What is Tier 1 Link Building
How to build high quality backlinks and how they are scalable
All SEO links are built in the same way, correct?
No they won't! SEO link building was once easy: you went out, wrote a series of articles, offered them to a link platform, and got a backlink to your site in return.
This no longer works since the Penguin update. While the right links will boost your Google rankings, your visibility and your brand, the wrong ones can cause your site to be penalized. And you will never know what Google will do next.
For example, many people relied on private blog networks to improve their rankings. Then Google released the so-called PBN deindexing update, which penalized sites that use this technology.
Although many people were surprised I saw the update coming and I bet that Google will run such an update again if people look for a new way to outsmart Google. So what can you do
To be on the safe side, most SEOs recommend that you forego organic link building entirely. If you run an online business I think this is the worst advice you can ever get. Instead, you should learn how to build natural links and organic links.
SEO backlinks will remain an important Google ranking factor, however nowadays one should build links with the help of trust and awareness. According to Copyblogger, 23.87% of the Google ranking algorithm consists of domain trust and authority.
A recent study by Moz found that 37% of entrepreneurs spend between $ 10,000 and $ 50,000 a month on link building. When you're spending such a large amount, you should also have accurate information on how to build links that Google can trust.
In this in-depth article, I'll show you a strategic link building technique that works. It is scalable and if you apply it, your rankings will go up quickly. Even your conversion rate will benefit.
In this article I cover the following topics:
- Understand what Google wants
- How to make your link building successes scalable
- Keyword search and targeting
- How to create editorial links
Let's start right away ...
Step # 1: understand what Google wants
In the area of search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing, Google sets the tone. That is why it is important to know what Google’s mission is. This not only shapes Google's strategy, but also helps you shape your own. Here's what Google says about its mission:
Google also believes there is always more information out there than expected. With the help of link building, it will also be your mission to gather information (to help your readers). If you pay attention to what your readers and potential customers want, you won't need superpowers to sell your product.
If you want to build links without being penalized, you must first understand Google's technique and act in a similar way. If you fail to do this, you will fail and the technique will not work.
Before you start building links, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my content well structured and organized?
- Can I provide pages with useful content so that they link to my page?
Let's talk about the first question because organization is an important factor if you want to generate backlinks.
When people come to your site, do you know exactly what to do next (especially the new visitors)? Make sure your site is easy to use and people can navigate it easily. Here is a good example:
And here is another page with a not so clear navigation:
Proper navigation is the first step in the right direction to organize your content in such a way that both visitors and search engines can find the important and relevant information as quickly as possible. The second step is to create a foundation that will make other sites want to link to your website.
How do you create such a basis: Let's say you've already published a useful article and want it to rank high on Google. Since you know that good ranking positions depend on high quality links (see the diagram from LinkedIn) - doesn't it make sense to build such good links as quickly as possible?
No, because if you build links too quickly, it can quickly become manipulative and thus be a bad sign for Google.
The better solution is to help Google find and index your useful content. Once the content has been recorded, you can then build real links that further improve your rankings.
How to help Google find your content: Some of the articles I've written over the past few months have been indexed by Google within six hours. Just by using a single tool - Alexa.
Google's crawlers are continuously investigating Alexa.com. When you look up your metrics on Alexa, the tool automatically adds your page to its database:
The next time Google crawls the Alexa page, your new content will also be crawled.
There is another way to get your content indexed as quickly as possible. A few months ago I published a data-based infographic on the topic of how Google uses social signals to determine rankings. In summary, this means that your social media presence helps you to increase your visibility and accelerate indexing.
Signals from social networks show Google that people find your content useful because they share it. The resulting links help Google evaluate your content. These links were created of course.
To build social links, I also recommend sharing your article on Google+. (This is a sure-fire success as it is Google's own network.)
It's very easy: Log into your Google account and click on the plus sign at the top of the page.
When the “Share-Box” appears, all you have to do is copy your article URL into it, select the visibility (I recommend “public” here to achieve the greatest reach) and click “Share”.
