LAST UPDATED ON October 6, 2020
5 Strategies For Acquiring Quality Backlinks
Not all backlinks are treated equally. Sure, quality trumps quantity, but your business still needs a robust portfolio of backlinks to be successful.
Not all backlinks are treated equally. Sure, quality trumps quantity, but your business still needs a robust portfolio of backlinks to be successful. Everything from relevant industry backlinks, localized backlinks and vendor backlinks ought to be considered.
Despite all the changes in strategies, the ultimate goal remains the same: obtaining a collection of backlinks to your website. At the end of the day, they’re valid signals for website relevance, relation and popularity, and a significant part of an SEO strategy.
So, where do you start? There are a few valuable methods you can use to build and diversify your backlink profile.
1. Local Backlinks
Most businesses are local in one way or another. Whether you’re a large business like Walmart or a single-location company, local SEO greatly affects you.
Nearby businesses and institutions can help you reach the masses in a particular area (i.e. the customers at your neighbors’ business could be your customers as well). This relationship is a perfect reason to approach various communities in your vicinity for local backlink opportunities.
Some of the best places to look are:
- Chamber of commerce
- Personal business networks / BNI groups
- Local directories
- Local media outlets
- Nearby institutions (universities, schools, etc.)
Additionally, creating a local community page on your site is a great way to show local businesses that you support them. This move will also make it easier to request a backlink from them in return.
It may sound daunting, but there are several easy ways to acquire backlinks from local companies:
- Ask. It’s that easy. The worst they can say is no, then you can move on. A lot of businesses are more supportive than you may think.
- Join a chamber (or several) in your local community. Most have a directory of members with links to their page.
- Co-host local events. The other co-hosts will be just as excited to talk about the event as you. They’re likely to mention it online, too – just make sure they link back to you on it!
- Press releases or outreach to local media outlets. Media outlets are hungry for new content, just make sure it’s interesting. (If your SEO strategy consisted of sending out a national press release, reconsider that on a local, more direct level instead).
- Support local schools or universities. EDU backlinks are a great addition to your backlink profile.
Creating that local community page goes a long way in showing support. It lets your visitors know what’s going on with high-quality, localized content and presents your neighbors some good-faith backlinks of their own.
2. Vendor/Supplier Backlinks
Most businesses have a supplier network. For example, consider a Honda dealership. As vendors, they’re likely to have Honda, parts manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers.
Now, local service companies may not think vendor/supplier backlinks are feasible, but that’s not necessarily true. Do you have an office building? Your landscaper or cleaning service surely have websites of their own. Get in contact with them and feature a list of businesses you work with on your website for a backlink exchange. It’s a win-win. They get to show that they work for businesses like yours and you earn a quality backlink.
Another way to tackle this approach is to provide your supplier network with high-quality photos of their product or service in action. Send them an email with the image and if they use it, inform them that you’d appreciate credit for the photo and a link to your website.
3. Competitor Backlinks
Sometimes it’s easier to go down the road already travelled. Capitalizing on competitor backlinks is a smart strategy to make exponential gains on your competitor’s search position. Not only are you gaining relevant backlinks, but you could push your competitors back a step or two.
There are great programs out there like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and various others to identify backlinks that your competitors’ websites benefit from. Once you’ve identified them, the only thing left to do is to reclaim them for yourself.
You’ll want to reach out to those websites and attempt to get a backlink on them. Try offering them something in return. Consider things that the webmaster would benefit from:
- Increased traffic to their site by including the updated article in an email blast
- Increased visibility on social media by tagging their company
- Providing a backlink of your own
The main thing to consider when reaching out to these companies is how to create an authentic approach. Avoid e-blasts; if you manage your own site, you probably get hundreds of e-blasts yourself and know how aggravating they are. If you send personalized emails, they stand out and people are more inclined to engage.
4. Influencer Backlinks
Influencers are everywhere and there are well-known people active in every industry. Actively monitor your industry for publications, search for highly relevant articles, and monitor hashtags on social media.
Once you find an influencer or publication you’d like to work with, there are many ways to reach out. Provide influencers with what they’re looking for:
- Writers. If the writer’s a freelancer, try to hire them for your internal writing. No one likes to link back to things more than their own.
- Social blogging influencers. To a lot of influencers, it’s a numbers game. They’re just as interested in getting more social followers as you are backlinks, so do just that. In exchange for backlinks, provide references to them on social media so they can extend their network to yours.
5. Quality Connections
Connecting with webmasters, influencers, and other beneficial figures isn’t always easy. However, it’s worth it.
Many businesses in the industry struggle for revenue, but expectations for quality content continues to rise. These diverging points leave content producers looking for additional ways to get more writing topics and earn more money. Tools like Link-able.com allow you to connect with people who can build links for you on authoritative websites. You simply introduce your own website on the platform, content producers see it, then contact you if they’d like to link to your site in their work.
Backlinking is not a one-and-done deal. It’s not worth your time to do all of the above steps in the next 30 days and not revisit again until next year.
If you’re a business owner who’s managing a backlink portfolio, it’s best to set a goal at two or three backlinks per month. That way, you’re not burning yourself out but you’re also conducting the aspects of your business that directly bring in revenue.
However, if you have a dedicated agency on your side, you may want to consider a more aggressive pace and use your competitors as the benchmark. For example, if your closest competitor has 100 more backlinks than you and your goal is to catch up in 12 months, your goal needs to be between eight and nine backlinks per month. If you want to consider backlink attrition or if your goal is to surpass the competition, aim for 10 or more.
You need a continuous growth of backlinks and what’s more, you need a goal. Make sure your backlink goal is attainable, yet keeps your online presence growing.