Link Building
Link Building

Link building is the technique that consists of creating external links for a domain to generate web authority and thereby improve organic search engine positioning.

Do you know what it is to carry out a link building strategy? If you are one of those who is still skeptical about the different techniques that you can apply to position yourself above your competitors, it is because you have not yet decided to take the leap with your own link strategy.

Actually, if there are many businesses that are reluctant to invest in SEO or in an SEO consultant , it is for two reasons; either they are unaware of all its benefits or they do not have the tools to be able to take advantage of it.

It is true that, as with any strategy, link building requires a period of time to give results, but once it has been seeded, all work pays off.

One of the greatest difficulties that I have encountered with my clients when carrying out this type of strategy has been getting acceptance from the administrators of third-party websites, since this is when the possibility of doing link building in a more or less effective way, it stops depending on our own knowledge.

For this reason, I recommend that you read this guide and write down all my advice so that, in this way, you can do everything on your part when it comes to link building and do not leave anything to chance or in the hands of third parties that have more weight to the time to negotiate.

The first thing we will do is define in detail the concept of link building and the 4 steps that comprise its strategy.

In addition, we will see basic guidelines to get and create quality links (or backlinks).

 

My goal with this guide is for you to know such relevant factors as:

  • The domain and page authority of a website.
  • The operation of each type of link.
  • The theme of the linked content.
  • The “anchor-text” in which the links are included.
  • The link strategies followed by the competition.

Before defining what Link Building or link building is, we must have a clear concept: the backlink or incoming link?

What is a link, what is a link or what is a backlink?

A link is an element that connects two resources, whether they are 2 pages, two documents, etc. Therefore we call link or connection to the connector between one page and another, for the case that we are studying.

There are different types of links depending on their typology or from the point of view. For example, if we include a link from one page on our website to another page on our website, we will call that link an “internal link.”

Another example, and in the case of Link Building is the one that is worth us is: when a page of an external website or a third party links to our website, we call that an incoming link, incoming link or more technically backlink.

Therefore, a backlink is a link or incoming link that helps us generate authority to our website, either naturally (without our intervention) or artificially (generating a payment action or collaboration with another medium) .

What is Link Building? Meaning

Link Building is a technique that, together with copywriting and other marketing actions, is used to gain web authority in an “artificial” way. With that. the positioning of a website is improved.

In other words, link building is a strategy based on the artificial inclusion of links between pages of different domains (for example, between a URL of your website and the URL of a third party’s website).

Traditionally, these links were included naturally as references to value-added content, making search engines see which pages should be “rewarded” for the quality of their work.

This fact was what caused more and more techniques to be used to link artificially. And not only this, but to pay for it.

Obviously, Google is aware of this and the ethical debate that has been generated around these techniques has not gone unnoticed.

That said, I recommend the following: If we are going to carry out a link building campaign, I recommend doing it in a measured way. In other words, if we are going to create links on other websites that lead to ours, we must add value with those links and not create spam.

Another thing that I recommend is to do it in a “natural” way, that is, not creating massive links, but creating links progressively and proportionately.

And what are the links?, and how do they affect the Link Building?

I already know that many of you will know what links are and what they are for regarding SEO, but it never hurts to remember it for people who are just starting out.

The links, links or hyperlinks are mentions that are made from one website to another. These, when you click on them, redirect you to the linked website.

Regarding SEO, we can say that links are like votes, that is, the more votes we receive and the more important the website that has voted for us, the greater authority (popularity) we will have. Although all this has many nuances, which I will explain later in this chapter.

Step Guide: Link Building Strategy

We have already made a more than brief theoretical introduction to link building and, now, I would like to show you the procedure to follow to start your own link building campaign.

I assure you that it will help you a lot to understand how it works!

Step 1: Do a preliminary analysis of the authority of your website

Have you investigated what has been the evolution of your website in recent months? If you want to propose any strategy, the first thing you should analyze is where you are.

It makes little sense to make an investment in marketing efforts without prior analysis… Or rather, link building without prior analysis makes no sense.

To analyze the authority of your website, or if you prefer, the “strength” that will allow you to negotiate with third parties, you must know the authority of your domain (DA) and its internal pages (PA).