Follow these simple tips and your content will be indexed in just six hours. Then you are ready to build trustworthy links on this page.
Danger: Make sure you provide high quality and useful information. Every part of your article and every link (including the link text) should represent meaningful added value for your target group.
Traditional link building has the disadvantage that it ignores the reader. The Google Penguin 3.0 update reminded us that we should focus on what our readers want, why they should click a link, and what they get when they land on our page. This really counts in SEO these days.
Step # 2: How to Scale Your Link Building Achievements
Many people find link building stressful. One reason for this is that they produce bad content that nobody wants to share.
In Moz's guide, “How to Rank,” Cyrus Shepard recommends that “90% of your effort should be used to produce great content and only 10% in the subsequent link building.” This is the so-called 90/10 rule of link building.
As hard as it sounds, Shepard says that if you have problems in the area of link building, the only thing you have not applied is the 90/10 rule correctly.
If you want to be successful in link building, you have to generate high quality content.
Link building simply consists of positioning your content in a meaningful way and getting a lot of people to link to your articles. In other words, a single article can ensure that you generate lots of high quality links.
High quality links have two main advantages over regular links: relevance and trust. The difference is as follows:
Let's say you have a dog school page and you get a link from an article directory. Google will not judge this link as strongly if it does not take up the topic of your page.
But if this link comes from a site that deals with dog schools, such as a dog food store or a discussion platform about dogs, then you will not only improve your rankings, but also show your visitors how relevant your site is to this topic. And that will help you generate more links.
But how do you find those pages that relate to your topic and where you can start building relevant links? A useful tool for this is Similar Site Search.
Just type in your URL (I use Quick Sprout for example) and hit "Search".
The result is a series of pages that cover related topics. This is only the first step as I have yet to get in touch with the website owners to convince them of my content.
Once you have selected a few pages, the first thing to do is to research which of these pages can best help you build links. Here are some metrics to look out for:
Domain Authority: It is important to know the domain authority of the page you want a link from. A great tool for this is Moz Bar, which shows you the domain authority of every domain or keyword in the search results.
Domain relevance: As I said before, getting links from relevant sites is important for successful link building. Domain relevance is also an important Google ranking factor and especially important if you want to escape the influence of the Google Penguin update.
Microsite Masters has found that "every single page examined that was affected by the Penguin Update had a" money keyword "as anchor text for 60% of inbound links."
That tells us that you You have to combine domain relevance with the right link text in order to operate successful link building.
Trust Flow: This is a key figure that can be analyzed with Majestic and is a high measurement criterion for the quality to be expected. The Trust Flow was originally invented to evaluate the quality of links that point to a page. The number ranges between 0 and 100. The higher the number, the better. In this example, Bing has an excellent trust flow of 86.
If most of your backlinks come from sites with a high trust flow, your rankings will improve quickly.
Use Majestic to analyze the links that are currently pointing to your site. To do this, copy your domain URL into the box and click on the “search icon”.
Scroll down and check out the links. In addition to the URL and the Trust Flow, the tool also shows the Citation Flow, which I will talk about in a moment.
For our analyzed domain (nerdfitness.com) the first link is from artofmanliness.com. Its trust flow is 46 and the citation flow is 47.
Citation Flow: This diagram by Majestic was created to show how powerful a link on a page can be.
The disadvantage of this metric is that it does not measure the quality of the links but their quantity. The more inbound links a page has, the better its citation flow. This metric alone is not very useful as it is in link building the quality counts more than the quantity.
However, using the Citation Flow combined with the Trust Flow will help you identify sites that are both trustworthy and influential. If you want to specifically filter out pages with a high trust flow, then focus on the pages in the group that also have a high influence or citation flow.
In the example above, Nerd Fitness is a site that helps you to shape your life better and to feel better about yourself. Since Art of Maniless deals with male fitness, this page is definitely thematically related and therefore a suitable target group.
