Since backlinks continue to be the most significant ranking element, link building—the process of obtaining additional high-quality backlinks—remains the most crucial component of SEO for startups. Therefore, link development should be a key component of any SEO strategy, even for new businesses.
Much if link building is already a demanding process, it may become even more difficult for startups and less well-known websites to get high-quality backlinks since it is more tricky to contact authoritative websites and influencers when your brand isn't (yet) well-known.
In addition, link building is a fairly difficult procedure that might need a variety of abilities, including connection development and content marketing. Because of this, we will cover all you need to know about link development for startups in this tutorial. By the conclusion, you will be able to create a thorough link development plan for your business using the information and insights from this book.
Check this article about Link Building Techniques for Developers. And now, let's start from the very beginning and discuss the fundamental idea of backlinks.
Backlinks, commonly referred to as "inbound links," are any links that go to your website from other websites.
We might conceive of a backlink as a vote of confidence in online real estate. When someone connects to your website, they are essentially suggesting that your website is reliable and respectable and that the particular page to which they have connected is filled with helpful information. In addition to being a highly crucial SEO ranking component anytime you undertake SEO for SaaS, SEO for Technology/IT, or SEO for B2B companies, backlinks will undoubtedly drive traffic to your website.
Backlinks are undoubtedly the most valuable web resource because of this:
A vote or letter of recommendation from a relevant and well-known person will have greater weight, much as in the real world. The backlinks' quality is crucial, thus it's preferable to get five connections from high-quality websites than hundreds of links from spammy, low-quality websites. For example, if we link to this article about startups and budgets, we'd be giving a 'vote of trust' to that page.
Link building is crucial in SEO for startups since Google has acknowledged that obtaining more high-quality backlinks is among the most effective techniques to raise the SERP ranks of our website.
Let's first review a few guidelines and best practices for carrying out efficient link building before we explore several ways we may employ to develop links:
Content Quality is still King
The quality of your content is essential when it comes to link development, which is the most crucial concept to grasp. You will always get backlinks sooner rather than later if your material is high quality and well marketed. Promotions and link-building strategies, on the other hand, are useless for low-quality material.
Therefore, before doing anything else, focus on your startup content marketing plan: investigate the content of your rivals, evaluate their strategy, and create more superior or original material than theirs.
Links: Dofollow vs. Nofollow
We have said that links are endorsements.
Having said that, we may theoretically connect to a website for SEO reasons without casting our "vote" by using the rel=nofollow tag in our link. The nofollow property, much like its name, instructs Google not to follow this link, preventing it from receiving the "vote" or equity.
A typical link (or dofollow link) appears like follows:
<a href="">Anchor text</a>
while a nofollow link appears as follows:
A link that has rel="nofollow"
<a href="" rel="nofollow">Anchor text</a>
In general, we would want to see more dofollow links, but most connections from authoritative sites like Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are nofollow links.
Even while a nofollow link may not pass a "vote," it might nevertheless provide relevant traffic to your website and result in future dofollow links. For instance, a link from your Twitter account to your website will be a nofollow link, but it's still a good strategy to drive targeted traffic to your website.
Compliance With Your Marketing Goals
Each piece of content (and corresponding page) has to have a specific goal that relates to the search intent of the target audience. In light of the above, you need to try to get links that will help you achieve your goal and so provide more value for your intended audience.
For instance, if your material is intended to be helpful, you should try to get backlinks from reputable websites that can support the legitimacy of your content as a reliable source of information.
Keep in mind that generating links is not and should never be just about ranking; rather, the primary goal of these connections is to drive relevant traffic to your website. For this reason, it's crucial to get connections from websites whose visitors would appreciate your website.
Quality of Backlinks
Not only should you pay attention to the backlinks' quality, but we also need to take relevancy into account. In other words, links from websites that deal with issues that are comparable to your own are often favored over connections from websites that have no connection to your website.
A backlink from a marketing blog means far more than a link from a golf website, for instance, if your site primarily deals with digital marketing. In reality, if you get an excessive number of connections from utterly unrelated websites, it may mislead search engines and, in the worst situation, result in a penalty.
Anchor Texts Optimized
A relevant anchor text will let Google know what your page's content is all about. A page has a better probability of ranking for terms related to the anchor text, for instance, if it receives 10 links and utilizes anchor texts that are generally identical (in terms of meaning or context).
