Gaining authority backlinks is every webmaster and digital marketer’s dream. A single link can increase your site’s Domain Authority (DA), improve your SEO, and bring in more organic traffic.
High authority back links are an insanely operative way to rank well in the search engines. In fact, data suggests that there is a slim chance that a website can rank on Google without links.
Some businesses pay top dollar to get a single link on a top website for the sole power that comes with it. Yes, one link can take your metrics to a whole new playing field. However, not all businesses can afford to buy backlinks, and frankly, we would recommend you avoid it.
So, how can you get quality backlinks from highly authoritative websites for free?
1. Create Quality Content That Outperforms the Competition
Right now, someone somewhere is ranking number one for the keyword(s) that you want to rank for. So clearly, they are doing something right.
The first step in overtaking the sites on page one is to analyze what’s already ranking and then improve upon them. We’re not saying to copy what you see, but rather outperform them.
What keywords do they use? What kind of value do they offer? Who do they link to? What questions do they answer? Better yet, what questions don’t they answer?
Content like comprehensive guides perform incredibly well on search engines because, well, they are long and offer several resources. While Google prefers the average post to sit somewhere around 2,000 words, long-form guides can be up to 5,000 words, becoming a quick go-to resource for a topic.
Create content that is better than what you find and exceeds the expectations of user intent. Address the needs of your readers, and they won’t have to go anywhere else.
The higher the quality, and the more information you offer, the more likely you are to be deemed a valuable, link-worthy resource by a high authority site. Hello, backlinks!
2. Link to Authority Websites, and Let Them Know
The external links you include in your content are heavily considered when search engines gauge the quality of your content. Google wants to know that your site is trustworthy, so it analyzes the resources that you offer to your readers to help in the categorization process.
A strategy that can help you get backlinks in return is quite simple: tell the people you are promoting that you mentioned them in your post.
Website owners love to toot their own horns and point out when they were given a shout out. So much so that there is a good chance they will link right back to you so their readers can go check out the reference, whether from their own website or from social media.
3. Write Guest Posts
This age-old advice is still applicable and will be so long as writers continue to offer valuable content. However, there is a proper way to do it.
- Wrong Way #1 – Pitching the Wrong Sites: You can find any site that accepts guest posts, pitch a topic, write up some content, and get a link. Easy. But if that site doesn’t have an impressive DA, it won’t do your site any good. Sure, you’ll get a link, but it won’t give your site the boost that a high DA site will, which means you’re putting in a lot of effort for little reward.
- Wrong Way #2 – Low-Quality Pitch: High DA sites receive countless guest post pitches daily, so if they do happen to find, open and read your pitch, it better be good the first time around. Webmasters are looking for posts that will add value and complement the existing content on their websites. You must be relevant and very specific about what you want to write and how they will benefit from it. If you send a guest post request saying something along the lines of, “I was wondering if you are accepting guest posts. I promise to provide a high-quality piece that will work well on your website,” but offer no title or concept, no samples of your work, and no links to your website… you better believe you will be ignored. If you want to stand out, you better impress! Be informative and direct.
- Wrong Way #3 – Writing Fluff Content: Congrats, you pitched content to a DA 80+ site, but the content you submitted is either irrelevant to the site or doesn’t carry enough value to publish. High authority sites have the DA they do for a reason; they write incredibly rich, long-form content that keeps their audience coming back for more. Your post should be detailed, extremely informative, and publish-ready. If your content is fluffy (but still somehow published), offering little value to the readers, you won’t generate much interest and traffic to your own site.
- Wrong Way #2 – Poor Linking Efforts: If you do land a guest post opportunity and your content has been approved and praised, request contextual links that lead back to your site. Author bios are great but do not drive traffic. While the goal is to get backlinks, why not benefit from potential traffic as well?
Guest posting is an easy way to get a link, but it’s pretty useless if your content isn’t authoritative in its own right.
4. Help A Reporter Out (Literally)
If you could get a backlink from any website online, what would it be? Huffington Post? Forbes? Travel and Leisure?
Guess what? You can.
Journalists for top authority websites are always looking for fresh resources for their content. They do so by placing inquiries for recommendations, professional opinions, and more for upcoming stories. Help A Reporter Out, better known as HARO in the journalism and blogging community, is a killer way to get real, legitimate references to your website. The database connects people like you who want exposure with journalists who need sources.
With HARO, you can sign up to receive daily emails for various industry topics that you may be able to contribute to. When you see a question you can answer, submit a brief, highly valuable pitch to the journalist, and hope that they will use your input!
While this digital marketing tactic is free, it does take time and effort. Not all submissions will be used or even read. It often takes a few tries and a pinch of good luck to be linked to, but when you are, it is SO worth it from a search engine optimization standpoint.
If you want to secure valuable media coverage and get some of the greatest opportunities for backlinks, you need to register with this database ASAP!
5. Resource Pages
High authority resource websites whose sole purpose is to link out to other websites are an incredibly effortless way to get backlinks. Search keywords such as useful resources and helpful resources as they relate to your niche to find guides that list posts on specific topics. Think of them as “compilation” sites that do the research for the readers.
Find the contact information and write to the webmaster with a personal email noting the resource page that you found, your content, and an explanation as to why you believe your resource is relevant enough to fit in with the rest of the guide.
The more personalized your email is, the better. Remember to compliment them on the value of their website to increase your chances of getting that backlink.
Link building is no walk in the park. In fact, it is one of the more challenging aspects of SEO. But that’s why it is so beneficial! Now get out there and build your backlink profile!