Brand keywords and link texts: Link texts are also important when it comes to the quality of the page. In the picture above, a total of 704 pages are linked to Nerd Fitness by means of branded link texts (nerd fitness).
When doing link building, you should use your brand name in combination with other keywords. This is called “branded hybrid anchor text” in English.
For example, if your site is reiv.com.au, an English real estate training site, you can use the following link text variations to generate backlinks:
reiv real estate training
reiv training for beginners
You can also vary the link text by combining the URL with the keywords:
http://reiv.com.au real estate
http://reiv.com.au estate training
real estate training at www.reiv.com.au
With the right mix of high-quality content, domain relevance, trust flow and link texts, you will quickly see successes and thus generate more visitors and links for your site. However, link building is also about building the strength, link power and potential of your inbound links. That is why it is particularly important Develop a two-part link structure for your site.
Links of the first structure refer directly to your page.
Links from the second part refer to the links from part 1 with their link strength.
If you get a link to your page from an article on someone else's blog, it may not do much to improve your rankings. Direct backlinks often take a while to show their effect. However, if you strengthen these backlinks, you will quickly find that your traffic and your rankings improve.
One way to strengthen these links is through social signals. If you refer to the backlinks from part 1 from the social networks, you will strengthen their effectiveness and your rankings at the same time.
To create links for the second part, you can follow three very simple steps ...
Step 1: Write some relevant articles and post them on Web 2.0 sites like Tumblr, Web Node, and Blogger.
In this case, let's take Tumblr as an example. Log in and select “Create a new blog” from the drop-down menu.
Next, click on “Add Text”:
In the next step you add a title, enter the content and publish the article.
Step 2: Index your Tumblr page by sharing the URL on Google+ and Facebook. You can also post them on Pingomatic. Pingomatic will display your URL on large content platforms.
Then wait for your site to be crawled and indexed. As a rule, this should take less than six hours. To check this, you can also enter the Tumblr URL into the Google search.
Step 3: Once your page has been indexed, you can then use a brand keyword on the Tumblr website to link to your page.
This backlink should point directly to your page, but it won't have much impact on your rankings.
In this case you should set up a second link level for this Tumblr page. Your link already exists, so all you have to do is generate a few more links that point to the Tumblr page.
Danger: If you are trying to strengthen your first-level backlinks with a second link level, then make sure that you over-optimize the link texts. Make sure you don't just use this technique to build new links. A new page, such as our new Tumblr page, should be valuable and useful to visitors. From there you can then build links if you think they will be of value to future readers.
For example, if the keyword you want to build is “UK military base”, your link texts should be generic.
- Learn more about military stations in England
- Visit this UK military base
In other words you shouldn't link to your web 2.0 site with an exact wording / combination of words. Because this is more likely to damage your rankings.
Step 3. Keyword search and targeting
To build scalable links, publish quality content that people want to link to permanently. The right keyword selection and alignment is an important aspect. By targeting a large number of keywords to many different advertising groups, Alan Mitchell was able to increase his page's click-through rates by 461% and the ROI by 231% within three months.
Moz has also achieved good results with a targeted keyword strategy. A full 80% of the organic traffic consists of long-tail keywords compared to the rest, which only consists of known scattered keywords:
How relevant are your keywords to your goals? If you want to strengthen your site with the help of link building, you must not underestimate the factor “keyword search”. The keyword search helps you to look into the minds of your target group.
For example, if you want to do a keyword search in your industry for the following topic:
Best Social Media Strategist in New York
What do you think will happen?
People looking for such a phrase are looking for a professional strategist who is familiar with social media marketing. You are not looking for a beginner, but someone with a lot of experience.
They are also looking for a strategist in New York, perhaps because they are based in New York and need a face-to-face meeting.
If you want to work in this niche, let's see how we can find the right keywords to make your content attractive to small business owners who need help with social media.
To do this, let's first take a look at the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
Step 1: Log into your Google account and click on: “Search for new keyword ideas”.
