20 Facts You Need to Know for an Effective Backlink Strategy in 202040 min read

Digital Marketing June 15, 2020 25 min read

20 Facts You Need to Know for an Effective Backlink Strategy in 202040 min read

Reading Time: 25 minutes

Did you know according to a recent study by Ahrefs 90.63% of content gets no traffic from Google? 

So how do you get your content seen? Well, if you are serious about your blogging efforts and want to get your content seen in 2020 – you need to create an effective backlink strategy.

A man tilts his head and pouts his lips as if to say "I see you" or "I told you so."

That’s right guys, welcome to this backlink strategy blog for you fierce and intrepid online writers at the start of your backlink journey! 

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If you’ve come to this page, this probably means you’re looking for something to take your content marketing to the next level. Kudos! Stick around, and the folks here at Quuu will take you through everything you need to know. 

Pssst. If you’re not ready to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level, and you’re in the early stages of showing the world your skills, you may want to concentrate on your overall content marketing strategy and make sure it’s up to date! Or you might want to make sure you know how best to promote your blog with these 4 tips. 

But if you’re ready to explore the world of backlinks and how it helps improve your website traffic, grab that cuppa, get cosy, and check out all the info here. 

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Backlink Strategy

Section A) Why Are Backlinks Important?

1) Backlinks Improve SEO

2) Backlinking Connects Readers to a Network of Content

3) Backlinks Get You Recognized by Google

4) Backlinks Are How Google Finds New Pages

5)  Understand the Different Types of Links

Section A Summary: Why Are Backlinks Important?

Section B) What Makes a Good Backlink for Link Building Strategies?

6) Backlinks With a High Authority Provide Better Quality Backlinks

7) Placement of Backlinks Can Affect Your Link Building Strategy

8) Followed vs. Nofollowed

9) Anchor Links Are Effective for SEO

10) Anchor Text Can Build Higher Authority Links

Section B Roundup: What Makes a High-Authority Link…

Section C) How to Check the Quality of Backlinks

11) Understand How to Collect Your Backlink Data Before Link Building

12) Learn How to Check the Website Authority & Domain From Inbound Links

13) The Relevancy of the Website and Backlinks From Inbound Links Matters

14) Website Traffic From Inbound Links Can Ruin Your SEO Goals

15) Broken Links Both From Your Own Domain and From Others Can Damage Your Page Ranking

Section C Roundup: What Have We Learnt About the Quality of Backlinks?

Section D) How Do You Get Quality Backlinks for Link-Building-Strategies

16) Great Content is Key to an Effective Backlink Strategy

17) Sharing is Caring When You Build Backlinks for Others

18) Guest Blog to Get New Backlinks

19) Get Rid of Broken Backlinks and Stop Wasting Link Juice

20) Reaching Out is Great for Link Building

Section D Takeaway: How Do You Get Quality Backlinks Again?

Takeaway: What Have We Learnt about Quality Backlinks, Building Backlinks and Effective Backlink Strategies?

Before we begin to get into the nitty-gritty of this subject – it’s best we all understand what it is we’re going to talk about.

So without further ado…

What’s a backlink? 

A backlink is when one website links to another website. 

They are also sometimes called incoming links or inbound links.

If you want to survive in the world of blog promotion and content marketing, you’ll need to think about backlinks. 

Backlinks can be found in pretty much every article and blog across the world wide web. For instance, remember that article, the one you were just reading about… “The Top 10 ‘Generic Item Here’ For 2020”. You know the piece of content you liked so much, you clicked on number 4’s example which took you to the seller’s page? That’s a backlink! 

Whatever you want to call them; backlinks can be crucial to getting your blog noticed by search engine algorithms!

Yes, that’s right, backlinks are also linked to the world of SEO. Good backlinks, can help your SEO efforts and contribute towards website traffic. 

Wow. Wait a second, what is SEO?…

“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” – MOZ

Click here if you’d like to find out about more general SEO usage in blog promotion.

