Acquiring backlinks is still one of the most important strategies for all businesses looking to grow organic traffic in 2020. Google uses backlinks as a key ranking factor. In short: without quality sites linking to your content, it’s going to be tough to boost your rankings.
But so few marketers have a backlink strategy. Why?
A lot of marketing teams don’t see the short term traffic gains and give up. Instead, content marketing teams will dedicate most of their time to churning out content.
But if you are serious about growing your organic traffic, you need to spend about 30% of your time or less on content creation, and 70% or more on promotion and building backlinks.
Think that sounds crazy?
According to research from Ahrefs, more than 90% of content online doesn’t get any organic search traffic, at all. And the main reason is backlinks. In fact, the same study points out that 55% of pages don’t have any backlinks. There is a strong correlation between search traffic and number of backlinks.
Imagine two companies publish a similar length blog post hitting similar keywords. If one company then spends 3 days promoting the post and gaining backlinks, it’s going to rank higher. And the same applies to all content.
This guide will show how even as a small business or a startup, you can ensure your content makes the biggest impact possible by following these backlink building strategies. Each tip will show the exact methodology so you can get started building backlinks today.
What are backlinks?
A backlink is a link from another website to your website. For example, if you posted an article about marketing automation on your company blog, and this was referenced and linked to in a Forbes article, this is a backlink.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are important because Google uses them in its page ranking algorithm. Multiple studies have found a high correlation between sites with good backlink profiles and higher rankings.
Are backlinks still important in 2020?
Yes. Very. Although, not all backlinks are created equal. Google now looks at the number of backlinks you have but also the quality of the sites linking to your content.
6 awesome tips for building backlinks
Without further ado, let’s get to the link building techniques.
1. Link roundups
A link roundup is a page with a curated list of links on a specific topic. How can you use them to build links?
The first thing you need to do is find link roundups in your industry To do this try searching with some of the following combinations: Try “KW + “Roundup” or “Best of” or “Link Roundup” or “This week”. You are looking for lists where you feel your content would fit well.
Next, it’s time to pitch your content to the curator of the list. For this, it’s best to stick to a tried and tested email template. And try to reach out to the list owner via email rather than on social media.
Here is a simple template you can use. Adapt it to your needs.
I am just reaching out to let you know that I came across (link roundup name) today and I love the content.
Recently, I published a (content description) that I feel may be a good fit for your list.
Either way, keep the great content coming
2. Broken link building
The essence of this technique is to find broken links on other websites and offer your content as a replacement.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Add Check My Links extension to google chrome
- Find a site that you want to get a link from
- Run check my links on a page you want the BL from
- Let site owner know and offer your content as a replacement
Again, it’s best to have some email templates ready to use. Use an email template that politely says you have been enjoying the content but that
I love your recent piece on marketing automation. I just wanted to let you know that some of the links appear to be broken on that page. Would you like me to send a list over?
If they send a positive reply, then follow up with:
Here is the list of broken links. The post is great as-is, but I happen to have a piece of content that could replace the broken link
This filters the people who are interested and saves time. It also is more respectful than pitching to everyone.
3. Build links from podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to build backlinks. If someone at your company is a thought leader, try to get that person to be a guest on as many reputable podcasts as possible. Podcasts usually offer the guest the chance to link back to a page or piece of content. Not only that, but other viewers may learn about your content and link to it as well.
Related: Listen to the Metigy award-winning marketing podcast: Forward Thinking
4. Create unique brand words for your products and USPs
News sites, bloggers and journalists want to hear about new techniques, products, and ideas. By creating unique brand words for your products and USPs you can gain a significant amount of backlinks. Check out these three examples:
- The term Conversational Marketing was coined by chatbot Drift. Drift dominated the rankings for this term for a long time, and many companies linked back to Drift.
- Inbox Zero is a productivity technique invented by Merlin Mann and now many sites link back or mention Inbox Zero and its creator.
- The skyscraper technique by Brian Dean.
Get inspired and try to create your own brand terms. If one of them catches on, then you will notice an uptick in the number of backlinks you get.
5. Become a source for news sites and bloggers
One of the best ways to gain high-quality backlinks is to become a new source for your industry niche. If you offer objective facts about your specialist topic, industry journalists will trust you over time.
Note: a lot of news stories are time-critical so it’s often important to act fast. Before you send a pitch email, think through your idea and make it as easy as possible for the journalist to understand the angle.
Another great way to get in touch is to register as a source at HARO (help a reporter out). This site connects thought leaders with journalists looking for information.
Have you ever wondered why that 3000-word monster blog post didn’t rank as you expected? Probably the most likely answer is a lack of backlinks. Before you publish a piece in the future try reaching out to key industry publications and pique their interest. Bear in mind that pre-outreach works best for epic content pieces that you feel have a chance of ranking first.
Start building backlinks today
I hope you have found the techniques listed above useful. Remember, link building is like compound interest. It takes time to bear fruit, but once it starts to accrue, it becomes a powerful force in your marketing universe.
What kind of results have you seen from your link building? How long did it take to see results? Let us know in the comments below.