- Organic search statistics
- Mobile search statistics
- Pay-per-click statistics
- YouTube SEO statistics
- Voice search statistics
- Social media statistics
The best marketing strategies will take into account the current trends and statistics that have become key indicators for what is currently producing results. The following is a list of 60 SEO statistics indicating some of the most important trends and facts to assist in creating an effective marketing strategy in 2020.
- Google generates 5.8 billion searches a day (Market.us)
- Google handles 1.9 trillion searches per year (Intenet Live Stats, 2019)
- Less than half of the total searches made on Google results in a click (Sparktoro, 2019)
- 16-20% of the searches performed on a daily basis have never been searched before on Google (Search Engine Land)
- The typical user types in a search phrase of 3 words or more (Hubspot)
- As of December 2019, 94% of all searches are made on Google product(Sparktoro)
- There are over 200 ranking factors that are accounted for in Google’s search algorithm (Backlinko)
- Top three ranking signals are content (satisfying search intent), backlinks and Rankbrain (Search Engine Land, 2018)
- Only 9.12% of web pages receive traffic and the other 90.88% get zero visitors because they have no backlinks (Ahrefs, 2018)
- Increase traffic 106% by updating and republishing blog posts with new content and images (Hubspot)
- HTTPS pages (ranking factor since 2014) account for approximately 90% of browsing time on Chrome (HostingTribunal.com)
- 38% of people will leave a site if the user experience is unenjoyable and the format and content is unattractive (Search Engine Journal, 2019)
- Page speed is an official ranking factor as of July 2019 on mobile devices and has been a factor for desktop since 2010 (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/)
- On-page optimization has a huge effect on your ability to rank (Moz)
- The first five results on the first page of Google accounts for 67% of the clicks from the total search traffic of a keyword. (Zero Limit Web)
- 70-80% of all searches are long-tail key phrases (search engine land, 2018)
- In a study of 1.9 Billion keywords in Ahrefs database, it was discovered that 92.42% of keywords receive less than 10 searches/month (Ahrefs)
- Keyword/topic clusters are your most powerful SEO weapon (SearchEngineJournal)
- 61% of businesses have declared SEO as their top inbound marketing strategy for 2020
- Over 4.4 million blog posts are published every day (Statista, 2020)
- Google-owned 95% of search volume from mobile devices as of September 2019 (Statista)
- More than half of all video streaming comes from a mobile device. (Hostingtribunal.com)
- Mobile searches for “image search” have grown by over 60% in the past two years. (Google, 2019)
- Mobile searches for personalized have grown by over 60% in the past two years (Google, 2019)
- Mobile searches for “podcasts” have grown 80% from 2016-2018 (Google, 2019)
- “Best” + “right now” mobile queries have grown by over 125% in the last two years (e.g., best online sales right now, the best phone out right now).(Google, 2019)
- Mobile searches for “stores open near me” have grown 250% from 2017-2019 (Google, 2019)
- Searches that include the phrase “Where to buy” + “near me” have grown 200% from 2017-2019 (Google, 2019)
- “on-sale” + “near me” have grown 200% YOY since 2017 (Google, 2019)
- 82% of people will use their phone to make an in-store purchase (Omnicore)
- 94% of people will click on natural search results vs the 6% that will click on the paid results (Smart Insights)
- When deciding on PPC vs. SEO, 70% of marketers say SEO is more effective for driving sales (Databox)
- Paid ads on mobile devices have an 11.38% CTR (Sparktoro, 2019)
- Paid ads on desktop average 3.16% CTR (Accuracast)
- As the top two paid ad platforms, Google has 36% of the total US digital ad spending while Facebook has 19.2%. (Emarketer)
- 45% of small businesses are using PPC as a form of marketing (Clutch)
- Searches made for products attract 65% of the total clicks (99firms.com)
- 41% of the clicks to paid ads goes to the sites listed in the top three positions (Wordstream)
- YouTube has 1.9 billion users (YouTube, 2019)
- The number of 6 figure earners increased by 40% (YouTube, 2019)
- From 2016-2018 shopping related videos grew by more than 5X in the US (Google)
- 2016-2019 there have been 5X as many channels with over 1 billion views (YouTube)
- 90% of people admit to discovering a brand or learning about a product via a YouTube video. (Think with Google)
- Smartphones and tablets account for 70% of YouTube views (YouTube)
- People are watching YouTube on TV screens for approximately 250m hours a day globally (YouTube)
- More than 55% of consumers say they’ve watched a product-related video while actually being inside the store before making the purchase. (YouTube)
- Video is 50 times more likely to drive traffic than plain text (Omnicore, 2018)
- Over 87% of marketers use video as part of their marketing strategy (Oberlo, 2019)
- 73% of adults use YouTube in the US (Hootsuite)
- Users will click-through an average of 6.5 pages per visit (Alexa)
- 27% of people online are using voice search on mobile
- Google Assistant users grew 4X from 2018-2019 (Google)
- Google home was used to look up 16 million recipes over the 2018 holiday season
- Over one billion devices are now home to the Google Assistant
- 20% of searches from mobile and android devices are voice-activated (Google)
- The most commonly used function of a smart speaker is to play music (99firms.com)
- 40% of all voice search results came from a featured snippet (80% on Google Home devices) (Backlinko, 2019)
- 52% of people use voice search while driving (Social Media Today, 2018)
- 59% of adults aged 18-29 are Instagram users
- Prior to purchasing an item, 86% of women will look at some form of social media (Omnicore)
- 91% of businesses use some form of social media (Statista, 2019)
- In 2018, Instagram reached 1 billion users (Techcrunch, 2018)
- Only 29% of Instagram users are over 35 (Statista, 2019)
- Twitter has over 330 million users (Statista, 2019)
- Pinterest has over 300 million users (Pinterest, 2019)
- Facebook has 2.49 billion users as of 3rd quarter of 2019 (Statista)
- Social media is integral to 75% of B2B purchases (Marketing Strategies Referral Rock)
In almost every survey on link building methods, guest blogging ranks among the top three most popular choices. One of the burning questions that many business owners and SEOs want to know is “How effective is guest posting in 2020?”