Don’t worry too much about the details right now. We’ll go into all of this and more, in much more detail later. 

In short, however, having an effective backlink strategy will help you use backlinks correctly to drive more traffic to your website and boost your search engine ratings. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get your notes tab to hand and explore 20 reasons why you need an effective backlink strategy for your SEO in 2020! 

So we’ve established, albeit briefly, what backlinks are, but you’d be right to question why they’re so important. This first section will help you get to grips with the importance of using a backlink in your content marketing strategy with these 5 points. 

Without getting too complicated, the main and most important reason for using backlinks is because they improve your SEO. 

Basically, if you’re looking to improve your website’s visability in a Google search – backlinks will help your effort! 

How do we know this? 

It’s been proven by the great team at Moz that 92% of the top search results’ websites had at least one external backlink! 

Some people refer to this positive SEO effect from backlinks as ‘link juice’. The more links you have, the more juice can flow through links to your page, the more ‘link juice’ there is, the more Google will be able to find your great content, and more importantly, rank it highly. 

This gif shows a bottle of champagne being poured on to a pyramid of glasses and the champagne is seen cascading from glass to glass as they fill up.
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2) Backlinking Connects Readers to a Network of Content

The more backlinks link to each other, the more of a network they build, connecting content all across the web together.

“The easiest way to think of backlinks would be as conversations among websites.”

When these backlinks join multiple similar websites together in a conversation, they offer many benefits for your company or website, including the ability to easily allow new readers to discover your content or content similar to your topic.

For example, when you’re searching for “How to clean my car” not only will you get access to the page of information you clicked on, you’ll also be able to see further information/conversations related to car cleaning by clicking on backlinks within the post. 

When you add backlinks to your blog post, you’ll help contribute to this conversation building this network of links, and this will not only improve the readers’ experience but it’ll also let them know, you know what you’re talking about!

So, we’ve established this web of conversations between websites is super useful for the reader’s ability to research their chosen topic. 

But, by being a part of this network, you’re also allowing a reader to know your website is “in” the IT crowd.

Meaning you know what you’re talking about, but your community of peers also agree!  

This gif shows a cartoon hedgehog wearing sunglasses, swimming shorts whilst holding an ice cream and riding a wave on a surfboard. Behind him there is a moving image of a webpage where Google search is open.

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As Ahrefs.com puts it: 

“Backlinks exist to point people to useful resources. That’s why they’re clickable.”

There’s also another reason as to why these links can make you so popular,,, 

Each link acts as a ‘vote of confidence’ to search engines like Google, telling them that your blog knows what it’s talking about. In other words, Google recognizes the authority of your site through a ‘vote of confidence’.

The more backlinks you have linking to your website and subsequent pages, the more “votes” there are for your website. 

You’re starting to see why everyone’s obsessed with effective backlinks and building links now, aaaay? 

That’s right; these ‘votes of confidence’ are votes to help Google rankings (or other search engines) recognize your prowess in your field. 

The more backlinks you have, the more ‘votes of confidence’ Google will see when searching for blogs related to the topic of your post.

The more votes you have, the higher Google will rank your relevancy to a search, meaning you’ll become more visible in a Google search. 

As Neil Patel states in his video: “The number one factor which affects page ranking in a Google search is backlinks.”

If you play your backlink strategy right, backlinking will help you get your high-quality content to the first page of a Google search!

Either you or someone else can give you a backlink! 

You can give yourself a backlink, by linking to other pages from your website or blog posts – this is known as an internal link. And you can also get referred to by someone else in their blog post – this is often called an inbound link.

Does the type of link make a difference in getting you noticed?

See for yourself in this table… 

Internal links Inbound links 
Site structure: By having a lot of internal links, you create a structure which is really easy to navigate for Google.

It’s like giving someone a map to help navigate a treasure hunt easier, to find the treasure.

By giving Google a bunch of internal links to trawl through, they’ll be able to search your website easier and know just how much content there is out there which is relevant to a topic on your site. 

