People in planning session of Quality Backlinks

The Powerful Benefits of Quality Backlinks

Earning quality backlinks is hard work but the  multiple benefits they bring make that work well worth the effort. People are quick to talk about the most obvious benefit – a boost to search engine rankings. That’s fantastic of course but when talking to clients or trying to win an in-house budget, they often forget to emphasize the other important benefits of quality backlinks and that’s what I’m going to explore in this article.

By recognizing the range of benefits your link building work brings, and spelling them out to clients, a powerful proposal can become even more powerful: and a request for an in-house budget can be even more compelling if your boss understands the true impact of the quality backlinks you will earn.

In this post I’m going to cover:

What are quality backlinks?

The fundamental stages of quality link building

Cheat Sheet: The Powerful Benefits of Quality Backlinks

What are quality backlinks?

There are many types of quality backlinks – from popular blogs in your market, popular news media that write about your market, trade press, academic sites, sites from associations in your market, and many more.

Quality backlinks come from sites that are well-indexed and themselves perform in search engine results. They’ll come from sites that have high editorial standards where you can’t buy or hustle your way in – where you have to earn editorial coverage and editorial backlinks.

They’ll come from sites that are read by journalists, bloggers, researchers and more – people who read about you and then decide to write about and link to you – without you having to even ask.

I think you’ll recognize a quality backlink prospect when you see one. And that’s one of the reasons for doing a backlink analysis of market leaders and disruptors in your market. Browse through the results and you’ll see many prospects you’d love to get a link from. 

The fundamental stages of quality link building

The hard work comes in four fundamental stages:

(i) Researching quality backlink prospects – many of them will have tough criteria you have to meet. That is to be welcomed because meeting their high standards makes you stand out from your competitors.

(ii) Creating something worth linking to or worth publishing – you can’t earn quality backlinks unless you have great content. That might be your business model, research you’ve conducted or a piece of spectacular content you’ve created.

(iii) Writing an individual customized pitch – from your research on backlink prospects, you get to understand the people who decide what to publish. What do they write about, what are their opinions and what do their customers want. Once you know that you must craft individual pitches to each.

(iv) Following up and building relationships with your prospects – don’t see quality link building as a one-off: if they’ve covered you once, they show they’re interested in you. So make sure they’re first when you release something new.

The fundamental stages of quality link building

The hard work comes in four fundamental stages:

(i) Researching quality backlink prospects – many of them will have tough criteria you have to meet. That is to be welcomed because meeting their high standards makes you stand out from your competitors.

(ii) Creating something worth linking to or worth publishing – you can’t earn quality backlinks unless you have great content. That might be your business model, research you’ve conducted or a piece of spectacular content you’ve created.

(iii) Writing an individual customized pitch – from your research on backlink prospects, you get to understand the people who decide what to publish. What do they write about, what are their opinions and what do their customers want. Once you know that you must craft individual pitches to each.

(iv) Following up and building relationships with your prospects – don’t see quality link building as a one-off: if they’ve covered you once, they show they’re interested in you. So make sure they’re first when you release something new.

Cheat Sheet: The Powerful Benefits of Quality Backlinks

So, here’s a ‘cheat sheet’ of the top benefits you can use when talking to your team or clients about quality backlinks – be sure to include as many as you can in your next proposal.

 

1. Quality backlinks impact multiple SEO ranking factors

Quality backlinks have always been prized but now they’re essential to any serious link building campaign – they’re becoming the only backlinks worth chasing after.

And to attract those quality backlinks, you need to have quality content.

That quality content impacts multiple SEO ranking factors – providing useful insights, customer engagement with your site, brand searches, social sharing, and much more.

 

2. Quality backlinks bring direct traffic to your website

Top news sites, popular blogs, and other quality sites have significant daily traffic. That means when you earn a backlink from any of these sites, many people will read about you and see your backlink. If they’re interested in what you have to offer, many will click through to explore.

That brings you potential new customers – and because they’ve just read about you on a top site, they’ll already be seeing you in a positive light – which means that your conversion rates will go up.

This initial surge of traffic is terrific but, of course, it does die down after a couple of days. However, that backlink will remain in place and the article or post will continue to be read – and that will bring you some traffic well into the future.

Earn enough quality backlinks over time, and collectively they’ll bring you regular traffic every day.

 

3. Quality Backlinks attract more backlinks without you asking

If you get good coverage and a backlink from a top blog or news outlet, you’ll discover the bonus of ‘additional’ backlinks. These are the backlinks you get when another blogger, journalist or expert reads about you, and then follows suit by writing about you and giving you a backlink too.

And it’s particularly gratifying when its from a major media outlet, like Cari Shane writing for the Huffington Post, In the Age of Social Media, Why PR Should Matter to Businesses, Both Small and Large where she extensively quoted from one of my columns on SearchEngineWatch.com:

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If the quality of your content is high, this can turn into a cascade of additional backlinks that continue to spread your message – without you having to ask for them.

And of course, this brings you additional publishers who, because they linked, you know are interested in what you do. Build a relationship with these new publishers. Thank them and add them to a list so you can follow up with further content.

I love these additional backlinks because what’s happening is that your market is actively identifying itself – all you’ve got to do is notice and follow up.

(And just to be clear – when I talk about ‘backlinks without asking’, I don’t mean you should stop actively asking for backlinks – these ‘additional’ backlinks you get are a real bonus!)

 

4. Quality backlinks boost trust in your brand

Backlinks on quality blogs and news sites really builds your credibility and inspires readers to trust you, your products and your opinions.

Many target prospects will have detailed guidelines – find them and follow them – whether it’s a site like NextAvenue.com whose detailed guidelines you can find at https://www.nextavenue.org/submission-guidelines/

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NextAvenue.org give extensive guidelines to potential contributors.

Or a site like CampingCooks.com who provide their guidelines here https://campingcooks.com/write-for-us-contribute-camping-outdoor-food-articles/

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These guidelines are tough – you have to put work into creating content – but the exposure and the quality backlink you get will be well worth it.

 

5. Quality backlinks build a network that you can tap into

You should see every quality backlink you get as an expression of interest and an invitation to keep in touch, letting them know about new stuff you’re doing. The more quality backlinks you have, the more potential you have to spread new material.

So, respond promptly to people who have just given you a new backlink so they remember you. Do this by:

  • promoting the link on social media
  • monitoring comments on the post and be ready to jump in and encourage conversation or debate
  • write a post on your own blog, especially if there’s good feedback or debate.

And remember that bloggers link to other bloggers and journalists often link to other journalists. So do a backlink analysis for any blog or publication that links to you, and you’ll easily find new backlink prospects.

 

6. Quality backlinks bring you bragging rights

Once you’ve established some quality backlink, you should let your audience know. The simplest way to do this is to have a logo collection on your home, of major outlets that have covered you. Under the title of “As featured on…”

Or you could take that further and follow the example of Josh Steimle who has a dedicated press page where he lists every mention of his work on external websites at https://www.joshsteimle.com/press

Final words

Quality backlinks may well be the most difficult to earn but the effort involved is amply rewarded by the many benefits they bring.

But how do you actually earn quality backlinks?

Earlier in this post, I summarized the four stages of building quality backlinks. They were:

(i) Researching quality backlink prospects 

(ii) Creating something worth linking to or worth publishing

(iii) Writing an individual customized pitch

(iv) Following up and building relationships with your prospects

In the next post in this series, I’ll explore these four stages in detail.

What do you think?

In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, please comment and I’ll be happy to reply.