Often, conversations about link-building revolve around gaining “high-quality” links for websites. Everyone wants plenty of backlinks, but we don’t often think of what makes a high-quality link. Before you look for a website to link to yours, evaluate your content and see if it’s link-worthy. In a nutshell, the main things to consider are page relevance, diversity, position, and authority. Here are some questions to ask during your link-building and outreach process.
When evaluating a link, you need to think about how your target audience will receive it. What kind of content do they consume, and what types of articles are they likely to save offline or bookmark for reading at a later time?
For example, if you sell insulated steel water bottles, getting a link from a company selling hiking shoes is ideal for your brands. On the one hand, people who hike are likely to need your product, so they will likely click through to your website. On the other hand, those who buy portable water bottles probably have an active lifestyle, so it fits to show them an article on an activity they will like.
Consider as well if you’ll be linking to a page that’s relevant to your products and services. For example, if you produce skincare products for women over 40, writing for that demographic will bring you readers. People who use your products will probably be interested in anti-aging products, beauty treatments, cosmetics, and fragrances. A portion of them will possibly enjoy lifestyle stories and round-ups of must-buy bags, clothes, and shoes.
However, a tiny portion of that demographic will enjoy reading stories for men over 60. So, if you publish a cardio routine for older males on your skincare blog, it probably won’t earn as many clicks—no matter how well-researched and interactive you make it. You might make one-off articles like these to stretch your reader base and show a little quirkiness, but the core of your stories should still be relevant to your offerings.
The content you build and the websites you link to should be close to your products and services. When you do this, you’re getting your brand in front of readers who could become customers in the future.
Your link profile should be natural, incorporating different types of links from a variety of sources. If you get a link from the same domain twice or three times, it’s still okay—especially if the linking domain is a reliable source like a news outlet or an established blogger.
That said, you have to think of getting links from different websites. Links from new domains signal your reliability—it shows Google that other pages consider you a reliable source and worth linking to. When you get links from the same few websites, it won’t cause you problems, but it won’t be as compelling as a diverse profile.
When you’re building backlinks, target those that you don’t have yet. Also, go after links that your competitors do not have. That is important since landing relevant links that others in your niche don’t have puts you a cut above the rest.
Besides the linking domain, you also have to consider the position of the link on the page. When a page links to yours, check where they put the backlink. Having it in the sidebar or footer would affect the likelihood of people clicking through it and visiting your page. Links from footers won’t be as helpful as ones in the body of a website.
This isn’t something that you should focus on, but it is something to consider when you’re looking at your link profile. Are you getting plenty of backlinks from peripheral areas on the page or from the main body? Too many of any one type of link could raise red flags for Google. Take a look at why you’re getting too many of a particular type as well. Why are sites linking to you, but only through sidebars or the footers of their pages? It’s something that can also inform the way you write content.
Admittedly, this is one of the hardest to qualify on this list. Authority isn’t something you can measure—instead, you have to look at different factors and weigh them against each other. Link authority mostly comes from the way the audience responds to a brand’s messaging, but it is also a product of your reputation. How your market receives your articles is essential, but so is who links to your website.
You also need to evaluate the link authority of the pages you want to link to yours. Their link profile can influence your rankings and boost results from organic searches. Websites with plenty of relevant content and diverse, authoritative links tend to rank high on search results pages—getting links from these types of pages is easier said than done. Still, it helps to benchmark, both for your content planning and scouting sources for links.
Note that today, Google values mobile responsiveness and UX as well. If you are building links to slow and unoptimized sites, you still won’t get the results that you want. Other factors, like redirects and broken links, tend to affect user experience, so regular housekeeping and updates are a must.
Ultimately, link building is a two-way process. It’s about making your pages attractive and valuable to other SEOs while ensuring that you get links from pages that display these traits. Closely monitoring your page and being consistent in your on-page SEO efforts are the first things you can do to ensure the results you want.
You can trust Ranked with your website’s backlink strategy. We provide end-to-end SEO services, including high-quality backlinks that bring in authentic traffic—no black hat tactics, directories, PBNs, or spam. Contact our team to learn more or start your free trial today!