SEO effect: It could be argued that the external links are the most useful to your backlink strategy!  Why is that? External links are more likely to boost your presence in an online search.

Say goodbye to bounce rate:

Just as internal links make it easier for Google to navigate your site, they also allow the reader to more easily navigate content.

By making it easier for people to find your content, you’ll be able to keep people on your site longer and reduce bounce rate!

The longer someone spends on your website, the more Google knows it’s worth rating higher on a search engine. 

Easy UX: Of course, internal links don’t just help Google; they also help your reader’s experience when they’re learning about your expertise.

In return for helping your reader easily find out relevant information, their time on your blog can also help you generate leads and boost revenue.   

It’s often best to use both inbound and internal links, as the mixture of the two make your backlinks look more organic. 

There are many benefits to using internal and external links in your backlink strategy. However, you can only go so far with an internal linking structure, whereas external backlinks are endless, so it’s almost certainly better.

Check out this handy infographic for the top tips which outlines what we’ve just covered in this last section. 

This post contains five facts written above link chains. The facts are:1) They help improve your search engine optimisation.2) Help connect content together, creating a network of conversations.3) Google sees every backlink to your website as a 'vote of confidence' towards your work.4) The more backlinks you have, the easier it is more Google to find you.5) They help provide structure to your website, making it super user friendly, meaning readers are less likely to bounce, and it's easier for Google to spot your content.

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Now that you understand what a backlink is – it’s time to understand what makes a good one! Whether it’s coming from another piece of content to your own website, or you’re building links yourself, this section will help you understand what makes a quality link which helps provide you with an understanding of what can work best for your link building strategy. 

While it’s all well and good understanding why a backlink is important, it’s also crucial to make sure you have high-quality backlinks – as not all backlinks are created equally. 

If you want your ‘vote of confidence’ to be taken seriously from Google (or the other search engines), you need to make sure your backlink is from a high-authority site as these are seen as a trusted source of information.

If you want your hard work, building and implementing a backlink strategy, to pay off you need to make sure you’ve got links from these trusted sources! 

BUT WAIT – What makes a high-authority site?!

A website with a high domain rating is seen as a high-authority website. 

Get a backlink from one of these websites, and you’re sure to kick-start your backlink strategy to success! 

You can check a website’s domain rating by heading over to Ahref’s domain checker. 

Image shows a result search with domain rating of 72 for the website https://quuu.co/blog

So as you may have gathered, getting a backlink from a domain name with a 78 authority rating will definitely help your efforts more than a link domain with a 26 rating.

Fun fact: The scale which domain ratings are scored on is a logarithmic scale; this means there’ll be bigger gaps between high numbers like 89 – 90 than there is between 8 – 9. 

So, if you’re going to work/ask to get a backlink on someone’s site, you need to make sure you’re asking the right kind of website for your business.

HOWEVER, it’s also important to note that just because a website has a high-authority domain doesn’t mean it’s the most popular in your industry.

Popular websites in your industry may not have the best domain rating, but if they’re known for their expertise, they can still help the quality of your backlink. 

Here, the main character of 'Clueless' Cher Horowitz is seen curtsying in an outdoor school cafeteria as her fellow school peers cheer and clap at her popularity. As she curtsies she gives a smug yet cheerful look which implies "Thank you".
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As Moz puts it,Popular pages cast more powerful votes”! 

For instance, if your blog writes content related to geography, and you have a backlink from the National Geographic website, your blog will benefit regardless of the domain’s rating because it’s a popular site! 

Who the backlink comes from is definitely important. But, it’s also useful to consider the placement of the backlink. 

Of course, sometimes you may not have a choice in where your backlink is placed if someone you don’t know wrote about you. BUT, if you approach them for one, it’s best to know where you’d like it to go! 

According Ahrefs, experts in this matter, they believe that:

“The most valuable backlinks are those editorially placed somewhere within the content (i.e. not in the footer or sidebar).” 

Why does the placement matter?

Well, the placement helps give a more authoritative ‘vote of confidence’ to search engines; this again helps your popularity in a Google search.

