Best Strategies for Building Backlinks in 2016-2017
Strategies and Things to Consider When Building Backlinks into 2017
Backlinks are crucial to your SEO strategy. With good backlinks, you increase your rankings on Google and boost traffic to your site. With bad backlinks, you can incur penalties and really hurt your site.
Furthermore, the rules for building backlinks change frequently, as Google continues to work to reward sites with good, valuable content and ensure that people are able to access relevant information based on their search terms.
All this means is that you need to know the latest strategies for creating great backlinks in 2016-2017. This will boost your site in search engine results and help you achieve your SEO goals for 2016, 2017 and the coming years ahead.
Trust Front Street Media to help you with your backlinks, citations and inbound marketing needs in the Folsom, El Dorado Hills and Greater Sacramento Area. As your local Folsom SEO Company and Greater Sacramento Inbound Marketing experts, Front Street Media can tackle just about all of your link-building and content marketing needs.
Is Your Site Ready for Backlinks?
The first thing you need to look at is whether your site is ready for backlinks. What are the questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not your website is ready for backlinks? Well, here they are. Ask yourself these questions before building backlinks to your website.
- Is the content there?
- Is the architecture well designed?
- When people show up at your site, do they have a good user experience?
- Do you have at least 10+ landing pages?
- About Us?
- 20+ HIGH QUALITY Blog Posts?
- Resource Pages?
- How-To Pages?
- Author Information filled out?
- Category Pages Optimized (200-300 words)?
- Social Media Platforms Rolling?
- Do you have 20-30 citations (building citations for local seo)?
You can have all the backlinks in the world, but if you do not have a site that is easy to navigate with decent content, you are not going to see a lot of benefit from your backlink campaign.
Technical Website Errors
The first thing to do when optimizing your site experience is look for technical errors. These are back end problems that cause your readers not to be able to use your site well, for one reason or another. Run a scan of your website at a broken link checker such as brokenlinkcheck.com.
Below are some examples of the technical errors you should look for and fix, to make sure your readers are getting an optimal experience at your site:
Technical Errors List to Fix before Building Backlinks
- Loading speed
- Duplicate content (this might not affect a user’s experience at your site, but it will kill your SEO)
- Mobile ease of use
- 404 errors
- Redirect chains
- 302 redirects
- Duplicate meta data
- Canonical errors
- Incorrect uses of directives such as noindex and nofollow
How to find these errors?
Screaming Frog SEO Spider can help you find many of these technical errors, such as 404 errors, redirect chains, 302 redirects, duplicate meta data, canonical errors, and incorrect uses of directives.
- Use PageSpeed Insights by Google to check your loading speed.
- Siteliner, Copyscape or Plagium to check for duplicate content.
- Mobile Friendly Check by Google to check for ease of use on mobile devices.
Website Architecture (Link Hierarchy)
Top Tips in Planning your Website Architecture for SEO
A “hierarchy” is a fancy way of saying organize your links and content into a fashion that is as simple as possible.
- Plan a hierarchy before you start SEO
- Make your hierarchy as simple as possible
- URLs in Menu should follow hierarchy
- 1-3 Clicks to get to every page (unless you are Wiki/ Amazon)
- Top Level Pages that hold all internal page links
In terms of where your external links direct, you should focus on directing to real content – that is, to articles and posts rather than category pages. If your external links are pointing toward a boring home page or category page, do you really think that many people will end up clicking through and engaging on the rest of the site?
On the other hand, if your external links point toward real content such as blog posts and articles, your readers are far more likely to engage with the page they clicked through to, and then to click elsewhere on the site as well.
Landing Page and Blog Content
Your content is the most important part of your SEO strategy. No matter how you get people to your site, they’re not going to stick around if you’re not telling them something useful. And on Google, it doesn’t matter if your business is all about selling monkey wrenches and has nothing to do with content; you’re not going to show up on search results if you don’t have decent content.
If you are selling products and not information, put up a blog and hire someone to write interesting posts with good search terms. Make your content interesting and useful, and you will see your rankings improve.
Tier 1 Backlinks
The center of your backlink strategy should be tier 1 backlinks. Tier 1 backlinks are links on real sites that send people directly to your site. They are couched in content that is relevant to your link, and they are actually useful to the readers who are reading the content. To build targeted backlinks in 2016, you want tier 1 backlinks with a wide variety of Anchor Text. If you are unsure of what Anchor Text to use in the 2016-2017, check out our recent post on how to use Anchor Text.
Be careful of shady websites (buy it now backlinks)
There are plenty of sites that put up junk links, with scanty content (if any). In the same article, there might be links to weight loss supplements, gambling, and ecommerce sites. These are garbage links, and if your site is linked to from these sites it will be categorized as garbage too.
There’s quite a bit of risk associated with paying cheap rates for so-called “high quality” back links from people who don’t explain where they are going to be putting your links and what the content will be like. They’re often just putting your content on junk sites and pocketing your money, while you run the risk of getting hit with a penalty from Google for link farming.
Look for High Quality Websites (Make a List and Send Emails)
Instead, you want your links to be in content that is actually useful to readers, with link text that is either a branded or a naked link, and with just a few other links in the article which are to related sites. Google rates sites higher that have high user engagement, specifically measured by the amount of time people stay on a page and how many clicks they do within the site.
Reach out to these website owners
Obviously you do not have access to another site’s analytics, but you can get some sort of idea of user engagement just by making sure that the site is putting up useful and interesting content that people are going to want to read. This is where you want your top tier links to be coming from.
Of course, it can be difficult to get high quality sites like this to link to you. Here are some strategies for getting high quality backlinks without resorting to paying for low quality links on junk websites.
The Easy way to get other websites to link to your content
- Guest post. Sometimes you can get the owner of a website you admire to let you put up a guest post. Just follow the rules and social niceties about guest posting, including putting a link to their site on your own page.
- Comment. Again, make sure that you are putting up pertinent content on your comments. You don’t have to write a research paper (in fact, you shouldn’t), but write a short paragraph that actually engages what the author wrote about in the original article.
Don’t just put, “Nice article, very informative, check out my site,” and definitely don’t put “My sister just made $90,000 working from home! Click here.”
The better and more difficult way to EARN backlinks
- Link Bait (Creating amazing content)
- Skyscraper Techniques (Create bigger, better, stronger content people link to)
- Expired Domain Name Links (Find expired domains and links that come in
- “The Moving Man” from Backlink0
- Inbound Marketing Techniques
- Content Creation Bringing Links
- High Quality Guest Posting
Social Media Backlinks
The only place where it is okay to have backlinks that are not couched in relevant content is on social media. Search engine algorithms basically understand that social media usage often includes links that have little to no contextual content. Pretty much anywhere else online, links without relevant content are killers for SEO, but on social media they’re actually fine; in fact they can be helpful.
Of course, on social media it’s all about reshares and comments. If you’re looking to boost your SEO through social media then you need a social media strategy that is separate from the rest of your link building strategy.
For the rest of the Internet, the best backlink strategy is simple, if difficult to accomplish: get high quality back links from authority sites within relevant articles. We can help you build these sorts of high quality back links, here at Front Street Media. Give us a call today and get started on meeting your SEO goals!