Ten Tips to Enhance your Backlink Strategy
Posted on April 18th, 2017
Considering I spend 40+ hours/week strategizing in the SEO world, I figured it can't hurt to write about what I do. Today I'm sharing ten tips on putting together a strong backlinking strategy... implement these now (or ask me to do it for you)!
1. Guest Blogs
Guest blogs have become a staple in any business's SEO strategy. Depending on the keyword you're ranking, as little as five guest posts per month can increase your rank in Google search results. It tends to be a win-win for both the blogger and your business. Make sure the article you send them is of high quality and at least 800-1200 words. Throw in your company URL where it makes sense but not so that it is overly obvious. You want the link to look natural and well-suited for the blog. Bloggers can charge anywhere from $30 - $2000+ depending on their following and how well established they are. I like to use tools like Ahrefs.com to find relevant bloggers. After that it is easy to reach out and liaise with 50+ bloggers per day.
2. Anchor Ratios
Another great insight that can be gained from Ahrefs.com is what percentage of all of your backlinks are tied to what anchor. It's important not to over-optimize one anchor term over another as this can actually lead to a penalty by Google. Instead, I recommend following this anchor ratio guidelines: 5% exact, 20% generic, 15% compound, 20% title, 10 % related, 15% raw URL, 15% partial. Additionally embedded links or image links can be used depending on your goals. For more info on how to build these ratios, reference here: https://ahrefs.com/blog/anchor-text/.
Potentially the most straight forward and easiest way to create quality backlinks is commenting on the most popular blogs in your niche. Just make sure you include a link to your website and you're good to go!
4. Press Releases
Press releases are an ideal place to strategically place backlinks. Not only do they typically demand a higher-authority, but they tend to also be shared and referenced naturally. Write an engaging enough PR and the rest takes care of itself.
5. Contributor Profiles
If you are the CEO or CMO of your business it's become a best practice to establish yourself on relevant publications in the industry. These can both be local resources (http://www.builtinaustin.com/) or location-independent publications (https://www.engadget.com/). Writing and blogging in your industry allows opportunity for quality backlinks to your website. Depending on which website you contribute to and the size of their following these backlinks can be especially powerful.
6. Social Influencers
Smaller companies tend to have "Brand Ambassadors" that promote their products through their physical or virtual environment. Today, customers are everywhere and our reach can far out-do a campus event or local festival. Instead, focus your efforts on social media. A few key Instagram posters can rally a big enough following to triple your conversion rates. This can be a fine line to walk as individual influencers often come with a price-tag. Do your research and make sure the person you connect with has loyal (and real) followers as well as the right industry reach. I tend to gravitate towards Patagonia and Strava athletes as a great example of legitimate influencers. If you're unsure about pursuing a contract, having the influencer review your product can be a good place to start.
7. Follw up unlinked mentions
I highly recommend setting Google Alerts and/or alerts on tools such as http://buzzsumo.com/ to notify you whenever something is posted about your target keyword or company name. A lot of the times your brand or product can be positively mentioned without a backlink... Let's change this. Spending a quick five minutes doing outreach to those that write about you is easy and often a good way to further develop relationships.
Trending topics in industry that utilize numerical data can easily be presented in info-graph format. I like to make mine through canva.com, but you can also hire someone to design a custom graphic. Info-graphs are content-rich in nature because they are so unique in their purpose. Use this to your advantage to gain traffic and point users in the right direction.
9. Whitepapers/In-house Blogging
My favorite in-house blog to follow is definitely that of 3Q Digital https://3qdigital.com/blog/. They continuously write about relevant topics that are tools in their industry. Information is easily digesteble to both industry experts and novices alike. Clicking through any one of their blogs at random will show you what a solid backlinking strategy will look like. In-house blogs not only provided an opportunity to link back to the websites you're trying to rank, but also establish you as a thought leader and further increase your authority.
10. Social Media Shares
Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Instagram all play a major role in the backlinking game. Make sure you have an automated marketing system setup (I recommend IFTTT) to get your content out there. As soon as a new blog post or whitepaper or press release is posted share that everywhere. Backlinks on social media count too so naturally, the more shares the better.
Expect more posts like this in the future.