Over the years, link building became one of the finest and most efficient SEO practices. In the beginning, backlinks were measured in volume – the more links pointing to a site, the more relevant it became.
However, things have changed.
The overuse of backlinks with little to no quality led to an en masse abuse of this tactic and depreciating the value of genuine meaningful links. When PageRank was still Google’s major algorithm it was easy for black hat marketers to thrive on their spammy links and outperform websites with far better value than theirs. They managed to enhance their site’s SEO score regardless of the content quality and relevance.
But Google has evolved and continues to do so. The most noteworthy change in the algorithm came with the introduction of the Penguin update, which made it clear that the goal of link building is to focus on quality rather than quantity. The idea was reinstated and fine tuned by numerous following updates, the latest of which was the Link Spam Algorithm Update.
Furthermore, not long ago, it was reminded again by Google’s own John Mueller in a Google SEO office-hours hangout session (timestamp 27:01):
“We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.”
In addition, Google introduced various link attributes to help companies define their links and reduce the likelihood of penalties. These include the rel=”sponsored”, rel=”ugc”, and rel=”nofollow”.
All in all, backlinks are still one of the strongest SEO signals that Google cares about. To make them count, you must follow the rules, avoid black hat strategies, and create valuable content that people really want to link to.
How Important Is Link Building for B2B?
B2B marketing is all about forming relationships and building authority.
One of the most successful ways to achieve this is to produce high-quality content that solves problems and answers important questions your target customers have. In fact, a Gartner study has found out that, when considering a purchase, B2B buyers spend 27% of their time in online research.
However, if your digital presence is lacking, they may not be able to discover your brand. Which means that to be able to stand out in their research and position yourself as a viable option, you not only need to create a state-of-the-art website, and strong social media branding, but you need to build authority in the SERPs.
And when it comes to search engines, if you want your content to ooze authority, what you really need are those relevant backlinks.
In a nutshell, here’s why B2B backlinks matter:
- Google Ranking Factor – A fundamental one! Getting to the first page of Google is not easy. Quality link-building demands planning, consistency, and dedication. You want backlinks that search engines consider as relevant, and each of those links needs to draw traffic to your page. Furthermore, high-quality backlinks affect your Google EAT status, as they show the algorithms that other websites are willing to vouch for you as a credible source of information.
- Traffic Magnet – When other websites link to your site, especially sites with a bigger domain authority (DA), you have better chances to be ranked higher in SERPs for the keywords that you’ve optimized for. As a result, your visibility in relevant searches will increase and your content will be exposed to more potential customers who may click on your links, browse your website, and, hopefully, convert.
- Authority Builder – Link building is not easy. You have to earn that link on a website that can bring more targeted traffic to yours. When a site with a higher DA links to yours, it’s like recommending you for your quality in front of their visitors and search engines alike. To do that, they need to see what your page offers as really valuable and worthy of their audience’s attention. And that is of immense importance, not just in the B2B segment, but in business in general.
Tactics for B2B Link Building
Are you ready to start with your B2B backlinks strategy and improve your rank in the SERPs? Here are 5 of the most essential B2B link building tactics that you can try today:
1. Social Media Links
If you want to command your brand presence on Google, you must be the first search result when it comes to your branded keywords. Your social media profiles can be one of the most powerful tools to increase your SERP real estate.
Although these types of backlinks don’t carry the same weight as the ones that are naturally integrated into other people’s content, they still matter. They show your business as legitimate, and help define your brand’s entity in the search engine’s database. In other words, they show that you exist.
As for customers, the result is very similar – they can see that your brand is real and can check out your profiles to see what you are posting, how active you are, and what others say about you.
Social shares matter as well! In B2B, high-quality content gets a lot of attention and social shares. The more social shares, the bigger the chances are for your content and pages to be noticed by websites with a larger authority in your industry and that could offer your content as a valuable resource by linking back.
2. Guest Blogging
When done right, guest blogging can not only enrich your website with fresh content, but benefit your B2B link building strategy. It is a long-term tactic for acquiring backlinks that can produce remarkable results for your page rankings. So, how can you utilize it to build authority links online?
First, you need to find guest blogging opportunities, or in other words, you need to know where you’re going to submit your guest post before making a pitch. Above all, you need to make sure that those websites allow you to include your link and are actively looking for guest bloggers who want to submit their ideas, opinions or content. Search for websites that:
- Work in Your Niche.
- Have Followers That Are in Your Niche.
- Have Big Engagement Rates (Shares, Likes, Comments).