So, next time you’re about to place a link in your blog post, make sure it’s within the text and not at the end as a footnote! 

8) Followed vs. Nofollowed

So we’ve established in the previous two points that who your links come from and where they are placed can make a difference in how well your backlink strategy will help you rank in a search engine. 

Yet another factor that can determine whether or not a backlink is ‘good’ for your company or not, is whether or not the backlinks are created as a follow or nofollow. 

WOAH. Hold up now. What the flip does this mean?

A strange drawing of a face locates confused as it rotates and flips around it's own axis.
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What is a follow/followed link?

Well, a follow link is what you would consider a normal link and appears like this. 

What is a nofollow/nofollowed link? 

Well, on the surface a nofollow link looks the same. See for yourself right here! 

Although they appear the same to your average reader, the difference between the two is found in how a search engine interprets them.

How does a search engine see a followed link? 

Search engines love to follow follow links (hence their name), another way to think of these links as a dofollow.

When Google crawls through the network of backlinks, follow links are on their radar! 

What happens when a search engine encounters a followed link?

Google will follow the link through to the site and counts it as a vote of confidence for the linked page!  

Takeaway? Followed links are great, so make sure you include them in your backlink strategy. 

How does a search engine see a nofollowed link?

You may have already guessed it… but a nofollow link, literally tells search engines not to follow it. 

So what does this difference between follow and no follow links mean for your SEO efforts?

If you’ve been given a nofollow link you won’t get the same recognition or ‘vote of confidence’ as you would for a follow link. So, this means you won’t get any benefits from a nofollow link, however you won’t get a negative reputation from a nofollow link as it’s still a proper link and considered a part of a white hat SEO usage. 

Another type of link which can affect the quality of backlinks can be found within the construction of the link and whether or not it is an anchor link!

But wait! 

What’s the difference between an anchor link and a normal hyperlink?

An anchor link is a lot more specific. 

With a hyperlink, you can link a page to another page, but this link is to the whole page as opposed to a specific part. An anchor link can take you to the exact part of a page, meaning this type of link is more about linking two locations on the internet together rather than just a web page. 

Fun fact: Anchors don’t just link website-to-website either, you can also use them to link files and PDFs! 

For example, if I was to talk about this blog post and want to signpost you to the most important part… I’d place an anchor link to the exact part I want the reader to see.

Why are anchor links useful for SEO? 

They help contribute to the network and conversations of links, but in a more specific way! Not only does this in-depth network help those pesky algorithms to grow, but they also make it easier for them to find exactly what you want them to on your website. 

So next time you’re writing a post, and you want to build links to other areas of your own website, consider building anchor links. Not only will you connect readers and Google to other great content, but you’ll also be sending them to the exact information you want them to see! 

There’s also another reason anchor links are useful for your backlink strategy and that’s because of the anchor’s text!

For example, when you add an anchor link to another resource about anything like, content curation tips or social media strategies – the type of text is just as important as who you’re linking to! 

An anchor links the reader to specific resource locations, so it makes sense that the wording used for the link reflects this specific resource with specific text. By using actual words related to the content instead of generic ones, the reader is able to know what to expect when they click the link. If you were to click the content curation tips anchor from before, you know you’ll be taken to a resource related to content curation. Anchor links can also help make a reader stay on your page for as long as possible and the longer a reader stays on your page, the more of a message it sends to Google that your content is relevant. 

So, by guiding your reader to specific information with an anchor text there are no surprises in what they’re about to read. By giving the reader exactly what it says “on the tin”, you’re more likely to be providing them with the answer they need, which means they’ll stick around longer.

Now for the exciting stuff.

The use of these target keywords in anchor texts is, of course, even more useful for Google’s algorithms! This use of a keyword allows Google to know that these two resources are connected and relate to a topic. 

In Semrush’s blog post on SEO basics, they say:

“Google’s algorithms use your anchor choices to make sure you are not engaging in spammy practices AND to understand the topics you are linking to in your copy.”

