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Content Management Best Practices: How to create a good backlink strategy

A backlink, or inbound link, is an external link from another website that directs the user to your website, a kind of recommendation of your content from another site.

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Published 11 Nov, 2020 5 minutes of reading

This article is the third of our three-part series devoted to Content Management Best Practices. You can read the first article here and the second article here.

In this blog series we have mentioned On-Page SEO several times, which is the set of factors of a digital product over which we have control as creators, and that contribute to its organic positioning in the search engine results.

These factors are: the creation of a heading structure (H1, H2, H3...) based on the relevant keywords, the metadata, the alternative texts of the images, the optimized images, etc.

These internal factors are equally as important as Off-Page SEO, which affects the positioning of the site from the "outside", and indicates to the search engines what others "think" of our product, which builds the authority of the domain and determines its position in the ranking.

In order to get a better idea of how important this is, it can be said that it is difficult for Google to position a page if there aren’t any links on other pages pointing to it. Within the functions of the Off-Page SEO are the backlinks.

What are backlinks?

A backlink, or inbound link, is an external link from another website that directs the user to your website. It is a kind of recommendation of your content from a person who, objectively, values it. This is extremely valuable to Google because it indicates who should be given a better position in the search result rankings - in short, who is more relevant.

 Backlinks are among the most important ranking factors for Google, and... here is a backlink where you will find more information on these factors. 

How can we find quality backlinks?

Just like everything else in life... it’s not about quantity, but quality.

It is important and very difficult to have backlinks on your website, and it is key that these backlinks are of quality, that is, that they come from an "online authority", such as a university, an institution or a blog referring to a certain subject.

How to obtain these relevant links without falling into the bad techniques known as "black hat" (such as buying external links)? Here are some recommendations:

Retrieve your lost backlinks and unlinked mentions

To find out which backlinks we have lost, we can use SEMRush and write to the pages that have deleted the link to ask them to include it again. It is a very manual tactic, but unfortunately there is no other way to do it. Additionally, through Google alerts or other resources such as Ahrefs, Brand Mention or BuzzSumo, we can locate mentions of our brand that do not include a link to our page and write to the corresponding page to suggest that they add one.

Example of lost backlinks

Update your old content

Regularly analyzing which content from your site has more backlinks will allow you to know which are worth updating periodically with new information or expert opinions that can enrich and make that content even more valuable. After, you can even alert those who are already linking to your page to inform them of the update, which can result in them sharing your content again to inform their users of the "refresh", for example.

Analyze the competition

Knowing what is working for your competition in their backlink strategy and the sites that are referencing them can give you clues as to where your strategy should go, or who might be interested in your content. If you detect a content, page or theme from your competition, which has gotten many backlinks from other sites, it is likely that it also has potential to get that backlink if you include it on your site. The more authority the page that linked to your competitor has, the more potential value it will give you as well, so aim high!

Create content for other sites that are related to your business

An excellent way to get backlinks is to collaborate with other sites or pages and establish alliances with a wide range of partners that are valuable for your business or brand. You can propose to create content on their pages in the name of your brand, which will ensure you a backlink on these sites as well as a probable mention in their social networks if they have them. You can propose that they also generate content on your site that will be interesting for them. This way, you will become a source of backlinks for brands or businesses similar to yours according to your customers, which allow an easier time detecting your presence and considering your products and services.

Get links to "the best..." type of content

Undoubtedly, when we look for articles, content or specific products, we tend to opt for those that are "the best..." because they are clear and offer us a ranking without the need to read too much or read diagonally until we find what interests us most. Obtaining links and mentions in this type of content greatly reinforces our brand. It is a good strategy to search the keywords that we are positioning with our own brand or business to see which pages are creating this type of content, and suggest them to include us and link to some content, highlighting that it could be very useful for their users.

Communicate directly with who creates the content

If we are interested in appearing on a website, we can locate the profiles in charge of generating the content (journalists, content managers, etc.) and show them why our brand or business could be interesting for them. The more specific the subject you propose to them and the more personalized your email (you can include references to content they have created themselves), the more likely it is that they will pay attention to you and decide to mention you in one of their articles.

Detect and eliminate toxic links

Returning to SEMRush, this tool offers the option to perform a backlink audit that tells us which ones are harming us. Additionally, it gives us the opportunity to directly ask those who manage the sites to remove those links that are negatively affecting our strategy.

Create infographics

Well made infographics included in our content, with an effective title and adequate alternative text in the image, can make other sites use our image and quote us as a source in their contents. It will always be easier to generate a text, but not all of them are dedicated to generating infographics that complete and accompany such text. It is very likely that you, when creating content, have made use of and mentioned an infographic that visually clarified the point you were trying to develop.

Use the broken link construction method

Detect broken links or 404 that used to have many backlinks in several pages and warn the webmasters, suggesting they replace it with a content or page of your brand or business that talks about the same topic. You must make sure that the content you offer as an alternative is of great value and updated, so that they decide to link it.

Generate free resources or guides

Even if it means extra work, if you generate valuable content for your potential customers, such as guides, downloadable templates, simulators, etc., it is very likely that they will consult, download and cite it on their website, which will bring you quality backlinks and possible new hires for your product or brand.

This article is the third of our three-part series devoted to Content Management Best Practices. You can read the first article here and the second article here.

Photo by Maxime Horlaville on Unsplash

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