What is guest blogging?
Guest posting, or guest blogging, is publishing content on a third-party website and linking back to your own website from that content. The process is usually initiated by the guest author pitching a website a content idea, or the hosting website asks a guest author to contribute content.
A brief history leading up to guest posting in 2020
In 2010, it wasn’t uncommon to see a 300-500-word article that linked to completely unrelated content. Like every link building tactic that worked to improve ranking, guest posting was heavily abused with low-quality guest posts because it worked where you could publish any piece of content and like to any type of website.
You might land on a post about banking trends that had a link to a cookware website. To top off the terrible contextually unrelated link, the article would offer little to no value to anyone who even bothered to give it a read. And yet, the cookware website would rank highly from the link regardless of the lack of contextual relationship and low-quality content.
The effectiveness of low-quality guest posting was for the most part eliminated in a series of Google Updates. The Panda update enforced better quality content. The Hummingbird update allowed Google to understand the context of a page more accurately. The Penguin update killed a lot of the link building manipulation that people were using to achieve high rankings.
It seemed that guest posting was one of the few methods of link building that wasn’t completely doomed by Google. Then the cryptic message from ex-Google employee Matt Cutts, who headed the web spam team:
Despite the ominous warning about guest posting, it has continued to prove effective over the last few years. One of the most recent success stories that were solely based on guest posting is Adam Enfroy’s story and his short rise to riches.
Guest posting has its success stories
In a 15 day experiment, Adam was able to secure 8 high-authority guest post links to his website. Although he continued to publish over 80 guest posts in a year’s time, his blog traffic increased to over 200k/month and his website hit a record high revenue of roughly $30k/month.
The most recent update was that he was able to get as high as $80k/month this year. So what’s the debate about the effectiveness of guest posting? Well, it’s not entirely a clear cut and dry case about how Google is viewing the SEO value of guest post links.
We’ve seen numerous warnings about guest posting
SEO software giant, SEMRush announced that they would be launching a guest posting service that would identify websites willing to accept guest posts, write the articles on your behalf and publish them with a link back to your site.
It was made clear by John Mueller that this service violated Google’s best practice guidelines in that it was essentially a service that accepted money for links.
That’s an unnatural link – the kind the webspam team might take action on. https://t.co/kfQQithCnK & https://t.co/q5GmAxx2YM have more. Making sure the links use rel=nofollow / rel=sponsored would still allow sites to get visibility without having to worry about manual actions.— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) June 3, 2020
Whether SEMRush saw it the same way or not, they kiboshed the service as it was clear there would be penalties issued. This controversial service rehashed many of the questions, doubts and fears about how Google views guest posting.
The other thing is that because this is so old, we have a lot of training data for our algorithms. I wouldn’t be surprised if the largest part of those links are just ignored automatically. If all that work is for ignored links, why not just do something useful instead?— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) June 14, 2020
He further indicates that there is a problem with the system for guest posting for links that improve SEO value. If you’re the author of an article and award yourself links to your own site, how can that possibly be viewed as earned links?
The part that’s problematic is the links — if you’re providing the content/the links, then those links shouldn’t be passing signals & should have the rel-sponsored / rel-nofollow attached. It’s fine to see it as a way of reaching a broader audience.— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) June 11, 2020
Hence the guest posting dilemma regarding whether guest posting for links improves ranking or has any SEO value.
Does guest posting work as an effective method of building links in 2020?
The short answer to this question is yes, guest posting is and will remain an effective method of building links. The longer answer is that it depends on what goal you hope to accomplish with your link building since some guest post links have less SEO value than others.
Guest posting is confirmed by Google to be good for branding and search visibility.
Guest posting will always remain an excellent way to gain search visibility and brand your business. Google has agreed on this. There are guest-posting sites that have a large readership and will send tons of referral traffic to your site (assuming you write a great article).
