Link building is an integral part of any optimization campaign as external links bring traffic and revenue to a website and increase its authority in the eyes of search engines. Backlinks serve as the votes for online business, and if they come from authoritative web sources, they automatically become more powerful and give your site more value. Backlinks can increase your overall page authority and trustworthiness so you can appear at the TOP of SERP for targeted search terms.
However, in the real world, not all backlinks are created equally. That is why many website owners wonder how to increase the number of quality backlinks to their websites. Backlinks that come from authoritative reputable sites and surrounded by helpful research-based content are more likely to bring in sustainable traffic that grows along with your business. When developing your link building campaign, you should be aware of the methods you need to avoid to prevent Google penalties and your site ranking drop.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
Before you start looking for the opportunity to build quality backlinks to your site, you need to go over the Google Webmaster Guidelines that explain to you what high-quality backlinks are and which link building practices you don’t need to include in your optimization campaign. Google strongly recommends avoiding spammy and low-quality external links. To penalize those who do not follow these guidelines, Google established famous Penguin update that downgraded sites that participated in fraudulent link building activities.
The following spammy link building techniques Google states explicitly to avoid:
lack of the original content or very little content;
links are hidden within a text, such as text in font size 0;
cloaking or deceiving search engines and users.
I strongly recommend you to stay away from these fraudulent practices and do not cooperate with web sources that perform them to avoid links being labeled as spam.
Disavow low-quality backlinks
To increase the quality of your backlinks profile, you can’t underestimate the power of Google Disavow tool. Disavowing quality backlinks allows you to avoid being associated with spammy third-party websites. Poor quality backlinks that point to your site may appear under different circumstances. Sometimes spammy backlinks can arise due to your competitor actions against your site. Moreover, it also happens when old backlinks become unavailable due to a website rebranding. Google explains how to disavow backlinks, so they do not impact your rankings. As soon as you have identified which backlinks should be disavowed, you need to create a file with the obtained list and upload it to Google Webmaster Tool.
Now, you know what backlinks you need to avoid and how to do it with the help of Google, so you can learn the right techniques for improving your site rankings and creating more quality backlinks on external sites.
How to increase the number of quality backlinks?
Research gaps in site content
Do not stop developing new ideas for content as there are always good opportunities that can help you to generate a lot of new quality backlinks. You need to find content gaps on your site and always be aware of the new one. There are some options for researching gaps in site content that can be as extensive as performing an entire site audit where you use search engine optimization tools to list all your URLs or looking through content categories to observe what you have not mentioned about yet.
To find new content opportunities, you can use different professional keyword research tools. I recommend utilizing Moz Pro and Semalt Auto SEO. Using these tools, you can measure rankings for particular pages that have target keywords and the monthly search volume for these search terms.
As soon as you found out your current keywords metrics, you can start searching for related keywords. New relevant keywords will give you an opportunity to create fresh content for your site. Make sure the keywords you have selected are maximally relevant to your market niche and have a high search volume (at least 1,000 per month). However, these search terms should not be too competitive as you won’t be able to use them for your benefit.
Look for highly authoritative websites
To increase your backlinks power, you need to look for highly-authoritative websites in your niche. These sites should not be direct competitors to your online business, but at least partially related to your industry. Such backlinks can help you to attract potential customers, raise PageRank and improve your brand awareness. You can check a website's popularity, rank, an average number of visitors and other metrics using Semalt Website Analyzer. You need to pay particular attention to key metrics that show whether websites will be useful for increasing backlinks and page rankings or not.
You need to pay special attention to such website features as :
percentage of visitors that come to a website from different regions;
basic metrics engagement - bounce rate, a time user spends on a site, daily pageviews, and others);
A percent of organic search traffic and referral traffic;
top keywords from search engines.
These metrics will narrow down your search, providing you with a list of the most suitable relevant websites that have the most impact in generating and keeping backlinks for your site.
Pick up the content ideas
Now, when you have obtained a list of the most suitable authoritative web sources, it is time to earn backlinks from them through providing exciting and research-based content. The primary goal of having your content appear on other well-known quality websites is to improve your brand awareness and show it to the new targeted audience.
If you decide to send your content for link building purposes to other partner sites, make sure it corresponds guest posting guidelines and fits your audience needs. You can pitch other websites content ideas or submit some guest posts.
So, if you will publish quality research-based content with a relevant anchor link to your domain, you will increase traffic to your site and grow your reputation as a thought leader among your potential customers, who can convert into your paying leads.