To know these values, you can use different Chrome extensions or toolbars also available for other browsers, such as the one provided by Moz.

Knowing your web authority will give you the possibility to start from a point, to know what possibilities you have to compete for certain keywords against your competitors, as well as to establish realistic positioning objectives.

The value of these indices tend to fluctuate from time to time. Basically every time Google updates its algorithm.

So don’t panic if your web authority isn’t too high right now, you have reaction time to reverse the situation!

Step 2: Evaluate the quality of your links and backlinks

Although later I will talk to you in depth about the factors to take into account when evaluating the current links to your website (or backlinks), I have to mention this aspect as one of the first essential steps in link building.

And it is that, the force or authority that the backlinks you have towards your website are transferring to you, are a factor that largely determines the situation in which you find yourself (it is not the same to have backlinks from sites with an average DA below 15 , than above).

I’ll tell you something else, do you know what is the ideal proportion of backlinks that you should get? Well, at least the same as your competitors.

I’ll give you an example of proportions (it’s just an example, so you can follow me better):

10% Backlinks with DA > 60

40% Backlinks with DA > 30 and < 59

50% Backlinks with DA > 0 and < 29

Step 3: Find your competitors

To know who your direct competitors are (if you haven’t already identified them or, at least, not all of them), you’ll need to have done a good analysis of the keywords for which you’re interested in positioning your business.

With the Google keyword planner, you can get very useful information in this regard. Information that I, personally, usually dump into Excel files to later draw decisive conclusions.

Here, the job is to analyze the difficulty of each keyword or, what is the same, the degree of competition for them.

Here I recommend that you be ambitious and set goals to position yourself above web pages with a higher authority, but being realistic… (a bird in the hand is better than hundreds flying).

Step 4: Analyze and evaluate your competitors’ links

Once the situation has been analyzed and the websites that compete for your same keywords have been identified, it is time to study how they are carrying out their own backlink or link building strategy.

To analyze the links of competitors, there is a long list of SEO tools that you can use (the vast majority of which are paid), but this is not the topic that I will delve into in this guide.

What I do want to share with you is my link building technique to analyze the backlinks of competitors for free.

How to do it? Easy! Competitor Links One of the most used techniques in Link Building and that convinces me the most is tracking our competition in search of links that can be used for our project.

This is very useful, since in addition to finding links related to our theme, if we get the links that our competition has, plus those that we get on our own, we will be able to position ourselves above them.

To do this, I suggest that you return to the work in the Excel table that we talked about in the previous step, and add 4 more columns with the following metrics to make an average calculation of all your competitors:

How can we track competitor links?

One of the ways to do it, and for free, is by using a foot pirnt in Google, the way is as follows:

“www.competitiondomain.com”-site:www.competitiondomain

 

If we enter this command, a list will appear in the SERP with all the links that lead to our competitor’s website and that Google has tracked.

This technique is a bit tedious, but as I have told you, it is free.

Another way to do it, much more comfortable, but for a fee, is by using the Ahref tool.

This tool allows us to track all the links that go to a website, either ours or our competition.

We can also filter them by authority of the linking website, the date on which it was linked and if it contains the NoDollow attribute or not.

Without a doubt, this is a great tool for our link building strategy.

How to use Foot Prints to track links?

Another way to get relevant links with a Link Building campaign for our website is to use specific foot prints in Google.

Some examples would be:

site:.es “garden seeds”

 

Here we are asking Google to show us a list of all websites with the domain “.es” and that contain the keywords “garden seeds”.

inurl:”webpositioning”

 

With this we ask that it returns us results of pages that contain the keyword “webpositioning” in its URL.

intitle:”fans for the fair”

With this other we ask you to give us a list of web pages that contain the keyword “fans for the fair” in their title.

There are many foot prints and each one is used for one thing, but I am sure that they are all very valuable for our link building strategy. Later, in later chapters, we will talk in depth about foots prints.

6 Basic guidelines to get quality links

It will be quite useful for us to create a list with all the guidelines that must be followed to achieve a quality link building campaign.

1-Create links on websites with the same theme as ours or similar:
It is useless to create links on websites that deal with pets (for example) if ours deals with online marketing. It is very important that the website that links to us is of the same or similar theme.

