Backlinks are the bread and butter of SEO. They are the strongest factor when it comes to ranking – or at least in the very top. That’s because backlinks work like trust signals and Google uses them to determine how valuable a page is.
But gaining backlinks can prove to be a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Because of that in this post, we’ll give you 3 concrete tip’s on how to analyze your backlink profile and find more link opportunities.
Step 1. Start By Finding Your Links
Firstly, you need to understand what backlinks you already have. To do that, you need to use an SEO tool. One of the most famous SEO tools which also has the largest backlink index is Moz. Moz is a great tool because with it you can not only see your backlinks and find new ones but also use many of their other features – for example for keyword research.
Moz is actually one of the first SEO tools ever and it has been around since the early 2000s. The tool has evolved a lot since then and there are many new features added thanks to the devoted research and development team there.
For some users, however, Moz can be quite expensive. Because of that, you don’t have to limit yourself on to it. In fact, there are plenty of Moz alternative tools out there just like this tool called Morningscore. In fact, the tool has partnered up with Moz and provides backlink data through their APi while also supplementing the link database with even more backlinks.
So with this, you can get a very high-quality product at a fraction of the cost.
Now that you have your SEO tool set up, add your domain and see all the backlinks that you have. Here, you will notice that you have both dofollow nofollow and redirect links. Let’s explain all of them briefly:
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Dofollow links are the most important types of links. You generally want to get as many dofollow links as possible as long as they are contextual and the website linking is high authority.
Nofollow links are the other very common type of link. It does not pass as much value as a dofollow link but it’s considered natural to have nofollow links since they are everywhere on the web. Because of that, you need nofollow links to diversify your link profile and make it seem more natural to avoid getting a penalty.
301 & 302 Redirects
Redirects are links from websites or web pages that used to be live but are now pointing to another address. Redirects are also common on the internet and used to be a link building strategy back in the old days. However nowadays they do not bring as much value and are not necessarily a viable option by themselves. That’s because on every redirect there is some pagerank lost.
They can still help however especially if they are easy to get for you (e.g. you have an old website and changed to a new one) and are a natural part of a link profile
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Step 2 – Continue With Building New Links
Now the fun part begins. After you’ve analyzed your link profile and decided what to focus on, you need to actually find links that you can build.
There are many link building strategies to achieve that, however, here are some of the most common ones which you can easily use likely without putting in a lot more new effort.
Business Directories & Aggregators
Business directories and aggregators are a great way of building backlinks especially if you operate locally. This way you can build relevant links that Google actually uses. When doing these links, remember to have a consistent NAP (Name – Address – Phone Number) throughout your listings that is taken from your website or Google My Business to not confuse Google with the links.
These are links from profiles that you create on different platforms. They don’t bring you a ton of value and are usually pretty weak – but still a good way of diversifying your link profile and getting that initial momentum going.
Remember that the important part here is that Google should be able to index the profile – if it’s hidden and cant be accessed when you’re not logged in, Google likely won’t be able to crawl it either and therefore wont know that your link is there.
Forums & Comments
Comments and forum links are the links that you build when adding an opinion to a blog or a message board. These places usually have a “website” field where you can enter your link however sometimes you can do that directly in the text of your comment itself.
Similarly to profile links, forums and comments aren’t crazy strong and likely won’t rank your pages at the top just by themselves. However, they are a good way to get started especially when the links come from a relevant forum / blog.
General Tips For Profile & Forum Links
When building profile and forum links try to diversify them and keep them as strict to your niche as possible. You don’t want to go overboard with this step since Google can see this as spam. If that happens, best case-scenario those links will not be counter – and worst case scenario is that you might get a penalty. If you don’t know where to start finding such links, examine some of your direct and indirect competitors.
And now, let’s look at some of the other most common link building methods which do require some effort.
Guest blogging is the practice of reaching out to other websites with the intent to write content for their blog and thus being able to link back to your website. Guest contributions are usually easy to find if you operate in a large market and niche – for example, if you’re either a pet store in the US or if you’re a home renovation store in the UK you can easily find tons of opportunities and blogs for you to contribute to.
Usually guest posting is harder in smaller markets and very niche products – for example, if you run a heavy industry and manufacturing website in italy it might be hard to find enough blogs and other websites to share content on.
In this case, however, what you can do is use what is known as a shoulder niche. Those are niches that are somewhat common to yours but not necessarily fully overlap. Google still finds these places as topically relevant and you can thus increase your reach.
If we take the example above about a manufacturing company in italy, we can somewhat say that a shoulder niche of theirs is the automobile industry. Because Italy is also famous for their cars, there is no doubt that we can find many blogs and sites about cars in Italy. This makes a great guest posting opportunity where we can expand beyond our exact niche which is limited.
Guest Posting can also help you make tons of money. Here is a list of steps how you can make money easily through a blog.
The idea behind digital pr as link building is that you create a unique resource with new, unique, and not seen before information that a specific target group would like to link to. That’s because they support (or don’t) the information in it, it makes them proud – for example if you mention them – or it is a good resource to use as part of their own posts. This could be industry statistics, deep dives on opinions, breakdowns of graphs and charts, or even more qualitative data after you’ve conducted some survey.
The good thing about digital pr is that while you do need to create first-hand research, you don’t necessarily need to use a first-hand source. That is to say that you can aggregate and present data that you’ve found through other sources – as long as you add something new and informative about it.
Step 3 – Follow Up On Your Link Building Efforts
Once you’ve created the links, it’s important to actually monitor if and when they get indexed. Doing this will allow you to have an accurate representation of your link- and anchor text ratios and therefore make your backlink profile as neutral as possible.
You can set up, for example, alerts when you get new backlinks and analyze them ongoingly. We recommend that you keep a spreadsheet with your links and anchor texts so that you can at any point course-correct if your link profile becomes too unnatural.
That was it! You can now become better at building links in just 3 steps. Remember to use a good stack of SEO tools when doing that to make the process easier. Hope you enjoyed the tips!