However, having an excessive number of backlinks with exact duplicates of the anchor text may imply manipulation, and if you are not cautious, your site may be punished as a result.
In most circumstances, the quality and relevancy of your content will determine how well-optimized the anchor texts referring to your site are. That is, you will most likely find anchor texts that are relevant to the material if it is heavily focused on a certain subject. If adjustments to these anchor texts are required, you may contact the websites that have given you backlinks and propose them, but avoid overoptimization.
A good link profile is crucial when approaching your link building. The quality of our link profile might depend on a number of aspects, but generally speaking, a link profile is considered healthy if it shows that the connections were obtained honestly and organically. That means, the URLs were not stolen or altered by us.
Therefore, a bad link profile, also known as a spammy link profile, is constructed artificially and comprises of low-quality sites. In addition to not truly helping your SEO efforts, these spammy link profiles run the risk of getting your site penalized by Google.
In general, avoiding the following behaviors can help you avoid having a link profile that is unhealthy:
Avoid buying low quality links
The golden rule is that there are no effective link-building "hacks" or holy grail SEO strategies.
Yes, some of them could be effective for a few weeks or months, but Google will take action and punish your site, most likely permanently. In reality, Google was typically aware of these flaws beforehand, but waited a little while before hitting it with a significant update to ensure that the manipulation was totally undone, as has always been the case thus far.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and others are working very hard to constantly improve their algorithms so they can distinguish between sponsored links and genuine connections, and they are becoming better at this.
The following are some typical link-building strategies promoted by purported SEO "experts" that no longer work:
Links from personal blogging networks, or PBNs
The blog comment sections' links
- Links near terms like "promotional material," "sponsored content," and similar ones are increasingly being recognized by Google as such.
- Earned via scholarships and discounts from educational institutions,.edu or comparable connections
- backlinks produced via link exchange programs
If you use PBN tactics carefully, some of them still work. However, Google employs thousands of actual people that actively search through several websites every day. You could be affected by manual penalties in this way. When a PBN site is manually detected, all the websites it links to run the risk of being permanently punished or, at the absolute least, of seeing a major ranking decline.
Basically, these link-building strategies are not worthwhile, particularly if you have to pay a high cost for them. At all costs, stay away from them and accept that organic ranking is a long-term endeavor.
Not Changing the Sources of Your Links
It's crucial to make sure that your link profile is sufficiently diverse in a number of different areas:
Backlink formats (i.e. editorial backlinks, links from directories, etc.)
As mentioned previously, anchor messages should be varied.
wide range of referring domains
In general, Google and other search engines like having as many diverse sites linked to your website as possible so they may unbiasedly judge the general consensus on the caliber of your site.
You should also vary the quality of your links. One of the most frequent errors made by website owners is to focus only on obtaining connections from high-caliber websites throughout the link-building process. Actually, Google and the other search engines should take note of this.
Instead, as we've emphasized several times throughout this tutorial, create your connections organically. Establish sincere, beneficial connections with significant websites and industry leaders, share your links with them, and get their links in return while maintaining a steady stream of high-quality material. It's harsh but true—this is the only kind of connection development that will work in 2022.
For startups, this is much more true. For a new website to just get links from high-authority domains is quite odd. Startups should stay with natural backlinks for their present position (i.e., other startups, influencers in the industry, one or two high-authority sites, etc. ). Simply add worthwhile connections occasionally to create a link profile that seems realistic.
Diversification in anchor texts is also crucial, as was previously mentioned. You can acquire exact-match anchor texts by contacting various link providers, but stay away from over-optimizations.
In other words, vary your efforts and work for a natural profile. Diversification is crucial for protecting your website against algorithm changes in the future. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you run the risk of losing everything if the next algorithm modification invalidates your present strategy.
How quickly you get backlinks is something that Google, Bing, and other search engines pay close attention to (and it's clearly quite simple for them to monitor). Link velocity is the technical word for this, and you generally want a link velocity that looks natural and increases links steadily over time.
As the site itself expands, be careful to increase the amount of backlinks you have (where more content is added).
Unhealthy connection velocities often fall into two categories: Google will get suspicious if you receive less produced links after a few months, but it will also keep track of any unexpected increases (especially if the surge is very significant).