There type in “Social Media Strategist” and trigger the search.
In the next step you click on the tab “Keyword Ideas” and you will get a list of suggestions that you can use.
This screenshot shows the keywords you can use to spread your content when targeting small businesses that need help with social media.
- Social Media Strategist
- Social Media Marketing Strategist
- Social Media Marketing Company
- Social Media Marketing Consultant
Some of the other keywords may not be of interest to you, for example:
- Social media strategist salary
- Social media jobs
The people looking for these two keyword combinations are likely freelancers who want to earn a little extra salary as social media strategists. These are not your desired target group and accordingly these are not the right keywords for your concern. Never use keywords that do not correspond to your topic or underline your main message.
If you do link building, you want to use anchor texts that make users stay on your site for a long time. So always remember that successful link building can only work when you build links that are thematically related to your site.
Use demographic information: Another important element for link building is to know the demographic characteristics of your users (age, gender, education, etc ...). If you know these aspects, you will have no problem creating meaningful content that solves your target audience's problems. This is a key component in enabling organic backlinks.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library, for example, offers helpful sources to identify your target group even more precisely. The Lock Haven University Library also shows how a US census can help you find the audience that matches your demographics.
To find the right target group for your site, visit Quantcast and enter your site in the search box. Scroll down to see demographics:
This picture shows the demographics of the visitors to Metacafe. It shows that the majority of visitors are male and between 35-44 years old. There are also many readers in the 25-34 age group. Pingdom has already shown that these two age groups are most strongly represented in social networks. This shows that if you take the effort and create meaningful content, this audience can share your content. You also have to share your own content if you want to build links.
Automation of social signals: If you want to set up social signals, you should also use the automation options. The Mingl Marketing Group increased their traffic by 590% using the Hubspot Social Automation Tool.
And TREW Marketing used Hubspot to get their web traffic by 130% and generate over 150% more leads.
You can generate social signals by continuously sharing your content. This can be very time consuming manually. Just imagine how long it would take you to share your latest post within the top 20 social networks. Trust me this would take time.
Therefore, you should set up automatic updates on your social networks.
Buffer is my favorite automation tool. You can use it to share your posts on Twitter, Facebook and various other networks.
One of the best features is the possibility to follow your campaign and with the help of this memory to automatically distribute your content later. Even if you have to catch a flight, your post will still reach your target group.
Other link building tools: Here are some more link building tools that you can use to analyze keywords in terms of domain names, link texts, etc.
- Quick Sprout - helps you analyze why your site is not getting enough visitors.
- Open Link Profiler - a powerful tool for link diagnostics and quick checks.
- Open Site Explorer - use this tool from Moz to find out the number of backlinks and the domain authority of different domains.
- nTopic - a simple content analysis tool. It helps you to create content and to target you effectively with the right keywords.
Step # 4: How to Create Editorial Links
Building editorial links will improve your link building strategy many times over. In order to generate these links you have to put in an immense effort. You can't just write a text and hope for a miracle. Did you know that over 2 million articles are published every day?
Link building can be exhausting, but it's easier when you focus on creating valuable and useful content. If you publish consistently good content, the visitors will come to your site all by themselves and recommend and share it.
After a few years of stressful traffic building, Brian Dean finally made the breakthrough in link building. Once he implemented it, hundreds of people immediately started linking to your infographic. With that he received over 50,000 visitors in one fell swoop:
If you want to achieve that too, why not use Brian's strategy to:
- Find successful content in your niche
- bring them up to date
- to make them even better
To learn this strategy, just take a look at the following post where Brian Dean describes three techniques he used to get 40,000 visitors to view his infographic.
Create a viral campaign: To successfully build links, you need to create content that people will love to share. Why do you want to share it? Because they are useful, valuable and innovative. Instead of guesswork, you should analyze articles that have already been successfully shared and learn a lot from them.
