Use these evergreen 7 link building tips to help improve your search rankings in 2021.
Bold statement to make we know; the caveat being years of solid field testing and trial & error experience.
Here’s what you will learn from this post:
- ANALYSING YOUR COMPETITORS LINKS
- CONTENT ANALYSIS
- EDUCATIONAL LINKS
- BLOG ROUNDUPS
- BROKEN LINKS
- INTERACTIVE MEDIA
First, some housekeeping…
In answer to a couple of questions that we often get asked:
a). Is link building still relevant in 2021?
b). If our competitor has 1000 links, do we need 1001 to outrank them?
Here’s our reply…
a). Link building has always been and will continue to play an important role for ranking well in the SERPS throughout 2021 and beyond!
b). Google does NOT count the quantity of links but they do measure the quality of the links as a ranking factor.
But, if this is widely accepted as fact…
Why then does so much controversy and misinformation still persist?
If you trade online, you will know just how crucial top rankings are for your primary keywords.
Your business will thrive on the free organic traffic that those high ranking keywords generate.
Naturally, your competitors will be diligently working round the clock to knock you off those top slots.
You will also know that SEO and link building is an essential and ongoing process of marketing your website.
So, get your link building tactics wrong at any stage and BOOM!
Your website could be consigned to the ‘never to be found again’ SERPS, leaving your competitors to leapfrog you to the top.
Google & Link Building
It is worth noting that search engines like Google, will on the one hand…
Actively discourage the practice of link building for the sole purpose of trying to manipulate your search ranking positions (SERPS).
And yet on the other, will reward your site with higher rankings when done correctly.
We’ll say this yet again…
Links are still one of the biggest ranking factors with quality and relevancy being far more important now than previously.
If visitor traffic numbers are your primary concern, you could always throw money at the problem by investing in paid campaigns like Google Ads.
But that could prove to be pretty expensive if you’re in a competitive market sector and/or don’t know what you’re doing.
And of course, your traffic will immediately dry up the instant you stop paying for your ads!
So, What Is The Right Way?
At this stage you are probably wondering, what is the correct method of acquiring quality backlinks?
First, we strongly recommend that you conduct a thorough analysis of your link portfolio.
Pay close attention to the sites that link to you and how they are linking to you.
Examine the number of referring domains, quality of referring domains and their link relevancy.
Check for link co-citations, number of outbound links – own + competitor + toxic links + link opportunities.
3rd party tools like those offered by SemRush.com, Ahrefs.com can help take the tedium away from this task.
Sadly however, tools like these are usually beyond the scope & budget of a small business owner.
3 most common types of link acquisition:
1. “Natural” Editorial Links
Links that are acquired naturally by other sites that want to link to your content or brand.
These links are gained from the creation of high quality, peer to peer industry content.
Natural, editorial links do not require any other specific SEO action, other than creating great awareness around them.
2. Manual “Outreach” Link Building
Your link building agency often creates a value proposition by explaining to the target website, why creating that link will be in their best interest.
SEO companies providing link building services will:
- Email bloggers for guest posting opportunities.
- Submit feature length articles to select online publications.
- Contact specific media for sponsored listing opportunities.
- Identify and approach social media influencers.
- Build relationships with industry peers for joint-venture possibilities.
Filling out forms for submissions to a website award program.
Or convincing a university professor that your resource is worthy of inclusion in their public syllabus.
3. Self-Created, Non-Editorial
Many websites offer visitors the ability to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles.
It is worth noting that these links carry little by way of value and continue to be devalued by search engines as inconsequential types.
Today, these types of links are often considered spammy and should be pursued with caution.
As Google have been known to penalize sites that aggressively pursue such links.
It would be far more prudent therefore, to adopt penalty-safe and more effective ways to attract links such as;
Pillar content, content rich videos, high quality infographics, podcasts etc. as detailed in the 7 link building tips below.
Effort, Perseverance & Patience…
If you arrived here looking for some quick & easy shortcuts, we’re sorry to disappoint but – THEY SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST!
Understand that there is a right and a wrong way to build links that will generate the kind of results that you are seeking to achieve.
Attracting or building quality links will require prolonged effort, perseverance and immense patience.
Prepare yourself to accept that, it may be some time before you can reap the benefits of your endeavours.
The 7 link building tips highlighted below have all been thoroughly field-tested & will drive results.
So, without further ado here they are..
7 link building tips step-by-step…
Time needed: 7 days, 3 hours and 30 minutes.
7 LINKBUILDING TIPS FOR 2021 & BEYOND…
- ANALYSE YOUR COMPETITORS LINKS
Study the links of the top ranking competitor sites in your niche against your own website links.
Make a note of the ones that are most likely to result in:
a). Attracting the right target audience
b). Bringing direct referral traffic
c). Causing a boost in search rankings
External tools such as SemRush.com or Moz will help to determine the link worthiness of the sites that you’ve chosen to go after.
