What Makes a Great Backlink?

Traffic Link Building

What makes a great backlink?

Is it Page Rank?

Domain Authority?

How about niche relevancy?

While all those are important SEO metrics, they ignore one of the most important factors to consider when evaluating a potential link opportunity: referral traffic.

In fact, when you put these 5 link building strategies into practice, you’ll find that — due to the increase in traffic you get from a diverse set of sources — that you actually become less reliant on Big G. And with Google rolling out update after update, you definitely want traffic coming from as many different non-search sources as you can.

#1: Infographics

The link building potential of infographics are well known in the SEO community.

But you may not know that — when done right — you can get thousands of targeted visitors from a single infographic. To do that, you’ll need to approach your infographic marketing a bit differently than most SEOs.

Instead of submitting your infographic to hundreds of infographic directories, put that time and energy towards targeted blogger outreach. That means you’ll have to email top bloggers in your industry (and authority sites like LifeHacker and Mashable) to give them a heads up about your infographic.

Sure, most will say “no”. But even one infographic placement on a popular authority site is enough to send you server-melting traffic.

#2: PR and Press Releases

Google may not value backlinks from press releases as they once did (even though there’s evidence they still pass on some value to your site).

But that doesn’t mean press releases are completely dead. In fact, when you write an SEO and press friendly press release, you can often get your release picked up by bloggers and major news sites. This is where more of the SEO — and referral traffic — benefits come into play.

The key here, again, is what you do after the press release is published. If you submit it to 25 free press release distribution sites, you’re probably going to find yourself with a trickle of traffic (if any at all). But if you let industry-leading bloggers know about your legit news piece, you’re likely to get mentions on high-traffic sites in your niche.

#3: Guest Posting

You may have seen that Google recently updated their guidelines to discourage “large-scale” guest posting. If you’ve ever published a guest post on a site with zero comments, social shares or engagement, you’ve probably seen that the post brings in a grand total of zero visitors.

The fact is, there are hundreds of blogs out there that exist for the sole purpose of accepting guest posts. They’re not what you (or Google) would consider a “real site”.

On the other hand, guest posting on a top site in your industry will land you a much more powerful backlink…and will send you a boatload of targeted visitors.

It’s also important to note that — because visitors that come through guest post links have just read your content — they’re much more likely to convert than the average visitor. However, getting your content placed on massively popular authority sites isn’t easy. This guide has some handy email outreach and guest posting tips that you can use to increase the odds of getting your content published on authority sites.

#4: Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a link building strategy that’s growing in popularity in the SEO community.

And why not?

It’s one of the few scalable, white hat link building strategies out there.

However, most people approach broken link building as a pure link building exercise. And while there’s nothing wrong with getting backlinks from broken link building, it can also be leveraged for serious traffic.

Here are two strategies that work well:

Find resource pages on popular sites in your niche (resource pages are usually some of the most heavily-trafficked pages on any site). Then check for broken links using a program like Check My Links. Finally, reach out to the site owner to let them know about their broken links…and offer yours as a replacement. This way, when people visit the page, they’ll see your site listed as a helpful resource and click through.

Use a program like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to analyze an entire site for broken links. Instead of offering your link as a replacement, use your outreach as a way to build a relationship with the site owner.

#5: Create a Linkable Asset

A linkable asset is essentially an amazing piece of content — like a tool, ultimate guide or great resource — on your site that naturally acquire backlinks.

They’re not easy to make. But when you invest the resources necessary to put out an amazing linkable asset on your site, the long-term SEO benefit is very real.

Linkable assets should also be called “traffic assets”, because they tend to generate repeat visitors and referral traffic via blog links, email newsletters and forum mentions. If you need some inspiration, here are 9 examples of linkable assets published from a post published at Moz.

Image via Flikr

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About Brandon Leibowitz

is a Social Media fanatic. His blog, Bosmol, is based on trending stories on various topics related to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Internet Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Smartphones, SEO, and many other topics. Established in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Subscribe to us to receive the latest news and updates first. Please feel free to comment back.

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