The first tool I recommend in this context is the Open Site Explorer:
Step 1: Go to the page and enter your competitor's URL. Let's see which of his articles got the most comments and shares.
Click on "Search" and look at the results on the left. Then click on the top pages.
If you click on the URL, you will see the title of the article and how many shares it has achieved. The following is what I saw when I clicked on the third link in the picture above (http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing/):
Topic: content marketing
Headline: Content Marketing: How to create a target group with which to build your company
When you visit the page you will see that thousands of people have already shared this page on Facebook or Twitter. So it's a very viral article.
Step 2: Write a better title
Who says you can't write an even better and more clickable title than Brian Clark? Let us try it. 🙂
While the original headline was pretty good, I think "Building Your Business" is too daring to put it.
Everyone wants to start a business, but they want practical tips. So let's see how we can improve this headline by making it more specific to the different types of companies. Here are three examples:
- How you can increase your number of email subscribers through content marketing
- 6 steps how you can get more customers with the help of content marketing
- How a simple content marketing strategy could increase my rankings by 110%
Numbers in headings are effective. I've created a number of viral articles myself by using numbers in the headings. The headings with numbers perform better than those of the original article.
If you can create a better headline, the chances are high that your article will go viral.
But you should always show the value of the article in the headline. Here are some examples of how you can do this:
Checklist - simple ways to make your content more useful:
- Create headlines with a higher CTR.
- Add numbers or dates.
- Extend your article. Ideally, write a 2000+ word article, as the length of the article has an impact on the ranking on Google.
- Use diagrams, screenshots and images to highlight your point of view.
- Avoid personal opinions and use proven studies instead.
- Link to relevant blogs to increase the value of your article.
- Ask emotional questions.
- Mention experts and specialists from your industry.
- End with a call to action (for example, you can attach a free checklist).
If you follow the advice in this checklist, you will write articles that will have lasting success.
Send thank you emails: If you mention authors and website owners in your article, you can get them to link to your article.
This email template comes from Backlinko's founder Peep Laja from ConversionXL.com. It's short, but it helped Laja bring 10,000 new visitors to your blog in 12 months:
Guest blog to generate new links: Guest blogging was once a very helpful strategy. Danny Iny, for example, used guest blogging to save his company from bankruptcy.
He started building a network of A-list bloggers and wrote many different guest posts. Within six months he built a new company with a long list of customers. His Firepole Marketing Blog reaches hundreds of readers a month.
When you do guest blogging, you create high quality content for other sites. However, your own side also benefits, as Michael Hyatt found:
If you want to improve your link building process, then guestblogge. Try to produce helpful and useful articles and people will naturally link to your content.
To prepare, read this ultimate guide to guest blogging. This list of over 140 pages that accept guest articles will also help you.
How to generate high quality links with the help of comments: Don't comment on spam. Just don't do it! But you can still use comments well to generate valuable links.
Links from comments do not have a high SEO value, but they are, of course and relevant to the topic, two of the key factors that Google rates. And this is how you get these links:
- Search for blogs that have the dofollow CommentLuv plugin installed.
- Subscribe to post updates from at least five of these blogs.
- Speed matters. If you get a message about a new post, read it as soon as possible (if it is a long one, then only the first two paragraphs and the last one to get the main points).
- Write a valuable comment. Avoid phrases like “nice post”, “well written” or “this post helped me a lot”.
The following comment, for example, can bring you traffic and links for your site.
This comment is helpful and well-written so that it will add value to the readers of the article. In addition, the author of the comment has referred to his own page in the URL field.
Here's another good example from a writer on Moz who left a wonderful comment and linked to his article at the same time.
In 2013 about 10% of SEOs invested over $ 50,000 in link building, but in 2014 81% of SEOs cut their link building budget. Why?
The truth is that SEOs are critical of link building. You are afraid of the next Google update. But I think it doesn't have to be.
Link building was a proven strategy to improve Google rankings before the Panda update. I think she still is ... as long as you get it right.
Have you ever tried to do scalable link building?
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