Backlinks are the nitrous of every successful SEO campaign.
This new guide will teach how to build backlinks in 2016.
Every strategy you will read is battle tested.
Through hundreds of successful SEO campaigns, we now know what works best.
And of course…
What doesn’t work.
Ready to get started?
What Are Tier One Backlinks?
“Tier one” backlinks are external links directly hitting your website.
These links are a large piece of the ranking puzzle.
But before we get into the heavy link building strategy…
You need to make sure that your site is ready for backlinks.
How to Build Less Backlinks (And Get Better Results)
Here is the ugly truth about link acquisition:
It is costly and time consuming.
To combat these two issues you must learn how to get the most out of every backlink.
Here’s how you can accomplish that goal:
- You must have a technically optimized site
- You must have a strong site architecture
- You must have valuable content
Here are the basics you need to cover before you jump into link acquisition:
1. Fix All Technical Errors
Technical errors hurt user experience.
When you hurt user experience, Google limits your organic traffic growth.
The first thing you need to do is avoid speeding through this process.
Otherwise, you may end up wond1ering:
“Why aren’t my backlinks working!?”
Think of SEO as a puzzle.
You can’t complete a puzzle without having all the pieces.
Making sure your site is technically optimized is an important piece of the SEO puzzle.
Here are the technical issues you need to look for:
- Site loading speed (use Google’s PageSpeed Insights)
- Mobile friendliness (use Google’s Mobile Friendly check
- Duplicate content (use Siteliner)
- 302 redirects
- Redirect chains
- 404 errors
- Canonical1 errors
- Duplicate META data
- Incorrect uses of directives (noindex, nofollow, etc)
You can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find most of these issues such 302 redirects, redirect chains, 404 errors, canonical errors, duplicate META data and incorrect uses of directives.
2. Develop a Strong Site Architecture
Your site architecture is how link equity gets distributed through your site.
The better your site architecture, the less backlinks you will need.
If you are using a content-driven SEO approach, then I recommend the reverse silo.
Here’s how it works:
The reverse silo is great because it is the most natural way to build site authority.
Think about it:
Would you rather link to a high-quality blog article or a boring category page?
3. Produce VALUABLE Content
Content is the last and most important piece of the puzzle.
If you don’t think content is important, then you might as well stop reading now.
Your content strategy will make or break your SEO campaign.
It doesn’t matter how many backlinks you get.
It doesn’t matter how well you optimize your site.
Your SEO campaign will eventually fail if you don’t take content seriously.
Content is so important that I have dedicated an entire module to it in Gotch SEO Academy.
I’m going to be writing a lot on content marketing on this blog in 2016, but for now…
I want you to do one thing:
CARE about your content.
You don’t need to be perfect, but do not publish garbage content.
Like real garbage, garbage content gets sent to the landfill where no one will ever see it again.
I’ll end my content rant there.
Just know your content will determine the success of your SEO campaign.
What Is Your Risk Tolerance?
Before we get into the intense stuff, you need to gauge your risk tolerance.
The question is:
Are you willing to use risky tactics?
Are you risk averse and would like to take a “cleaner” approach that decreases your chances of a penalty?
I recommend you take the latter.
Two years ago, you could nail a brand new website with any PBN backlinks, and the site would rank within a month.
It was like taking candy from a baby, but Google caught onto this.
They introduced a “sandbox” that holds new websites back.
I’m not going to debate the existence of it because we’ve tested it.
Here’s the conclusion:
Before: you could rank a site in 1 month with PBN backlinks.
Now: it takes two, sometimes three months to see the effects of PBN backlinks.
Knowing this, we have gone away from PBN backlinks.
But it’s not just because they take longer to work.
It’s because the time and financial investment isn’t worth it anymore.
The time and financial ROI was huge two years ago when Google wasn’t as savvy.
Now the amount of time it takes to run a successful PBN and the amount of risk involved, isn’t worth it.
In 2016, a better approach is to focus on relevant backlinks from real websites.
This will help you avoid penalties and get you the long-term results you desire.
5 Rules For Creating Indestructible Backlinks
If you follow these 5 rules you will watch your site’s organic traffic climb every month.
1. Keep It Relevant
Relevancy is the most important criteria for effective link acquisition.
I have never, repeat never, had a site penalized that had a 100% relevant tier one of backlinks.
Google bases “relevancy” on these three things:
- The general content “theme” of the linking domain
- The content on the linking page
- The relevancy of the backlinks hitting the domain
To see a site’s link relevancy use Majestic’s Topical Trust Flow Topics.
Keep in mind:
Link opportunities that don’t have Topical Trust Flow Topic relevancy can still be valuable.
Make you evaluate your opportunities beyond third party metrics.
If you are having trouble prioritizing link opportunities, then make you read more aboutRelevancy Pyramids.
2. Let Authority Sites Be Your Friend
The stronger the site, the better the results.
Since Google doesn’t update PageRank anymore, you have to rely on third party metrics.
None of these third party tools are perfect, but they will do the job.
I recommend you analyze opportunities using all available options.
The best link analysis tools are:
If you hate paying monthly fees for these tools, then I recommend you check this out.
3. Focus On Real Websites (With Real Traffic)
Getting backlinks from sites with real traffic is another way to solidify your tier one.
These are the hardest backlinks to get, but are also the most rewarding.
Since you will never know the exact traffic data of a site without getting in their analytics, you will need to use SEM Rush.
4. Distribute Your Anchor Text Intelligently
Distributing your backlink anchor text recklessly can hurt you twofold.
First, wrong anchor text distribution will inhibit your site from ranking. Last and most important, aggressive anchor text can land you a penalty.
As a general rule of thumb aim to keep your exact match anchor text below 1%.
The majority of your anchor text should be branded or naked link anchors.
Click the link above to learn all you need to know about anchor text.
5. Let Your Backlinks Live in Clean Neighborhoods
Focus your efforts on getting backlinks from sites that have high standards.
If they are linking out to “scammy” industries, then you do not want your link to live there.
Examine every prospective website and ask:
- What are they linking out to?
- Are the outbound links relevant?
- Are the outbound links going to respected, trusted sites?
If you see “viagra” or “gambling” or anything of that nature, then avoid that website.
You now know what a squeaky clean link profile looks like.
Now let me explain what backlinks you should NEVER use on tier one.
Continue reading at the source.