The site Audit is one of those Squirrly SEO plugin’s features our users can’t live without.
If you’re reading this, you’re a Squirrly user so you probably agree with this.
We know most of you rely on the audit to see whether your efforts have been paying off or not, especially since you can see in my.squirrly.co whether your site audit score has increased or dropped from one week to another.
We’re absolutely thrilled by the idea that we can help marketers and bloggers with many different aspects, not just with optimizing their content.
We also show you what else you need to do to increase your online visibility and outsmart your competition.
As Neil Patel said in this article, “Squirrly is more than an SEO tool––it’s a complete content marketing suite.”
And that’s our promise to anyone who decides to give Squirrly SEO a try.
What you’ll learn in this course:
- What type of content you need to create to build backlinks
- The basics of building quality backlinks
You Asked. Now, We Answer.
As it turns out, plenty of Squirrly users are interested in knowing how to maximize their site audit score, more specifically the Links section.
But before we get into the specifics and show you what you need to do to improve it, let’s take a closer look at each of the aspects we analyze (there are seven of them).
- High Authority Backlinks per latest posts. Here we take into account all the links that come from high-authority sites and have been indexed by Google. The authority of a site is calculated with Alexa.
- Authority Backlinks. This represents the total number of links that you have for your latest posts.
- Moz Backlinks. We use Moz’s API to show you data about the number of backlinks your site has.
- NoFollow Links. This refers to the external links that you add in your pages/posts for which you add the nofollow tag. This tag means that you don’t pass the link juice to those external links. It’s important to have plenty of nofollow links on your site.
- Outgoing doFollow links. These are the external links that do not have the nofollow tag and pass the link juice to the external link you add on a page/post. It’s important to have as little as possible. When creating your SEO strategy, it’s essential to think very carefully which are the sites you’d like to send link juice to.
- Majestic Backlinks. Here we use Majestic’s API to receive information about the number of links that point to your site.
- Majestic Unique Domains. Yet again, we use Majestic API for the total number of domains that point to your site. A domain can send multiple links to your site, which is why the number of backlinks can be different than the total domains.
So Why Do You Need Backlinks?
High-quality backlinks improve your site’s authority and help you rank higher in search engine results.
Yes, doing this takes a lot of time and effort – months, years even, but in the end, your efforts will pay off. So the sooner you start your link building strategy, the quicker you’ll start improving your rankings.
Links remain one of the top three Google ranking factors, as you probably already know from the second course. Therefore, aside from solely focusing on other short-term strategies such as ads, you need to invest in this SEO tactic early on.
You see how we mentioned the fact that you need high-quality links?
This means that if you build plenty of links that come from spammy or unknown sites, then you will end up hurting your rankings even more.
Aside from the authority of the site that links to you, you should also know that the site needs to be relevant or close to your niche.
For example, if you sell handmade soap and a company that manufactures cars links back to your site, then that backlink is not going to be as valuable as a link that would come from a beauty news site.
What You Need to Do Before You Start Building Backlinks
Certain types of content perform better than others when it comes to building high-quality backlinks. This is why, when you build your SEO strategy, we recommend creating these four main types of content:
Visuals are extremely easy to link to, not to mention the fact that they will look amazing on any site if the design looks great.
You can create any sort of visual material, from diagrams to infographics, charts, presentations, or images.
2. List posts
When Buzzsumo and Moz teamed up and did a study to analyze the shares and links for over one million articles, they discovered that list posts received the highest amount of shares.
This type of written content is extremely popular and well-received by readers because it’s usually packed with interesting information presented in a digestible manner.
In a list post, you can include personal brands or companies and they will most likely share it as well because you talked about them in your post.
3. Original research
People love data and they will link to your site if you reveal new industry findings, data, or survey results that haven’t been published before.
So if you have the manpower and the time to conduct a big survey within your industry, this is definitely something that you should go for.
Another idea you can try is to involve your audience by asking them to answer a few questions about certain topics people would like to know more about.
4. Ultimate guides
Ultimate guides are comprehensive resources which cover everything there is to know about a certain topic. These pieces of content can have even 10.000 words so you’re able to pack an incredible amount of information on a single page.
This will turn your guide into the go-to resource for that particular topic. To find the best topic for an ultimate guide, you can think about the most common questions you have been receiving from your customers.
Don’t Start Building Backlinks Until You Have Created a High-Quality Piece of Content
Let’s imagine that someone reaches out to you because they want you to include a link to their site in one of your blog posts or pages.
Out of curiosity, you click on their link to see what the resource is about, and it turns out the article has a little over 500 words. What’s more, the information included in it is not even conveyed in an attractive manner.
