Have you ever wondered why you’re always behind your competitors in Google Search rankings despite regularly publishing content that’s MUCH superior in quality?
There can be many reasons.
But most of the times, it’s because the results ranking higher than yours have more backlinks from relevant and high authority sites.
One of the core objectives of Google Search is to show high-quality, useful and relevant search results to its users.
When another website links to a URL on your site or blog, Google considers this as a vote of confidence in the usefulness of your content.
If the site linking to you is a well-established authority in your industry, this vote becomes much more valuable.
To rank higher than your competitors, you need to get more backlinks (votes of confidence) from other high-authority sites in your niche.
According to a study of more than 2 million keywords by Ahrefs, backlinks have the highest impact on a page’s search engine ranking
In simple words, the more backlinks you have, the higher you’ll rank.
Sounds simple, right?
But building backlinks to your site and persuading others to link to your content isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to acquire links that can help them rank higher for their target keywords.
But if you have the time and expertise, there are ways you can build genuine white-hat backlinks without spending a fortune.
In this post, we show you how.
1. Use Guest Blogging for Brand Awareness and Backlinks
Guest blogging is one of the most popular ways to build high-authority backlinks to your site and create more awareness about you brand.
The links acquired through guest blogging are usually more valuable when they’re placed in the body of your content, not the author bio.
But to build such links, you need to write top-notch content that meets the publication standards of that blog.
You can find guest-blogging opportunities in every niche by simply searching Google. For example, here are a few queries you can use.
“[Your niche] + write for us”
“[Your niche] + contribute”
“[Your niche] + guest author”
“[Your niche] + guest blogging guidelines”
“[Your niche] + editorial guidelines”
“[Your niche] + guest post”
And just in case you’ve come across this warning by Matt Cutts (Google’s former head of web spam) about guest blogging and wondering if it’s still a safe approach, relax!
Matt was referring to low-quality, copied and spammy guest posts that are written for the sole purpose of link building.
You’ve got nothing to worry about if your guest posts are unique, genuinely useful and link back to your site in a natural way.
If you’re not sure how to differentiate between the two, contact us for help.
2. Publish Stats Round-Ups and Data Heavy Posts
Adding numbers, data and research to your content makes it look more credible and authentic.
It also helps you acquire backlinks from different blogs who link to your resource as a reference for their data.
So, whenever you’re making an argument in your content or sharing tips, try backing them up with numbers and data.
Another approach is to create a data round-up post which lists all the relevant stats about your industry.
People love reading, sharing and linking to such posts
You can find an unlimited supply of data and research on sites like Statista and Pew Research. Simply search for your relevant topic, take snapshots of the graphs on these sites and add them to your posts (with a link to the original study).
3. Publish Detailed Case Studies
If you have a product or a service that has served your clients well, consider publishing a detailed case study on how it helped them.
Compare the before and after scenarios of your clients, share the problems they had when they came to you, and how you resolved them.
Instead of being too product-focused in your case study, try to focus on the problem of your client and the solution that you provided.
Bloggers and authors on different sites love to quote case studies as examples to back their claims.
4. Use infographics to Build Links
Infographics are still among the most popular forms of content and attract a lot of social shares and backlinks.
OkDork and Sumo analyzed more than 100 million online articles and found that the ones with infographics had the highest number of shares
There are a couple of ways you can use infographics to get backlinks:
a. Find a popular topic related to your niche, gather stats and other relevant facts and turn them into an infographic using a free tool like Canva or Visual.ly.
Once your infographic is ready, publish it on your site and offer it to other sites that have covered that topic in their posts.
If your infographic has value, most blogs would gladly take your offer and give you a backlink to the original source of the infographic.
b. The other approach is to create a site-specific infographic for the bigger blogs. For example, if you want to get a backlink from a leading blog in your niche, find the most popular post on that blog, turn it into an infographic and offer it to the editor in return for a backlink.
This strategy certainly requires more effort and resources, but it has a high success rate.
5. Publish a Unique Study or Survey
If you have a large customer base, an email or a social media group, you can run your own surveys and use the findings to create a detailed blog post.
Survey results always generate interest among people and result in dozens, sometimes hundreds, of backlinks.
For example, here’s a popular survey published by ClearVoice which shared insights on the costs of online content
If you don’t have a large subscriber base yourself, you can hire third-party service providers to survey your target audience and share the results with you.
It’s a small investment that can result in priceless backlinks and referral traffic.
6. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
There’s nothing wrong with helping out someone for free.
But here, we’re referring to HARO, a platform where journalists seek expert opinions for their stories.
You can sign up as a source on HARO and answer different questions put forward by professional journalists working for various magazines and publications (very high authority)
If a journalist finds value in your answer, he can quote you in his story along with a backlink to your site.
7. Use the Broken Link Building Strategy
Ever heard of the broken link building strategy?
It’s a slightly advanced method used by expert marketers to take advantage of the links that point to outdated resources that no longer exist.
Every day thousands of new websites pop-up.
But thousands of sites go offline forever as well.
And when that happens, all links pointing to those sites become useless.
If you can find such links on your target sites, you can take advantage of this opportunity by creating a similar or better resource on your own site and offering it as a replacement to the previously linked site.
Most blog owners would gladly accept it.
To find broken links, you can use a tool like Ahrefs.
For example, I searched Entrepreneur.com on Ahrefs and clicked on the Broken Links section under the Outgoing Links heading
The free version gives us up to 20 results.
These are the pages on Entreprenur.com that link to outside resources that no longer exist.
If you want a backlink, you can create your own resource for any one of these links and offer it to Entreprneur.com as a replacement.
You can replicate this process for any website in your niche.
8. Claim Your Unlinked Brand Mentions
Do you monitor your brand name on the web?
Doing so might help you find unlinked mentions of your brand name.
If you find any such mentions, you can simply reach out to the site owner and request them to add your link.
A simple monitoring system can be set up using Google Alerts
Create alerts for your main URL, brand name any variations of your name that people might use.
As soon as Google indexes a page with your name, you’ll be notified via email.
9. Partner With Authors on Famous Blogs
Getting featured on sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc etc. is hard work.
But what if an author from one of these sites joins your team and features your brand in his content?
Smart approach, right?
You can use this approach on any multi-author site in your niche.
All you have to do is to identify the right author and create a win-win scenario with them.
This can happen in a number of ways
- You can give them free access to your product and ask them to share their honest review about it.
- You can ask offer them a place on your marketing team
- You can share valuable data with them that they can feature in their content.
- Or any other way you can help them make their content better.
If you can get one or two authors in your team from every leading blog in your industry, you can get backlinks and exposure much more quickly
If you’re not sure how to do it, contact us for more guidance and help.
The Take Away
Getting backlinks to your site is undoubtedly a resource-consuming process both in terms of time and money.
But it is the backbone of any SEO strategy without which getting higher rankings is very difficult.
If you can consistently create high-quality and link-worthy content, and then apply some of the techniques shared in this post, there’s a good chance you’ll get backlinks from your target sites.