SEO is made of a variety of different essential components, and perhaps the most important are backlinks. A backlink, a site that links to your pages, is essential for getting your content to rank in Google. However, not all backlinks are created equal. As Google algorithms get smarter and smarter in terms of parsing contents, anyone trying to create an SEO strategy needs to focus their methods on quality, not quantity.

What are high-quality backlinks?

A quality backlink is a backlink that has a few key traits. These include:

  • Being from a site with a high domain authority
  • Being from a site with relevance in your niche
  • Having appropriate anchor text, but not necessarily stuffed with keywords
  • Being implemented naturally in the content

The reasoning for all of these factors is that they show Google that a highly reputable site is using your link as a part of their content. All of these improve your rating.

What is a backlink strategy?

In general, this is a plan that helps you build high-quality backlinks over time. It’s not likely that these authoritative websites in your niche are going to suddenly decide your content is what they want to link to. In fact, they may never have heard of you. Backlink strategies are generally a combination of building up the SEO for your pages so people discover them naturally, as well as direct methods of getting your links to different sources so they can use them.

Can backlinks hurt your site?

As we mentioned earlier, not all backlinks are created equal. In the early days of SEO, people could get away with using a set of low-quality sites strictly to provide backlinks to their content. However, Google has gotten wiser in terms of detecting these practices. Now, if Google detects a series of low-quality backlinks, it can actually penalize you in terms of ranking.

How to get quality backlinks?

Here are 5 key ways to help put together strong backlinks to develop your ranking.

  1. Skyscraping.

This requires you to first learn some of the most popular pieces that other sites are linking to on a given topic. After this, create a piece that is longer, better, and more in-depth, than reach out to the sites that link to the original topic and request they link to you instead.

  1. Guest posting.

This method helps in multiple ways. First, if the publication allows it, you can add one of your backlinks to the article. However, it also helps expose your name and brand to a whole new audience, potentially allowing you to get more backlinks that way.

  1. Competitor’s backlinks.

Setting up alerts to find when your competitors are getting backlinks is good for helping inform your methods. If you find they are getting guest posts on certain sites, for example, you should try to do the same.`

  1. Comments on other relevant blog posts.

Think of this as a quicker take on guest posting. If you have content that is a good compliment for someone else’s, link to it in the comments.

  1. Broken link building.

Say that there’s a site you would love to get your backlink on.

A good practice here is to try and hover over some of their older content that’s related to your niche.

If you notice one of their existing backlinks is broken, reach out to the webmaster and let them know, suggesting your link as a replacement.

Developing backlinks is a marathon, not a sprint, in terms of your web pages and content.

As you put some of these techniques into practice, you also want to make sure that other areas of your site aren’t detracting from the SEO gains you are making with backlinks.

The best way to manage this making sure you invest in a full website SEO audit.

This will help ensure you’re using quality backlinks for SEO, as well as checking other essential areas on your site.