Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.
Table of contents
As you begin developing your backlink strategy in 2021, it’s important to remember that your backlinks’ quality is critical.
If you can build an extensive network of top-quality backlinks, you’ll supercharge your SEO campaigns and likely soar above competitors.
What Exactly Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are external links that appear on other websites, linking to your own. They’re also known as inbound links or external backlinks.
Before you can begin a link building campaign, you should take specific steps to prepare your website.
If you can increase your website’s authority, it could go a long way in maximizing your backlinking campaigns’ effectiveness.
Address Optimization Issues
In many cases, marketers will launch a backlinking campaign before the website they’re linking to is prepared.
It’s best to optimize your website to get the most from those backlinks that connect to it.
Otherwise, you might not get the best results as Google might not perceive your site as authoritative.
It would be best if you took the time to fix all user experience (UX) design and other technical issues, which you can accomplish by using site crawling software to pull all page data.
In the process, you’ll gain some insight into your site’s performance and determine what needs improvement.
Some common problems that you might encounter when checking your website could include:
- Canonical errors
- Slow page loading speed
- Duplicate content
- Duplicate title tags and metadata
- Incorrect directives
- A lack of responsive design for mobile users
Tired of Having to Make Changes on Your Site?
FIX YOUR POSTS FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET
Use Effective Internal Linking
One of the best ways to support your webpages within your website and increase traffic throughout is to use an internal linking strategy.
Internal links can help search engines index your pages more easily while encouraging people who are visiting that first landing page to continue exploring your website.
BUILDING SMART INTERNAL LINKS JUST GOT EASIER
A Revolutionary WordPress Plugin to Speed Up the Process of Internal Linking and Help You Rank Better in Google
Try to Get Backlinks to More Educational Content
Many businesses may be eager to get backlinks to pages that encourage people to make a purchase, such as service or product pages.
While these may be ideal for targeting for the purpose of driving sales, you’ll likely experience better success with search engines and backlinking sites if you seek links for content that people find helpful.
It’s best to get backlinks for top-of-funnel content such as educational blog posts informing audiences that another blogger or webmaster will be more interested in linking to from their content.
Use Redirects for Broken Links
Another way to increase your website’s authority is to utilize redirects, either in the form of 301s or 302s. While 302s are temporary redirects that may be unintentional, 301 redirects function as a more permanent redirect.
If you notice any 302s in your website’s backend after performing a site crawl, try to convert all of them into 301s.
Depending on the type of backend you have, creating 301 redirects can be a simple process.
For example, you can use a simple plugin to help you create redirections in WordPress.
However, you might lose some authority to the original page, as the new link will essentially be an entirely new page.
Check out this article where I share if Yoast Premium is worth it. Check out the part about the redirects.
Create and Curate Linkable Content
You can’t get backlinks for just any content you want.
Instead, the best practice is to make sure there is a good amount of content that people will want to link to within their content and inform their audiences.
If your content ranks well and people find it in organic search results, they may even be inclined to share it on their own, creating more backlinks without any extra work on your end.
Elements of a Successful Backlink Strategy
Once you’ve prepared your website and built some authority on your side, it’s time to prepare your backlink strategy.
If you want to get started with a good strategy, there are some elements to consider that can help ease the process and set specific goals for your campaigns.
Some aspects of a successful link building strategy could include:
Specific backlinking opportunities could be more lucrative in terms of gaining traffic.
Link building tier strategies can help gauge the relevance of a link.
Quality of links
Make sure you take some time to review opportunities’ link profiles to measure their overall quality.
Using tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs, measure your site’s authority and the sites you want to link back to yours.
Difficulty of opportunities
Some opportunities will be harder to obtain than others.
If a site has specific editorial standards in place and it’s more challenging to get a link to that source, it’s often more valuable and worth pursuing if you can invest the time and effort.
General quality of the opportunity
In addition to locations with high editorial standards, try to look for opportunities that display a high level of quality.
You can take some time to browse the opportunity’s website and see other posts and links, which can help you decide whether the opportunity is a good fit.
The Importance of Focusing on the User, Not Google
To help ensure the success of your backlinking strategies in 2021, remember that it’s best to focus on creating content that’s optimized for the user instead of search engines.
If your content is appealing to visitors, you’ll ultimately encourage more backlinks and higher rankings as you attract more traffic.
Try to avoid focusing too much on links and spend more time building a strong relationship with your audience and leaders in your industry.
Search engines will continue to favor user-centric content in 2021, so it’s in your best interest to keep the user in mind when creating content and developing your link building strategy.
Places to Get Backlinks
The following locations will offer some of the best backlinking opportunities in 2021 and beyond:
Business Listings and Citations
An easy way to build backlinks is to make sure your business appears in plenty of high-quality listings with a large number of citations. This can help you build authority for your site while gaining people’s trust.
Whether you want to appear on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another platform, you can share your content on a relevant site and encourage your audience to visit the post or page from there.
Geo-Targeting and Specialized Directories
You can also make sure your site appears on either geo-targeted or specialized directories. If your business has a physical location, you can put it on geo-specific directories. If you want to target a specific niche, you can also get your business to appear on specialized directories.
Blogs or online magazines in your industry could offer plenty of great opportunities to submit guest posts that may include backlinks to your website. At the same time, your guest posts could lend more credibility to your business and build your audience, potentially attracting more customers.
Spam comments are likely to hurt your site, but leaving genuine helpful or insightful comments on blog posts with links to your site can make for an effective backlinking strategy.
What Types of Backlinks Should You Avoid?
For a strong backlinking campaign and to avoid wasting time and hurting your website’s authority, the following are some opportunities that you’re better off ignoring:
• Spammy blog comments
• Irrelevant websites
• Automated backlinks that obtain links through the use of spam software
• Sidebar and footer links that include content that isn’t helpful or relevant
Keeping all of these aspects in mind and building an effective backlinking strategy in 2021 will help boost SEO performance in the long term. You’ll also be able to improve your reputation and recognition as an authority in your industry.