According to Google’s best practices, you can drive traffic to your site through guest posting and linking to content assets on your site with nofollow links. This will increase search visibility and attract backlinks to your outstanding content. In theory.
Guest post links are being devalued under certain circumstances
The reason for doubt in the effectiveness of guest posting are speculations on the SEO value that is gained from a guest post link. But what about when your website is mentioned in someone else’s guest posting article?
How does Google know whether your site is being used as a resource, or whether you’re awarding yourself links from your own guest posts?
To get the most SEO value out of guest post links it would seem that you’d need to mentioned or not be attached as the author of the guest post. The following is a detailed guide on how to guest post in 2020 and beyond.
How to effectively build links using guest posts in 2020
Many different guides will tell you much of the same information on how to go about the process of pitching and writing guest posts, however, it should be clear about what will really move the needle from your efforts.
Keeping in mind what has happened this year, it would seem to me that the most effective method of building links by guest posts cannot be done alone. You need either a) the help of a personal influencer network b) strategize how you acquire your guest posting links by avoiding the author link in the bio or c) Guest post for nofollow links with the goal of referral traffic to pages that people will link to because they have present high value as a resource worth sharing and referencing.
Form a PIN
A typical link strategy doesn’t end with one link to your website. In most cases you’ll need a few different websites linking to your page to get it moving in rank. If you’re going to be actively guest posting on a few different websites seek out those whoa re also guest posting actively.
Contact good authors or content writers who publishes content in your niche. Propose that for every link you send to their website, they send one to yours. This way you’re able to maximize on the number of links you acquire per guest post.
If you have 4 or 5 people you work with that means you would include 4 or 5 links in a guest post article to each of their websites. That also means for every article you publish, you would receive a link from your article, plus 4 or 5 links coming from your personal influencer network.
Working with a PIN makes guest posting more efficient and it builds valuable links that Google won’t devalue from the association of you as the author.
Avoid the connection as the author of a guest post
There are many websites that have manipulated guest posting by using fake names to make it appear that someone else is linking to their site. This circumvents the connection Google makes to you awarding yourself links in a guest post and results in a link that has more SEO value for your website.
I’m not recommending using fake names, merely stating a fact. This is also a reason why link building services will get you results as well as hiring a freelance content writer.
Google’s principle behind links as a ranking signal is based on the concept of votes and/or referrals be websites that have the credibility to impact your authority. By this understanding, guest post links to your website have SEO value as linked mentions.
Choose website’s where a nofollow link is valuable
It’s a hard pill to swallow, however, since John Mueller has recommended that all guest posting links be marked as nofollow but the upside is you have to consider guest posting on sites with relevant traffic. This perspective forces you to consider what websites have traffic that’s actually good for your website-all SEO metrics aside.
Why is this a good thing? Instead of posting to a website because of its authority, you’ll be looking for websites with real traffic that are highly targeted to your content. This is one of the best reasons to go after a link in the first place.
Keep in mind that Google has also stated that they are treating the nofollow attribute as a recommendation. Whether that means SEO value could be awarded or not isn’t clear. The fact that Google wants to have the option may point to some future changes in how links are viewed.
How to land a high authority guest post in 2020 and beyond
It seems like a lot to digest, but the truth is that guest posting is still working as an effective way to build links and get your website more search visibility. In order to have the most impact as a link building method, you want to stick to the websites that will have the most positive influence on ranking and referral traffic to your website.
Set your standards for quality guest posting websites
If you follow a set of guidelines for how to guest post, you can streamline the process of finding websites, pitching and writing content.
The first area that takes a large amount of time is prospecting your websites. Establish a minimum domain authority for the websites that you intend to pitch. The domain authority isn’t the most important aspect, but it can be used as an effective filter for sorting out who you spend time prospecting.
An effective tool for identifying a website’s domain authority is the Mozbar. It’s free to download as a browser extension and all you need to is an account on Moz (also free). This allows you to see the page authority, the number of links, domain authority and spam score directly from the search results.
Another valuable tool to use is SEMRush for identifying the organic traffic a website has flowing through it. This is important because it cuts through the vanity of domain authority and tells you whether the website is ranking for organic keywords and driving traffic. This is important if you’re going to benefit from any referral traffic offered by guest posting on the website.
In the following segments, you’ll learn how to prospect potential guest posting websites, pitch the editors and write guest posts that improve your search visibility.
How to find websites that accept guest posts
There are three ways to find websites that accept guest posts; browse published lists of websites that appear in the search results; search using command operatives and plain old outreach.
There are literally thousands, if not millions of websites that accept guest posts, but not all of them will be good for your website. For a guest post to have a positive influence on your business, it needs to improve the authority of your website and/or send you traffic that engages with your content.
Browse published lists of sites that accept guest posts
If you simply type in the search phrase “[your keyword] websites that accept guest posts” you’ll produce a lot of search results of published lists of guest posting sites related to your keyword. This isn’t the best way of finding guest blogging prospects, but it can definitely help identify some high authority websites that would be beneficial to your content.
