- If your business isn’t building high quality backlinks, you’re not building prominence.
- If you’re not building prominence, you’re missing one of the fundamental criteria to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- It’s long been known that Google’s search algorithm rewards distance, prominence, and relevance.
All three of these SEO pillars impact your search ranking.
And while a business can’t always impact distance from the searcher, it can work to improve its relevance and prominence. As Google shares, prominence is based on “information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories.”
White hat backlinks essentially serve as a vote of confidence from a website and tell Google your web page is a trusted resource. The more votes of confidence your web page has, the more prominent it will be seen to be. And, white hat backlinks are done through ethical means rather than leveraging spam tactics. Yet, obtaining high quality backlinks is easier said than done.
If you’re looking to build your white hat backlink strategy, you’re in the right place.
This post will share 12 proven strategies that work to get backlinks and boost your SEO strategy.
Let’s dive in.
1. Ask To Guest Blog:
One of the most effective ways to build white hat backlinks is to find guest blogging opportunities.
Guest blogging allows your business to build your high quality backlinks profile organically by inserting links to your own resources, studies, and more, where applicable and relevant.
Additionally, sites welcome guest blog content publishing, as it surfaces new blog post ideas they may not typically cover and adds to their content schedule with little effort on their end.
Look for sites that accept guest post contributions and are relevant to your industry, products, or services. Also, look for content publishing on sites with higher domain authority, as your backlink will have more mileage with these types of sites.
Higher domain authority means a page has a better probability to rank in the SERPs. Use Moz’s free Link Explorer tool to check a website’s Domain Authority.
2. Ask Your Partners/Distributors/Suppliers:
If you partner with a business or are a preferred vendor or supplier, ask for a link to your site. Since you already provide a valuable service to a business, they’ll be more inclined to link back to you as you’ve already developed a business relationship with them.
Additionally, many businesses already have a partner page to showcase who they do business with.
If they’re not linking to your site already, this should be an easy ask and a quick way to get a credible white hat backlink to your site.
3. Ask For Credit Where Credit Is Due:
Sometimes, your business may be mentioned, but you aren’t receiving proper credit.
For example, you may provide a glowing testimonial for a vendor, but they aren’t linking to your site. Another example – a successful blog may point to a finding published by your business and fail to provide a backlink. Your business should receive a backlink in both instances, as you’ve provided a service.
Ask current customers who reference your brand or current businesses you work with that mention you in any capacity on their sites to provide a backlink.
Additionally, if you find a business referencing your original research, it also should give you a backlink. Set up Google Alerts or a similar tool to find websites mentioning your business. You’ll receive an email notification whenever a website mentions your business name.
Find a blog niche or influencer within your industry to give a review of your product or service. Once you find the right blog niche or influencer to support your brand, send them your product or provide the service free of charge in exchange for a review.
Or, if you have a larger budget, you can also pay macro-level influencers to give their honest feedback. Then, have the blog or influencer link back to your product or service.
Additionally, you may provide a blog or influencer with an affiliate link. Whenever a potential customer clicks their affiliate link, they’ll receive a commission.
The commission may come from simply clicking the affiliate link or if the consumer actually makes a purchase.
This link-building endeavor requires more effort on your behalf; however, it also sends high quality backlinks traffic.
This traffic is already qualified, knowing they’re interested in your product or service, which leads to higher conversion rates.
5. Create Engaging Visual Content:
Nearly 41% of marketers said original graphics (e.G., infographics, illustrations) help them reach their marketing goals. And, 52% of marketers said visual content is very important in their marketing strategy.
Why is visual content a top priority for marketers? Because it is easily digestible and shareable.
Whether you’re creating an infographic or any other type of visual, it’s an easy way to increase the likelihood of your content being shared. And, you’ll get a high quality backlinks to your site.
6. Publish Original Research:
When considering why and when people share content, you must consider the psychology of content sharing.
A recent study found that 94% of respondents said that they carefully consider how the information they share will be useful to the recipient.
