The Most Effective Tactics For Earning High-Quality Links

Search engine optimization is an ever-changing landscape witnessing the rise and fall of countless techniques and strategies over the years. And the one factor that’s least likely to be forgotten or even change, is that of link-building.

It has long been held that link-building, which is the process of getting other websites to link back to your site, is breathing its last. This is nothing more than an easily busted myth. The online Oracle can prophesize a grim fate as much as it wants, but the fact of the matter is that backlinks ain’t going anywhere! Unless search engines have faded so far into oblivion (that they need search parties themselves!), link-building will always be a crucial part of any SEO strategy.

Link-building remains, and will most likely continue to remain, très effective in putting forward your site’s value to all search engines. The more links to your site, the more muscle you have in the ever watchful eyes of Google and co.; giving you a chance to earn a better ranking amongst the search engine results pages. And that’s not discounting the extremely beneficial standing of high-quality links. A gazillion links from dodgy websites can never match the links obtained from high-quality sites. Quality over quantity has always been the norm, and backlinks are certainly no exception.

What makes a backlink “high-quality”?
According to SEO consultant Mark Walter, high-quality backlinks:
  • Are from a relevant and trusted source.
  • Forward traffic.
  • Are placed within the main content.
  • Are on a page with Google’s PageRank.
  • Are next to backlinks to authority websites

High-quality backlinks, however, are most certainly not:
  • Earned via link exchange.
  • Included with dozen other links within the content.
  • Acquired easily.
  • Paid to be included.
With backlinks, search engines conclude that your site has enough of an authority to be recommended to users through the search engine results pages (SERPs), eventually bringing in more traffic, helping generate leads, and getting conversions. While getting backlinks is good, none stand comparison with a single, high-quality backlink from a popular site whose traffic levels and authority are out of this world. Getting a high-quality backlink from an authority website is hard but not impossible. We’ve outlined a few tips that should help you earn them high-quality links:

1. Local SEO
Skip the skepticism cuz local SEO is quite the source of high-quality backlinks! And it’s so much more than just hooking citation listings or a Google+ profile. If you think those are the only ways by which you can land backlinks from local SEO, then we’re very sorry to burst your bubble!

If your business happens to come with a physical presence of its own (like a storefront or a shop), or maybe is a service-oriented one (like an electrician or a plumber) that operates around a certain area, then local SEO becomes quite the necessity for a website belonging to such businesses. After all, how many times have we jammed that local search bar trying to find the best businesses in and around the area?

A proper game plan with regards to your local SEO can be the deciding factor in scoring all them high-quality links. Think of it as a legit goldmine of valuable link sources. You could have your business assist the local community websites, strike up a relationship with local media and news sites, or even ally with local schools and charities via sponsorships. All these are some first-rate ideas, as such sites would be more than willing to acknowledge and honor benefactors with feature articles, dedicated page links on their own website, or maybe even a few links to your own website.

You could even join all the relevant industry associations, and enter your business into the local contests. Who knows, you might even end up winning some of those local awards boosting your business profile! If you win, getting a high-quality link from the organizer’s website after that is simply a piece of cake.

2. Prospecting for broken links
It might seem like too much work trudging through various popular websites or blogs to scout for broken links. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s easy-peasy acquiring high-quality links via broken link prospecting.

All you gotta do is scope out popular blogs for any broken links, inform the owner of that website about them via an email, and then put in a good word for a page in your own website to replace the link that no longer exists.  If you’re lucky, the webmaster will be grateful for the info and gladly accept your link as a replacement. However, it’s better to reign in the enthusiasm a little bit to avoid appearing greedy. You could do this by recommending links from other sites as well.

Simple yet oh-so-effective, and that is why it's such a popular high-quality link earning ploy. As long as you don’t push it too far, and be perfectly honest in your email, your chances of getting a positive response and those all-important high-quality links will be better.

Broken links tend to plague even the most legit of websites. Site links link to other pages online. But as websites have this tendency to shift around their content, some of those links will one way or another “break” or point to pages that no longer exist. So, when a user clicks on a broken link, they’re bound to be led to an unwanted 404 error page proving that the content they’re looking for no longer exists. All this not only provokes some righteous wrath on the part of the user, but also leaves them with a poor impression of the entire experience. And even worse, search engines have it hellish hard in efficiently crawling and indexing websites.

Which is when broken link building comes in. This master strategy involves finding broken links across other websites, recognizing the content they originally alluded to, and then the sweet offer that lets the site replace the broken link with one that has a valid link to relevant content. The best part is, of course, the fact that the content shall be on your site.

Voilà! With such a strategy, everybody is bound to win. The webmaster has fewer broken links to deal with, the site visitors are spared the dreaded 404s, and you get a high-quality backlink in the process!

