Google processed over two trillion searches in the year 2021 alone! And a significant percentage of those searches are from people looking for companies that can help solve their problems.
As over 80% of shoppers search the internet before making a purchase, ranking on the first page of Google is crucial not only for traffic but also for credibility.
But getting the Google algorithm to notice your site isn’t easy. You need to write fantastic content, implement strong on-site SEO practices, and figure out how to get quality backlinks from the right sites. 6 Link Building Strategies for E-Commerce
But why are backlinks important? Here’s what the data says:
- The number one result on Google has an average of 3.8 times more backlinks than positions 2-10.
- With over 66% of pages without a single backlink, this remains the main reason behind poor rankings.
- Content and backlinks are the two main deciding factors for good keyword ranking.
High-quality backlinks are hard to come by. And for a long time, many companies were able to get results with shady SEO practices like using hidden text and links, keyword stuffing, content scraping, cloaking, and more.
But the recent Google Link Spam update released by Google makes it much harder to trick the system. Only those who use legitimate practices and follow White Hat SEO guidelines can rank high in search results.
And while that’s bad news for some, it’s great news for anyone looking to add value and gain backlinks the right way.
Today, even individual businesses can earn quality backlinks by building relationships and providing real value.
But before we get into the strategies, let’s define what a high-quality backlink is and why it matters.
What is a high-quality backlink and why it is important?
A backlink is essentially a link, positioned in text, that points from one website to another. But there are a variety of factors that influence whether it will improve or hinder your SEO efforts.
Google has gotten pretty good at recognizing backlink quality, using a three-tier system to categorize each link as low, medium, or high quality. And the category can make a huge difference to your ranking potential. 10 SEO tools recommended by experts
Here are some key elements that Google evaluates to determine if a backlink is genuine:
- First, Google checks that the backlink is natural, that is, that it improves the reader’s experience and doesn’t try to trick the algorithm. If Google determines that the link is out of place, it will ignore it or even penalize it.
- Another critical factor is whether the backlink is reliable. Google analyzes a website’s PageRank to determine its quality and importance. In this way, the engine gives much more value to backlinks from sites with higher PageRank. In fact, one link from an authority site can be worth hundreds of backlinks from a low-impact site.
- Finally, you need the backlink to be relevant. Google looks at domain reputation and whether the site’s theme adds value to the link. For example, if a website about bread recipes links to a page about the stock market, it is unlikely that this will be considered relevant by search engines.
As you can see, the amount of information that Google looks at when evaluating backlinks is quite broad, which means that the quality of the backlinks is much more important than the quantity.
So getting some relevant, reliable and natural backlinks from the right sites is much more effective in resulting in first page rankings (at least compared to spamming your links across the internet, even if you have thousands of them).
With that in mind, here are some legitimate strategies to get high-quality backlinks.
How to earn backlinks?
Getting links from big sites to your content can seem impossible when you’re a small business. But you don’t need a big marketing budget to earn quality backlinks if you use the right strategies. Google Ranking Factors: The 200+ Google Ranking Factors
Create a noteworthy product
The easiest way to get quality backlinks is to create a product that grabs people’s attention. If you can develop something noteworthy, you won’t have to work hard to get your story shared.
And those shares mean not only high-quality backlinks but tons of free advertising that can drive sales on their own. But how does this work in reality?
Well, a good example is a Ukrainian startup called Reface. She created an innovative viral product — an app that lets you swap faces in videos, GIFs, and memes.
The company then used public relations and the power of word of mouth to generate excitement around its app and it quickly became a hot topic among top industry websites.
And to this day it’s making headlines!
Sure, leveraging the viral potential of a funny face-swapping app might seem easier, but it can be done in just about any scenario (and in fact, you know which publishers would be interested in your product or brand).
No matter what niche you operate in, there will be news sites, blogs, and social media influencers talking about it.
They all have an audience eager to discover new products and innovative ideas.
So if you can create a compelling hook around:
- Your product,
- news about your progress, updates and new features,
- Or your case studies
You’ll have a much better chance of generating interesting content that websites and influencers will queue up to share.
Leverage familiar names to seem more important
Having a well-known brand makes getting publicity and backlinks much easier. But unfortunately, this is not something most startups have at their disposal.
Even the most successful companies start out being virtually unknown to their audience or the general public. So, before becoming a reference in your industry, you need to be creative to get attention. TOP 15 Marketing Tips on Google
You can use storytelling to link your brand to breaking news, celebrities, and other brands relevant to your industry. That way, you can leverage their appeal to tell your story in a way that generates excitement and interest.
