Link building for SEO is very important, but it’s impossible to rank your website above the competition in the search engine results without research.  Learn from your top competitors and gain insight on their strategies.  Here are some things to consider:

  • What does your link profile look like right now?
  • What types of links do your competitors have?
  • Should you focus on lengthy content or social media?
  • How will you acquire new links? Will you do email reach-outs or guest posts?
  • What does the anchor text distribution look like at the top of the niche?
  • How many links are Dofollow versus Nofollow

If you’re already overwhelmed by what’s involved, you’re not alone.  That’s why many business owners choose to work with search engine optimization companies instead of doing it themselves.  If your business is in New York and you decide to outsource link building to generate more traffic for your website, the SEO experts at come highly recommended locally.  If you decide on the DIY route, keep reading for more strategy tips.

Different Types of Backlinks When Link Building

Each niche calls for different types of backlinks, so it’s important to understand the difference between them before you start link building.  Links can be categorized into 5 categories: URL, Target, Brand, Miscellaneous, and Blank.

URL – URL backlinks are simply a reference to another website, usually one that’s being recommended because of it’s quality of information.  This link may or may not have the “www” or the “http” in the URL, but it will redirect to the target website.

Target – Target links are keywords.  They’re the easiest links to spot and they’re also some of the most valuable when earned editorially.  These types of links are often overused however, which can lead to penalties from Google’s algorithm; the system knows when keywords are being abused because it has years of data on what’s “natural” when it comes to linking to other websites.

Brand – Branded backlinks are the name of company, person, or organization.  We are “Marketing Beep”, so if someone used that exact keyword to link to us, that would be a branded backlink.  These are great to establish a name for yourself and to help solidify your presence in the local market.

Miscellaneous – This category is used as a catch-all for backlinks that have random anchor texts.  It might a first name, a sentence, a phrase, or a random word that’s not a normal keyword.  This happens relatively frequently after your website has been around for a while.

Blank – Blank links typically come from an image.  If someone links to your website from an image and does not enter anything in the “alt text” field, the link’s anchor text will show as blank.  This is common in niches where there are many images, like auto or home.

Where to Get Backlinks

There are hundreds of ways to get backlinks, so we’re only to cover a few of them.  One of the most powerful methods of acquiring backlinks is simply writing great content and then reaching out to influencers in your niche.  The problem with this strategy is the sheer number of articles you’re competing against for attention.  Because of that, yours needs to stand out.

The things that seems to stand out more than anything is quality that’s lengthy.  For example, if most of the competition in your niche wrote articles about the top ten ways to do something, you could write an article on the top 100 ways to do it instead.  The idea behind this method is that your content is so much better that everyone who linked to the original work would rather link to you.  Once the content is published, you can use a tool like Majestic or SEM Rush to find who linked to the inferior articles and email the website owners about your update.

The other link building method is guest posting.  Be careful with this one because you don’t want to get penalized.  If you find a website in your niche that is highly relevant and strong, ask the owner if you could write an article for him.  The article needs to be well-thought out, on point, and provide real value to the community.  And, in the article, you can link out to various sources of quality information on the topic (including yourself), if and only if the websites provide clear value.  Spam is not acceptable.

By using the various link building methods above, you can grow your online presence faster.  If you’ve got other suggestions, leave a comment below.