When it comes to SEO, most of us will agree that earning backlinks can be one of the most challenging tasks to take on. If you look at any ‘Google Ranking Factor’ studies conducted, then you will almost always see that ‘Link Signals’ are still the number one ranking factor.
Link building is not as easy as it once was. With Google’s introduction of the Penguin algorithm webmasters were no longer able to trick Google into ranking their website higher by using link farms or various other link schemes and simply buying $5 blogroll links on multiple websites to gain authority. Google is now focused on ensuring links are natural and editorially given. To avoid this, you should never be directly paying for a link.
Below, we’ve put some top tips on how to kickstart your link earning strategy in 2019 and beyond to help get you on your way to that elusive top spot in Google.
Broken Link Building
If you are struggling to get in touch with the webmaster, or they haven’t updated the link after you have asked, you can simply 301 the broken page to your new page. This won’t pass 100% of the authority across, but it will pass some authority through and more importantly, users clicking the link wont be directed to a page which doesn’t exist.
Bonus Tip: Run your competitors through Ahrefs and find their broken links. If people are linking to 404 pages on competitor websites but you have the same content still live, contact the webmaster and ask them if they’ll change the link to your content instead. After all, it will benefit their users!
HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
HARO is a tool created by the folks at Cision. Sign up to HARO as a source and you will be able to find reporters and journalists who are looking for experts in their field to provide quotes or information. Signing up is quick and easy and you will receive emails throughout the day, all you need to do is lookout for a request in your industry! This is not only a way to increase brand awareness and ultimately your websites authority, but it also helps to build relationships with reporters in a range of different niches all over the world.
Brand mentions are simply when people are mentioning your brand name on the web. You can track this in a couple of different ways. The first method is useful to capture any mentions of your brand name going forward. To track this, you can simply set up a Google Alert for your brand name and Google will ping you a message whenever someone mentions your brand name on their website / in the news. You then simply need to check that article and see whether they have linked to your website or not. If they haven’t simply pop them a message thanking them for the mention and see whether they would be happy to link.
The other way to track this is by using Ahrefs. Using the content explorer you can simply insert your brand name into the search box, then click the one page per domain filter. Once you’ve done that you’ll be shown a list of places that are mentioning your brand name. Some of them may already be linking to your website so all you need to do is input your web URL into the box like we show below.
This will then bring up all the mentions of your brand name on a website which isn’t linking through to you. From there you can start with the highest authority websites and reach out to them asking them to link to you. If they’re talking about a specific service you offer then make sure you give them a good resource to link to which expands on what they have spoken about.
This is particularly useful for local businesses or businesses with a physical location that can be visited by customers or clients. Citations are essentially mentions of your business name, address and phone number (NAP) on local and industry directories. If aligned properly and exactly matching the contact details on your website they can be almost as powerful as a link. They will also help you appear higher up in local organic listings and the local map pack listings. Citations can be built manually, or you can use a tool such as BrightLocal.
Using a tool such as bright local will cost around £70, however they will create up to 25 citations for your website on various directories, most of which will also include a link to your website. If you don’t have the budget to use their service, you can submit the citation listings yourself, all you need is a list of good quality citations, which BrightLocal also provide.
As we previously mentioned, earning new links to your website can be tough, but hopefully these tactics will help you get off to a good start and help build your websites authority. We believe that link signals will continue to be one of the most important ranking factors to Google for many years to come so a link earning strategy should always remain an important part of your overall SEO plan. If you need help with your link building strategy or overall SEO campaign then Anicca Digital’s SEO team is here to help. We have years of experience in dealing with local, national and international businesses and can help you too! To find out more, simply get in touch with one of the team today.