Best Backlink Strategy for 2022

I want to start by saying that on-site SEO and structure need to be your first steps in a solid SEO strategy. Backlinking is easily the second most important step, but that foundation needs to be laid first for this part to be effective. If you haven’t optimized your website yet, you need to go back and do that first. You are ready to backlink if you are all set and have a good content library established or at least started. If this is already too much for you, check out why we are the best Tucson SEO agency, and give us a call to see if we can bear the load for you.

A backlink is a link from another website back to yours. These are also called inbound links. Essentially, Google and other search engines see these links back to your site as “votes” for your business. These links contribute to your Domain Authority (DA), an overall score of how likely your website is to rank. Now, Google doesn’t directly use DA since this metric was created by Moz (a third-party SEO program), but it is assumed that Google uses something like this in its ranking algorithm so it is a good metric to be mindful of. The more backlinks you have, the better your DA will be over time… sort of. 

Not all backlinks are the same, so more doesn’t necessarily mean better. First and foremost, you will want to focus on relevant content when forming your backlink strategy. The more relevant the content you are linking from is to the content on your site that you are linking to, the more link equity you will pass to your website. Link equity is the amount of juice you get from another website. Lots of things affect this, but let’s start with relevancy.

link equity SEO juice

Let’s say you have an automotive repair shop and you want to start implementing a backlink strategy. You wouldn’t want to go after links from another website about medical procedures or spa services, rather you need to look for websites that talk about automotive services. This will give you the most link equity for your website while the former won’t give you any juice and may even hurt your website ranking. When all of your inbound links are automotive related in this case, Google will know that your website has to do with automotive too. Non-relevant links can lower that trust score and confuse the algorithm. 

Don’t stop reading quite yet thinking you are ready to start hunting down sites to link from. There is more that goes into link equity than just relevance. 

What is a backlink anchor? The link anchor is the text that is highlighted as the link. This can be words that are hyperlinked or it can just be a plain URL that you click on. So why do these matter? Let’s start by defining them.

  • Exact Match Keyword Anchor: This is a link that uses one of the keywords that you are trying to rank your content for as the hyperlink. 
  • Partial Match Keyword Anchor: Like above, you are using the keyword(s) for the page you are linking to, but it may only be a partial match or a different variation of the target keyword.
  • Branded Anchor: This is a link that uses your brand name in some form as the hypertext. 
  • Naked URL: This is when the entire destination is written out for the user to see and click on. 
  • Generic Anchor: This is when the link uses words like “Click Here” or “Learn More”.

I know your next question, which one is better? Though I ordered these in order of the weight they carry, they are all necessary to have a good backlink catalog. I’ll explain that more in a moment. First, we need to cover link placement on the website linking to you.

This is one of the more important pieces of backlinking. Where does the link get placed on the site and how do you get it there? Let’s break them down.

In-content

This type of linking is when your link is within the content of the piece that you are linking from. Ideally, you want your link to be the first link in the content and as high up as possible. Usually, these links use some kind of keyword anchor text so it reads naturally within the piece. 

These are some of the harder links to get and some of the most time-consuming, but this is also why they are the most valuable. They usually involve building a relationship with the publisher, proving that your content can be valuable to their readers, and often cost money for the publisher to take the time to add your link to their site. 

To be attractive to publishers, there are a couple of strategies that we like to implement. Once we have determined that we want a link from a site, we first like to look for content that they might be missing. Like a keyword that they should be ranking for that would also make sense referencing our article within. Then we point out their keyword gap, offer a couple of possible article titles for them, and then write the piece they choose with our link embedded where we want it. 

Another option is to find a piece of content that you want to link from on their site and offer a better-supporting article that they would just need to add a link to.  

Comments & Forums

This used to be a surefire way to get a bunch of links the easiest. There are still a ton of Fiverr free-lance SEOs that offer this type of linking services or packages for really cheap. Don’t be fooled. Though this used to work very well a few years ago, it is a very low-quality link these days and is often ignored by Google as spammy links. Besides, if you write good content, ideally, these kinds of links will come organically as other readers will want to share your content to help others.

This is a link that is placed in a bio section of an article for the author that wrote it. In this process, you would be the guest author for a piece of content and would link back to your author page on your site for each post you write for them. This isn’t as valuable as in-content links, but this can help build the value of you as an author which in turn will build the value of everything you have written on your site.

Podcasting

Similar to the author links, if you have your own podcast or you are a guest on a podcast, you will usually get links back to your site and socials from each of the platforms. As podcast popularity continues to grow, it is a great way to get in front of a target audience that should be interested in your services. This form of media not only helps establish your authority and expertise, but the platforms they come from are reputable and add value to your website.

