SEO strategies such as creating reputable SEO backlinks are constantly evolving with algorithmic changes.
Whether it’s Google, Bing, Yahoo, or another search engine, outsmarting their algorithm takes work. You need to stay vigilant and motivated to stay on top of the constant changes that these search engines bring your way. As such, our marketing guru Chris Parbey sat down with me to talk about his views on SEO strategies.
What does it to take to build SEO backlinks like a growth hacking expert?
A Quick Recap: What are SEO Backlinks?
No SEO strategy is complete without a robust action plan for backlinks and linking. Developing reputable and useful backlinks involves something more than marketing.
But first: what exactly are backlinks and what makes them reputable or not reputable?
The definition of a “backlink” is very simple: Site A links to Site B and vice versa. Yes, it is really that simple (as any SEO strategist or marketing specialist can tell you). Search engines, including Google, interpret this relationship as support of each site.
Think of it as someone giving you a “vote of confidence” or backing you in a debate. SEO backlinks are the equivalent of just that, so it pays to foster digital collaboration and build more backlinks. However, not all SEO backlinks are created equal.
If some random site ending in “.restaurant” links to you, it might not mean as much to search engines. If Forbes links back to your site across several pages, this might reflect better on your page reputation.
Obviously, the more times reputable domains link to your page, the more reputable your site appears. When it comes to outsmarting SERPs, this is an easy and must-do tactic.
This won’t always be the case for every “random” site that links to yours. Just because something isn’t Business Insider or doesn’t end in “.com” doesn’t make it disreputable.
Domain authority is the underlying force that determines the true power of a backlink.
What Determines Domain Authority and How That Affects Backlinks
As many people may know, “domain authority” is how a search engine determines site search results rankings. The final score tallies root domains as well as associated links into a final number.
Think of it like a credit score where all of your types of credit add up to a number. Just like with credit scores, there is an ideal range of scores you want. Perfect is absolutely ideal, but let’s be realistic about our goals here people.
Generally, places like Moz score domain authority on a 100-point scale that is logarithmic. It takes into account site popularity as well as the number of high-quality links to external sites. You can already see how backlinks are integral to establishing domain authority.
Of course, you shouldn’t misconstrue domain authority with page authority, which some do. Domain authority involves the measurement of a whole domain’s strength to rank. Page authority, as one might guess, involves deciphering the strength of singular pages.
Both matter, but for the sake of SEO backlinks building, we’ll focus on domain authority.
How can you leverage your contacts and content to build links and boost visibility?
Advice From an Edgy Labs Expert
Our resident marketing expert, Chris Parbey, took some time to sit down with me. As an expert on the topic, I asked him to explain his process. How does link building work and what are some of his favorite strategies?
Better yet, I asked him what his overall view of link building, as an ecosystem, was. Overall, the message was clear: you need to develop and cultivate relationships.
Whether a new web page or an established outlet, we all need each other. While Chris mentioned several tools you can use in your backlink journey, he touched on a few topics. In pursuance of relationship development, Chris highlighted a few strategies:
- Use tried and true tactics exemplified by SEO experts like Neil Patel
- Invest time in researching “resource pages” on various sites
- Identify opportunities for link building such as broken links
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to people
- Guest posting is your best friend
Much like many things nowadays, information is readily on the internet with SEO strategies. This includes SEO backlinks resources from Moz, Neil Patel/Quicksprout, and others. Doing your homework counts for a great deal in this instance.
“Target people who have shared your content even if they haven’t linked back.”
I could figure out how most of the bullets in the above list would play out. My background in social media, brand development, and small business solutions prepped me for that. What we need to know is: what’s the deal with resource pages and broken links?
Chris was kind enough to illuminate the hidden paths to SEO backlinks for me.
Leveraging Current Relationships and Even Acquaintances
Resource pages serve as lists of resources for users to search through and use. As such, making your way onto one means link building opportunities. You can join someone else’s and they can join yours for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Broken links, however, are never good, so they are an easy “in” for backlink building. All you have to do is reach out to someone with an alternative link. If you approach it in a professional, laid-back manner, you can network and build links in one fell swoop.
But what’s with the quote from earlier? Why would you reach out to someone if they haven’t linked to you already? Well — if they shared your content, why wouldn’t you?
Though it is useful to network with people already linking to you, you can do more.
By connecting with people who share your content on social media, you can expand your audience and visibility. The worst that can happen is they say “No.”
Though guest posting is not a new tactic, Chris impressed upon me the importance of it. You can build your own digital reputation as well as your site’s backlinks with guest posting. He used Neil Patel and his Forbes contributions as a key example.
By collaborating with a well-established domain, Patel boosted his own digital clout. After all, you can link to your own site in every guest post you do. That adds up over time.
What are the Tools You Need to Build SEO Backlinks?
I’ll keep this part short and sweet. You’ll need the following tools to build backlinks:
- Ahrefs: this tool is MANDATORY. You get an entire suite of tools such as a site explorer, crawl report, and so much more. You can also track competitor’s backlinks and follow their example while also reaching out to them for a potential backlink
- Moz Open Site Explorer: this tool allows you to identify link building opportunities, damaging links, and research your backlinks
- Link Detox: this tool does what it says — helps clean up your site by clearing spammy or toxic links. There is no free option, though, just FYI
- Google Webmaster Tools: it isn’t the best, but it is free, accurate, and pretty comprehensive. Plus, it’s Google
- BuzzSumo: this tool allows you to see what kind of content performs the best. It also puts you closer to finding influencers to promote content
- SEMrush: this tool considers itself an “all-in-one” tool. While you want to use others, this one allows for deep link analysis, backlink geolocation, referring domain authority checks, and more
There are definitely a lot more tools out there for backlink building and management. But that will have to wait for another article.
Like Most Things in Life, Backlinks Depend on Relationships
You can see a clear trend in the advice Chris imparted to me for this article.
As with social media, business relationships, or any relationship, you have to cultivate it. That means putting in work, reaching out, and facing rejection. Yeah — it isn’t a word we like to be comfortable with, but we need it in our lexicon.
But one “No” in one instance doesn’t mean that that resource will always reject you. Give it some time, build MORE backlinks, and then try again later.
In the meantime, court current resources and connections with conversation. Send a “thank you!” for people sharing your content. Congratulate them on new milestones their brand or website may have reached. Basically…keep up with them.
It seems like a kitschy thing to think of a website as a “garden of backlinks”. But, that is what it is isn’t it? Cultivating current backlinks can produce more backlinks in the future.
The only difference is that the backlinks are the flowers; the people responsible for them are the roots. And we all know the roots are the life force and what needs the most care.
One Part of a Larger, More Comprehensive SEO Strategy
As SEO strategists worth their salt know, link building is just one cog in the machine. Neil Patel talks about some key strategies in the above video.
Our guy Chris knows a thing or two about this; he does it for a living. There are so many more strategies and methods to boost visibility and “hack” SERPs, but SEO backlinks is certainly a great place to start.
If you are just starting a new website or need a refresh, SEO backlinks are still one of the best tools in your digital arsenal. In fact, we recently reported on three unique link building strategies in February. Take a look if you want to learn even more about this topic
Here is a final pro-tip: embrace the linkbait my marketing cohorts. It is not nearly as “fishy” as it sounds to be.