If you have an anchor in your own blog or a link from someone else which doesn’t have a related anchor text, Google will not recognize it. 

So watch out for anchor links with generic anchor text such as ‘read more’, ‘this blog’ or ‘click here’! 

Section B Roundup: What Makes a High-Authority Link…

Of course, you can control the quality of the follow/anchor links you build in your own content during a link building campaign!

However, you don’t usually have many choices over where/how another site may anchor or place your content. 

FEAR NOT –  this is actually a good thing! The more natural an anchor text referral or follow link is from another site the better as it’s organic traffic.

Why? This shows Google there’s a natural link between the two types of content as opposed to being spammy and linked for the sake of it.

Remember before when we mentioned despite their lack of benefits, a no-follow link wouldn’t hurt your backlink strategy as it was white-hat?

Well, spammy or suspicious link building strategies are also referred to as black hat SEO as they go against the rules set out by search engines. Beware of following black hat link building strategies or Google will punish you. 

So, if you’re thinking of asking your friends or influencers for an anchor link and their content isn’t suitable for you, or they don’t tag the anchor text correctly… you will not improve your SEO backlink strategy. 

But if you’re linked by high domain authority websites with quality content who know how to best place a backlink – you may just climb your way up a search engine results page. 

Of course, with you in mind we’ve made this handy infographic to keep things short and simple: 

We’ve covered above what makes a good link, but it’s also worth understanding how to check the links you’re receiving! Why? Because bad backlinks are a thing, and they can give you a bad reputation (in the eyes of Google that is)!  

If a website has been punished by Google, it might have a penalty, and this can be as simple as lower ranking in a search or more severe repercussions such as partial or full removal of the website from Google. 

Getting your website to #1 on a search engine page result is the ultimate goal of most marketers online. 

So as a result of this, Google’s pesky algorithms have become increasingly more apt at spotting non-organic backlinks, ie. anyone who’s trying to cheat the system with suspicious spammy looking backlinks. 

If Google thinks you’re not playing fair, you’ll get a bad reputation and be punished, to make sure you play the game fairly you need a successful backlink strategy.

Find out how to avoid bad quality backlinks and punishment from Google with the following five tips. 

The first step in any backlink building strategy is to assess the quality of the ones you have first. 

How can you do this?

By compiling a list of all of the backlinks coming to/from your website – this is also known as your backlink profile. By gathering the backlink profile for your website you’re able to see what sites are linking to your blog and whether or not they’re from a high-authority website, the page rank etc.

This image shows Moz's backlink explorer where a user can enter a URL of a website.

You can use various tools such as Moz’s free backlink checker.

As you can see from the above screenshot here, you’ll be able to enter your root domain/homepage and press enter. There’s a bunch of information that this explorer will show you, all you need to do is select ‘Export CSV’ which is under ‘All Links’.

Once downloaded this file will bring up a list of backlinks including where they come from, if they appear spammy, link type (follow/nofollow) and even page and domain rating! 

You can also use Ahref’s backlinks checker, however, the free version only allows you to check one URL at a time. So instead of being able to submit a homepage/root domain, you’d need to manually enter each blog post. 

And they say three’s a charm… if neither of these fit your needs, you can also use Google Search Console (just make sure you’re connected to Google Analytics first). Again, this platform works in a similar way, simply click “Search Traffic” choose “Links to Your Site” then “More” followed by “Who links the most”. And then you can “Download more sample links” to get another CSV format list of all your backlinks. 

Now that you’ve got a hold of your backlink profile data, it’s time to learn what you’re looking out for!

One of the core factors which contribute towards an effective backlink strategy is collecting high-authority links!

As we mentioned before, links from high-authority websites are great for letting Google know you know your stuff and helping to contribute towards a better backlink strategy and SEO results. However, if you have many backlinks from domains which don’t have a high-authority, this can hurt your credibility with Google! 

Why is this?

Google thinks you must be trying to trick the system by acquiring a lot of low ranking domain links so quickly and as a result of this, they will penalise you! 