The benefit of using a published list to prospect websites is that it’s already made for you, so it saves time searching. You can cut and paste the list to an excel sheet and work systematically through the list. Working on a spreadsheet allows you to make notes as you go.
The downside to using a published list is that it can be inaccurate with the information it provides. Many of the websites may have changed their guest posting policy or may no longer exist.
Some of the websites may not even be related to your industry or niche.
Regardless of the results you find, you’ll still need to qualify any potential prospects according to your own set of standards for quality. This can be done equally as effectively by using command operatives.
Search guest post sites using command operatives
Command operatives can be used to instruct Google to search for specific websites that contain keywords in specific places. To find relevant guest posting sites you can use the commands inurl and intitle to find websites that have your keyword in the URL or the title respectively.
One of the most popular command operatives used to find sites that accept guest posts is looking for the words “write for us” in the url or the title of the page. Adding the keyword in front of the search string makes the results keyword related:[your keyword] + inurl: write for us[your keyword] + intitle: write for us
Here’s an example of a command operative you could use to find a dog training website that accepts guest posts:
Dog training + inurl:contributor
This method is preferable because more often than not you’re getting websites that are actively accepting guest posts. If you have the Mozbar setup, you can quickly browse through the websites that meet your minimum DA.
Plain old outreach
The goal for every website owner is to achieve a level of search visibility that allows more potential clients to find their website. Considering that publishing SEO content is one of the best methods for driving targeted traffic, it’s reasonable to pitch websites that aren’t publicly offering guest posts as well.
Most editors and website owners will publish content if it benefits their audience and represents an asset to their content strategy. Don’t limit the websites you pitch to just those that publicly accept guest posts. If there are websites you know that would make a huge impact on your search visibility, add them to your list of prospects and make them an offer they can’t refuse.
How to pitch content to editors and website owners
The email you send to editors will likely determine whether your pitch gets any attention or is handily ignored along with the rest of the guest posting requests. In order to craft the ultimate approach to a high authority website, you need to make a really good first impression. Here are some tips to improve the acceptance rate you get from high authority websites.
Make contact before pitching
If you really want to make a good impression, do some research on the website that you’d like to get your content on. Find out who the content editor is, or people in charge that could help you get published, like the owner or executive officers.
Linkedin is pretty good for finding out general details about a company. You can find just about any company on Linkedin and once you do, click on people to see a list of the staff working there. Pick the most appropriate person/people to make contact with before sending them a “cold outreach email”.
You can vary this tactic by commenting on articles on the company blog or on guest posts when you see them. Follow the company on social media and make comments and share their posts. Your efforts will surely be noticed when you’ve made four or five attempts to comment and share their content.
By making yourself more familiar you improve your chances of your email being noticed and taken more seriously than the rest of the email from other gust authors.
Read a few articles from the prospective blog
You can’t craft the perfect pitch without reading the blog itself. In order to offer something of value, you need to figure out what that is for the blog you’re pitching. One of the top reasons articles are rejected (other than low quality) is because the content isn’t a good fit for the website.
Read a few articles to get a feel for the content being produced along with the style, tone and topics that match your prospects’ blog.
Create catchy headlines
Think about it. The first thing you’re presenting to an editor is the possibility of writing an article based on the headline. In order for there to spark any interest in your article, your headline has to instantly appeal to the editor.
There’s a lot of rehashed content that lives on the internet so try not to be boring by putting a twist on your topic. For example, instead of Website Traffic Creation, try using How To Generate Explosive Traffic To Your Shopify Store.
The second title is more descriptive, more focused and more interesting than the first. Brainstorm title ideas by writing down a list of 20 different headlines. You can use tools like Coschedule’s headline analyzer to gauge how effective it is. Or just apply some headline strategies that are known to improve click-through rate.
Include a brief outline of your proposed article
Include, at a minimum, four to five bullet points on what you plan on discussing within your proposed article. This gives editors a sneak peek at the content you’re going to send them-which hopefully makes your article more appealing.
Include some title options
It’s best practice to send along a few other title options of another article idea you’d like to write about. Not every website owner will want the exact article you’re pitching. Giving them a few other options opens the door to more ideas, rather than shutting down your pitch completely.
Always include a few links to writing samples
Even if you’ve never published a single guest post, you can include links to content on your own blog. This establishes some credibility and proves to the editor that you’re capable of putting together a good article.
If you have previously published articles, send links to your best work on the most well known websites.
Write an article that will represent your business
Upon acceptance, write an article that will be an excellent representation of your business. Approach guest posting the same way you would write an SEO optimized blog post for your own website.
It’s not just about getting the link. The goal is to attract readers to click-through to your site. Whether you get a high volume of traffic from the article or not, the article itself is a form of advertising your company and teaching people what you offer as a business.
This is a form of branding for your company so treat it as a presentation to inform, enlighten and engage your readers.
Quality is key
To get the most of guest posting, you need to commit to publishing quality content on the hosting website as well as your own. There are no shortcuts to this. In order to get people to click on a link that goes to your site, they have to read and trust the content your publishing as a guest author.