My recommendation here is that you try to respect certain proportions when choosing themes. For example;

Closely related topics between 60%-80%

General topics between 20-40%

2-DoFollow / NoFollow Percentage in the Link Building
As most of you already know, there are two types of links; those with the NoFollow attribute and those without.

The rel=”nofollow” attribute is an HTML tag that prevents part of the authority of the website that links to us from being transmitted.

And the rel=”dofollow” attribute is one that does not prevent the website from transmitting part of its authority to the linking site. (It is not necessary to insert it because if it does not have NoFollow it will be DoFollow by default).

Although it may seem like it, NoFollow links are not always a negative for positioning. On the contrary, these also bring naturalness to the content, which should not always pursue the objective of positioning itself.

We already know the two types of links that exist, now we must know what proportion of links of each type we should get.

As it is about simulating naturalness, we must achieve an approximate percentage of 60% DoFollow / 40% NoFollow (or at most 80% and 20% respectively), since on average this is the proportion that websites have that are positioned in a natural way. natural.

3-Anchor Text
The anchor text or anchor text is the title that receives a link and is a relevant factor in our link building campaign. For example:

<a href=”http://www.mywebpage.com”>link building</a>

In this case of the example, in width-text or the link word would be “link building”.

Let’s take an example:

Imagine that we can insert a link on a website with a theme related to ours (gardening), if they also allow us to include html code, we can insert an anchor text with the keyword that we want.

Of course, this keyword will have to be related to our theme.

But there is more. In order for our links to appear natural, we must use varied anchor text:

Use keywords from our market
Use the full URL
Use our branding
Other anchor text such as “click here”, “this article” etc.
The proportion of anchor text has always been much discussed, but as with everything, success lies in variety. We must always vary the anchor text, although we can say that a good percentage would be the following:

40% keywords from our market
20% branding
20% ​​full URL
20% “click here” “this website” etc.

In short, the type and proportion of them is a very important factor when it comes to link building effectively, since depending on the anchor-text used, the links or backlinks acquire a greater or lesser relevance (it is not the same link on a direct keyword, than on the typical “read here”).

4-Insert links manually
There are many programs to get links massively for our link building campaign, but this technique is very obsolete, since the Google algorithm is fully trained to detect if we have built links massively and late or sooner we will receive a penalty, which none of us want.

But one thing is that we do not build massive links and another that we track websites with tools and footprint to find sites where we can insert the links manually, which it is recommended to do. We will talk about this at another time.

5-Progressively building links. Progressive Link Building
If the first week in which we have published our website, and when creating a Link Building campaign, our website already receives 20 links, Google will know perfectly well that these have been created artificially.

The key is again to look natural.

A good strategy is to get, for example, in the first week about 5 links (with the guidelines that have been previously marked); The following week about 10 links; The next 15; etc.

If we do it gradually we will manage to appear natural with our link building campaign in the eyes of Google.

Few are the websites that grow so quickly and few that receive many links in the first weeks of life, so let’s do things right and try to look as natural as possible.

6-Get links from both authoritative and non-authoritative websites
To appear natural with our link building campaign, we must get links from all types of websites, that is, with and without authority. Since if we only get links to our website from sites with a lot of authority, it will not seem natural.

In addition to this idea, he thinks that it is not the same to have 200 backlinks from the same website (whatever authority it has), than to have a single backlink from 200 different websites.

As you may have already noticed, I love estimates and recommend percentages for your SEO strategies. In this specific case for link building, I would recommend you consider a domain referral ratio of 10%; that is, for every 100 links or backlinks, a minimum of 10 domain references.

And now you will say, all this is very good Dani, but how do I include and get these links?

Here is the crux of the matter, one of the handicaps that exist in the SEO World is to get relevant, quality links from websites with similar themes.

If it was easy, everyone could do it, and if everyone did it, no one could rank because the SERPs would be in chaos.

But do not be discouraged, below I will show you a few techniques that can help you get the links that cost so much and that will help you so much.

How to include the links?

The first thing you should consider is that all links do not have the same quality. So, quality always prevails over quantity, as well as creativity when closing collaborations with other web administrators.