In the same study, nearly half of the respondents reported sharing content because it allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage actions. The more informative your content is, the more likely it is to be shared.
You can become a trusted content-sharing source by leveraging your expertise and original research. Every time a consumer, blog, or business mentions your research, you’ll receive a white hat backlink.
This helps improve your prominence, which ties back to Google rewarding you with improved search rankings, leading to more organic search traffic.
7. Build A Useful Free Tool:
Are you a technology company?
Building a free tool or a light version of your solution is an effective way to build quality white hat backlinks. It can also drive potential leads.
For example, Adobe offers free or “lighter” versions of several of its tools, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Photoshop Express.
These allow users to preview the tool’s capabilities and may encourage them to convert to paid users in the future to maximize its software. Hubspot’s Email Signature Generator has also prompted significant buzz in its own right.
Since its launch, it has received over 5,520 backlinks from 1,168 referring domains, proving its worth.
8. Publish Ultimate And Step By Step Guides:
As the name suggests, ultimate guides are the “ultimate” resource on a designated topic.
The word ultimate suggests you have the best, most in-depth current knowledge on the subject, drawing consumers to want to learn more. A step-by-step guide, in theory, provides an easy way to learn how to do something.
Consumers favor ease and simplicity, which a step-by-step guide aims to accomplish. Both these types of guides can help a business build its backlink profile.
For example, if you’ve written an ultimate guide to digital marketing, a writer may reference one of your points in a blog post about affiliate marketing.
9. Use Citations:
Citations may not be as prominent of a search ranking factor as they were in the past; however, their benefits are not completely obsolete. Local citations help publish your business’ information across the vast search ecosystem.
While the greater majority of searches take place on Google and other popular search engines, these directories also receive traffic – and are another way for consumers to discover your business.
To start, ensure your business is listed on Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), Yelp, Facebook, and Apple Maps.
Then branch out to other general or industry-specific directories.
These 21 web directories also still have value. Every directory you’re listed on provides you with a backlink to help you build your high quality backlinks.
10. Leverage Public Relations:
Having a public relations plan is a great way to build prominence and authority in your industry.
It’s also a surefire way to help you build your quality backlink profile.
For example, each press release your business publishes is an opportunity to add at least one backlink to your site.
It also establishes your business as an expert in your industry; The more often you have useful and relevant information to share in your industry, the more you’ll establish yourself as a voice of authority.
Public relations extends to social media too, where you can share links to content. If users find your content beneficial, they may reshare it, helping you build additional high quality backlinks.
11. Create A Roundup Or “Ask the Experts” Blog Post:
Asking others for insights around a certain topic can help strengthen your content and add valuable information you may not otherwise have had.
It’s also a great way for the contributor to include their own link in your post to improve their high quality backlinks profile.
Creating a roundup or an ask the experts-style post increases your chances for shareability, too. Your contributors are more than likely to share the content piece with their own networks, which will cause the content to reach a wider audience.
Ask potential contributors for a short contribution – maybe two to three sentences – to encourage participation. The less burdensome the ask, the more likely they will want to contribute.
12. Mine For Broken Links:
Broken links negatively impact a user’s experience with a site. Consider when a user eagerly searching for information clicks a broken link to your site.This likely causes frustration and a potentially lost customer.
With its recent page experience update, Google also continues to prioritize the overall web page experience.
Broken link building entails finding pages that no longer exist (or have been updated) and reaching out to the websites that link to the pages to let them know you have a similar resource to swap in its place.
Broken link building takes time and effort, but it can be an easy way to build your backlink profile for sites that prioritize their SEO efforts.
Cracking Google’s evolving search engine algorithm can be time-consuming and full of trials, tribulations, and errors.
Focusing on improving your brand’s relevance and prominence are two surefire ways to boost your page results in the SERPs.
Link building, including internal linking and high quality backlinks, is just one way to get there. There are plenty of other must-know SEO concepts to follow too.
But, working on building your backlinking and internal links is a great place to start.