- Share Guest Content Regularly.
In line with your B2B backlick efforts, you’ll want your link to be incorporated in a website with a high domain authority. To measure a website’s domain authority, you can use Moz’s Link Explorer. The tool gives you information like domain authority, the number of backlinks, and the average traffic of the site.
After you’ve found the places where you want your link to be featured, it’s time for the hardest part – pitching your guest blog idea. We would advise you to keep your pitch within the following guidelines:
- Be Honest – Authoritative blogs receive hundreds, if not thousands of pitches on a monthly or yearly basis. A big percent of those are bots and copy-pasted templates that don’t sound natural and genuine enough. You can stand out by personalizing your guest blog pitch with an honest appreciation about the blog, the blog owner and their authority.
- Follow the Rules – A guideline that speaks for itself. Nobody would consider adding your link to their site if you don’t follow the guest blog guidelines. This includes keeping it down with the number of links you add (as a matter of fact, one will do), and avoiding openly advertising yourself or your partners.
- Stay Humble – Nobody likes a smartass, even if you are an authority blogger that got to the top through hard work. You need to stay realistic and humble when you pitch your topic. Mention your successful guest posts and know that an authority website in your industry can live without you.
- Always Follow-up – Everyone is busy in B2B, including blog owners and editors. Sometimes, they just need a little poke. Check if there’s a better time to contact them or ask them if they can discuss your guest post idea in more detail with you.
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One of our core specialties as a part of our full-service suite of services is the Inbound Marketing package. We can help you strengthen your brand and improve your online presence by building quality links.
3. Broken Link Building
This is a link building tactic that requires searching for broken links on a specific website and notifying the website owner that you’ve created useful content that can replace the broken link. You provide value to the website owner by discovering the broken link and, in exchange, the site owner can add your link to the site.
Neil Patel did an amazing job of popularizing this tactic:
“If you find a broken link on a website, you can contact the owner. Since you did him/her a small favor of pointing out a broken link, they might do you the favor of including a link to your website. You can even offer a replacement link when appropriate.”
The easiest way to discover broken links is to use a tool like Ahrefs, an SEO solution used by some of the best marketers in the world. It’s simple. You just need to enter the domain name in the search bar, and then go to Backlink Profile > Backlinks > Broken.
You’ll see a page of results which point out the broken links on the website. Check the links thoroughly and then think of resources or content to replace them. It’s a simple and awesome to enhance your B2B link building strategy.
4. Expert Round-Up Articles
An expert round-up article is an article that consists of authority opinions on a given topic or answers to a specific question. More often than not, professionals in their fields are thrilled to be presented as influencers and authority figures. And this makes them a great source of B2B backlinks!
Just interviewing people makes them feel good and appreciated. Furthermore, you will provide them with a place to insert their website links too. After publishing the expert round-up, there is a big chance that these influencers will share the post, mention your brand, and place the link to your round-up post for their own audiences to read.
It’s a win-win arrangement!
With that, you’ll not only get traffic to your website, buta relevant link placed on sites with higher domain authority.
5. Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO is a free service that gives reporters a large database of resources for their stories and daily opportunities for people who can help them secure quality coverage. It’s also an excellent way to build a high-quality backlink.
With HARO, reporters can reach out to you, which is totally the opposite of the previous B2B link building strategies. Some of the most popular news websites that use HARO to find quality links are Mashable, Wall Street Journal, Time, and the New York Times.
Signing up for HARO is easy. All you need is an email address. Next, you need to select what type of resources you provide.
When using the free version, you get up to 3 requests per week. To make the best use out of HARO for your B2B link building strategy, you need to:
- Reply only if you really can deliver the resource.
- Present the required details and follow the guidelines.
- Ensure that you can respond to the journalist’s questions.
- Your reply should include your website link and your author bio.
Additionally, make sure that you present yourself as an authority source and be concise when you deliver your pitch to the journalist. Just like in every other business email, you need to remember your manners and be polite when you reply.
Above all, always offer competence and quality! If you want your link to be featured on the reporter’s website, you need to be certain that you offer valuable information.
The tactics above are not necessarily a quick and easy way to build high-quality backlinks for your B2B website. But, they do work!
Yes, some backlinks are easier to acquire than others. However, the most meaningful and successful link building strategy involves a long-term mindset, many pitches and rejections, and a constant relationship building process.
Use the approaches that we’ve mentioned and with effort and time, you’ll build a staggering amount of B2B backlinks that’ll leave each of your competitors behind.