YIKES! You definitely don’t want this happening to you.

But how can you check this?

Don’t worry – there’s plenty of tools out there. 

Niel Patel recommends the following website authority checker, with this tool you can check the domain authority of a website.

Another great tool is Ahref’s backlink checker

Now I know these platforms give you both a page authority and a domain authority, however for now, just ignore the page authority. The reason you should pay attention to the domain authority is because it’s more worthwhile having a high-authority/popular website with a low ranking page link to you, than it is to have a high-authority page from a low authority website. 

You can also check to see if the website has been punished by Google and if it has a Google penalty by logging into Webmasters Tools. For more information about negotiating this, you can head over to this article from seo-hacker.com.

Once you’ve used the following tools, you’ll be able to continue on your journey towards an effective link building strategy! 

Next thing to check when investigating whether or not a backlink is good for you, is the website it came from… 

While it’s great getting linked from many different forms of content, is the site owner’s industry and the topic of the blog relevant to your website? 

If you discover you have a lot of relevant links backlinking to your own website – great! Google sees relevance as a trust signal, the more relevant links you have the more Google trusts you. 

But if you’ve got a lot of non-relevant links Google may think they’re spammy and trust your authority less. 

For example, if you own an ethical clothing store and you’ve been linked by a gardening blog, Google may interpret this ‘backlink’ as not trustworthy as there’s very little relevance between the two site owners. 

On the other hand, if your ethical clothing store has been linked by a blog about sustainable fashion, this will earn you trust with Google as it will notice the relevancy.

Bonus tip: Just as non-relevant content websites can cause Google to become less trustworthy of your site, so can backlinks from websites with adult language, adult content or themes of gambling. 

We mentioned this a little briefly before, but just as websites that aren’t relevant can be seen as spammy, so can anchor links with generic text.

You’ll be able to check this when you download a CSV file from a platform like Moz’s backlink checker. As you can see in the screenshot below our report from Moz shows us the use of ‘view website’ for an anchor text is scored as 34% spam, this doesn’t seem that high… But when compared to the 1/2% of the two links, it shows how much less Google will trust such a backlink when there’s less obvious relevance in the anchor text.  

The screenshot shows the following words that the anchor text phrases with "I tested 5 of the best remote working tips to find out if you can really trust them" both have spam scores of 1/2 %. Where as the anchor text with the phrase "View website" has a 34% spam score.

So, what’s the lesson to learn from this? Watch out for links from content that isn’t relevant to your own – this will look spammy and less organic to Google and can harm your website’s rating! 

Another factor which can cause Google to be suspicious of the origins of your backlink, is where the traffic for the domain who linked you comes from. 

If a site has very little search traffic, it won’t look good for you. 

You can use this traffic analytics tool from Semrush to find out more about where their traffic comes from. 

It’s not the hardest lesson to learn when it comes to SEO or backlinks for sure, but it’s still useful to know pages can have tons of backlinks and still get very little traffic. 

The reason it’s important to watch out for backlinks of this kind, is for similar reasons as the above – Google thinks they’re spammy backlinks. 

Why? If backlinks are the reason a website becomes visible in a search engine, how can they have a bunch of backlinks but not a lot of traffic… 

Sounds suspicious right? This is what Google will think!

If you end up with a situation like above, it can appear to Google like the website which linked you has been involved in some black hat SEO practice.

Broken links may not seem like your biggest worry in a backlink strategy. However, a few dead links to, or from your page, can really hinder both user experience and spoil the flow of ‘link juice’!

NOTE: Checking for broken links is very different from ‘broken link building’ which concerns using your competitors shoddy link building against them. 

Checking internal and external backlinks from your own website

The easiest way to identify broken links from your own page… is to check on your own piece of content and click through each link to make sure all of the links direct the reader to the right page. Boring we know, but think of the missed link juice! You’ll be able to see if there’s a broken link easily if you’re not taken to the right page or if an error message of some sort appears.