Images

Lastly, you can have a link from an image going to your website. This is often done with infographics as other websites always are on the hunt for more media to support their pieces. If you can offer a visually appealing representation of their point while supporting an article on your website at the same time, it is likely something that would get scooped up and posted when offered.

So we covered types of anchors as well as the placement opportunities that exist. Let’s talk about making it all look natural now. Google makes it very clear in their Webmaster Guidelines that they do not permit buying or exchanging goods or services for links. Google believes that getting backlinks should be an organic thing that happens. As new content gets produced across the internet, they believe that your content will be cited if it is worthy enough. 

But we want to speed up the process of building our backlink profile and site authority, so we need to make it look as natural as possible. Things like getting 100 backlinks in a month after 1-2 or even none in months prior is not a natural thing. Or getting 20 links that all have the same anchor text leading to the same piece of content isn’t natural. 

To keep your link profile looking natural, you will want to space out your links and ramp them up month over month in quantity as your content becomes more popular. You will also need to diversify the anchor text between the 5 examples outlined above. Lastly, you should pay attention to the placements of your links. Again, diversity will be your friend in building a natural profile.

Tools & Tips

There are so many ways to tackle the task of backlinking. This isn’t a difficult thing to do, but it is very time-consuming. Here are some tips and tools to help you do it more efficiently and effectively.

  1. Avoid link farms, Fiverr, and/or PBNs (private blog networks). This is a surefire way to get unnatural and/or spammy links to your site that won’t help and could even hurt your attempts to rank.
  2. Get organized first. Build a keyword map for your website so that you and your team can best understand the goals of the site and the keyword gaps you may have in your content. This will help you plan out new content as well. {maybe have a PDF download of our sheet / or a link after the form}
  3. Use a tool to crawl your competitors’ backlinks like MOZ or SEMrush. Find sites that they are linking from to reach out to and offer better or updated content to replace their links. 
  4. Sign up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out). They will send you a list of people looking for content for articles they are writing twice a day. If you have the relevant content and can provide in-depth value for their piece, you can submit your content and hope for a link along with it when they cite you. 
  5. Get high-domain links from places like SEO Jet or Fat Joe. Just plan on paying anywhere from $100-$250 per guest post for DA30+. This shouldn’t be your only strategy, but it is a good one to have in your pocket. 
  6. If you aren’t a good writer or don’t have the time, use a service like Content Runner to find a good writer for each of your articles. 
  7. If you end up buying a subscription to SEMrush, you can use their tool that helps you find contact information for each of the backlink sites they suggest you go after. This makes it really easy for your outreach straight from the platform. 

The Strategy

The groundwork is laid out for you. It is time to put together the actual strategy now. The really vague answer is to do all of this. The truth is just that. No one strategy will work for every business. There are so many different situations that would change a strategy or an approach to this like competition, seasonality, and your budget of both money and time available. That said, I can at least get you started in the right direction. 

  • First, start with your keyword map. You need to be organized in this procedure and setting this up first will help you in so many ways. This should have been done during your onsite SEO setup, but if you haven’t already received our FREE keyword map template, sign up to get it here. Layout all of your pages and posts that you want to rank and for what. The important thing in this step is to monitor each page’s current ranking and the number of backlinks the post/page has. This will be updated as you gain traction. 
  • Set up your Google search console if you haven’t done so already. This will help you monitor new backlinks and any other onsite errors that come up while you are pursuing new links. 
  • Get a tool that can help you do keyword research, backlinking audits, and outreach like SEMrush. You should never be guessing about where to get your links when you can avoid them. Make all your efforts count as much as possible. You only need to be better than your competitors when trying to outrank them. Use what they have now as a baseline. 
  • Go buy a couple of links from a reputable source like SEO Jet or Fat Joe to get you started. 
  • Google the keywords that you are trying to rank for. Look at their content and find the backlinks that they have. Reach out to the sites that are linking to theirs and offer them better or newer content. 
  • Google terms that are similar to what you want to rank for and reach out to those publications with updated or new content to link to that will support their articles. 

The best piece of advice that I can give you is that if you are going to invest the time to do this yourself, invest a little money into good tools too. It is going to be a big time saver for you in the long run and help you reach your goals quicker. 

If you have any questions on anything here or want to hear more about other pieces of the SEO and marketing puzzle, don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out via chat.

Client testimonials

want to get in touch?

"*" indicates required fields