Before the internet became the undisputed hub of human knowledge, we relied on a similar network- the library. While our information has migrated online, search engines evaluate your content the same way an old monk would have- “is this relevant to my study, and does it seem trustworthy?”
So how do we prove our authority in a post-fact world full of fake news? Well, the same way we always have. Except, we’re no longer looking for academic citations, but backlinks demonstrating your business’s authority and relevance in a given field.
Differentiating Between High Quality Backlinks And Poor Backlinks
Search engine algorithms have become much more sophisticated over the past decade. Years ago, any ole’ link to your page was a good link. Now, if you’re attracting too many low quality backlinks, you can actually do serious damage to your SEO ranking. Poor links share many characteristics, so watch for the common warning signs like:
- The site features content completely unrelated to yours
- The site violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
- The site appears untrustworthy/unreliable
When enacting your link-building strategy, you want to avoid these links like the plague. Screen any and all websites that you’re interested in for poor SEO practices, relevance, and authority. If they don’t look the part, you don’t want to waste any effort on their links.
In contrast, high quality links are often easily recognizable as valuable. These are the links that should be able to:
- Build your industry reputation
- Increase your brand visibility
- Send referral traffic to your site
It’s highly likely that you already know the sites you want to build backlinks from. If you’re a digital marketer, it’s Moz. If you’re a financier, it’s the Economist. If you’re in PC gaming it’s… well, PC Gamer. The hard part isn’t identifying these links, it’s earning them. Here’s how.
5 Strategies For Building High Quality Local Backlinks
- #1 Create Valuable Content
While lists and how-tos are great for basic SEO, they won’t attract high value backlinks. Your customers and readers certainly appreciate them, but big websites are looking for more in-depth content that displays thought leadership (a fancy term for cutting-edge content).
- #2 Guest Posting
Every reputable business these days has a blog, but they often lack the time to write several posts per week. Offering to write a guest article is the textbook definition of a win-win. They get a week-off from writing and a free article. You get exposure, a potential partnership, and a quality backlink. The only downside is that you can’t crosspost the content to your own site.
- #3 Stir Up Controversy
No, this doesn’t mean shouting obscenities from Twitter or just being a contrarian for no good reason. Every industry has polarizing topics and controversial issues for you to discuss. Just make sure your position is nuanced and gracefully delivered. Otherwise you may garner the kinds of links that no business wants.
- #4 Partner With Local Businesses
Unless you’re a monolithic megacorporation, your business serves a certain niche in a diverse economic ecosystem. Check your area for businesses that compliment your services and reach out to them about mutually beneficial backlinks.
- #5 Connect With Bloggers And Influencers
This strategy requires a lot of legwork, but can generate huge returns. First, identify and research key industry influencers/bloggers in your area, then try to connect with them. Attend conventions, hangouts, and meetings. Chances are you’ll run into those exact influencers. Once you ply them with your irresistible charm, those referral rich backlinks will be at your fingertips.
If you’re interested in retooling your link building strategy, or evaluating the quality of your current backlinks, get in touch. Whether you need a full backlink audit, or just want to talk quality vs. quantity in SEO backlinks, we’d love to have a chat.