Most would say keywords and backlinks are two separate parts of SEO. However, these work best when used together.

Together, these two methods can be utilized to make a well-optimized and high-ranking website.

Link building remains one of the most important factors of SEO. A study that looked at 1 million SERP results showed that the number of domains linking to a page is the most important factor in terms of ranking.

In other words, seeing several sites promoting your page keeps Google happy. The more domains that link to you, the more endorsements Google sees. When Google’s happy, your site can climb the ranks, which makes you happy. That means getting links from diverse domains is extremely important for SEO.

It goes without saying that you need to put a strong strategy for link-building in place. But, a vital point many webmasters completely miss is that keyword research should be used to create your action plan for backlinking.

The Best Strategies For Successful Link Building

There are many effective link-building strategies which can help improve your site’s visibility.

If you want to get clever about link-building, then you should build up a database of websites that have linked to you in the past.

You should do this because these sites are probably already interested in your content. Therefore, they are more likely to be fans of the new content you produce. You can use tools like Google CSE and Ahrefs Site Explorer to easily compile a unique list of potential linkers.

Believe it or not, you can also use the link building strategies of your competitors to your advantage. Most of them are likely to be investing in link building and may have built lots of solid links already. But don’t worry, this just means they’ve done the hard work for you.

All you need to do is research to replicate their link profiles. It’s perfectly ethical, so why not be a bit resourceful?

Read More: Three Working Link Building Strategies to try in 2018

How to use Keyword Research to Guide Your Link Building Strategy

Link-building strategies are a must. But to get ahead of the crowd you need to use everything in your arsenal. Using keyword research to back up your strategy can make your site stronger and boost your ranking.

Keywords and backlinks go hand in hand as the pillars of SEO.

As a webmaster, you probably brainstorm, design, and create content first and then start link building. The majority take this approach. Although it may seem like a good idea, it could be holding your site back from being its best.

Don’t make the same mistake twice. You should always consider keywords and link building together before content is published. When content is strategic, you will successfully secure links and expand keyword ranking.

Remember, you can’t rank for absolutely everything. One well-utilized keyword is as valuable as fifty that are out of your reach.

The Top Keyword Research Hacks

All content campaigns should start with keyword research. Get a good overview of suitable keywords and this will guide your link building strategy.

Let’s take a look at how to effectively carry out keyword research.

Read More: How to Identify Keyword Opportunities for #1 Ranking on Google

1. Analyze your Website for Keyword Opportunities

The best way to start is to perform an audit of your site. This will identify the best ranking opportunities for your site.

This can be carried out by analyzing existing content and seeing how it could be improved or recycled into new content. This new content should complement what’s already there. Overall, this systematic approach can only improve your overall ranking.

Every site will have central keywords that can be used to your advantage. In your audit, your goal should be to identify the underlying themes and keywords which will allow improvement.

Start off your research by using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to see how relevant keywords are performing. Examining how they are ranking and their search volume will give you an idea.

Once you figure this out, you can target these keywords by creating blog posts and pages that are focused on the theme and intent.

Let’s focus on intent for a minute. To decipher what the intent behind your page should be, put yourself in the shoes of your viewers.

Imagine yourself searching for these identified keywords. What are you looking for? How do you want information to be presented to you? This will make it easier to create content that is keyword optimized and useful to viewers.

2. Research Potential Keywords you Can Rank for

So you know how to identify which keywords your site currently has the opportunity to rank for. But what about the opportunities you’re missing out on?

Again, you can use tools like SEMrush or Keyword finder to find keywords you can rank for.

Simply type in the basic keywords you have identified and the engine will produce a list of related terms you may have missed.

Of course, you should pay attention to how difficult certain keywords are to rank for. Along with this, you should also take a look at how many times they are searched for.

3. Analyze Competition Sites Already Ranking for the Keywords

As we saw before, looking at what your competitors are doing is a vital step towards your improvement. You can find out what pages you could be ranking for by analyzing the pages that you are competing within search engine result pages.

You can find out what you could be ranking for by analyzing the pages that you are competing within search engine result pages. Identify keyword opportunities where you are falling behind, then fix this.

By examining your competitor’s pages you can see what they are doing to rank for the keywords you are targeting. Are they getting backlinks for their content? Is their domain authority way higher than yours?

If Google is providing you with snippets or images for your relevant keyword, take this as a clue.

Search results show you what searchers are looking for. This will tell you what content you should be creating.

Don’t make the mistake only getting an overview of a brand or entire website. Instead, zoom in on what’s relevant.

Try to figure out what is driving successful ranking in your unique competitor pages. Take a close look at the pages that are ranking for the keywords you want to use.

What kind of content are they producing? If it’s a blog how is it written?

Are they including videos and images? Are they providing viewers with resources like templates?

However, before you go to your content team with any new direction, press pause. You need to do a little more digging.

A crucial mistake that even SEO experts make is ignoring domain authority. This is especially detrimental to new sites.

If your site has a domain authority ranking of 0, it is going to be very difficult for you to rank among site with high rankings between 70 or 80. This should always be taken into consideration before identifying the keywords you are going to target.

4. Create Better Content

There’s always room to improve. Take your research to your next content brainstorming session and incorporate it into your plan. Do it the same as your competitors, but better.

When upgrading your content, pay attention to likability. At this point, you need to start implementing your link building strategy. This can be done by analyzing competition’s linked pages as well as yours and finding patterns.

You should also monitor your internal linking strategies and tweak them as new pages are developed. With a new strategy, some internal links may need to be added or removed.

If you follow these tips, you have a strategic plan for your content that serves user intent for specific search terms. From the word go, this is the backbone of your link campaign. So if you secure worthwhile links, your page should rank well and bring in relevant traffic.

But your work doesn’t stop here. Using keywords and backlinks as part of your link building strategy is an ongoing process. If you repeat these steps you are sure to see major growth.

In all, creating the best pages possible is a balancing act between keywords and backlinks.

First create better, more relevant content. Then, make sure it is optimized for linkability.

If you do implement these two tactics in your link building strategy you can expect to see the websites that have linked to your competitors, start linking to yours.

What’s more important to SEO than keywords and backlinks?

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