link building

How to Build Quality Backlinks in 2020

A recent study by Backlinko found that the number of domains linking to a page was the factor that had the highest correlation to Google ranking. Although the landscape of SEO is constantly shifting, over 42% of Google’s search algorithm is still dependent on links. That’s right, link building is still 100% relevant for SEO in 2020.

That’s all well and good, but the question on every marketer’s lips is how to earn these all important backlinks. After all, you can’t just put your content out there and hope the backlinks appear in their droves. With 55% of pages having 0 backlinks pointing to them, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Building quality backlinks and in turn boosting your site’s ranking requires hard-work, time and energy. But, with Google confirming it as one of its top 3 most important ranking factors, creating a killer link building strategy will pay off.

In this post, Report Central share 8 tried and tested ways to build killer backlinks that will boost your site’s ranking in 2020.

Why are backlinks so important?

 

Before we get started, let’s take a closer look at why backlinks are so important in the world of SEO.

Backlinks are essentially votes from other websites to yours. Every vote tells Google that your content is useful, valuable and credible. That’s a big green tick in Google’s eyes, meaning the more votes you gain, the higher your site will rank. After all, Google wants to serve up the best content it can.

Backlinks have been at the forefront of Google’s algorithm since the early days. And, although the algorithm has changed countless times, backlinks continue to be the backbone of SEO in 2020.

But, it’s not all about building any old links – Google also takes into account the quality of a backlink. So, when focusing on building backlinks, brands need to focus on building quality backlinks.

What does a quality backlink look like?

 

You can spot a quality backlink by looking for the following signals:

  • It comes from a high authority, trusted website: otherwise known as domain authority. Receiving a link from a trusted site makes your site more trustworthy in the eyes of Google, which will therefore place more weight on the link. To determine a site’s domain authority, head over to the Ahrefs, enter a site’s URL and the domain authority score will be generated.
  • It comes from a site that hasn’t linked to yours before: once a site has already linked to yours once, the second, third or fourth time don’t make a difference. Afreh’s found that it is the number of different sites linking to yours that’s the most important factor.
  • It comes from a page and site that is relevant to yours: Google places more weight on links that come from sites that are related to yours, in your niche. As a rule, links from sites in your industry or around your topic are more important than those that aren’t.
  • It is a Dofollow link: google doesn’t account for links with the nofollow tag attached to it. Most links are dofollow links, but this is something worth considering. For further help on all things dofollow and nofollow, check out this handy guide.
  • It contains the target keyword in its anchor text: if the anchor text of the link to your site includes your keyword, you’ve struck gold.

That’s what a quality backlink looks like, but how can you build them?

Create killer content

 

This might sound obvious, but killer content naturally attracts tons of backlinks. Content that is original and exciting encourages people to link to it for no other reason than it’s awesome content that people want to share.

Although there’s no magic formula to producing killer content, a tried and tested method of creating content that will attract backlinks is to create something original that hasn’t been seen before.

That might sound overwhelming, but we promise it’s easier than it sounds.

Think about what you have at your disposal – chances are your business has tons of data to hand. Now, it’s time to get creative. Think about what you can do with this data. What conclusions can you draw from it? What’s interesting about it? Whatever it is, write about it.

If you don’t have data at your finger-tips, create it. Again, this is easier than it sounds. Data can be collected and collated through simple surveys or questionnaires.

When it comes to creating content, think fresh, original and exciting – the types of content that gets people talking and sharing.

Format your content effectively

 

It’s not just about creating killer content, it’s also about formatting that content effectively. This means honing in on formats that both searchers and google loves:

  • Long-form content: on average, long-form content receives 2% more backlinks than short articles. Content that is in-depth, covers a topic in its entirety and offers real value to the reader consistently gains more backlinks and ranks better in search.
  • How-to posts: again, these are super useful to your audience. If a member of your audience finds it helpful, they’ll want to share it amongst their audience too. It’s that simple.
  • List posts: these are great for driving backlinks, with list-style articles receiving the highest average referring domains of any content form.
  • Videos: video consumption rises by a whopping 100% each year. With 78% of watching video content every week, it’s no surprise that this type of content attracts tons of backlinks.
  • Infographics: it’s not just videos that reign supreme. Visuals are also super popular, with the likes of handy, informative infographics attracting tons of backlinks.

 

We’d recommend combining these content formats where possible. So, if you’ve created a long-form article, include video and infographic content within this too.

Try the Skyscraper technique

 

The sky-scraper method is still as relevant in 2020 as it was 10 years ago. What’s more, it’s a super simple method that can attract tons of backlinks to your content.