Take Mailtrack – an app that adds double-checks to Gmail, letting users know if the message has been opened or not.
Although Mailtrack itself was not yet known, everyone knew about WhatsApp and Gmail.
So, in its press release, Mailtrack leveraged these brands to present a core feature of their product and gain familiarity with a broad audience. And that’s exactly how they managed to get attention.
Billions of people use Gmail and WhatsApp, so releasing a press release on how to get more of these apps was a lot easier than just talking about the product.
And even if your product or service isn’t related to well-known brands, you can gain relevance by using other things that people know about.
For example, maybe your product can help solve a problem that is on many people’s minds? Or perhaps it is related to a recent event or a public figure that interests the general public?
By using storytelling elements that leverage something well-known, you can link your product to that prior knowledge and increase your brand’s prominence in the process.
And at the same time, it will make generating high-quality backlinks much easier.
Publish surveys and statistics
Data is one of the most sought-after assets by companies. This is especially true if the information is unique and provides new insights into an issue or situation.
That’s why one of the best ways to get high-quality backlinks is to tap into your competence and provide valuable data to others.
So, every time someone uses your data in their articles, you will get a backlink. And those can spread quickly!
You don’t need years of research to come up with useful information that others will be happy to use and share.
If you don’t have data of your own, you can compile a list of relevant statistics on a topic and share new findings in one place.
Publishers love to back up their claims with data. So if you have a relevant article with a lot of useful information, they will be happy to link to it to add credibility to their own work.
Alternatively, you can conduct research, run tests, or even publish annual reports. All this information can be valuable in the right context and is very shareable in nature.
Publishing an article or infographic is a one-time job, but it can generate high-quality backlinks for years to come.
Take a look at this email subscription marketing report created by the marketing team at Newoldstamp last year. It resulted in over 50 quality backlinks, which helped the page to appear as one of the top results on Google.
At first, the company used custom outreach to generate backlinks. But over time, as the page became more visible on Google, the backlinks became even more natural as people began to discover and share insights relevant to their work.
These results are impressive. And creating value-based reports can become the most powerful method to generate backlinks for a long time. How to Start a Business Online: Practical Tips and Creative Examples
Write guest posts to showcase your experience
For a long time, guest posts were the gold standard of link-building outreach. If you could publish an article on a high authority website, it would give your SEO a significant boost.
But, as expected, the effectiveness of this approach resulted in abuse by those trying to trick the system.
Blogs started selling guest posting opportunities without worrying about content quality or relevance. And it became more difficult to distinguish between relevant backlinks and artificially created ones.
Because of this, Google devalued links obtained through guest posts. It can now detect excessive guest posts of the same content for backlinks, especially with low-quality articles.
So, if you’re looking to earn first-page rankings by getting multiple sites to publish your articles, this strategy might not work the way you’d hoped.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t an effective method to showcase expertise, share your ideas, and grow your audience.
Treat guest posting as an additional strategy. Sure, it might not be enough to achieve first-page ranking, but it can be a powerful element that gives you more exposure and an extra push in your SEO efforts as well.
If you don’t want to guest post, try earning high authority links via HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a service that connects journalists with experts.
If you know a topic, you can ask a reporter to share their thoughts and add a link to your website for the article.
If done correctly, cold outreach can be an effective method of getting backlinks. But at the same time, trusting your primary way of getting links when messaging people you don’t know is an uphill battle that might not be worth the effort.
Instead of emailing strangers and begging them to exchange links, why not build friendships with like-minded people?
You can then partner up and get backlinks without having to hack into random people’s inboxes.
Of course, developing relationships takes time and effort. You can’t create a network of people who would be happy to share your links overnight.
But if you make it a priority, you can build a network of bloggers, industry opinion leaders, and indirect competitors, even from a small business.
Then you can count on your network to share your links with your audience and use them in your own content. Not just for the relationship itself, but because they like and trust the information you post.
Over time, as your network grows, this can lead to opportunities you might not even have considered before. And while the SEO benefits are good, these partnership opportunities can end up bringing even more value to your business.
Backlinks are still one of the main factors search engines use to determine where to rank your site.
If your site has links from multiple reputable and relevant sources, then you are showing that your content is valuable, something Google cares about.
However, Google is also getting better at distinguishing between links that are important and those that are not. Because of this, shady practices (like link buying, excessive sponsored or guest posting, etc.) can hamper your efforts.
So, if you want to take your site’s authority to the next level without being penalized by Google, the tactics mentioned in this post are definitely worth it.