlinks, go with quality over quantity, every time. For example, a single high-quality backlink can be just as, if not more, powerful than 1,000 low-quality backlinks.
When trying to parse the difference between high and low-quality backlinks, look at these three qualities:
- They come from trusted and authoritative websites
- The site and pages are related to your site’s content
- They include your target keyword
When building a backlink plan, you can use many online resources to learn about the process. Today we will be going into a few lesser-known tips to help you construct your site’s backlink plan. So, here are six lesser-known tips on building backlinks (you’ll thank us later).
1. Backlinks and Writing Guest Posts
This is a lesser-known tip regarding backlinks. While it is not the most efficient way to build backlinks, it is the key to finding new, quality, backlinks for your site!
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to reach new audiences. By publishing helpful articles on other popular websites, you’ll be able to get your content in front of new readers and get more exposure. This goes to show that sometimes, it’s not just about the backlink, but more about increasing your online reputation and your followers on social media. Guest blogging can also help you use new relationships to your advantage and expand your audience.
You can utilize Google search queries to find blogs that are currently accepting guest contributors:
- your keyword + inurl:write-for-us
- your keyword + guest-posts
- your keyword + inurl:guest-post-guidelines
When you publish a guest article, you should always make sure to link to your business’ or clients’ social media profiles. If a reader enjoys your post, they can easily follow you on social media for similar future articles.
2. List Your Site in Trustworthy Directories
Online directories, also known as business directories, are a convenient way for businesses to build links and subsequently draw in more organic traffic. Directories will typically index businesses by location, niche, or category, and often include reviews for said businesses.
There are three main benefits to using online directories to promote your site and its pages and posts: targeted and relevant reach, trusted links, and cost-effectiveness.
Targeted and relevant research is arguably the best benefit of listing in trustworthy directories. When a person uses an online directory, they usually want to locate a business that is relevant to their needs.
Therefore, a directory makes it very easy for consumers to get through the marketing noise! By having your business listed in a directory (like Google My Business), you are increasing your site’s visibility, which increases the chances of sales.
The trusted links that come with a directory listing also boost your site’s organic SEO. Online directories are trusted sources and are typically very high-ranking sites. Adding your link to an authority site is always a good idea, especially if it means improved visibility and reach, and the possibility of improved site rankings and organic SEO.
Listing in a directory is also very cost-effective compared to other link building strategies. Many online directories like FourSquare and Google My Business, allow you to submit your business information to their index for free!
3. Discover Competitor’s Common Backlinks
By knowing what backlinks your competitors are getting, you can learn what your site’s pages are missing that could get you more backlinks! First, you will want to log into Ahrefs Backlink Checker. (They offer a free 7 day trial for 7 dollars.) The Backlink Checker can show you the quality of inbound links in-depth, using metrics like Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Spam Score.
Enter your competitors URL into the Link Explorer and navigate the Inbound Links tab.
The Inbound Links tab displays all of the site’s pages you are looking at that link to your competitor’s posts. You can then export this list into a CSV, and sort these backlinks by the most critical backlink criteria – page authority. At that point, you will have an extensive list of sites that link to your competitors (that could be linking to you!). You can scroll through your new list and look for authors or websites that show up the most, and target these contributors in your backlink campaign.
4. Get an Indirect Backlink from a Competitor
Start by going to Google and typing in your primary focus keyword. This allows you to see where you rank and where your competitors are ranking. Let me beat you to it: it doesn’t matter (right now) if they’re ranking worse or better than your site. Think only of the traffic that they’re getting, that you’re not getting. Imagine being able to steal all of that traffic from them – right out from under them!
You can actually spy on your competitors’ backlinks and use that information to get more backlinks leading to your own site. One site administrator actually used this method to get over 20% more backlinks to their site. Crazy, right? That is not only completely possible, it’s very easy! If you find yourself needing even more backlinks after you execute your backlink building plan, this is a great step. First, you will want to log on to the Moz Link Explorer.
Once you reach the Link Explorer, the first step is to get a copy of your competitors’ link profiles. Since the majority of sites can have hundreds of backlinks, we at TKD recommend starting with your two biggest competitors – any more, and you may find yourself drowning in backlinks.
The way to subtly “steal” your competitors’ backlinks is by using this backlink analysis tool. This tool is particularly useful because it gives you additional tools you won’t find in other link building tools. For example, you can also find your competitors’ recurring link sources. Then you can nab those link sources and use them for your own site.
One more thing you can do with Moz Link Explorer is to set up backlink alerts. Moz will also email you weekly with any new backlinks your competitors have received, allowing you to steal their links in a snap!
5. Turn Your Mentions into Backlinks
Sometimes, other sites will mention your website or business without including a backlink – this is called a mention. So how can you make these mentions work for you, and increase traffic to your site? Some key benefits of turning brand mentions into links include:
- Increased authority and search rankings
- Establish new relationships
- Manage online reputation
You can use a multitude of tools to find any mentions that are not backlinks to your site currently. There are many methods and tools available to discover brand mentions online. Some great ones include Scrapebox, Citation Labs’ Link Prospector, and Ahrefs’ Mention Tracker. You can simply enter your site URL, and the program will give you a list of your brand mentions – it’s that simple! While analyzing your mention URLs, try to sort them into common themes that will allow you to brainstorm the best outreach strategy. For example, some categories may include Product and Service Comparisons, or Testimonials.
After you have sorted your mentions, you can begin manufacturing a plan for reaching out to publishers. You may believe reaching out to your mentions is awkward, but luckily there are proven ways to get the highest possible success rate. As Neil Patel mentions on his Link Building post, you will want to do the following in your outreach email:
- Be creative – dull emails tend to be considered spam in many cases! Plus, you can spark up a linking relationship by staying friendly with mentions.
- Personalize – you will want to include the person’s name and the website name in the email so it doesn’t go straight into the recipients’ spam folder.
- Keep it short – asking for backlinks from mentions is something that goes on a lot in the SEO world, so keep it short!
After that, you can sit back and wait for the backlinks to roll in!
6. Trade a Testimonial for a Backlink
You may be wondering how this works, and why you would ever do this. Testimonial links have several reasons to use:
- You can customize the link location and anchor text to drive traffic back to your site.
- Testimonials are often times sitewide, but even when they’re not, they usually reside on popular pages (aka authority).
- Trading testimonials for backlinks makes sure everyone is a winner, so you are likely to have a higher success rate than other backlink strategies.
You can also use the previously mentioned Ahrefs Mention Tracker for this backlink strategy! Just fire up Ahrefs, enter your site URL, and look at who has mentioned your site lately. Then, all you have to do is go give testimonials. But how?
Most of you may have quite a few contacts who would just love to get something positive written from you about their business, that they can publish as a testimonial on their site. It’s not hard to get started – simply make a list of your contacts and mentions, and start sending emails! Here is a template you can use:
Hey there (their name),
I hope all is going well with (their site), and I wanted to reach out to offer you a testimonial.
I’ve been really impressed with your newest services, and I’d be more than happy to provide a testimonial you could publish on the site! It would be my pleasure to share my great experience with the rest of your visitors.
And that’s all for today! By paying particular attention to these six low hanging fruits of the backlink tree, you can give your site a significant boost in SEO. As always, contact TKD Design to get started on your site’s backlink plan today!