The idea behind this technique is easy:

  • Identify a popular piece of content in your niche: a popular piece of content will be one that has tons of backlinks. To find popular content in your area, first head to Google. Search for your keyword and see what ranks number 1. After all, the number 1 result will likely have a healthy number of backlinks. You can also take the guesswork out of it by heading over to Ahrefs. Ahref’s link analysis tool has a report called ‘Best by links’ which shows the most linked to pages on any site.
  • Recreate it: now it’s your turn to recreate the content, making it even better than the original. You won’t get away with making a few minor improvements. If you want to draw in those quality links you need to majorly improve on the content. Look for what’s missing in the content, back up the information with more facts and statistics, add in more visuals and videos, put in links to relevant sources. Whatever the content is missing, swoop in and add it, creating an all-round awesome piece of content that pips the original content to the post.
  • Promote, promote, promote: as well as promoting the content across your own social channels and with your mailing list, we’d also recommend promoting it to those that linked to, shared or commented on the original piece of content. Show them that you’ve created content on a topic they love, that’s better than what they’ve read before.

 

For a full guide on utilising the skyscraper method, check out this guide by Backlinko.

Make use of the moving man method

Another backlink building method you may be familiar with is the moving man method. Again, this is still just as applicable in 2020 as it’s ever been.

The moving man method is simple: gain a backlink by taking the spot from outdated content.

Using this technique, look for web pages in your niche that are outdated, have recently rebranded or include outdated information.

Think about it, things change, fast. Websites shut down or rebrand every day. Information becomes obsolete every day. That’s your queue to get in touch with the very pages that are continuing to link to these outdated pages and steal the backlink.

To find outdated or rebranded pages, sites or resources, carry out a simple Google search:

  • Keyword & page no longer exists
  • Keyword & service no longer available

Once you’ve identified a few of these, use a backlink checker like Ahrefs to find the sites that are linking to these outdated sites. You can also download the Google Chrome Extension Check My Links which detects broken links on any page.

Now, your business can reach out to these pages and let them know they’re linking to outdated sites or information. While you’re there, point them in the direction of your up-to-date content and voila, you’ve earned yourself a new backlink.

Look out for brand mentions

If a site mentions your brand in an article or on their page but hasn’t included a link to your site, there’s a prime opportunity to gain a new backlink.

We’d suggest setting up an alert for your brand name to receive a notification any time your business is mentioned on the web. This is easy to do. Simply head over to Google Alerts, enter your brand name and off you go. Now, you’ll receive a notice every time your brand gets a mention, meaning you can constantly check whether pages are mentioning you and linking to your site.

Once you’ve identified sites that have mentioned your brand but not linked to your site, all you need to do is reach out to them, simply asking them to link back to you. 9 out 10 times they’ll happily say yes.

Resource Page Link Building

 

Resource pages are there to link out to useful pages. In other words, they’re a goldmine for link building.

The first step is to find these resource pages. To do this you’ll need to carry out a good old Google search:

  • Keyword & useful sites
  • Keyword & resources
  • Keyword & resource page
  • Keyword & recommended reading
  • Keyword & top sites

Once you’ve identified resource pages in your niche, the next step is to ensure you have a piece of content worthy of linking to. Otherwise, there’s no hope that the site owner will agree to link to your content.

Finally, get in touch with the site owner and let them know about your amazing piece of content, suggesting it would be a great fit for the site. If your content is genuinely great, the chances are the site owner will be happy to include it on their page.

Look for link roundup opportunities

 

Similar to resource pages, link roundups are specifically geared towards linking out to awesome content in a particular niche or topic. Link roundups can be daily, weekly or monthly posts that list and link to the best content in that area.

To find a relevant roundup in your area, carry out a Google search for:

  • Keyword & link roundup
  • Keyword & roundup
  • Keyword & this week/month

Once you’ve identified a few roundups in your area, get in touch with the author. Pitch your idea, including links to your own site. If they like your content you’ve struck gold.

Work with bloggers and influencers

 

We all know the power of influencer marketing for brands. This type of marketing delivers a whopping 11x the return on investment compared to traditional forms of marketing. But, this isn’t just an opportunity to drive traffic and make sales. It’s also a great way to earn backlinks.

While working with successful influencers and bloggers, by simply making a blog post a requirement of the partnership, you’ll gain a backlink from their site. Whether you work with bloggers on a monetary basis or offer your products for free, asking for a blog post or review of the product or experience in return is a great way to get a link back to your site.

For more help with all things influencer marketing, check out influencer marketing insights.

Next Steps – ready to build awesome backlinks in 2020?

 

With our top link building strategies in tow, your business can begin building quality backlinks that will help sky rocket your SEO in 2020. The spammy techniques of years gone will no longer cut it, in fact, they will actually harm your SEO. To win your spot on page 1, you’ve got to get clever with your link building. For more help with killer link building strategies, Report Central are here to help. We know what it takes to attract quality backlinks that will give your SEO the well needed boost it needs.

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