Top 4 Steps to Develop a Backlink Strategy
In this blog, we will be looking into how to develop a backlink strategy and avoid using PBNs. SEO is a very competitive and interesting field. One of the most important parts of it, backlinks, has caused many debates. Many think that getting other sites to link to them is based on luck while others take action and get what they want. The question remains: “How can I build high-quality links? “You’ve come to the right place. In this blog, you’ll learn effective strategies that I’ve been using for a while now. They’re proven and they work great. By reading this article you’re about to get your hands dirty with white-hat backlinks. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump straight into it! First, we need to understand how backlinks work. This is a very big and interesting topic and it has helped me a lot so I’ll try to simplify everything as best as possible.
How Backlinks Work
The simplest definition for this concept is that backlinks are incoming links on other sites pointing to your website. This basically means that when someone sees your site they “click” on it and then the link shows up on their browser history. Typically, links are made of text but in many cases, you can also find image links, buttons or structured markup. Depending on the “type” and where they’re placed, backlinks can take different roles.
There are two main types of backlinks. The first one is called “Do-Follow”. These links are great because they pass link juice (the algorithm that decides which site to display in search results). Google, for example, uses the number of do-follow links to calculate your website’s importance. The second type is called “No-Follow”. These are usually used by bloggers to make their content more engaging. They’re still counted by link algorithms but they don’t put much weight on them when calculating your site’s authority.
Backlinks – Where To Find Them?
There are many places where you can find them but the main ones are social media, guest posts, PBNs and others. In this guide, I’ll talk mainly about guest posts and PBNs because people often struggle with them. I’ll explain how to build each type of backlinks in the following sections. Let’s go ahead and see which strategies you can use to get high-quality links!
What Are Guest Posts?
Guest posts are basically when a website writes a post for another blogger or website. They make a great backlink because they’re from “reputable” sources and they pass link juice. Guest posts are extremely powerful if done right. On the other hand, it can turn out to be a total disaster if you make one or more of these mistakes. Here are the most common ones:
- Making spelling and grammar mistakes – As I said in the beginning, quality backlinks are important so using poor language won’t get you anywhere.
- Plagiarising – This is a HUGE mistake and if you get caught it can hurt your credibility so don’t do it!
- Not including a link to the author’s site in the by-line – Make sure you link back to the blogger so they can get more exposure and traffic from their efforts.
How To Build Guest Posts
If you follow these simple steps, I can guarantee that you’ll get a high-quality backlink and great traffic: The first thing you need to do is to find websites in your niche where guest posts are allowed. You can spend hours looking for them but why waste time when there’s a shortcut? This strategy will save you a lot of time and effort. All you have to do is go to HARO and sign up as a source. These guys send thousands of requests per day from people looking for experts to write guest posts so your chances are really high! They also have an option where you can select your niche and you’ll receive relevant requests sent only to people like you! If they don’t have any requests for your niche, no worries there are many other websites that do the same thing. The next step is to find guest post opportunities on these websites or blogs. You can go straight to their “Write For Us” page and look through all the requests, choose one that is in your field of expertise and start writing.
So what’s a PBN?
By now hopefully, everyone has heard the term private blog network (PBN). If not, here’s a quick summary: A PBN is basically a network of blogs that were created with the sole purpose of backlinking.
Why are PBNs bad?
The owners of these PBNs use them for their own or clients blogs which gives them total control over the linking. And of course, they don’t open them up for others to use. So yeah, it’s kinda dodgy. And Google doesn’t like it.
What’s a good backlink?
1. DA/DR are helpful metrics. Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR) can help you identify websites with a great backlink profile. Poor DA/DR scores are less than 50 (IMHO). So the aim is to identify sites that have the highest DA/DR.
2. Make sure it’s not a suspect PBN, they are more trouble than they’re worth.
How to identify bad PBNs:
- The websites use the same hosting IP address.
- They have low DA/DRs – it’s not being build and grown organically.
- Who owns the site? WhoIs can show you, and if they have a bunch of blog sites, chances are they are PBNs.
- They won’t have much traffic as they are sending links out to their selected sites, not drawing traffic into theirs to improve their DA.
- The posts probably look like they were written by an amateur.
- What’s their backlink profile? As I like to say, ‘crap in – crap out’.
3. Don’t use the same keywords over and over. Use variations like synonyms.
4. Make sure the backlink strategy you use spaces out the links to a particular blog post. Think organic! If it doesn’t look natural, Google will catch on and your site could get penalised. And don’t go hard in one month and get 100 backlinks then do nothing for months. It will have ‘I rorted the system’ written all over it. And remember, if you need a backlink strategy and are not sure you want to get caught up in the murky PBN world, reach out and book a brainstorming session to see how we can help get your site or blogs noticed without falling foul of Google.
If you would like to have a brainstorm call book a time.