The wide-spread use of the internet in the past two decades led to the emergence of online businesses. Business transactions happening over the internet are growing every passing day. Most Singaporeans with online businesses have websites which prospective customers can visit and gain more information about products before making a purchase. There are usually tens to hundreds of websites competing for visibility on search engines. One of the main factors to consider when ranking is backlinks.
When engaging in the link building process, what should you focus on – relevance or authority? There has been an endless debate by link builders on this matter, especially now that Google employs the Penguin algorithm.
The truth is, digital marketing is undergoing major changes but link building remains one of the most important factors for businesses which want to maintain an online presence. If you have little knowledge on how backlinks and SEO work, there are a couple of tools and software that can help you understand better. You could also use them to learn about keyword rankings and organic search traffic. The downside of this is that if you rely too much on one tool, you may end up being misled and consequently getting poor SEO results. It is important to know how to combine various tools in order to come up with the best link building strategy.
Using Software to Analyze Links
No one can really give an accurate explanation on how Google algorithms work. Most webmasters usually turn to third party tools and software when they want to determine the quality of their links. These tools are vital because they provide valuable information on how Google analyses the quality of links pointing to your site. They also give insights on what kind of websites should link to your site. There are plenty of tools you can use to analyse links. Some popular ones include;
- Moz Pro
Domain Authority (DA) uses different offsite and onsite data to determine the trust of a domain using a scale of 1-100. Before they embark on the link building process, most SEO experts tend to pick or discard a potential link partner based on Moz’s DA tool.
DA can be likened to a barometer which tells us how a site domain compares to others. While it offers valuable insights for your link building strategy, it is advisable to check out other tools/solutions. Many popular businesses are known to ask link building agencies to acquire links with a DA of 50 and above. While this can seem like a wise move, it could be detrimental.
There are many examples to show that one shouldn’t use only DA to determine prospective link partners. In one case the DA of a prospective link partner was 50 (according to Moz). A majority of experienced link builders would consider this an authoritative link and look forward to acquiring it. Instead of blindly trusting Moz, you could bring in SEMrush and embark on finding out:
- The minimum stand around traffic value.
- The minimum standard of organic traffic.
Organic traffic shows that Google sees the site as authoritative and enables it to rank higher and hence receive significant traffic. It also indicates that earning a link from such a site comes with tremendous benefits. When a site has a DA of 50 (based on Moz’s analysis) you would obviously expect it to have significant organic search traffic however, SEMrush will suggest otherwise. It will reveal the site only receives a few hundred visitors on a monthly basis.
You will discover that such a site is of low quality making it unworthy to link back to your site or your client’s site. The site may have a considerable number of links referring to it but a deeper analysis will show that the traffic numbers have not been up to par in the past five years. This alone shows that it is not always wise to use DA to judge a potential link partner.
There are hundreds of other examples that support this conclusion. If you conduct a search for resource links, broken links, guest posting opportunities, and other strategies, you will encounter many poor sites which Majestic, Moz, and Ahrefs has labeled as authoritative. When using these third party tools for your link building strategies, you have to consider many factors. These tools offer the same data for each KPI. It is only Majestic and SEMrush which will give you the same total number of fresh backlinks to a domain. The main reason for these is that third party tools rely on incomplete data sets and do not refresh data frequently. Most ink builders face this problem when working on their site or their client’s website. Tools such as Majestic and Moz may be useful when you want to compare domains but you shouldn’t rely solely on them when identifying placements or for link building reports.
The trick is not to use only one software for your link building strategy. Experts advise that you use multiple tools so as to get more accurate data and identify authority sites easily. All in all, these third party tools are vital in the dynamic digital marketing world.
How to Evaluate Link Authority
When evaluating link authority, you must find out what really makes a link high quality. It is simple – a high quality link is usually the one that originates from a high-quality website. Many SEO experts may differ on what exactly makes a site high quality, but you’ll have to look for the following qualities in a site to determine its quality.
- Its relevance to your niche.
- If it is an authority in your industry
- If it offers value to its audience either through thought leadership or a service.
- If it contains consistent traffic flow.
- If it ranks for relevant keywords in its industry.
- If it has an editorial staff that goes through content before publishing.