In this sense:

  • Include links in comments in a small minority, and when you do, don’t automate; adds value to your messages.
  • Do not trust link farms, they are very hackneyed by Google.
  • Be on the alert for any possible collaboration to get valuable links.
  • Verify that each link or backlink you generate is correctly indexed.

And how do you get these links or links?

If we talk purely about Link Building, we can say that there are a few techniques to carry out this type of campaign.

We will talk about all of them in more detail in later chapters, here we will only mention and summarize them.

Other techniques that would be within the Link Building would be:

  • link wheel
  • link exchange
  • Guest Blogging
  • Tiered Link Building
  • Sponsored links
  • Link Baiting
  • private blog network
  • I will tell you about all of them in other articles. we will talk about in later chapters.

Do you want more?

Ok, let’s see more Link Building tips.

First of all: analyze your organic competitors

Do not start creating backlinks for your website or for your company’s website without basing yourself on a good strategy. And a good strategy can’t be if you don’t take your organic competitors into account.

But, not all competitors are valid, no. We have to find the winning competitors, that is, those that are already successful and occupy a good market share in search engines.

You may be wondering why we are going to analyze our competitors, but the answer is very powerful.

Success, whatever the field, is a set of variables and circumstances.

If you like math you can read about the Fibonacci code or sequence . This is nothing more than a pattern of behavior that most elements of nature follow. That is to say, nature has discovered a pattern that works and has been modeling it in all these elements.

And what does the Fibonacci sequence have to do with the Link Building Daniel?

No, I have not gone crazy nor am I digressing.

What I want to make you understand is that, and I repeat, success is a path, a set of variables and circumstances. Perhaps to reach it, we can create a new path, but why should we do such a thing if others have already created it? Why don’t we focus on modeling that behavior or patterns instead of creating new ones?

The answer is obvious, we are not going to waste time, energy and resources (human and financial) on a Link Building strategy that we do not know how it will work. It is preferable to model other Link Building strategies that have already been SUCCESSFUL, and for this we have to analyze our winning competitors.

Factors to study from our winning organic competitors

Now I am going to show you the essential or most important factors or elements to analyze from our winning organic competitors. With this we will be able to model them and obtain the greatest chances of achieving success, and not least, of running the least possible risk, thus avoiding a possible Google Penguin penalty.

Total number of domain references and RD BL ratio

I will first explain what domain references are and what those acronyms are (RD and BL).

Domain References

A link is not the same as a domain reference. A website may link to us multiple times, from once to an unlimited number of times. But it doesn’t matter how many times that website links to us, in total, and in that case, it only counts as a domain reference.

It is simply the number of domains that link to ours or to our company, regardless of the number of times each of the domains itself links to them.

Domain Referrals-Ahref

I have used the Marca newspaper website with the AHref tool to show you the image above.

In this image we can clearly distinguish how many total BackLinks the website has and how many domain references. As you can see, they are not the same number, something that always happens.

Now that we are clear about what domain referrals are and we know how to distinguish them from backlinks, let’s see what the RD / BL ratio is.

RD/BL ratio

The BD (domain referrals) / BL (backlins) ratio is the total number of domain referrals compared to the total number of backlinks.

Here, we can commonly find 1/10 ratios; 2/10; 1/11; 1/9.

An RD / BL 1/10 ratio is simply that for each domain referral there are a total of 10 backlinks.

But do not get carried away by the common or what seems to be repeated, analyze your winning competitors and get the mathematical conclusion. Find out what RD / BL ratio your winning organic competitors get on average.

You also have to analyze and document, in order to later model, the number of domain references from the link profile or backlink profile of your winning competitors.

Quality or organic authority of the Backlinks Profile

In the previous point we have talked about quantities, now we will talk about quality.

Another crucial factor to take into account before launching our Link Building campaign is to analyze the quality of the Backlinks profile of our winning competitors in order to later model it.

I usually do the following exercise:

  1. I enter the domain in the Ahref tool
  2. Click on the Domain References section
  3. I download the report in excel

And I get something similar to this:

link quality

Now, we are going to segment domain references by Ahref DR or Domain Rating ratios.

