According to Ahrefs, quality backlinks are the single most important factor in ranking higher on search engines. Yet, nearly two-thirds of pages have zero referring domains.
In this post, we’ll be covering:
- Why Getting Quality Backlinks is Key to Attracting Search Traffic
- What We Mean by Quality Backlinks
- The #1 Trait Your Content Should Have to Attract Backlinks
- The Top 5 Strategies to Get More Quality Backlinks
Let’s get started.
Why Getting Quality Backlinks is Key to Attracting Search Traffic
As we mentioned, link building is the most crucial factor to rank higher on search engines, followed by others like freshness, topical authority, search intent, and more.
According to Backlinko data, the #1 result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than the others among the top 10.
That’s how important backlinks are to increase search traffic.
But that doesn’t mean that quantity is the only thing you should think of. You also need to aim for quality.
What do We Mean by Quality Backlinks?
A common misconception when it comes to link building is that, once you’ve created new content, you should spread its link around the web in as many places as possible.
While that might’ve worked in the past, search engines have improved drastically over the years with the goal of directing people to more relevant and useful content.
In fact, if you generate links to new content too quickly, most search engines’ algorithms will consider it manipulative and will rank it lower.
For an effective link building strategy in 2022, the domain authority and relevancy of the sites referring back to yours have a stronger impact on your search ranking than their quantity.
The Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). And Domain Relevancy measures how relevant a site is to a specific topic.
Let’s say you write about pet shops. Having a few backlinks from sites that rank high and are well-known in the pet industry will have more impact on your ranking than spreading several backlinks across generalist sites with low authority.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t think about quantity. It just means that it shouldn’t be your #1 priority. And after you understand that, you can start working to maximize their amount.
The #1 Trait Your Content should Have to Get Quality Backlinks
In order to attract backlinks to your site, you need to create high-quality content that adds value to your audience.
This seems obvious. Yet, many content creators somehow forget about it.
If you follow the strategies we’ll cover but your content isn’t good enough to get people to gladly share it, you won’t get great results, especially considering that sites with high authority and relevancy also have high standards.
When creating content that gets backlinked, you should follow the 90/10 Rule of Link Building. It states that 90% of your effort should go into creating great content and 10% into link building.
If you haven’t been succeeding in your link building strategy, there’s a good chance you’ve been inverting this logic.
Top 5 Strategies to Get More Quality Backlinks and Increase Search Traffic
We’ve now established how powerful backlinks are, the importance of domain authority and relevancy, and that you won’t succeed unless your content is actually good.
Here are five strategies you can use to get more quality backlinks once you have those things in place.
Strategy #1: Write Guest Posts
Many sites allow you to publish on them for free. By doing this, you can get your content in front of their audiences and add backlinks to your site.
In exchange, they’ll have someone creating content for them for free. It’s a win-win.
To find publications that accept guest posts, google terms like:
- [Your niche] “write for us”
- [Your niche] “guest post”
- [Your niche] “guest blog”
- [Your niche] “submit an article”
Here’s an example:
Then, you should read their guest posting guidelines and, if they meet your criteria, submit a pitch. Some of them might ask you to submit an outline as well.
The downside is that you’ll be the one responsible for creating the content referring to your site, which either costs time or money.
Besides, not all sites that accept guest posts are worthy. You must consider factors like the site’s authority, relevancy, reputation, and more.
To make sure you don’t waste your time writing for the wrong sites, we recommend you read our post on How to Identify Quality Guest Post Sites.
Strategy #2: Use Content Formats that Get Backlinked to More Often
Some content formats have a higher chance of getting backlinked, including:
- ‘How-to’ posts
- ‘Why’ posts
- ‘What’ posts
- General posts
- Ultimate guides
The first four items are some of the most common blog article formats and give you a great starting point.
Infographics are a great option too as they take less time to create than an article and, if someone finds them helpful, they’ll backlink to it.
You can create one in less than 30 minutes with a free infographic maker like Canva, or hire a freelance designer on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
To promote them and get them backlinked by other sites, you can submit them to infographic directories where they’ll be found by the people who need them.
Here’s a list with 100+ infographic submission sites.
Ultimate guides are also a great option as they comprise a whole topic on one page. This often makes them seem like the perfect place for creators to refer their audiences to after mentioning that topic.
Strategy #3: Use the Skyscraper Technique
As we’ve already established, you should always aim for quality.
But by going a step further, you could leverage one of the most powerful strategies to get quality backlinks.
Here’s how the Skyscraper Technique works:
First, you must find a popular piece of content related to your niche that has many backlinks to it.
There are two main ways to do this.
You could use a backlinking checking tool like Semrush to access that data or just google the terms and see what ranks higher.
Remember we said that backlinks are the most critical factor for search engine ranking? As a rule of thumb, the higher a piece of content is ranking, the more backlinks it probably has.
Second, find out how you can create something that’s remarkably better.
You could do that by adding more relevant content, making their points in a better way, or by focusing on a specific section that seems to be what generated most of the backlinks.
The most crucial thing to understand is how you can serve the referring sites and their audiences better than the content you’ve found.
Third, reach out to those sites, ask them to look at your creation, and suggest they consider referring to it instead. If your content is truly better, many of them will.
This isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of work to create something significantly better than a piece of content that’s already ranking high.
But if you manage to do that and get top sites backlinking to you, a single article could quickly lift your whole site.
Strategy #4: Replace Outdated Sources
If you feel like the last strategy will take too much work, this one has a similar approach and is a lot simpler.
It consists of finding pages that are outdated or don’t exist anymore and getting the sites with backlinks to them to refer to yours instead.
To find those pages, look for sites in your industry that have shut down, changed names, moved to a new URL, or stopped offering a service or resource.
Then, look for pages that are still referring to them using a backlinking checking tool.
Finally, reach out to the people who created those pages to let them know that those backlinks don’t work anymore and invite them to replace them with your content.
A message like this should do the trick:
Strategy #5: Get on HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
One of the best strategies to get backlinks from some of the highest authority domains on the web is through HARO. It connects bloggers and journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources that can offer that.
After signing up for free, you can monitor source requests and look for the ones that are related to your site’s content and expertise.
There are over 75,000 bloggers and journalists on the platform, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find something interesting.
Once you find it, you can send a pitch answering questions and presenting your credentials. And if they like it, they might use your information on their content, cite you as their source, and add backlinks to your site.
This requires some effort and persistence, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to get backlinks from top publications.
So, now you know the principles and strategies to get quality backlinks to increase search traffic. Just remember that the latter ones won’t work without the former.
But if you apply them correctly, you’ll soon start getting more backlinks from reputable sources. And when this happens, you’ll be taking the biggest leap towards ranking at the top and seeing a flow of search traffic coming into your site.
And if you’re new to SEO and want to learn more about other important factors to rank high, go check our SEO for Beginners guide.