BUT, if you’re not a fan of manually sieving through your many pages of content manually, you’re in luck! There are also plenty of tools out there which can help you easily to identify any little pesky dead links.

If you have a smallish website, you can simply head over to Ahref’s Site Explorer. Here, you can check external links by entering your domain, looking for outgoing links and then selecting the broken ones. 

But if you’ve got a much larger site, you might want to use Ahref’s Site Audit; this is a great little tool which will search your entire website and will show all the broken links on your website. If you are going to use Site Audit, it’s pretty easy to bring up both external and internal links. Simply click, ‘Site Audit’ followed by ‘Project’ you can select either ‘External Pages’ or ‘Internal Pages’ then ‘HTTP status codes and finally, ‘4XX’.

Checking inbound links from external websites 

Broken links from external websites (which are also known as inbound links as they’re coming to your website from another) also usually bring up an ‘Error 404’ message for anyone trying to view something on your page from another blog. This usually occurs because the person tagging your website has added an incorrect character to your link OR the page they’re linking to doesn’t exist on your website anymore. 

To locate these dead links, we’d again recommend using Ahref’s Site Explorer. Here you’ll be able to add your domain, then click ‘Pages’, ‘Best by Links’ and then add a “404 not found”. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be given a list of all of those pesky dead links which are wasting link juice. 

If you’d like to get rid of them, we’ll cover this in the section below – click here if you’d like to skip ahead! 

Section C Roundup: What Have We Learnt About the Quality of Backlinks?

Learning how to check the quality of backlinks can take time and may seem tedious. But by knowing exactly what the quality of your links are and where you’re getting from will help you to decide what you can do to help improve your link building strategy!

Again, to help those that don’t have time for our waffle… here’s a handy infographic: 

Now that you know what a backlink is, what type of backlinks make an effective backlink strategy and how to check the quality of existing backlinks… it’s time to learn how and where to find link building opportunities! In this section of the blog, we’ll go through the basics and give you an overall view of the many different ways you can expand your link building opportunities. 

As you may have gathered from the rest of the tips in this blog, while it’s smart to get clued up on how to use backlinks properly, you can’t cheat the system. Before you begin looking for backlinks you need great content. This approach is often referred to as ‘content-based strategy’ and trust us, and it’s essential before you try anything else. 

Remember, backlinks are a part of a content marketing strategy. Content remains supreme if you want to succeed; the quality of the content still needs to be your number one priority. If you really want to succeed with your backlink strategy, you should always publish original content.

By undergoing your own research and citing your results in your content, you’ll be able to stand out as the leading expert in your field, this will be reflected when your peers start using backlinks to reference your work. You can also create great resources like an infographic! Creating an ace infographic is a great way to get backlinks, people love using a great infographic, and you’re bound to get a bunch of backlinks when they reference you in their post. 

If you create well crafted and informative content not only will readers want to read your content, others in your industry will organically start to link to your content.

As Jason Thibault from MassiveKontent says, “You want to make sure you have an absolutely top-notch content asset to attract links.” And of course, with the amount of content out there it can be different to get your work seen, this is why Jason stresses that your work needs to go “further in-depth than the competition.” 

If you want an effective backlink strategy, you have to give as well as receive. Don’t be selfish!  This article contains all the tips you’ll need to create a high-authority backlink, so if you follow the above tips and link to other great quality and relevant content, you’ll help spread the love to others by giving them a ‘vote of confidence’. 

WARNING: As much as sharing is caring, this ain’t Bebo or MySpace. Do not backlink for a backlink, if you do Google won’t accept either backlink as much of a ‘vote of confidence’ and it’ll weaken your page’s ranking. 

Fun fact: It was once thought, that using blog comments in your SEO strategies would help your ranking. However, Neil Petal discussed in this blog that blog comments are no longer useful as they’ve become spammy and even if they’re allowed they’re mostly nofollow links which don’t help. 

If you’d like to get more new backlinks an additional way to get high-authority backlinks can be through guest blogging.