Once they’re on your website, the content on your site needs to be link-worthy and should engage your ideal audience. The ideal outcome to guest posting is twofold; you receive traffic interested in what your business offers; you receive traffic that likes your content so much they share it within their network and link to it in their own writing.
To do this, make sure you’re publishing well researched, well-written content that links to content assets on your website.
Don’t forget your PIN
Remember to add links to your personal influencer network in order to get links from them.
Link to internal articles
It’s not always required but it’s always a nice touch to include a few internal links to the hosting site’s content. It shows you’re interested in improving their blog and that you’re willing to help out where you can. Building relationships with the editors and website owners you submit to can go a long way in your link building career.
8 benefits of guest blogging
#1-Increased referral traffic
As a guest author, you have the opportunity to publish an article on a website within your niche, with a link pointing back to your site.
A link on a popular blog site provides you with targeted referral traffic. These visitors are obviously interested in reading your content if they read your guest post and clicked on your link.
Keep in mind that the number of visitors that click through to your site largely depends on how much traffic the hosting site receives.
#2-Provides a targeted audience
Guest posting puts your content in front of readers who are interested in your niche. Aim to publish a guest post on a site that your potential clients visit. By limiting your guest posting prospects to highly relevant sites within your industry (or a direct parallel) you improve the impact your link building strategy has on your ranking.
This also improves the chances your guest posts will be read by visitors interested in the solutions your business offers.
#3-Promotes better branding
This form of link building is considered a branding opportunity because it allows you to demonstrate the expertise of your company. Problem-solving content can be a powerful way for people to learn about your business and compel readers to click through to your site.
A well-written guest post can communicate to people how your company is capable of solving problems related to their own. Successful guest posting strategies promote awareness of your brand and establish thought leadership within your industry.
As a guest author, you are allowed the opportunity to tap into a third party’s traffic resources. Many blogs have a subscribership/email list that receives every new article that gets published.
Your article gets sent to that audience and you can get your site in front of a whole new network you wouldn’t have normally had access to.
A link from a guest post will pass authority to your site when it’s acquired correctly. A major reason for posting on a blog site is to gain access to traffic that is a good match for your website. The relationship between your site and the guest posting site should be clearly identifiable.
Acquiring links from sites within your niche will improve your site’s credibility and ranking ability if they are followed links and preferably awarded by anyone but yourself.
Its best practice to link to the inner pages of your site with anchor text links.
In fact, you enhance the optimization of your pages by using your target keyword in a select number of your anchor text links.
This creates stronger relevance signals for keyword related searches.
Typically you want to use exact match anchor text sparingly to avoid any signs of rank manipulation.
Using a good blend of long-tail keywords, brand links and naked URLs is the best form of implementing a safe backlinking strategy.
The strength of a backlink profile plays a major contributing role in the ranking your page receives for your target keyword. Quality links will go a long way for moving the needle in the competitive placement of your page.
The more high-quality sites that link back to your page, the more authority and ranking ability your page accumulates.
High authority domains have more impact on your domain authority and ranking ability. The more popular the blog site, the more traffic and the more authority that is passed through to yours.
#8-Builds more entry points to your content
The more links that lead. to your website the better. Each link you build creates a bridge allowing more visitors to find your website. As long as you’re linking from relevant content on websites that receive a healthy flow of traffic you’re improving the number of entry points to your content.
As a method of link building, this is among the most popular because it allows you to cover the basic three essentials of acquiring quality links.
Links are most beneficial when they are:
- Highly relevant to the content hosting the link. Since the article is being written on behalf of your company, it’s obviously going to have strong relevance to the content in which you’re linking.
- The health of the site in which your link resides is another criteria for acquiring a quality link.
- Choosing websites that have established traffic and strong readership is the third part of the criteria for acquiring quality backlinks.
Make the most of a linking opportunity
Although the linking criteria will differ from site to site, be sure to fully understand what the site is allowing in terms of providing a linking opportunity.
A contextual link is the most valuable type of link you can acquire because it provides a reference to related content. As far as search engines go, the sole purpose of linking is to share content that is deemed worthy of sharing.
If the editors allow you to link to your site within the body of your article, take advantage by linking to the inner pages of your site. Your links should be natural, meaning they are not forced and are referencing a relevant page on your site.
Try to incorporate as many relevant links to previous guest posts since you can build on their authority and boost the value of the links to your site.
Answer comments and responses
Respond to any comments or questions your article generates. User interaction provides good ranking signals that give your article more traction in the search results. Many webmasters will actually ask you to respond under penalty of having your links removed from your article!
6 Tips & Tactics For Guest Blogging
#1-Summarize your article with subtitles
Use creative subtitles to separate your article into segments that give the reader an accurate summary of what your article is communicating. Many people (editors included) who read online tend to scan through content and if your subtitles can paint an attractive or interesting enough picture you can capture their attention to read further.
A good article will segment your thoughts and ideas into easier to digest blocks of text. The added ease of comprehension is an asset to any article and makes your article a more attractive possibility for publication.
