Sound link building strategies are an important part of SEO. Backlinks let search engines know that your page or site is important and relevant, and you should be pushed up the rankings. Which is a straight forward concept, but the skill lies in recognizing a good backlink as opposed to a bad one, building bridges between this content and increasing the reach of your content.
In this blog post, we share the knowledge of link-building expert, Alan Silvestri who is the CEO and founder of Growth Gorilla.
He let’s us in to his world of strategic ‘bridge building’ and how he pitches links and ultimately get’s his clients’ content in front of the right people.
What is link building?
A sound link building strategy is based on the idea that links are votes of confidence from other websites. When a website links to yours, it's essentially saying that your content is valuable and worth reading. This can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). The more authority the website has that links to your content, the more valuable the backlink is.
"I see backlinks as bridges between pages in the web. The way that you see a bridge, it takes you from one point to the other. So this is the same way that we approach the link building game. We try to build these bridges between pages in the web because it makes sense for these pages to be connected.”
Alan explains that the best way to build links is to create high-quality content that people will want to read and share.
5 types of content best for backlinks
Here are some of the best types of content for acquiring backlinks:
Infographics: A great way to acquire backlinks because they are often used to explain complex topics in a way that’s easy to understand, they are visually appealing and shareable.
Expert roundups: Articles that feature quotes or insights from experts in a particular field. They are a great way to get content in front of a wider audience and to acquire backlinks from the experts who are featured.
Case studies: These in-depth reports describe how a product or service was used to solve a specific problem. They are a great way to demonstrate the value of your product or service and to acquire backlinks from industry publications or blogs.
Whitepapers: These long-form documents provide in-depth information on a topic. They are a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and to acquire backlinks from other websites that are interested in the topic.
Blog posts: A great way to share your thoughts and insights. Blog posts can be a great way to acquire backlinks if you write high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience.
Quality vs Quantity
While once upon a time it was a numbers game – the more backlinks the better – now, Alan explains quality is more important that quantity.
“You should always take it to account both of these things, the domain level metrics, domain level authority, but also the page level metrics and authority. So with metrics it’s things like, domain rating from Moz or Ahrefs. These are two different tools that people can use to measure the authority of the pages”.
That said, it’s not an exact science so it’s important evaluate the relevancy of the specific page your link is coming from.
- The topic needs to be relevant
- It needs to make sense for them to link to you
- The page/site needs to have traffic
Because, says Alan, otherwise it typically means that the page is fake, having been built with the sole purpose of selling the back links. The main things to consider are the authority and the traffic that comes from these pages.
How to pitch for links
What are the best ways to reach out to other websites, bloggers or journalists to ask them to link to your content? For Alan, it’s about building and nurturing a relationship before the content is even published.
Before you even create the content, reach out to relevant bloggers/journalists and tell them you’re about to work on this piece of content that you think might be interesting to them. This shows you’re not just interested in the link. Ask them what they think of the topic.
Once it’s published, reach back out to these warm leads and tell them the content is live, say you’d love to know their opinion, invite them to share the content on social or in their blogs/articles.
“At the end of the day it’s all about the user experience,” explains Alan. “ The better you can make your content for your user the better it is for everyone. So what we try to do is pitch content that can make the other websites’ user experience better.”
7 top tips for a good link-building strategy
A good link-building strategy is essential if you want to improve your search engine ranking. Here are the top 7 things to remember:
1. Understand your target audience
Who are you trying to reach? What are their interests? Where do they spend their time?
2. Create high-quality content
If your content isn’t good, no one is going to want to link to it. Simples! Make sure it’s well-written, engaging and relevant to your audience.
3. Promote your content
Once it’s out there you want people to see it. Promote it on social media, via email marketing or submit it to relevant websites and directories and ask them to promote it.
4. Build relationships with bloggers/journalists
Reach out to writers and creators in your industry, you could guest write a blog post, or appear as a guest on the podcast, and visa versa.
5. Participate in online forums and communities
Share your knowledge and expertise with like-minded members in these groups and you can ask them to link to your website or page.
6. Use social media
Share content with your followers and ask them to share it with their followers.
7. Be patient
Last but not least! Don’t expect results overnight. Just keep doing what you do, creating high-quality content and promoting it and over time you’ll see results!