Looking to improve your website’s SEO in 2018? Then it’s an absolute must that you put together a comprehensive link building strategy to help you acquire backlinks from reputable sources. In this blog post I will explain why getting backlinks is so important and just how to do so.

Why Backlinks Are Important For SEO

In simple terms a backlink is a link that points from one website to another. When Google sees a website that it considers as a “trusted source” linking to your site it will then also begin to think of your website as a trusted source. As your website begins to build up more trust with Google, Google will start giving all of your content a boost in rankings since it assumes that your content is high quality.

You can do the most intense keyword research and write the best posts, but without a quality link building strategy with which to show Google that you are a trusted source, you will have a hard time ranking in 2018 and beyond.

Find Good Contented and Make it Better

A great technique to start out with is to research what is currently out there in terms of content around your topic, who is linking to it, and create your own version that is 10 times better. To do so run a Google search for the topic you are interested in. Then, identify the top 3-5 posts and run the URL of that exact post through a tool like MOZ’s Open Site Explorer that will show you the sites already linking to those posts.

Once you have made sure that these posts are being linked to it’s time to create your own epic post around that topic that blows the competition out of the water. Here are a few ideas on ways you could improve the content:

  • When you read the existing content what questions are you left with? Can you answer them?
  • What didn’t make sense? How can you clear it up?
  • Are there any tools you can include that would make life easier for the reader?
  • Can you find data to support the information that was not included in the original content?
  • Can you make a video explaining the same concepts?

Once you have written and published your content it’s time to reach out to websites that were linking to the existing content. Send a polite email informing the writer responsible for the link that you found their resource helpful and then let them know that you’ve written a post that talks about the same topic and proposes some information that you think they may find useful. Once you have done that it’s up to the quality of your content to do its job and hopefully the author will add your link as well.

Interview Industry Leaders

People love to share new information on the people they look up to or whose opinion they care about, that’s why interviewing industry leaders is a great way to acquire backlinks and social shares, but only if you can do it in a unique way.

Round up a list of 10-20 industry leaders who you’d like to interview and craft a unique email for every person. In the email make sure to state specific reasons why you’d like to interview them and how you think they would benefit from being interviewed by you. If you don’t hear back from someone don’t get discouraged and follow up. People who have an influencer status tend to be busy so just because they don’t respond to your first email doesn’t mean they dislike you or aren’t interested.

When you get an acceptance for an interview do as much background research on that person as possible if you haven’t already. Make a special note of what questions they are asked in other interviews and identify a pattern, those are not the questions you want to ask for two reasons:

  1. If someone else has already done an interview featuring those answers why would your interview add anything new to the conversation?
  2. When people are asked the same question over and over again they develop automatic replies that will not create interesting content.

Once you publish your interview make sure to email your interviewee with a link. If you were able to get an interview that no one had before they will be more likely to share it, which makes it more likely that it will be picked up by other industry blogs and publications.

Perform Industry Research

You’ve probably heard the saying “content is king” before, and nowhere is that more true than on the internet. Some of the most sought after information by people who produce content online is research around a certain industry. Consider performing some research in your industry by polling people on social media and using industry data.

Once you have compiled your research present it in an attractive infographic. Infographics are a journalist and blogger favorite because they present complex information in an easy to absorb way, so if you are the creator of the infographic you can expect to receive tons of backlinks from all the bloggers and journalists who use it in their content. One of the best places to get infographics made is Fiverr where you can find a qualified designer to make a few options for you for a relatively low price.

After you’ve created your infographic you will need to share in on your social media channels and most importantly email it to other industry bloggers and content creators that you have a relationship with.

Guest Blog on Authority Sites

Large publications are always looking for fresh new content. This is a great opportunity for you to get a high quality backlink. Head over to an industry leading blog or high authority site like Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post etc, and scan through their existing posts around your topic. Come up with an idea for a post that they have not yet published and make a note of it.

Over the next two weeks interact with the blog owner. Comment on new posts and share the posts on social media while mentioning the blog owner in the posts. This will ensure that when you pitch your post idea you won’t be just another stranger but at least a name that they recognize.

Finally, make sure you understand the guest blogging structure that each blog and publication uses. Are you supposed to pitch ideas or do they want you to write and submit the post from the very beginning? If you can’t find this information somewhere on the website email the blog owner with a few post ideas that they can choose from.

Once your blog idea is approved and you have submitted your post you will have the opportunity to write a short bio to accompany your post. This is one place where you can include a link back to your website. An even better place is if you can add in a link within the post but don’t force it, do so only if it naturally works with the post and adds value to it.

Make Yourself Available to Journalists

Journalists are constantly looking for industry experts that they can interview for their pieces, all you need to do is to make yourself available to them. One of the easiest ways to keep your finger on the pulse of what is needed by journalists is to sign up for HARO. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and features a constantly updating list of journalists searching for people to interview for their pieces.

Once you sign up for HARO you can search the postings by keyword and find reporters looking for information on your topic and industry. Answer all provided question with as much quality information as possible.

If the reporter decides to use you in their story share the link for their post with your following and mention them in the post. This is a great way to establish a relationship with a reporter so that next time they need comments on your industry they will know to reach out to you.

By adding these strategies and tactics to your SEO tool belt you will be able to acquire those all important backlinks from industry leaders, raise your website’s domain authority, and in turn improve the overall SEO of your website.