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SEO 20 min read

How To Build Backlinks: The Ultimate Link Building Guide (2021 Strategies That Work)

How To Get Quality Backlinks: The Ultimate Guide
Александр Иванов
Ilkhom Chakkanbaev
Author at Seopulses.ru
How to build backlinks? External optimization for a site is an integral part of SEO promotion, which requires constant analysis of the link mass and the search for donors to receive. However, donors are different. Today we'll talk about finding quality backlinks.

Why backlinks are important for SEO

Backlinks are links that lead to your site from the outside and are among the main ranking factors.

Link mass can positively affect your site's ranking in the SERP, as the search engine sees that others are linking to the site.

However, as with keywords, more links don't mean better. Search engines recognize most fake (placed to manipulate search results) and irrelevant links. And even seriously lower the position of sites for a sharp increase in their number.

From the search engines' point of view, every page and web resource on the Internet has its own weight (authority). Thus, every link on the Internet, which is not closed from search robots, transfers its weight from the donor site to the acceptor page. Accordingly, external optimization should consider both the number of links to the page/site and their authority.

As you can see, the link factor is one of the most significant today, especially because of the latest Core Updates. Therefore, link building is a key priority here.

Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR
Founder of Holistic SEO
Good content engineering always produces links. I can compile Reddit content with the best interaction rate. I can convert the data from BigQuery to infographics. Google Trends, content reformatting, content repurposing will also help. Besides these, also brand mentions without links always help search engines for better discovery rates and entity-profile improvements for better trust. (If the mentions are positive, of course.)
What Affects Your Site Rankings

Number of links

Where to start? According to our link building guide, first of all, you should determine the number of external links, since the more there are, the greater the chance of getting into Google's top 10. For example, on the query "how to create google account," we see the following sites in the search results:
how backlinks affect rankings
Next, we check a URL through Serpstat's Backlink Analysis tool and see the number of incoming links for each page:
backlinks tool serpstat
After that, you will need to calculate the arithmetic mean to understand the request's competitiveness and get the number of the required number of links to display the page in the top 10.

To understand which competitor pages are gaining the most backlinks, use the Top Pages report:
top pages report serpstat
Based on this analysis, we make up an anchor list that allows you to understand what quantity and what anchors it is better to use to place links to the site.

Additionally, you can consider the query's competitiveness and distribute the execution depending on the possible result that can be achieved due to entering the top.
Serpstat Backlink Analysis Tool: A Comprehensive Guide
By the way, in Serpstat, Backlink analysis is also available through the API, which significantly simplifies and speeds up the search for backlinks.
Quick And Easy Backlink Analysis With Serpstat API Is Now Available

Resource authority

Unfortunately, there is no exact way to determine donor authority. However, to analyze a domain in Serpstat, you just need to click on any external link in the report, after which the analysis of the entire domain will open.

Using this manual analysis, you can determine how these links might affect the promotion of the site in the top 10.
serpstat referring domains
Additionally, to analyze the authority, you can use the SDR (Serpstat Domain Rank) indicator, which allows you to assess the quality of domains without unnecessary counting.

SDR (Serpstat Domain Rank) is a measure of domain authority. It is displayed as a number from 0 to 100. The principle of calculation is similar to the principle of Google Page Rank: the indicator depends on several numbers:
how many sites refer to the analyzed domain;
how many sites refer to sites referring to the analyzed domain;
how many sites refer to sites referring to sites that refer to the analyzed domain.
So all sites in the index are taken into account.

Accordingly, SDR can grow if there are new incoming links and if the link mass of the site's donors, or their donors, grows.
domain authority
When checking a donor, it is best to choose growing resources because if a site's traffic drops for a long time, it will most likely have problems. You can see the attendance graph in the Domain analysis' Overview report on the Traffic trend tab.
Как проверить динамику трафика
How To Analyze External Links With Google Analytics

What types of links do search engines value?

To get the most out of your link promotion, I recommend following these rules:
Crossing topics
If the donor and the acceptor have the same topic, then the probability of clicking on the link is much higher. When visiting the site, the user will be able to find interesting content.
Traffic availability
It is best to exclude "dead" domains that have no traffic at all. It is better to focus on the most popular and most visited resources, where users may be interested in the information posted.
Site authority
As stated above, it is best to use every possible tool to understand how "authoritative" a resource is. The better this indicator, the more attention needs to be paid to it.
Natural placement
It is best to use links within the text and not attach them to a specific block, which will be much more natural and, if placed correctly, will maximize the chance of following it.
Link anchors
Commercial anchors should be mixed with their more or less secure counterparts, for example, URL or "here", "by link".
To analyze the anchors of existing backlinks, you should use a special report in Serpstat.
how to check backlink anchors
Also when choosing a suitable donor:
1
Use different types of links. There may be redirects, images, dofollow (carrying weight), nofollow (not carrying weight), text, and others, which will not raise suspicion from search engines.
2
Avoid having UTM tags in links. The presence of tags hints to the search engine about the link's commercial placement, so this idea is best abandoned unless we are talking about advertising formats.
3
Simultaneous link and page indexing. If a link appears on an already indexed page later, Google robots may react negatively to this fact since it may indicate a contractual relationship. In some cases, this may not affect the promotion, but it is best to post the link with the material's publication.
4
Regionality. Of course, it is recommended to promote the resource for residents of one city on sites dedicated to it. Similarly, donors should be selected in the same language group as the site being promoted.
List Of Requirements For A Proper Referring Site
Not sure where to get started on improving your link mass?
Use Serpstat Checklist tool. You will find step-by-step instructions on working with links!