#2-Use Grammarly to proof your article
This app is extremely easy to use and highlights all of your spelling and grammatical errors. The corrections are as simple as hovering over the highlighted text and clicking on the option that is the most suitable correction.
This app is functional on an HTML editor or Google Docs, which makes it ideal for blogging. There is nothing more unprofessional than spelling mistakes and poor grammar. Use a tool like Grammarly to eliminate those errors. and raise your level of professionalism.
Even if you’re a great writer this tool will catch a lot of mistakes you might otherwise miss. Your writing becomes much more appealing to editors when submitting content for publication.
#3-Use images & media at every opportunity
It should go without saying how important images are to incorporate in your articles. People retain 60% more information when there is an image to associate with the text. Since some blogs will require images for your article and in most cases, they will add images to your article, you can save them time and include them yourself.
Make your article more enticing by posting some related images to prove points or illustrate examples. If you don’t own the rights to the image be sure to credit the source of the image with a link or proper attribution.
#4-Read a few articles from the blog
Many blogs have a specific style that can be discerned by reading a few of their blog posts. Get a feel for that style so you can incorporate it within your content. If you can nail the blog’s tone and format you’ll always be invited back to write gain for the blog.
#5-Read the guest posting guidelines for each submission
There is always valuable information that each site will offer in their guest posting guidelines-which is different for every blog site.
The linking policies are a major issue that should be understood before you pitch or submit an article to a site. If they are only offering nofollow links, it may affect your link building strategy as well as your contribution to your PIN.
Some sites will enforce strict protocols when accepting submissions. There are sites that won’t consider your article if you’ve missed one of their requirements. Editors will literally dismiss your article without notification.
For every website you consider, read the submission guidelines as a non-negotiable part of your routine. It will save you time and resources in the long run by having a clear idea of what you’re getting as well as what you need to provide.
When done correctly, guest blogging is one of many strategies for building backlinks that are considered safe and effective for branding, improving authority and building the strength of your backlink profile.
As long as guest blogging continues to get great results within an SEO campaign it will remain one of the most popular methods of link building in 2020 and beyond.
Link building is an essential part of improving the competitiveness of your website. Build links from the most credible, high-authority websites. The quality of the links you build trumps the quantity. Implement proven backlinking strategies for 2020 to produce quality links that increase your search visibility and create highly targeted streams of traffic from websites your clients visit.
- Embed your link in newsletters
- Guest posting
- Invite guest authors
- Publish linkable assets
- Outreach campaigns
- Unlinked brand mentions
- Link reclamation
- Repair broken links
- Use your competitor’s links
- Publish a press release
- Charity link building
- Resource link building
- Scholarship link building
- Citations and directory link building
- Sponsor or host events
- Crowdfunding link building
- Paid links
Embed your link in newsletters
Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Of all the backlinking strategies in this article, this method is a way to place your backlink in a place that your competition can’t find or exploit-a newsletter.
Subscribe to every newsletter that publishes content within your niche. Once you get a feel for the tone and the type of audience it appeals to, you can work on a way to present your link within its content.
Make contact with the site owner and keep the thought of building a relationship a priority, meaning don’t come right out in asking for a link to your site.
Keep in mind that the best link building is done without search engines in mind. In other words, effective link building is getting your link in places where there’s a good audience for your content.
This method of link building is simple in the sense that it’s a two-step process.
The first step is to find a newsletter that is distributed to a large subscribership that would respond well to one of your offerings.
The second step is to convince the owner/editor of the newsletter to include your link within the newsletter.
Kelly Felix claims this tactic launched his career and made his program featuring “The Rich Jerk” an overnight success. The newsletter that carried his link was sent out to hundreds of thousands of people overnight. Following its publication, Kelly was inundated with people excited to hand him money to be a part of his program.
One newsletter to a massive audience was enough to give him his first taste of being a millionaire.
You don’t need to be an SEO consultant to implement this method effectively.
As mentioned before, effective backlinking strategies are those that get your link in front of a large audience that will engage with your content. The only thing that makes a link even better is if it’s a followed link on a high authority website. Guest posting allows you to acquire links with all three positive attributes.
What is guest posting or guest blogging?
For those of you that have been living in a cave for the last 10 years, guest posting is when you publish an article on a third party website as a guest author. Most websites that offer guest posting will allow you to link to websites within your content, which is where you can link to your site and other relevant resources.
More often than not, you will be afforded an author box where you can tell the audience about yourself in a few sentences and link to your social profiles and company website.
Not all guest posting websites are created equal
The rules and guidelines can vary greatly between websites that offer guest posting. Some websites will only offer nofollow links, some will have a minimum or maximum word count for articles.
Some websites are better for your website than others. It’s important to vet the quality of the website before agreeing to be published. There are many websites that have been exposed and penalized for accepting money for links and any links from those websites will do more damage than good.
Integrate guest posting with other methods of link building
Although guest posting is without a doubt a method of link building that will benefit your website, it should be implemented with other forms of link building. If your site has solely acquired links from guest posts, it may be deemed unnatural and the links will be devalued.