A young website that has a consistent flow of traffic and thought leadership would definitely be considered a high quality one by many link builders. Such a site presents opportunities for the exposure of your brand and increase in traffic flow/readership. The only problem with a young website would be a low DA, and for this reason some webmasters avoid it. Most link building agencies target a DA of more than 25 in order to prevent spam. This, however, shouldn’t prevent you from losing out on link building opportunities. You could opt for a geographically relevant link with a sub DA of 25 which would be better for ranking than a DA of more than 50 which isn’t geographically relevant.
Smart link builders usually don’t follow tools like Moz and Majestic blindly because they want to develop the best marketing strategies. If for instance, you place a link on a DA of 88 it may look like an ingenious move, but you should ask yourself if the link:
- Offers value to your industry
- Is relevant to your niche.
Another factor that contributes to the success of link building is a unique number of referring domains. If you’re going to acquire links from one domain, ensure that it is of high quality. Clients don’t usually get the best out of digital marketing because of using the wrong strategies usually by blindly following third part tools.
The Proper Use of metrics in link building
It doesn’t really matter which tools you use for your link building strategy. You should only take care not to rely on only one of them in the process. Many webmasters wonder what the proper use of Trust Flow and DA is. DA offers valuable insights when you’re in the first stages of the link building process but do not depend on it when it comes to indentifying placements. It shouldn’t also be used to track monthly campaign progress.
Of all the tools, Ahrefs is the most dynamic and is best for tracking velocity and ongoing link placements. The disadvantage is that if you rely on it, you are likely to get greater KPIs from a link farm rather than a quality domain. Using multiple tools will help you to better analyse the target domain. You can rely on various KPIs (like DA and Trust Flow) if you want a more dynamic report. All these activities should be geared towards increasing brand reach and striving to get more readers. Agencies have the task of demonstrating the importance a new link has to your site/client’s site.
Top-notch Link Building Strategies
If you want o increase the value of your site you need to adopt some high quality link building strategies.
While getting a guest post for your site/client’s site has its benefits, it is quite expensive and labour intensive. As a link builder, you should strive to conduct the link building process organically. One of the best ways to do this is by creating high quality content that other publications and websites would want to link to. You can then reach out to these sites and link back to existing content on your site. Some of the link-worthy content include;
- Evergreen guides
- Interviews with influencers, industry thought leaders and celebrities
- Case studies
- Industry benchmarks , data and trends
- Q & A roundups with though leaders in your industry
- White papers with original research
After publishing such content on your site, you will want it to get linked back to. This means that you will have to promote to using various strategies, for instance reaching out industry bloggers/influencers, sharing on social media and posting on forums. Create the type of content that attracts thought leaders and bloggers to your site.
If you want to draw more attention to your onsite content, influencer marketing is the way to go. Links from influencer blogs may seems like low authority, but they come with many benefits. Influencers have a habit of sharing content on multiple platforms hence they will help promote your content to a large and loyal audience. This makes influencer marketing one of the best tools to increase brand reach. It drives more traffic to your site, serves as a mention and facilitates many conversions. Influencer marketing offers a new approach to link building and if its results show that it is a great way to reach out to your target market. You need to build relationships with influencers and use their wide audience to promote your site.
Guest posting is a traditional link building strategy and although the digital marketing world is dynamic, it remains an important link building strategy. It offers link building opportunities for you and your clients and is a great way to establish authority. A greater authority means people will be seeking your website more often as it offers value.
While it is important to focus on keyword ranking when developing our link building strategy, it is equally vital to promote your brand. You can do this in a variety of ways such as direct influencer marketing, creating an authoritative guest post and brand mentions on the internet through contextual citations.
What brand building does is that it increases exposure to your brand. An increased exposure means the number of followers on social media will increase and so will traffic slow to your site. An increase in traffic also ensures that you rank higher in search engines like Google.
While Google’s algorithms usually change regularly, backlinks are still a vital factor in ranking. Considering the competitiveness of SEO, it is important to develop a high quality link building campaign in order to increase your DA and beat other sites. You can use the strategies in this article to promote your brand and acquire high volume backlinks. These strategies will are budget-friendly.
You can use Trust Flo and DA to measure the success of the business, although you shouldn’t rely on these metrics for the entire link building campaign. You should avoid blindly following metrics from third party tools because a good campaign is one which is organic. Strive to be creative and employ good marketing strategies.