The easiest approach to prevent this is to avoid using too many link-building strategies at once. Stick to only one or two backlink-producing strategies, such as guest blogging, influencer outreach, and other "natural" strategies, that build backlinks over time.
It's a widespread misperception that businesses need to start out with a robust link profile. In fact, if there is a large algorithm change, this might be a major issue (again, don't put all your eggs in one basket).
Develop your connections naturally, and don't forget to include a variety of sources.
Boost the consistency and quality of your content
We've spoken about how crucial the quality of your content is as the cornerstone of your link-building strategy. You would need to be constant in both quantity and quality, however, which is another important factor in this situation.
Maintain a consistent publishing schedule for your articles. It's crucial to be consistent in maintaining quality, therefore it's a good idea to prepare an editorial schedule so you can keep track of when, when, and how you're going to publish the material. To put it another way, don't produce 'filler' or low-quality material only to make your deadline.
It's crucial to accept the reality that, other from your content quality, there is no quick fix for obtaining backlinks. These priceless backlinks will come your way sooner rather than later if your content is decent, and once again, no amount of tricks will increase the number of backlinks for spammy, low-quality material.
Getting Back Brand and Product References
You'd be shocked at how many individuals may promote your brand or product without including a link to your website. Most of the time, this is an oversight that wasn't done on purpose, so if you ask them to add your links, chances are good that they'll agree.
This is a straightforward and efficient link-building opportunity, and you can simply keep track on brand mentions using tools like Mention, Google Alerts, and other free options. Your brand name, product or service names, and the names of important corporate stakeholders may all have separate alerts set up to search for references that might result in backlinks.
Giving them a cause to connect to your site is a crucial component of our link-building strategy.
Let's consider the question of why we first included links to other websites in our material. Most of the time, we link to websites because they provide helpful material that we "cite" in our content to demonstrate that we are presenting reliable information (backed with the linked website).
The same idea also applies to publishing high-quality material that has this "linkable" data in it. Examples of such content include:
- original knowledge or data that is useful. Examples include research reports, white papers, case studies, and recommendations, among others.
- Something really unique or at least presented from a distinctive perspective
- elements with a pleasing visual appearance, such as infographics, images, and well-made designs.
- stuff that stirs the emotions, such as wonderful tales, images, etc.
- information relevant to a location (news about certain events in certain regions, etc. )
- Detailed information that may be used as a resource
Give them an incentive to link to your page, or a "link hook," to put it briefly. This may be a highly efficient strategy to get many backlinks to a certain page. This strategy will work better if the page you create for this hook is more detailed.
Keep in mind that a link is just a connection between two websites. These connections may take the shape of an affirmation, citation, recommendation, or another kind. A website that connects to another website is effectively saying to its audience that the owner of the linking website trusts the linked website and that they should as well.
Building long-lasting connections is one of the finest methods to get links since they are by their very nature partnerships.
Sometimes all it takes to get a worthwhile backlink is to contact the website's owner and request one, particularly if your material is already of high quality. An effective connection may be started with a simple outreach email.
Here are some crucial guidelines for doing successful outreach:
- Keep it brief and to the point; otherwise, you risk getting your email quickly marked as spam and deleted.
- Tell them straight away how you can provide value for them. For instance, alert them about a broken link on their website and suggest that your material would be appropriate to replace it.
- You may always get in touch with them by asking a genuine, interesting question or by adding to their chats.
In addition to email outreach, you may wish to attempt the following methods:
Many people believe that guest blogging is the ideal link-building strategy since it allows you the most control. Control over the link's location, the link's kind, and, most importantly, the anchor text (because you'll be the one creating the post).
As a startup, we would advise taking a more calculated approach to looking for guest writing possibilities. As previously, attempt to increase the number of your guest articles organically, but stay away from low-quality post exchange platforms and concentrate on reputable websites in your sector. Choose appropriate blogs and corporate websites; they don't have to be very large.
Naturally, this would make being featured more difficult, but it would also result in a stronger link profile.
Your viewership may be similar to that of many podcasts and Youtube channels, and many of them are always looking for contributors and guests to include on their shows.
Look through the podcast listings on iTunes, Spotify, or other podcasting services for programs that relate to your business. similar action on YouTube. They could provide a link to the show's website in the description, and some of them even include an email address for getting in touch.