John Mueller has stated that all links in a guest post should be nofollowed-or mark them as sponsored. Keep in mind that Google has also stated that they will be interpreting the nofollow attribute as a recommendation rather than a command. It can only be surmised that Google would like to credit guest post links with authority according to its own interpretation of quality.
Recommended reading: How important Is Guest Blogging In 2020?
Invite guest authors
One of the biggest sources of traffic generation is blogging and publishing content that ranks highly in the search results. The more quality content your website can produce, the more keywords you’re able to target. Inviting guest authors to publish content on your website can allow you to publish quality content at a higher frequency than if you were to do it yourself.
One of the benefits of inviting guest authors to publish content on your site is that they are likely to link to their own article, or at the very least, share it on their social media profiles. This additional article promotion can generate new traffic from untapped sources that you otherwise would never have been able to acquire.
Recruit and hand pick your writers
Websites that offer guest posting will typically publish a “write for us” page to attract writers looking for guest posting opportunities. This is effective for having people send you proposals and articles but you will undoubtedly receive more low-quality offers than what you’d like to publish.
A solution is to reach out to authors who are publishing frequently and have a style of writing that matches your brand and quality of writing. This is one way to get good content since these are writers who are actually producing quality articles.
Invite authors, influencers and great writers to publish content on your blog. Provide a good proposal for promoting their article to entice the best writers in your niche. Make sure they understand your offer as an opportunity to access your network, which will provide more traffic to their site.
Publish linkable assets
When you’re creating content for your site, publish content that others will be happy to link to. Publish white papers, statistics, infographics or entertaining opinion pieces that provide value to your audience as well as amplifiers in your industry.
If you were going to share an article or use it as a reference in an article you’re writing yourself, think of the level of quality, credibility and authority it would need to demonstrate. No one voluntarily links to garbage articles or share’s them with their social network. Creating linkable content assets gives people a reason to link to your website.
If you’re just starting a business and all you have on your website is the service page, about page and an empty blog there’s absolutely no reason your website will acquire backlinks. You need to publish content that serves a purpose and provides value to those reading it. This is where a solid SEO content strategy comes into play.
Create value by solving problems
People search online because they’re looking for information on how to solve a problem. If they have a need to purchase a product, that product is to solve a particular problem. You can drive a ton of traffic by publishing content that addresses and solves the problems that people are experiencing.
Strategize on the type of content you can publish that will appeal to your prospective clients. Show them how to do something using your product that solves a problem.
Every article on the Ahrefs blog is focused on solving SEO issues while incorporating their software. There is a ton of value in their articles that teach people about SEO and every article. Take a look at their growth in traffic over the last few years from providing actionable advice.
Create shareable content that offers value so it’s shared and used as a resource to attract more visitors and backlinks. Keep in mind that no matter how valuable your content, you’ll still need to get it in front of an audience for people to know about it. Once you’ve started the ball rolling by getting people to read your content, it continues to attract backlinks over time.
An outreach campaign is basically just reaching out to website owners and asking them to link to your content. When your content is absolutely top-notch, this method of link building can be effective in acquiring backlinks.
If you’re reaching out to editors to inform them of the most fantastic article they’ve ever laid their eyes on (and it’s true), the average conversion rate is roughly 8%. This means that 8 out of 100 websites you contact about a link will respond favourably.
The success of a cold email outreach campaign depends heavily on the value proposition. That’s why it’s a huge advantage to publish great content that people are likely to share. With top-notch, unique, evergreen content it makes sense to use this type of backlinking strategy.
If your content isn’t that exciting, you’ll need to consider mixing up your approach to how you accumulate backlinks in order to offer more value as an incentive for the link. Building relationships before asking site owners to link to your content is highly recommended for optimal results.
Unlinked brand mentions
This method of link building will only be effective if you’ve established a recognizable brand. The concept is to find where people have mentioned your brand but haven’t linked to your website. You would then reach out to them to ask for a link to your website.
This method of outreach gets a slightly higher success rate than a cold email outreach campaign. If a publisher has already mentioned your brand, they are most likely happy with your product or service (or very displeased!) Asking them to add a link to your company name so people can find your site more easily is usually not a far stretch and will often result in you getting the link.
Link reclamation is reaching out to website owners to replace the links you’ve already had but for some reason have been deleted and lost. The success of this backlinking campaign strongly depends on the reason your links were lost in the first place.
Scenario 1: Link lost after content update or website redesign
Many companies will drop links because they’ve redesigned their website and for one reason or another the link was lost in the redesigned page. The same applies to a page that has had its content updated. The editor may have just forgotten to add the link back to your page.
In situations like this, a simple email asking to have your link replaced is enough. If the website was linked to your website before, the editor shouldn’t have a problem giving you the link again if it was simply forgotten.
Scenario 2: Link awarded to better content
In this scenario, the website owner has linked to another website because the content outperforms your own. Obviously, before you can ask for the link to be replaced, you’ll need to update your content to be a better version of the article that replaced you.
