23 Sep How To Generate Backlinks and Build an Authority Site
Gaining high quality backlinks from authority sites is a fundamental building block of all good seo strategies. Think of backlinks as testimonials from other websites. If the only testimonials you have are from your uncle Larry who’s a lifetime convict, you are unlikely to get a ton of trust. On the otherhand, if you had Barack Obama giving you a testimonial you’d have a great chance of landing that job.
As a website you must generate backlinks to your website to build an authority site.
What is an Authority Site
An authority site is a very high quality website that is respected by knowledgeable people in its industry. It is a website that has content on it that is so good and makes the site so useful that people are actually glad they landed on it and want to share it with their friends.
This is usually attributed to a high domain and page authority as well as a lot of links back to the site.
But this kinda leaves us a bit in a chicken or egg standpoint. To become an authority site you must get backlinks, but to generate backlinks you need to become an authority. So how do you go about doing this?
How A Brand New Website Can Build Backlinks
Let’s use a real case study as an example. I’m in the process of building an authority site on Unicorns, the mythical creature with a spiral horn in the center of its forehead. This is a continuation to my other article on building an authority site.
Taking a look at the website’s starting stats you will see Domain authority 7 Page authority 10 https://i.imgur.com/kPdTW1E.png 1 inbound link and 0 keyword rankings.
Google Webmasters tools shows a few more links but nothing of substance.
Create Content Worthy Of Backlinks
What is content worthy of backlinks? A good metric I like to use is Google’s Rich Snippet content. Whenever you do a search in Google, the little drop down menu with questions or similar queries are rich snippets. These are frequently asked questions for various search terms and a good place to start when creating content.
For example if you take the keyword Unicorn Horn into Google. Some of the rich snippets that appear are:
What is a Unicorn Horn Called?
What is a Unicorn Horn Made of?
Can A Unicorn Horn Regrow?
What Magical Powers Does A Unicorn Horn Have?
To achieve and win over someone else for a Rich Snippet. You must answer the content more directly and completely. Writing direct answers for each of these questions means the likelihood of gaining a rich snippet is high. If I gain a Rich Snippet then I’m likely to get the traffic and as such, likely to get any backlinks when other articles are created and need a source.
The second way to create content worthy of backlinks is by investing in visual content. In particular infographics and sharable content.
My Infographic Strategy
Infographics make great shareable content, and if you add an embed code at the bottom you make it really easy for someone else to post the infographic on their site. Thus giving you a backlink to your site. That said, Infographics can be extremely expensive to design and create.
There are sites that allow you to build your own infographic such as Piktochart that I’ve used in the past. The problem with these tools is that you have to be somewhat competent and creative. Which I am not one of those people.
What I did instead is I went onto Fiverr and for $15 had someone make me an infographic. (Side note, I’ve actually hired a large number of different designers of various price points on Fiverr and will be writing a post about this. Sharing the different designs and results per cost)
Since there are not that many people writing about Unicorns, the design doesn’t need to be as important.
I gave him the name of the infographic, 10 Fun Facts About Winged Unicorns, and the 10 data points.
After I received the finished product I created a list of every infographic submission site I could self submit too.
Some of these sites give Do-follow backlinks and are already being indexed by Google.
Becoming an Authority in a Space
How do you become an authority in your space? Press and lots of it. How do you get press?
Become an invaluable resource for reporters though HARO.
Haro is the secret weapon most press people don’t want you to know about because it’s how they get you featured. You pay them thousands of dollars and they get you in touch with potential press opportunities.
Yet, you can sign up to HARO for free and get all the same results. Not to mention generate some good backlinks to your blog and content.
Guest Contributing To Create Authority
All major authority sites create tons of content. For example The Washington Post publishes over 1200 pieces of content per day. That is an insane amount of content to create. The only way any one company can create that amount of content is if they have a team of paid and unpaid content creators.
Guest contributing is one way you can join that team and publish content. Typically guest contributing is a free endeavor but there are some paid guest contributing opportunities.
There are plenty of resources on how to become a guest contributor. Some sites like social media today even have the ability to submit a post right on the site.
Pro Tip: If you guest contribute to any major authority site, you can also sign up to HARO as a reporter. Pitch Queries and you will get 50+ responses for your article. This makes content creation a breeze.
What this all looks like in the end?
Building an authority site with lots of backlinks takes time. Search engine optimization isn’t something you do once, it is a process that takes months. That said, you can start seeing results relatively fast.
I’ve been working on growing This Unicorn Life for only four weeks. In that timeframe my domain and page authority are already starting to grow.
Domain Authority grew my a single point and page authority by 3 points. It typically takes 5-10 weeks for a link to index in Google so the first link coming in at 4 weeks out is really great!
While not huge, this is a massive shift for just a few weeks of effort. Not only that, my Google Webmasters Tools is showcasing a lot more growth. When I started I had a few backlinks from Pinterest and that is about it.
Reddit Generating 3k+ backlinks and starting to rank in some of the places I guest contribute. Reddit backlinks aren’t typically do-follow, as most social media links are not.
(Granted I’ve seen some mixed messages about that online. I guess Reddit can give do-follow if a post gets enough upvotes.) That said, even if the links are no-follow it helps build out your websites credibility as a health mix is normal for an authority site.
One last thing that needs to be mentioned is to create internal backlinks in your own content. You can really increase your own visibility in Google by having a healthy amount of internal backlinks. What this looks like is if you look at the article “Are Unicorns Real?” In that article I also link to other articles that make sense contextually. Some examples of internal links are
If a reader lands on an article then clicks to a new article in your site, it sends a massive positive signal to Google that your content is good. The more they click around and stay on your site, the better in the eyes of Google. You are giving the readers exactly what they are looking for.
That is my strategy to generate backlinks and creating a ton of authority. Let me know if you guys know other ways of growing an authority site.
Hope this helped.