How to improve the external optimization score?

This will require:
Find and fix broken links
To do this, we upload a complete list of pages that have backlinks, after which we check them through any crawler, for example, Serpstat Site Audit, Netpeak Spider, or Screaming Frog Seo Spider. Next, we find the pages that now have a 404 status and fix them. If this cannot be done, then set up a redirect to another relevant page.
how to check the server response codes on the site
What Are Broken Links, How To Find And Fix Them
Replace 302 redirect with 301
The 302 redirect clarifies the search engine that this is a temporary redirect when the 301 already indicates the final change of the page address, so it is best to use the latter.
Remove faulty redirect chains
In this case, you can use Netpeak Spider.
Find and fix lost links
In some cases, the problem can be observed on the side of the donor's site, so it is best to find these links and, if possible, contact the resource administrator to find out the reason and restore the link. You can see how to find backlinks in the Backlinks report → Lost backlinks in Serpstat.
lost backlinks Serpstat
To increase the chance of getting a natural link you can use:
You need to make really useful and interesting content
Site visitors will want to share it; in this case, it is best to operate with a solution to the problem and not writing an article for a certain number of characters.
How To Write Better Blog Posts: 12 Experts Share Their Best Tips
Unique content
In many cases, the authors rewrite already created articles, but it is best to supplement the material with their own thoughts. This will make it more interesting and not give users the feeling that they are reading an outdated article.
Information relevance
As a topic, you need to take a question that interests people now or may be interested in the future, for which you can use the Google Trends service.
google trends
Personal demonstration
Our specialists will contact you and discuss options for further work. These may include a personal demonstration, a trial period, comprehensive training articles, webinar recordings, and custom advice from a Serpstat specialist. It is our goal to make you feel comfortable while using Serpstat.

Malicious links

The presence of malicious links only worsens the promotion, so it is best to delete them manually. Google's algorithm can automatically reject spam backlinks, and Google recommends the rejection tool to be used with extreme caution.

However, sometimes it is better to use Serpstat Malicious Sites report to see if there are any.
links from malicious sites how to eliminate
It is also worth checking donors for viruses. After all, the goal of an external promotion is to get high-quality links. Checking the site's donors is necessary to make sure that the resources referring to you are not infected with viruses and are not under filters.
How To Check Donor Sites For Filters And Malware
If necessary, disavow backlinks using a special tool in Google Search Console.
disavow backlinks on google
You can read more about the method of using the tool here.
How To Reject Bad External Links Via Google Disavow Tool
Not sure where to get started on improving your link mass?
Use Serpstat Checklist tool. You will find step-by-step instructions on working with links!

How to get backlinks to your site?

Quite often, link marketplaces are used to get inbound links, allowing you to buy or rent a backlink to your site for a small fee.

Search engines do not welcome this method, but it is still quite popular, so the Links Intersection report in Serpstat will help you when using it. It will allow you to understand how much the link mass of competitors is larger than the promoted resource and find good sites for promotion.
how to find link donors
Additionally, from the report you can see which donors bring the most links to competitors, which can be used in the future.
If the decision was made in favor of organic promotion, then it is best to use the following methods:
Guest posts
There is a large number of sites that are ready to post valuable content on their blog and at the same time leave a link to the author; for example, you can contribute to Serpstat by sending a guest post. Additionally, it's worth forming partnerships with other sites in your niche.
Charity and partnership
In many cases, assistance with information support and other types of partnerships allows you to receive a link in gratitude, and sometimes participation may be paid.
Cooperation with bloggers
You can find talented and interesting blog authors who will gladly accept additional material and share a link to the author who sent it in any niche.
Help other users
Today, most of the question/answer services (for example, Quora) allow you to put links to the site or do it automatically, which will enable you to get additional follows from an interested audience.
Promotion on forums
Despite the fact that the forums are no longer as popular as before, but still getting links from them is a fairly popular direction.
Social media promotion
It is best to encourage users to share links to the site on social networks more often, which can be done by adding special buttons that automatically form a post and send it to the desired service.
Research and activities
In many cases, market research and events can help generate additional link growth.
Directories, aggregators and ratings
Despite the lack of popularity with many directories, being in some niche directories will help the resource to get an additional relevant link.
Added value
You can create added value by developing and investing time/effort in your own free tools or courses/materials that users will be happy to share since they could solve some of the problems with them.
Brian Kato
Digital marketing consultant
How do you find linkbuilding opportunities?

  • Build out solid brand profiles using a platform like knowem. Check for domain authority.
  • syndicate your content to social media channels
  • "juice" your content and repurpose it on other platforms
  • influencer analysis
  • guest posting opportunities.
Personal demonstration
Our specialists will contact you and discuss options for further work. These may include a personal demonstration, a trial period, comprehensive training articles, webinar recordings, and custom advice from a Serpstat specialist. It is our goal to make you feel comfortable while using Serpstat.

Link analysis: checklist

And now, as promised - a link analysis checklist. We have collected all the main points for you in a convenient infographic so that the most crucial information is always at your fingertips.
ink analysis checklist

Conclusion

Link analysis is an important ranking factor that needs to be given a lot of attention and energy. Using the above recommendations of this SEO link building guide, you can quickly draw up a plan for external promotion and choose a suitable way of placing links for yourself.
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