As the foundation behind your organic rankings, backlinks work to drive your most relevant web pages to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), ultimately resulting in increased traffic and an improved conversion rate due to traffic being more relevant.
However, trustworthy and natural backlinks are more difficult to obtain than ever before. We’ve asked our marketing team to share their knowledge and reveal how you can improve the performance of your website through link building.
It’s likely that a number of brands across the web are already talking about your business – it’s just having the tools to find out who. SEMRush allows you to locate domains that mention your brand without supplying a backlink to your website.
Once you’ve obtained a strong list of websites that mention yours, reach out to those webmasters with a supporting link back to your site. This will help to build new natural, high quality links to your site.
Whilst the majority of backlinks fall within the 70-80 ‘do-follow’ percentage, the remaining 20% don’t pass on authority, and don’t have a direct impact on rankings. Locating these links, and finding out if they can be changed can significantly improve your authority in search.
It’s important to remember that not all links are good, and there is a time and place for no-follow links. For example, if the content is irrelevant to your product or service, it may be worth leaving this as no-follow. The occasional no-follow link helps your link building strategy appear more natural too.
Cleaning up your profile is just as important as creating new links; as your website grows and produces new content, search engines will invariably be crawling your site more often. Therefore, you need to ensure that all links obtained are strategically placed and spam-free.
Using an identified trust metric such as Moz Spam Score can help you pick up harmful links, and run them past hundreds of ranking factors to determine a ‘toxic score’. This will allow you to review each domain manually, and enable you to contact the webmaster to get these links removed.
Ever since Google stressed the importance of securing your site with an SSL, making sure that all of your links follow the same standard has become just as important. If you’ve recently implemented HTTPS, all external links pointing to your site will naturally direct users to the unsecure version of that webpage, before being redirect to the secure URL.
Forming a redirect chain can be damaging to your authority and should be fixed as soon as possible. The way to do this is to remove HTTP URLs on all external links, and replace them with HTTPS versions. If you’re struggling for time, best practice is to target links that point to your leading content, or those with the highest domain authority.
If your website is currently undergoing an update, it’s plausible that a number of pages throughout the site will ultimately be removed or relocated. This in turn, results in a number of broken pages (or Error 404’s as they’re more commonly known). This means that any external links that were previously pointing to this page will also be broken, decreasing your authority within search.
In order to fix the issue, a simple permanent (301) re-direct needs to be implemented directing traffic to the most relevant page. Making this re-direct internally will ultimately fix the problem however, to regain the maximum amount of link equity you’ll need to replicate this change externally, changing the external link to point to the correct URL.
If you’d like to know more about link building, or are looking to obtain support with your wider marketing strategy, feel free to contact a member of our team on 0800 084 3086 or email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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