If there’s one tactic that’s going to see your SEO rankings soar past the competition's, it’s building a high quality portfolio of SEO backlinks.
But before I get in to how to build your SEO backlinks, there’s an old adage in life that I’d like to bring out from the dust for your benefit.
Does this diagram look familiar? I’ve seen many a designer/creative professional use these concentric circles to describe the grit and gumption required to produce quality work.
And although SEO is somewhat of a clandestine art that might not be so easily visualised, the same rules of quality apply.
You need to CHOOSE TWO OF THESE circles in order to achieve your goals.
You CANNOT HAVE ALL THREE.
Do you want Fast and Good? You’ll likely have to dedicate more of your marketing budget to getting a good result and OUTSOURCE the process.
Not within your means right now? I feel you. Outsourcing can be a significant investment, so you might have to make do with Fast and Slow, and SYSTEMATISE your process.
Because here’s the truth, dear reader: building your SEO backlinks is NOT EASY. But it is POSSIBLE and the results are worth it, all with the right allocation of resources and energy.
Potential backlinking challenges
Before you understand HOW to build your backlinks – by outsourcing or building a system – you need to know what challenges you might have to overcome.
Here are a few factors that affect a backlinking strategy.
1. Great content might not get links.
Not all contented is suitable for targeting keywords and getting backlinks. For example, if you have a content piece that’s time sensitive, you might be able to accrue a few links within a certain time period. But as that article gets old – due to its time sensitivity – people will stop linking to it. And backlinking needs to be consistent and ongoing.
However, your content might be great for social media. Perhaps your content isn’t tying in with search terms that have a high volume, but it might work really well with an engaged audience on Instagram?
Consider which content is compatible with SEO before you start creating it.
2. You need either time and patience, or money and resources.
If you’re a small business owner, you likely want to spend more time within your zone of genius. That’s why working on an SEO backlink campaign won’t be the best use of your time and skills. You need to build relationships and have patience, and deal with radio silence. All of these activities take you away from what you do best.
On the other hand, building your backlink portfolio is easier when you have the money to outsource, or if you have an in-house team that can dedicate their time to the task.
If you own small business, you’ll need to decide whether you have the time to invest in creating a backlinking system, or the money to spare on outsourcing the process.
1. Know what content will get links for you
Decide what content formats, topics and SEO keywords work for you.
Perhaps you’ve started your keyword research based on a topic, and identified some medium-tale keywords to target?
Great! Now’s the time to decide whether you want to produce a video (awesome for SEO), write a long-form article, create a map, or visualise some data.
Ask yourself: Does your audience respond to videos? Do they prefer to read? Will those you reach out to for backlinks enjoy this content, and want to share it with their audience too? Do you have the capacity/resources to produce the kind of content that you want to?
2. Outsource or systematise your backlinking strategy
I’ll let you in on a secret… I do not like the backlinking process myself.
Why? It’s arduous. As someone who enjoys variety, I don’t enjoy sitting behind a desk for hours, sending multiple emails, following up on said emails, managing spread sheets of emails, etc.
That’s why I suggest that if you’re building a backlink portfolio, you outsource the outreach process to someone who can do it better and faster than you can.
How you choose to go about this is a matter of your own budget.
Can you find a professional SEO agency to do this for you?
Or will you have to hire someone on Upwork, and spend a little extra time training them?
If outsourcing isn’t within your means just yet, it’s up to you to build a system that’s efficient and effective.
You’ll need to plan:
- Who creates the content, and when.
- Who’s on your outreach list? And how will you find and qualify them?
- Who’s responsible for outreach?
- How many times will you follow up?
- How many backlinks will you need to per piece of content? I recommend using AHREFS for this data.
To build your backlink portfolio, there is no short cut.
You cannot skip ahead to the sunset, mimosa in hand as your website becomes the highest ranking on Google.
You need a solid strategy, achievable goals, patience, and either time/energy/patience or money/resources.
What will it be for you?