Naturally, you will ignore this person’s proposal because you don’t believe that their resource can provide any value to your audience.
That’s why it’s so important that before reaching out to people, you create high-quality content that will help you generate links.
Speaking of links, not all of them carry the same weight and impact so you also have to pay attention to their quality.
How to Identify High-Quality Links
If you want to improve your site’s authority, you most certainly want to avoid building low-quality backlinks, because Google will penalize your site. After all, it wouldn’t benefit you if spammy sites start linking back to yours.
“How do I know which links are high-quality?” you ask? Continue reading to find out:
- Page authority (also known as PageRank). To check the page authority of a link, we recommend using Ahrefs, as it will give you the URL rating. That way, you’ll know if a particular site is worth your time or not.
- Site authority. Now we’re talking about the global domain authority (DA) of a site. Again, you can use a tool such as Ahrefs to check the DA but also Moz.
- Site relevancy. Let’s say your site focuses on the topic of smart home technology and you receive a backlink from a site that sells beauty products. Will that link still count? According to a former Google engineer, not quite. For backlinks to work, you need to build them on sites that are related to your niche.
Now, it’s time to see how to build solid backlinks. Here are a few strategies you can use.
1. Search for Resources Pages
A resource page is a page that links to amazing content on the topic that matches the site’s niche. For example, a site that sells baking utensils can have a resource page that would link to some delicious recipes or to sites that do reviews of the products they sell.
The best thing about these pages is that the site will include almost exclusively external links. So they actually represent the ideal target for your link building efforts.
Important! Don’t forget to check the quality of those resources pages before deciding to reach out to them.
2. Find Pages with Broken Links
The idea behind broken link building is that you find a broken link on someone’s site, then reach out to them, point out the issue they’re having, and suggest they should link to your resource instead.
It’s a very straightforward strategy. However, the tricky part is finding pages with broken links.
Luckily for you, we have the solution.
First, what you want to do is create a list of all the high-authority sites in your niche, including your competitors. Then, you need to use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer feature to find out on which sites have broken links and also identify the sites that linked back to those pages.
Ahrefs will show you in this post how to approach this process.
And just like that, in just a few minutes, you can find tens – if not hundreds – of link building opportunities on high-authority sites.
3. Use Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique
Most people have already heard about Brian Dean’s link building strategy, but if you haven’t, you’re going to learn about it right now.
But first, I have a question for you: do you want to rank number 1 on the first page of Google for a certain keyword and increase your organic search traffic by 60%?
I’m just going to assume you answered yes. Otherwise, why would you be reading this article?
Well, if it’s implemented correctly, Brian Dean’s strategy can potentially help you achieve these magnificent results.
Here’s what it entails.
Step 1: Use Google to find content that ranks on the first page of Google for the term you are targeting.
Step 2: Write an even better post than the one that’s already on the first page. Depending on the niche you’re in and the article’s type, you may want to consider creating either a list post (e.g.: 100+ ways to…), an ultimate guide (works wonders), or doing some original research (even though this can take more time).
Step 3: Promote the content on various channels, such as social media, to your email list, and reach out to people you may have included in your post. The real battle begins after you hit Publish because you need to actively promote the amazing piece of content you’ve just created.
Now that you’ve identified which type of content you can create to build high-quality backlinks to your site and the sites that can potentially link back to yours, it’s time to start emailing those people.
They need to find out about that amazing resource you wrote as soon as possible.
When it comes to outreaching techniques, I have a few tips for you:
- Make it personal. Don’t come across as spammy because people will see right through you and ignore your email in an instant. Establish a good rapport with the person you’re writing to and also try to include a short phrase where you tell them a little bit about who you are and what you do.
- Reach out to the right person. If you can’t find the email address of the person who wrote that particular post, then use social media to reach out to them and ask about their email. The last resort would be to use the website’s generic address to get in touch with that person, but based on personal experience, no one really answers those emails.
- Follow up. Just because someone did not respond to your first email, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in hearing from you. People are busy, they forget, and they have certain priorities that they have to take care of first. So be sure to follow up with that person at least a couple of times before giving up. You’ll see that most people respond after the second email.
It’s A Wrap
And there you have it.
Now you know the basics of link building and what you can do to improve your site’s audit score, more precisely, the links and authority sections in the audit created by our Squirrly SEO plugin.
Moreover, you have completed the PRO tournament which means that you have collected all the badges.
Now, before we go:
Your Goals for This Course
- Create a high-quality piece of content that you can use in your link building strategy;
- Identify 20 potential sites that can link back to you;
- Compose an outreach email.
Until next time, keep ranking!
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