The Best White Hat SEO Link Building Tactics in 2021
In the world of SEO, algorithms change and new strategies pop up every single day.
While some specialists swear by new school teachings, others claim traditional SEO tactics are the only way. It’s hard to really say whether one method of SEO is truly effective. However, the most important SEO goal for any online website is all about generating page traffic and drawing users to your website.
According to Entrepreneur:
“backlinks are still the no. 1 most important ranking signal that Google uses.”
What is Link Building and Why is it so Important?
Link building is essentially the practice of getting websites to link back to your site. As we said above, Google algorithms are extremely intricate and continuously evolving, but the one constant is always the importance of links.
Backlinks are still the most consistent determining factor for how sites rank for keywords. Furthermore, the more quality links you have, the more authoritative your site is seen by Google.
White Hat Vs. Black Hat Link Building
The term ‘black hat’ has origins in spy movies and novels, where somebody with malicious intent would try to take over the world. While this might seem a bit extreme for SEO, it holds the same meaning. Black hat SEO is focused on trying to hack or trick the Google algorithm into thinking a website is valuable. They use tools and tricks such as keyword stuffing, or a paid link scheme to try to quickly increase a site’s ranking. Black hat techniques are very quickly discovered by the Google algorithm team and the websites that use them are usually penalized by either a drop in rankings or getting their site removed from the index altogether.
White hat link building, by contrast, is focused on actually building a high value site that meets the visitors needs. They use the results the search engine currently displays to determine what they should write about and how they can be useful to the searchers. Because the content they create is valuable to the readers, they tend to stay on the site longer, which reduces the bounce rate and increases the time on site measured by Google. As well as this, it leads to link building opportunities and a boost in organic traffic as the site starts to rank for more keywords.
White hat link building takes longer than black hat, and that is why a lot of people are tempted to find a shortcut. It’s easier in the short term, but a lot more punishing in the long run.
Five White Hat Link Building Strategies
1. High-Quality Content
When it comes to white-hat link building, creating useful or entertaining content is the best organic way to obtain links. The great thing is that creative content will never go out of style. Content gives people a reason to share your link. We suggest starting by creating a blog post on an industry-related topic that will bring in eyeballs.
If the content you’re writing is useful and topical, it should eventually gain traffic and result in backlinks. Luckily, most people are lazy and would rather link to outside content than create their own. Make sure to keep SEO in mind when drafting your posts because even the best writing in the world won’t make any difference if nobody sees it.
Before publishing, ask yourself would I actually want to read this? If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board because the internet is too saturated for subpar content to make any difference. Our experience shows the longer the post is the more traction it will gain.
But, longer doesn’t mean lower quality. Absolutely do not throw in boring filler content, but rather elaborate on important points. According to MarketingProfs, the ideal post length is 1,142 words.
2. Reclaim Broken Links
Reclaiming broken links is a surefire way to build up your sites Domain Authority (DA). Better yet, it’s completely white-hat and for the most part pretty simple.
Broken links are basically links that no longer work anymore due to one of five reasons:
- An incorrect URL entered for the link by the website manager.
- The website containing the link removed the linked web page (creating what is known as a 404 error).
- The website with the link doesn’t exist anymore.
- There is a software or firewall that blocks access to the destination website.
- The website manager linked to a site that is stuck beyond a firewall that does not give outside access.
At Brandastic we utilize Ahrefs in order to identify the dead links and come up with a fix using one of five methods.
- Contact the linking website and ask for a fix.
- Redirect (301) broken page to the new location
- Replace the content on a broken URL
- Redirect (301) any broken pages to relevant pages on your site.
- Keep it as a 404
*for a comprehensive guide to reclaiming broken links click here
3. Guest Blogging
Guest posting or guest blogging is another tried and true white-hat SEO way of building up your site’s link profile. As an added bonus, they are great ways of generating traffic.
Guest Posts are posts you write on websites with a similar niche to your own. Think SEO marketers publishing posts on MOZ Blog. This also works the other way around and you can ask others to post on your site in return. Sites will often promote a post on their own social channels, which means even more engagement from you. Just make sure the site will link back to your own content before publishing.
*for a comprehensive guide to guest blogging click here
4. The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique, coined by backlink guru Brian Dean, takes some effort, but the rewards can be massive.
The concept itself is simple and there are only three straightforward steps to follow:
- Discover a keyword you want to rank for.
- Dig through the content in the top 10 positions on Google.
- Curate a piece of content that’s 10x better than anything on the SERP.
That’s it. No, really it’s that simple. Now the hard part is figuring out how to create content that blows everyone else out of the water.
*for a comprehensive guide to skyscraping content click here
5. Reverse Engineering Competitors Links
All the competitive spirits out there will love this one. With tools like Ahrefs and Spyfu, it’s easy to view every single one of a competitor’s backlinks. Now all you have to do is figure out how they got them and copy the technique.
This is also a great way to find low hanging fruit you might be missing out on like directory submission sites and listing sites.
*for a comprehensive guide to skyscraping content click here
White Hat Link Building is All About Effort
Gone are the days when you can buy sketchy backlinks without any punishment to your site from Google. The white hat tactics explained in this article are all very straightforward, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take considerable time and effort. Every inbound link is another step towards the higher ranking you want for your site. Building a substantial backlink profile is an extremely important part of any SEO campaign and it’s something you should invest energy into.