Using SemRush.com you can easily evaluate the authority and toxicity of each link.
Fix or disavow any of your toxic links using the Google tool here https://search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links.
TIP: When approaching quality sites that link out to your competitors, create a value proposition by offering your best content, a joint-venture collaboration or a shared promotion opportunity.
- CONTENT ANALYSIS
Look out for topics, stories and blog posts that are trending in your market sector.
Pick ones that you may be particularly familiar with and then write a better, more detailed version including your own unique twist or insight.
This is often referred to as the Skyscraper method first coined by the irrepressible Brian Dean of Backlinko.com.
Then spread this out to all relevant social media platforms including any owned web properties.
You can find out what’s trending by clicking this button facility on Buzzfeed.com in the top right hand corner.
Google Trends and BuzzSumo are also popular tools to help you discover popular searches in a wide range of categories.
Your smart, competitive research should also include analysing your competitors paid ads for the keywords and copy that is used.
Tools like Spyfu.com (see below) will reveal every organic and paid keyword that your competitor is either ranking organically for or paying for.
This should be an invaluable part of your research, as it will help you to approach your content marketing strategy primed with the knowledge of what is popular in your market sector.
And finally, don’t forget to check out other popular news publications within your own niche as well.
- EDUCATIONAL (.edu, .org)
Do a search on Google for schools, universities, charities and community business organisations.
Visit each property to see whether they have a local resource section to which you can add your business to.
And if they don’t, you can also contact these sites and offer to run an event or free promotion in exchange for a highly sought-after backlink from them.
- BLOG ROUNDUPS
Also called content roundups or link roundups, these are curated blog posts featuring a selection of the best articles and posts within a particular industry.
Each of the articles listed in these posts will usually have a snippet of that content with a link back to the original content.
Roundup posts are typically found on high quality blogs and news sites and present a perfect opportunity to gain a highly relevant backlink and boost in your search rankings.
And added benefit of being included in such roundups, will also help to establish you as:
i) A thought leader within your industry
ii) Drive relevant targeted traffic
iii) Potentially lead to other beneficial content sharing collaborations and partnership opportunities.
Finding one of these roundups is fairly straightforward by doing a simple search on Google.
For example, healthy eating +”monthly roundup” will bring back the following results:
Just make sure to substitute ‘healthy eating’ with your chosen keywords.
And contact the website owners and pitch them your best content for inclusion.
- BROKEN LINKS
Broken links otherwise known as ‘link rot’ are hyperlinks to non-existent web pages.
This is bad for the website owner as 88% of web users say that they are unlikely to return to a website if presented with dead links.
But, the true cost of link rot can be a bit more unforgiving!
As bounce rates will inevitably be higher, the knock on effect on conversions and subsequently search rankings can become pretty grim, if uncorrected.
There are reputed to be an average of 2.4% of broken links on every website.
Which means there is a high probability of you being able to find websites in your niche that have links to resources that no longer exist.
Simply email the website owner with a friendly message, pointing out the broken link and offer your resource as a replacement instead.
Make sure that what you’re offering as a replacement is both relevant and suitable for that website.
An easy way to find broken links is to install a free extension called ‘Check My Links’ available on the Chrome browser.
Alternatively, ‘Broken Link Checker’ is an addon extension for Firefox users that performs the same task.
Discover link building opportunities by tracking the lost links of your competitors.
Odd as this might sound, memes are an excellent way of building links for your web properties.
Funny, humorous, controversial or strange memes attract a lot of attention and can easily be shared virally across social media.
Kapwing is a free meme creator that you can get started with, by using their collection of standard templates to create your own
viral texts and messages
Or alternatively. you can choose from a range of trending templates like the sample one featured below.
And then distribute them to relevant subcategories (subreddit) on Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest etc. where users are likely to share these on their sites too, thus generating extra backlinks.
- INTERACTIVE CONTENT
Create high quality shareable infographics, slides and videos and post them across popular media such as YouTube, SlideShare etc.
Piktochart.com offers a free and easy to use visual infographic creator where you can start by selecting from over 500 templates and adapt them to suit your business interests.
Visual.ly allows you to create and sell infographics if you choose to.
Infographics can also be shared to Infographic Reviews, Flickr, Mashable Infographics for high quality backlinks.
And, there you have it; 7 link building tips to massive search engine ranking gains.
You now know that link building is a painstaking an ongoing process.
Some people will find this an incredibly tedious task, while others will think of it as a challenge.
Whatever your school of thought may be, link building is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
It will serve your business best therefore, if you can get to grips with it sooner rather than later.
And whether you’re a ‘newbie’ or a grizzled veteran, hopefully there’s something that you can takeaway and use from this post.
Feel free to add to this topic with your own favourite link building methods in the comment section below
If you do struggle to constantly come up with new ways to acquire quality links, then why not get in touch with our experts?
Our UK link building team applies these 7 link building tips amongst a slew of others to generate top search rankings consistently for our clients.
You can find out more about our link building UK services here.