3. Creating and using custom infographics
“It's a visual world and people respond to visuals.” - Joe Sacco
Visuals have long held the place of honor when it comes to engaging content. But in terms of earning links, how big of a punch do they pack?
With attention spans getting shorter, and the need for information only growing larger, what better way to counter both than with the help of an infographic? Infographics are a great way to present information that’s understood within minutes if not a few seconds. And when it comes to SEOs, infographics attract links like bees to honey! All helped by the fact that they tend to be mucho engaging and more likely to get shared. And whenever they do get shared, people will always place the source link i.e. your link; soaring your engagement to the top. All that is needed is for an infographic to go viral, and you’re immediately bombarded with site traffic, thanks to all those backlinks!

An infographic’s capacity to draw links can be explained away by a single question: “Between a few thousand word long articles and an infographic on the same topic, which one has more chances of being the popular choice?” Unless you’ve got a good deal more time on your hands than you care to admit, or simply have a proclivity for terribly protracted content, we really don’t see why the infographic shouldn’t be your first pick. After all, infographics hog most of the engagement, and get shared the most - almost three times as much as any other content forms!

Suffice safe to say; with their use of the visual medium to present info that’s read and understood within a few minutes, infographics are probs some of the best options to gain tons of links to your site.

4. Writing the best, quality content
That being said, you can create all the infographics you want but they won’t serve the purpose without having some actual content to balance them out. Barring shorter attention spans and the effort it takes to create posts, there are visitors that seek assurance from the written word. Of course, that will all be for naught if the writing happens to be terrible beyond the scope of any rescue attempt. Not the sort that implies Shakespeare rolling in his grave but enough to put-off them high-quality links.

No one in their right mind would share and link to silly web content, not even as a poor attempt at a joke. You can unleash all the SEO voodoo you want, but unless your site can present some real quality content, hardly any website worth its salt is gonna give you the time of the day. Basically, you’re done for if everyone believes your content to be sucky at best.

5. Guest posting
“Guest posting”, as is evident from the name, is the custom of conferring free content across various websites or blogs while gaining a link back to your own site in the process. These links can either be propped in the author’s bio section or planted within the body of the post to cite info. An ever-popular link building practice, it’s practically a win-win for both sites - One lands itself free content to share with its audience, and the other pockets a very worthy high-quality link.

At least that’s how things worked. Unfortunately, like it is with every custom, there has been plenty shadiness going around. Many site owners take advantage of such tactics by circulating shoddy, unconstructive content to earn links to their sites. Writers, that lack both the necessary experience and the comprehension to write on certain topics, are called upon to create content which is then pitched right onto a variety of sites, neatly sidestepping the whole relevancy angle. No surprise then, to have Google all up in their business issuing warnings left, right and center!

Which understandably put off quite a few site owners from indulging in such link building practices lest they get carried away. However, that doesn’t mean that guest posting is now well and truly RIP. It still remains a sound way of getting high-quality links provided it’s well-researched, well-written, and fairly ad rem. It’s also well worth your time to remember to keep your ego firmly on a leash. There’s nothing more webmasters loathe than a guest post that does nothing but sickeningly sing one’s own praises.

6. Stroking the ego of industry experts and/or top online influencers
Another practice that ensures you get them high-quality links is ego baiting. Sounds shocking but doesn’t discount its usefulness. There are certain people in every industry that happen to be so well-established that their word is law, and their actions become all the more powerful because of the influence they exercise.  

Which is why it’s essential to get on their good side. There’s no doubt that all top influencers appreciate well-written pieces that throw them in such a fine light. Cough up some pretty, flattering content about them by publishing it on your website, emailing, or messaging the concerned influencer about it. And once they become aware of your ego baiting efforts, they will likely spread all that goodwill by sharing it across their own popular blogs, websites or social media accounts. It’s arguably a very neat tactic and a win-win for all parties involved. You gain a high-quality backlink, the influencer gains a new audience, and the audience obtains satisfaction.

Other tactics involve:
7.  Establishing a relationship with blogs that bring up your site and/or brand
8.  Gathering intelligence regarding your competitors’ movements
9.  Dabbling in PR - using the same methods to gain backlinks that you might use to get press. E.g. Getting cited as a source in a news article or other online content.
10.Participating in collaborative content marketing by combining the expertise of other influencers in your field to create a single, remarkable piece of content.

Getting high-quality links isn’t always the easiest, but it needs to be done. Backlinks will always be one of the most effective ways of achieving the favor of search engines. The strategies outlined above will help you get started on link-building that cranks up your site ranking. It’ll definitely be worth it, and that is a solemn promise!