Creating high-quality backlinks is the hardest thing to do in SEO.
Because convincing one website to link to another isn’t an easy task.
There’s several link building strategies in SEO. There’s guest posts, which requires patience and bit of link building etiquette. Then there’s popular tactics like broken link building, unlinked mentions, reverse engineering competitors, link reclamation, skyscraper content, and even black hat SEO tactics like paying for backlinks.
We’ve tried them all, given up on them all, and created our own backlink building strategy designed specifically for small businesses.
It’s called Terkel.
Terkel is a HARO alternative that connects brands with expert insights. Small businesses answer questions pertaining to their expertise on the Terkel platform and get their insights published in a piece of content with backlink attribution to their company website.
In this post, we’ll dive into some of the FAQs we receive by executing our digital PR services through Terkel. Our hope is that these insights can help educate small businesses on how to create backlinks in SEO.
How do these backlinks help drive traffic to my site?
The types of backlinks we place are focused primarily on increasing the organic traffic of your website, and not necessarily referral traffic.
To dive deeper into this, the goal of our placements is to increase the authority of your website so that your content can outrank competitors. Our strategy is to use these placements to increase Domain Rating, which will increase the overall URL Rating of every page on your website.
Why does URL Rating matter when building backlinks?
Because a study conducted by Ahrefs, our preferred SEO software, found that URL Rating had the strongest ranking correlation of any SEO metric. We have a strong reason to believe that if we can increase UR Rating, we can help increase ranking. With increased rankings come increased traffic. And to increase UR rating, we need to increase Domain Rating (DR) – which is what our placements aim to do.
What makes a quality SEO backlink?
There’s many SEO metrics we look at when determining what makes a valuable backlink. But, the best metric we rely on most is Domain Rating (DR).
All placements we make are made on websites with a DR of “20” or higher. With that said, links from low-DR sites will not hurt you in any way. Domain Rating (DR) is not indicative of a website’s spamminess, and links from low-DR sites can sometimes be more valuable if it is relevant to a client site, or if the placement is made on a high-authority page on a lower authority domain.
Here’s a graphic that goes into more detail as to why links from low-authority sites are still valuable.
What are some SEO backlink examples?
Here are articles posted on Calendly, GoDaddy, and Keap that offer examples of how we create backlinks.
Are backlinks still important?
Google was founded as a hypertextual search engine in 1996 at Stanford. Twenty-five years later, it is widely believed that PageRank and backlinks still are the most important ranking signal in search engine algorithms.
Why are some of my links NoFollow?
The short answer is that every site has it’s own editorial policy for attributing external links.
There’s a general stigma that NoFollow links aren’t valuable.
We’ll humbly point out that Google’s treatment of NoFollow links has evolved, and that NoFollow attribution is now treated as “hints” instead of “directives” to search engine crawlers.
We believe NoFollow links carry value and matter for rankings based on Google’s updated treatment of NoFollow attribution. This is especially true when NoFollow backlinks come from sites with high authority or high relevance.
In fact, our philosophy at Markitors actually extends to valuing “linkless mentions” – or inferred links – very highly as well. Several of the partners we work with don’t link to websites at all, and instead just mention the company name for attribution. Because these partners are among the highest authority websites in their respective spaces, we view these digital PR placements as extremely valuable for brand building.
Is there still an SEO benefit to being published on the same site multiple times?
It’s a common misconception in SEO that multiple backlinks from the same domain aren’t valuable, or could potentially harm SEO efforts.
However, there’s a few reasons we believe that multiple inbound links from the same domain are a good thing for a website.
1. It’s more natural. 79% of websites that link to another website link twice or more to the same site. About 21% of sites link only once. In other words, it’s more natural for a site to link multiple times than to build a backlink profile of single linking sites.
2. Links – especially from relevant and authoritative referring domains – help increase the authority of a website. This can be measured in Domain Rating, and URL Rating of a website.
3. Referral Traffic stands to benefit when appearing on a prominent site with organic traffic. In other words, we believe it’s more valuable to be on a site that receives 10x the organic search traffic multiple times than a site receiving 0.1x organic traffic because of the referral traffic potential.
How are these quotes relevant to my company/brand/product/service?
The objective of our digital PR efforts is to build high-quality backlinks to help SEO ranking. We write quotes to be as relevant to your brand or services, while still making sure that quotes adhere to external editorial guidelines and are relevant content for partners.
It’s important to note that these placements are made to obtain a backlink from a website with significant domain authority. Backlinks from strong websites tend to move the needle, and we believe high authority placements will help rankings.
Clients are welcome to edit quotes, as long as the quote is non-promotional and actionable for a reader.
Do quotes have to come from a real person?
Using a fake name in connection with link building tactics is pretty common. However, this approach doesn’t exactly inspire votes of confidence with search engines.
Our partners don’t accept pen names with submissions. They are putting their brand on the line in featuring insights, and they expect the experts they feature to be real people.
We get that some people may not feel comfortable using their name on something that doesn’t sound like themselves. In the past, our clients have navigated around this by either writing answers to questions themselves, or diversifying who on their team is answering the questions. It’s important to capture your tone and voice when creating high quality content, and requires a bit of effort to get right.
How am I placed on sites that are relevant to my brand/product/service?
The two most important factors that contribute to a quality backlink is the relevance and authority of a referring domain. We aim to make placements on sites that are relevant to our clients, while ensuring that these sites are authoritative enough to help rankings. Balancing relevance and authority is a difficult challenge in search engine optimization. Sometimes, we prioritize authority with sites because these high-quality backlinks help strengthen the link profile of a client.
In addition, we are always onboarding new, relevant sites to ensure the connection between partner and client is valuable for everyone.
Can we include links within my quotes to certain pages or blog posts on my site?
Generally speaking, it is against the editorial policies of our partners to include links within the quotes we submit. With that said, if there are links to helpful studies or non-promotional pages that enhance your quote, please feel to include them and we will submit for our partner’s consideration.
What are some other benefits of being featured in articles?
Social media shares and brand building are two of the benefits beyond quality links. You’ll likely see in Google Analytics an increase in referral traffic from LinkedIn (since these posts are frequently shared) and from the referring domain. If you’re signed up for Google Alerts, you’ll also receive a friendly email with a notification that your brand has been mentioned online.
What is the frequency of incoming links? Are these placements made on a regular basis?
All of our placements are subject to the external editorial calendars of our partners. Sometimes, there’s delays outside of our control. Our Digital PR team works with editors, bloggers, and journalists to minimize these delays. When these delays do happen, we make sure that our clients receive all of the deliverables in their agreement either in the current or following month. Should a delay happen, you will receive your placements within the next month.
How should I measure success?
The short answer is search engine rankings. Relevant backlinks should help increase the authority of your domain, which should help increase the visibility of your target keywords. Alternative ways to measure the success of your online presence is through metrics like monthly search traffic, backlink count, number of linking authoritative sites, and domain rating from your favorite SEO tool.
How can I do more beyond creating backlinks?
You can always create more backlinks using link building opportunities like broken links, guest posts, or outreach emails. But you can also create internal links on your own website, spruce up your social media accounts, and execute a content strategy on your own blog.
Alternatively, there’s a few steps to take from here:
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with us to further answer your questions about backlink opportunities
- Sign up for Terkel and answer questions pertaining to your expertise
- Take action! It’s too easy to read articles like this and continue to research. Try new things, approve those quotes, and measure how successful this approach may be for your small business.