External links that point to your website, also known as backlinks, are key to good search engine optimisation (SEO). Having more high-quality backlinks on a page helps it rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), thus increasing its visibility. This is because backlinks indicate to Google that the information on your website is credible and useful, helping bump it up the rankings.
So, how do you go about improving the number and quality of external links for SEO? Well, it all starts with an SEO link audit to analyse the links already pointing to your website – and those of your competitors – and then using the information and data from this to create an effective link-building strategy.
What makes an effective link-building strategy?
A good link-building strategy prioritises authority and relevance: the main factors Google uses to determine which pages appear high in its search rankings. It’s no good just having lots of backlinks from low-quality sources that lack authority and relevance. They may be easier to come by, but they won’t help boost your SEO.
But there are ways in which you can build high-quality links to your site. Some strategies involve actively manufacturing backlinks, by requesting or creating them, while others involve earning them organically.
Manufactured backlink opportunities
Request relevant backlinks
Reaching out to other relevant websites, bloggers, influencers and members of your industry and asking them to include links to your website can be highly effective. After all, others cannot link to your content if they don’t know that it exists. This strategy works as long as you choose those with high levels of credibility, and create a value-packed pitch to help build a relationship that benefits both of you.
Build on broken links
You can use online tools to identify broken links within other industry websites, then reach out to those sites to recommend they link to your content instead. No one wants broken links on their page, so you are actually doing them a favour while acquiring backlinks at the same time.
Offer information and expertise
Identify opportunities to provide your content to those who need it. Tools such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) connect those who need information, such as journalists, with those who can provide it, like you.
Create your own backlinks
You can manually add links to your content from other websites, such as social media profiles, forums and directories. This is the easiest way to create backlinks, but Google doesn’t tend to consider them high-quality, so they’re less likely to be effective.
Definitely the most effective way of using external links to boost SEO, this strategy requires the most effort and long-term vision, but produces the most rewards.
Earning organic backlinks ultimately comes down to producing high-quality content that other sites and sources want to link to. This will be content that follows Google’s EEAT guidelines, demonstrating experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Pay close attention to what consumers in your industry want and need, as well as what other creators are producing. Then use this to develop a content strategy that brings something fresh and valuable to your niche.
Data-driven content is particularly sought-after. Creating visual assets such as infographics, or insightful statistic-led information such as survey results or case studies can be highly effective at attracting high-quality organic backlinks.
Need help with a link-building strategy, or content to attract organic backlinks? Get in touch with the Salisbury search engine optimisation experts at blue bee today.