A common segmentation is as follows:

  • Number of domain references from 0 to 35 DR = X %
  • Number of domain references from 36 to 54 DR = X %
  • Number of domain references equal to or greater than 55 DR = X %

Example: We may find that one of our winning organic competitors gets the following targeting:

  • Total number of domain referrals: 1K
  • Number of domain references from 0 to 35 DR: 300 = 30%
  • Number of domain references from 36 to 54 DR: 600 = 60%
  • Number of domain references equal to or greater than 55 DR: 100 = 10%

Now we only have to analyze the rest of the winning competitors (I do not recommend analyzing more than 4) and make an average of the total number of domain references, RF / BL ratio and quality of the external link profile.

But that’s not the point, let’s continue.

Anchor Text Relationship Analysis of Winning Competitors

Now we have to analyze the anchor text of our winning organic competitors.

To begin, let’s distinguish the different types of anchor text that exist:

  • Keyword: are those that use a main or secondary keyword in the text that links.
  • Branded: are those that use a brand or branding term in the text that links.
  • Varied: they are those that use terms that «» click here», «on this link», etc.
  • From URL: are those that use the exact URL in the link and not a word or term.

Good. To analyze the anchors text of our competitors I am going to use the Ahref tool again, analyzing the dominance of the AS newspaper in the “Anchors” tool section.

analysis anchor text seo-ahref

Let’s do an exercise again assuming that newspaper AS is one of our winning competitors.

First of all, we must use mathematics to segment and distinguish the percentages of the different types of anchor text that are generating the profile of external links of our winning competitor.

Let’s add all the anchor text that we can consider branding in the first place:

  • According to my accounts, the AS newspaper has a relationship of 43% of links with branding anchors.

Now let’s add the relationship of links that we can consider as URLs:

  • According to my accounts, the newspaper As has a percentage of URL anchors of 35%.

Next, let’s add the list of anchors that we can consider varied:

  • According to my accounts, the newspaper As has a percentage of varied anchors of 7%.

And finally, let’s add the ratio of anchors that we can consider as a keyword:

  • According to my accounts, the As newspaper has a keyword anchor ratio of 3%.

In total we have been able to analyze 88% of the anchors of the newspaper AS, one of our supposed winning competitors. It’s not bad at all. We have to bear in mind that it is difficult to analyze 100% of the backlinks profile of any domain.

Now it would only be necessary to analyze the percentages of anchors of the rest of our winning organic competitors and establish an average, to later model the strategy. I am sure that, if we analyze the winning competitors of the As newspaper, we will obtain very similar anchor text percentages.

Now let’s go with the last factor that I am going to expose, geolocation.

Analyzing the geolocation of the bakclinks profile of organic competitors

Not because it is the last one I show, this factor is less important than the others.

The geolocation of the links is the geographical location of the domain in which it is segmented.

Let’s take an example:

We are linked by a digital marketing blog. The IP of the server where the website is hosted does not matter, the geolocated segmentation refers to the market that the domain is exposed to.

It is really important to analyze the external link profiles of our winning competitors to find out from which country in percentage the domain references that said website obtains, since obtaining incoming links to our site from locations very different from our winning competitors can be disastrous. for our strategy.

To do this, I am again going to use the Ahref tool and the As journal domain.

In the main dashboard we can find the “CTLDs Distribution” section once the domain has been entered:

CTLDs-Ahref distribution

As can be seen, this distribution depends solely and exclusively on the domain endings, that is, on the geolocated orientation of the market and not on the IP address of the server where the web is hosted.

In the following exercise we must draw conclusions and numerical percentages on the geolocation of domain references of our winning organic competitor.

For this case, we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Most domain references come from “.com” endings. These are difficult to distinguish.
  • With a total of 5% of domain references, we have the “.es”, that is to say Web in the Spanish market.
  • ETC. So we can continue to fully break down our competitor’s domain endings.

Now we will only have to make an average of the CTLDs of all our winning organic competitors and establish a strategy to follow.

Conclusions

Link Building is very complex and requires doing things well and slowly, because any mistake can lead to a penalty.

If you follow these tips and do things right, you won’t have any problems. Do things slowly, with care and in an organized way, and above all control your links, do not build a link to your website on any site, before, make sure that it will be worthwhile and that it will give you authority.