They’re the words or phrases you see next to your link and Google often treats these as if they were your anchor text. Just as your anchor text should clue people in as to what the page you’re linking to is about, so should the text that’s around your link. If you can make sure it’s related and relevant to the page you want to send people to, and that it matches the anchor text on your link.
Guest posts: Though Google has stated that guest blogging is now considered too spammy, it’s not true that it doesn’t give you a boost - if it’s done right. Scoring a guest blog can still give your rankings a useful bump but before you dive in, there are definitely some things you should avoid, so you don’t run afoul of Google.
Things Google hates when it comes to Guest Blogs:
● If you’ve paid to guest blog
● If the blog contains anchor text that is an exact match for your webpage
● If you get published on a website that only posts guest blogs
● If you get published on a site that isn’t relevant or related to your website
Avoid these traps and concentrate on creating informative, engaging content your readers will love and then focus on getting it posted on a high authority site that’s also relevant.
If you achieve this, guest blogging will be an extremely useful aid in your link building strategy and though you need to put in a little effort, the payoff will be worth it.
Go for Dofollow: Nofollow links contain tags that let search engines know not to count the link as an endorsement - which is why, if you’re trying to improve your SEO ranking, you should definitely focus on snagging Dofollow links. Some content like Press Releases nearly always contain nofollow links now, which is why they are no longer as effective as they used to be at improving your ranking.
So how do you know if a link is nofollow or dofollow?
1. First, right click on your web browser and select “View page source”.
2. Then, find the link in the html source code of the page.
3. If a rel=”nofollow” is displayed next to your link, it means your link is nofollowed.
If you don’t see this, congratulations, you have a dofollow link, which is the kind you should be looking to get. Content is the secret key to scoring awesome links but it’s no good simply pumping out mediocre content or publishing the sort of content that won’t boost your SEO. There are four main types of content you need to be publishing if you’re looking to link building:
Visual content - i.e. Images, Infographics, charts and diagrams: People LOVE graphics and they link to them often, so if you can incorporate visuals into your content, you should definitely go for it. Every time someone links to your image or infographic, you score a valuable link that can help boost your rank. It’s also easy to encourage people to share images, as you can add a short caption asking people to share it and link back to you.
Numbered Lists - tips, tricks, techniques etc: Creating a numbered list is a great strategy if you want people to engage more with your content - and share it. Lists are really popular, and you can create a list about almost anything, from computer tips to ways to lose weight, or hack your life. Lists are an effortless way to offer your audience value, and people love to refer to them because they are digestible and easy to read. Research has shown well-written lists generate more backlinks than any other type of content, even video, so it’s certainly worth creating some as part of your link building armoury.
Stats and Research - as long as it’s original or new: If you have original data or can get your hands on the latest industry research, you’ll definitely want to post it, as people are always looking for fresh stats to link to. People frequently cite data and stats, and when they do, they always link to you. Posting original research, or new industry stats, helps you get backlinks quickly - great if you need a fast way to increase the amount of links you have.
Complete guides: Ultimate guides that comprehensively cover a topic are always a winner, as people find them really useful - and they love to share them with their audience.
They’re great as they let you pack a lot of detail into one space, so you can appear an authority on the subject. Do it well and you can gain A LOT of links in a short amount of time, as people will see your guide as the go-to resource on the subject. If you create a guide on a topic that is evergreen and won’t date, then it’s even better, as this can then net you links for months and years to come.
Use Email Outreach to snag a TON of links: Emailing bloggers to ask for links should be an essential part of your strategy, but it’s important to approach it the right way or your message will just get junked.
Three easy steps to successful Email Outreach
First, you need to identify possible websites who will want to link to you. Some people are more likely than others to link out to you and you need to discover who they are to make your approach successful. To find sites that might want to link to you, look up your keyword in Google, to see what sites come up.
Make a list of those sites, as once you know what sites you need to target, it’s time to move on to the next step. Find the right email address for your approach : It’s no good sending your message into the ether only to have it sit in an unattended mailbox or go to the wrong person. Luckily, there’s a handy tool you can use to avoid this - Hunter.io. Hunter.io lets you find the email addresses associated with any domain - all you need to do is enter the web address of the site you want to look up. It’s ideal for small sites, or blogs owned by one person as it will display all the email addresses connected to that domain. You can then look through these to find the website owner and send them a message.
If you’re reaching out to a larger site though, there’s another tool that will be more helpful - VoilaNorbert. You need to know who you want to contact, and the website address, but if you can get this info, then all you need to do is enter it into the tool, and you’ll get that person’s email address. Perfect for making sure you are contacting the person who has the power to post your link.
Now you’ve got your target’s email, it’s time to make your approach by reaching out and...
Send a personalised message
Though having a useful template will help save you lots of time, it’s important to remember you must customise your message, if you want your approach to be successful. People HATE receiving generic email requests, so you’ll need to take just a little bit of time to find out a bit about your target. You don’t have to get too fancy, just mentioning a detail or two will be enough to show you know what they are about, and your request isn’t just random. You could say something like you appreciated a recent article that they wrote, or that you love their blog on weight training and found it helpful on your muscle building journey. Anything like this helps to personalise your message. No idea where to start? No problem, here’s an example template you can customise and use when you make your first email requests:
Hi there [INSERT THEIR NAME],
I’m [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR SITE] and I really loved your piece on [TOPIC]. I particularly enjoyed the part about [ADD BRIEF DETAIL] as [REASON WHY YOU LIKED IT].
I wanted to make contact, as I’ve just created a piece on [TOPIC] over at [YOUR URL].
As you create content about [TOPIC], I thought your readers might find it helpful, and you may want to include it on your site? I also wondered if you’d like a link on my site about [TOPIC] as I think [NAME OF THEIR BLOG] is a useful resource for [DANCERS/ RUNNERS/ ETC...].
Thanks for considering my request, I look forward to reading more of your awesome content,
How to avoid getting penalised by Google
A lot has changed since Google initially implemented their Page Rank scoring system and if you don’t want to get penalised by the search engine there are two major things you MUST avoid. DON’T use:
- Black Hat link building techniques: Ever since Google’s Penguin update, designed to catch sites using shady techniques to game better SEO positions, black hat link building approaches have landed heavy penalties from the search engine. If you don’t want to get down ranked, you’ll definitely want to swerve landing a link on sites that use techniques Google frowns upon, like paid for links or guest posts, spam comments under blogs, exact match anchor text, or keyword stuffed copy. All the tips in this video guide are white hat techniques approved by Google, so you’ll get maximum mileage from your links and won’t have to worry about picking up any penalties.
- Unnatural links (links you’ve placed yourself): Unnatural links are links you’ve posted yourself on a site, whether that’s by signing up for a profile, or leaving a link in a comment under a blog. It’s unclear exactly how Google’s algorithm assesses sites for manual links, but the best way to avoid getting marked down is to try and get editorially placed links instead. This is when webmasters or site owners post or vouch for your link and it carries way more weight with Google. If Google decides to penalise you for unnatural link posting, they’ll send you a message through the Google Search Console. This is good, as you can remove the manual links Google doesn’t like, then send a reconsideration request to Google.