Send the owner of the channel a customized outreach email asking for a chance and maybe outlining the topics you'd want to cover on the program.
Once you are mentioned on the program, the presenter or channel owner is supposed to connect to your website in the show's note or description. This backlink, particularly if it originates from the channel's website, might be quite beneficial.
Nowadays, startups must have attractive websites, and the website's aesthetics quality itself might be a link-building opportunity.
A significant backlink will be provided to your website when it is listed in one of the many CSS galleries that provide the chance to display the design of your website to others. You may start submitting your website to these CSS galleries after looking through this list.
The act of creating content itself might be one of the largest obstacles in link development. It may take hours to create unique content from scratch, and even then, there is no assurance that the information will be read by readers and result in those priceless backlinks.
In light of this, we may reuse and repurpose our material in other formats. As an example, we may merge and repurpose several blog entries into videos, podcasts, or even another blog post.
By using this recycled material to link back to the original, we can increase both the audience reach and the overall number of backlinks we can create from a single piece of content.
In other words, we can make the most of every piece of material.
Although we just touched on it briefly above, broken link construction is unquestionably a powerful link-building strategy that merits its own treatment.
In a word, broken links are ones that are no longer accessible for a variety of reasons. The original linked page may no longer exist, algorithms may have changed, or there may be other causes.
The problem is that broken links may be a fantastic chance for link development since they are negative for both the user experience and the site's SEO.
Therefore, broken link building involves looking for broken links on websites in your area or business, notifying the site owners of the dead links, and then providing your content for them to link to in exchange for the assistance. Therefore, recommend material that is comparable to the original broken link.
It shouldn't take you too long to locate these broken links since a variety of tools are available to do so. You'd be shocked at how quickly connections may be generated with this technique when used properly.
First off, it's crucial to remember that social media links (such as tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, etc.) are nofollow links, yet they may still bring in a lot of traffic and help your SERP rankings.
Don't undervalue the power of marketing your material on social media, so tweet it, interact with influencers, and work to gain retweets and links to your website.
Furthermore, running freebies may be a powerful link-building strategy. You may hold a contest intended to draw in your audience and increase the number of links pointing back to your website. You might, for instance, provide a gift in return for a hyperlink to your website, or you may urge your followers to share your social media updates.
After the contest is over, continue your link-building effort. There are several strategies to "prolong" the link-building process. You may, for instance, announce the prize on your website, and the recipient could link back to it to brag.
After implementing your link-building efforts using the different methods we've discussed above, it's crucial to rank your backlinks and gauge their effectiveness so you can tailor each one to your SEO goals.
The two most crucial factors to look for when examining your backlinks are the overall quality and authority of the incoming link as well as if the connection is still operational (i.e., it isn't a broken link). The click-through rate (how many people really click on your links), ROI from each link (if you paid for link development), and other variables may also be examined.
You can keep an eye on the performance of each backlink in your link profile using a variety of methods. If you're truly serious about link development, we'd suggest using one of the tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush, which can help you track several metrics in a single dashboard.
You should also look at your competitors' material to see who is linking to them. By way of a guest blogging opportunity or another link-building strategy, for instance, you might request that these sources also provide you their links.
So keep an eye on both your own link profile and that of your rivals. You can decide which one to enhance and which one currently works well, which may really aid in optimizing your backlinks and overall link development approach. Additionally, you may see distinct fresh prospects and take advantage of them in future link-building initiatives.
Backlinks are a certain strategy to improve your SERP position and will continue to be so in 2022 and beyond the COVID-19 issue, if not more so. If you need to delegate this to a SEO agency, here you have some recommended ones.
Although we all know how difficult it is to get these connections from high-quality, reputable websites, their quality is now more crucial than ever. A successful link-building strategy is thus more crucial than ever. Additionally, you have the option of hiring a new SEO firm or using SEO services.
It's crucial to remember that any link-building strategy for your company should start with the quality of your content and be a component of your entire digital marketing plan. Low-quality, spammy material will never get links no matter what strategies and techniques are used, while useful and pertinent information will always gain links eventually. To make sure you are not overlooking crucial approaches, you might go through your plan with a marketing expert.
Remember that it's crucial to track all of your incoming backlinks in order to keep tabs on the overall health of your link-building profile and the effectiveness of your competitors' link-building strategies.