One of the valuable benefits of guest posting is that it means you’re in control of the variables of external links which can make or break your effective backlink strategy.

As a guest blogger, you can seek out the high-authority domain blogs you’d like to get a backlink off and then within your high-quality content you can add high-authority backlinks to your own and other relevant content. The more you guest post, the more you’ll be able to build up a great portfolio of relevant and high-quality content for your industry. In addition to this, you’ll be able to help grow a solid network of backlinks from various other high-authority, trusted and relevant domain pages which will all link back to your website.

You can seek out these opportunities manually; however, if you’d like to get guest blogging as fast as possible, there are a few link building tools you can use such as Ahref’s site explorer. Here you’ll be able to track down a list of relevant high-authority domains for you to start pitching too! You can learn more about how to use this tool for this purpose here. 

In order to make sure your backlink strategy is effective, you need to get rid of the bad weeds AKA dead links.

If they’re links on your own content to internal links or your own website, these are easily taken care of as they can easily be amended, removed or swapped out for new links. 

If they’re links to external sites you can either:

A) Search contacts:
Identify which domain your bad links come from, find the relevant contact details and get in touch with the webmaster to update their page. 

B) Update backlinks:
Change the URL of a page so that it redirects traffic away to the new location of your blog post or a similar blogpost if the old one doesn’t exist anymore. 

C) Remove broken links:
Replace the broken URL completely 

Bonus tip: Another way your new-found knowledge of broken links can help you is when trying to acquire new backlinks through broken link building. Simply find a broken link going from a high-ranking domain to a page which no longer exists and offer yours instead! 

Of course, just as with any marketing strategy, you need to reach out to others in your field to acquire more backlinks off the right people. 

  • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    Find your competitors and see who they’re being backlinked by. You can use this list to reach out to those who haven’t already backlinked you so you can become more a part of your industry’s backlink network. A great tool for this job is Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker which allows you to enter up to 10 sites, including your own. 

  • Skyscraper Technique

    While you’re looking at your competitors’ work to see who they’ve got backlinks from, it’s worth double-checking all their backlinks to see if you could offer them something better. If you know you have a higher-domain rating or more relevant content which you think is more suitable than the current backlink, get in touch with the owner of the blog and offer some of your content. If you’d like to know more about ranking factors such as this one, you can learn all you need from Brian Dean, the creator of the Skyscraper Technique.

  • Unlinked mentions

    Have a look around the web, or you can also use a tool such as RankTank (which is free) to find unlinked mentions of your brand. Once found, you can contact the owner of the blog and ask them to backlink you.

  • Networking

    Reach out on social media to influencers or email bloggers to create a case study or review of your product/business. This is a great way to build an effective backlink strategy, but it will take time, and you’ll need to be willing to play the long game. To network, you’ll need reach out on Twitter and LinkedIn to the relevant contacts and make sure you build a relationship with them before you start asking for favours. 

As you can see, there are many different ways to get backlinks, many ranking factors to consider and many possibilities to grow your link building strategy. But, as ever, to keep things short and sweet, we created this handy infographic of the key takeaway points: 

Gif: A scene from the The Lion KingRafiki (a monkey) holds up Simba (a baby lion) up to the sky to show off the new king.

1. Before you even begin to think about backlinks, make good quality content.

Content is king!

Source

2. Be smart about where and how you use backlinks.

3. Follow the advice above and make sure you’re able to tread the fine line between getting a hold of backlinks and allowing them to grow organically.

4. Reach out! No online strategy is complete without some engagement, and the same goes for an effective link building strategy.

Gif: A lizard winks.A small baby lizard looks at the reader and winks like a human.

5. Promote. Promote. Promote.

Promoting the socks off your great content will help your organic links flourish.

If you need a hand with promoting, we know a great app for that – Quuu Promote.

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20 facts you need to know for an effective backlink strategy in 2020
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20 facts you need to know for an effective backlink strategy in 2020
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If you are serious about your blogging efforts and want to get your content seen in 2020 - you need to create an effective backlink strategy.
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