You have probably asked yourself, many times, “What backlinks should I build to my website for best SEO results?” This question is often asked by many people, after Google releases a new algorithm update. Numerous self-called experts give different tips and advice, but, unfortunately, most of the times, the only thing they do, is to confuse people. In this article, I will talk about how to build backlinks to your website, and also tell you about the links that can potentially hurt your rankings.
The old times when all types of backlinks were considered good for SEO are long gone. For years, many webmasters relied on sloppy techniques, and used automated tools to build hundreds of backlinks every day. Things have changed a lot since then.
In today’s SEO, high quality and relevant backlinks weight the most value.
But how do you build good backlinks?!
By using the right strategy and with a good online marketing plan. Here are some tips you should follow to get good backlinks to your website.
Trust no one
Don’t rely on the tips you read from unknown sources. If somebody discovers the secret to rank first on Google for competitive keywords, it’s very unlikely that they will share it with strangers.
Always do your research and make your own tests. With very little money, you can create a website to test all types of backlinks and have your own case studies.
Build backlinks with patience
If you have just created your website, the chances of getting fast and natural links are almost zero. Saying your prayer before going to bed, in hopes that Forbes or Washington Post will link to you, won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you will have to build some links and drive relevant traffic to your website.
How do you do this?
One common method is to write guest posts on reputable websites in your niche.
When you write articles for other websites, don’t do it just for the purpose of getting a link in the author bio. This method has been abused a lot lately, but with the right strategy you can stand up in front of the crowd.
Here are some tips to scale your guest posting technique:
Don’t look only for websites that have a “write for us” page. The best websites from where you should get links are the ones without these pages.
Only write for highly reputable websites in your niche. Don’t waste time to write for websites with domain authority level lower than your site. Your link will have very little value, and you might end up having your link removed without further notice.
Write more than one time for each website. Otherwise, it will be obvious you are writing only to build backlinks.
Nofollow links are great. Not for SEO, but for traffic and to get more followers on social media.
Monitor the links from your guest posts. Use our SEO tool and keep track of all your backlinks. Sometimes, webmasters remove or change your links from dofollow to nofollow, and you should know about this.
Always link to your social media accounts in the author bio of your articles.
By using the techniques, I wrote above; I managed to get great SEO results, and also direct traffic to one of my websites, from the author bio of my guest posts. This is a screenshot with the direct visits received over the last month from an article I wrote for a popular website.
As you can see, the bounce rate is 65% (13% better than my overall website’s performance), and the average visit duration is 2:31 minutes (84% better than my website’s average duration per visit). I am getting hundreds of visits every month, just from this article. Do you need another successful example? Check the results of another guest post I wrote a while ago.
This time, I am showing you the results over the last few months so you can see that guest posting is a long term method to drive traffic. The results are even greater this time. The bounce rate is 57%, which is 27% better than my overall website’s statistics. The average time duration is better with 109% than my average visit length.
Why the two examples I just shared were successful? Because I followed all the rules, mentioned above.
I wrote, detailed and high-quality articles on reputable websites in my niche and people loved them so much, they decided to check my personal website, as well. I didn’t write them just to get a backlink, but to get both the benefits of traffic and SEO. Even if these links would have been nofollow, I would have gained hundreds of visits per month.
Don’t leave footprints on your backlinks
A very common mistake many SEO’s do is to leave footprints when building backlinks. All your links should look natural, even those that you are building for SEO.
If you are doing guest posts, always change your author bio and use different pen names.
Don’t use the same description for your website all over the web.
Make all your links look natural and untraceable.
How to build good backlinks
The best links to your website are the ones coming from real websites, with good content and lots of social media shares.
You can either earn these backlinks or build them yourself. As long as they come from the authority websites in your niche, they have great SEO value. I will not insist on a specific link building method, because what works for me, might not work for you. This is the reason, why, at the beginning of the article I said you should do your own tests and decide what’s best for your website.
You can also check what your competitors are doing in terms of SEO, and if their strategy works, try to build the same links.
The most common methods to build quality backlinks are:
- Guest posts on related websites
- Build links with Infographics
- Broken links method
- Niche forums
- Email outreach to influentials
What backlinks you should avoid
There are several types of links you should avoid in your backlinks profile. The worst you can have are the spammy ones you can’t control.
Here are several examples of bad backlinks:
- Links from pages with thin content.Google devalues pages and websites with very little content, and it’s obvious that links from these types of websites carry little SEO value.
- Websites that don’t provide value to users.The best examples on this category are social bookmarking websites, directories and article directories. All of these can be used only for the purpose of SEO, and Google doesn’t give them a lot of credit. What’s even worse, it’s that once submitted your link to any of these websites, it’s almost impossible to remove it.
- Comments spamNobody likes spam, and neither Google. If you are posting spammy comments like all over the internet, you will lose your website’s reputation, and you might also lose your rankings in search engines. Even nofollow comments can be suspicious if you abuse them. Check Matt Cutts answer to spammy comments:
To identify the bad backlinks of your website, login to your Monitor Backlinks account and sort your backlinks by the Domain Authority, Trust Flow or Citation Flow. You can use the filters from the right side to sort your backlinks by their value and decide which ones have helped you get better at SEO.
If you want to read more about removing bad links to your website, check the article I wrote a few weeks ago here: How to identify and remove bad backlinks.
If you want to build backlinks to your website, you have to do it with caution and knowledge. You should monitor each backlink you create or earn and verify if it carries any SEO value. Always avoid getting backlinks from pages where you don’t have any control. The last thing you would want is to have hundreds of backlinks you can’t remove.
How is link building working for you lately? Let me know in the comments section.