It’s also advisable to come up with an alternative page to link to in case the owner doesn’t feel your page is better quality. If they linked to your site once, they are likely to link to you again. You just need to give them a reason to give you the link by offering another liankble content asset.
Repairing broken links
Broken link building is a strategy that’s become an insanely popular type of outreach campaign. The success rate is higher than just asking people to link to your site for the simple reason it’s easier to approach website owners with a value proposition.
Broken links are considered to be a source of bad user experience. When a link leads a user to a missing page it can be frustrating and slightly annoying. Too many of those on your site can negatively affect your SEO.
By letting the website owner know about any broken links on their site you’re doing them a favour because it’s a way of improving the performance of their site.
This aligns perfectly with your link request because the site owner will need another page to link to in order to fix the situation (or remove the link altogether). Have content ready to replace the link, all you need is to mention your URL as a replacement.
You can use The Wayback Machine (archive.org) to see what content the link was pointed to in order to make a better, more updated version.
The appreciation for improving their site plus the convenience of having content to immediately replace the broken link contributes to raising the likelihood of acquiring the link.
Interested in a crash course in broken link building?
Find backlinking opportunities in your competitor’s link profile
Find valuable backlinks by analyzing the top-ranking pages backlink profile. You can run a backlink report using the tool of your choice and get a list of potential link prospects for your own website.
Keep in mind that not every backlink on your competitor’s profile will also be good for your website. There may be links that are actually hurting their ranking ability more than helping. This requires careful analysis before blindly linking to every link on your competitor’s profile.
Start with the high DA sites first (if you’re using Moz) and work your way down the list. A link from a domain with high authority will provide the most benefit to your site if it is relevant and the site is healthy.
Publish a press release
The linkerati is a term coined by Rand Fishkin for those that are most likely to link to your content. They are essentially the “amplifiers” who will, as the term suggests, amplify your content. You can get your content in front of a large audience of linkerati by issuing a press release.
Your content needs to be news worthy to get enough traction with the linkerati. This means it needs to be worth writing about, not just a boring company update that no one cares about.
Although you don’t get any followed links from the press release itself, some journalists and websites will syndicate your story or rewrite it. This will often result in followed links to your website from several high-authority websites for every press release.
Charity link building
Donating to a charity can land you some great links on high authority websites. As a sponsor/donor, your donation gets you on the list of sponsors with a link to your website.
Keep in mind this tactic has been ousted by Google as way to manipulate ranking through link building, and therefore should not be done in excess. In fact, you should limit the links you have from charities to a very select few websites that have high authority in order to make it worth the effort.
Qualify whether the link prospect is a viable candidate by noting the page authority you link would go on as well the number of existing outbound links on the page. If there are too many links to too many low quality websites, the links from the page may be devalued and in an extreme case, cause more harm than good to your ranking. Choose a charity with fewer than 15 outbound links on the page to make sure your links aren’t categorized as spam.
Resource page link building
The backlinking tactic involves finding companies and websites that have published a page where they link to recommended resources and websites. As one of the most popular methods of backlinking tactics used by small business owners, you need to tread cautiously when you’re prospecting your links.
Beware the ever-popular “link exchange.” Many business owners who offer resource pages are also aware of the value of links. As a result, they ask for a link from everyone who gets listed on their resource page. A few exchanges won’t hurt your site, but if every link you acquire is a reciprocal link (you link back) those links will be devalued for unnatural link building.
Find link prospects that are using resource pages as a legitimate resource for their visitors. This way you can offer your content asset as a legitimate resource they’ll link to.
Avoid pages with too many unrelated outbound links. You won’t get any value from a link that originates on a spammy page. Choose resource pages that are groomed, procured and the owner qualifies the resources they link to as bonified resource links.
Scholarship link building
You may have heard that this method of link building died a long time ago. Then again, people say guest posting is dead too and yet, it remains the most popular of all backlinking tactics. If you’re offering a legitimate scholarship with a theme that compliments your content, a link from a university could be an excellent addition to boost your authority.
A perfect example of a high-quality scholarship link building campaign would be a law firm that offers to pay for a chunk of tuition for a law school student. The offer gets posted on the law school website and links back to the law firm’s website. The links are highly contextual and from a trusted, high authority website.
This type of strategy is perfect to combine with a press release since other local websites would love to pick up the story.
Scholarship link building done in excess no longer works, but when it’s done with the right prospects, it results in valuable links that add to the ranking ability of your website.
Citations and directory link building
Local link building plays a vital role in a local SEO strategy for business websites to establish and confirm NAP details, mainly through citations and directory link building. They can also influence more appearances in localized search results. Directory submissions are essential in providing a link foundation necessary to promote higher local rankings and can also act as a substantial source of referral traffic.
For example, in Canada, Yellow Pages plays a vital role in establishing a new local business website. Once your company is listed in Yellow Pages the information is syndicated across many other local websites.
This image was created in 2018, so things have changed a bit, however it gives you an idea of the way information is distributed and syndicated by public information websites in Canada.
Sponsor or host events
As a sponsor or host of an event, you can acquire some quality backlinks from hosting websites as well as local links from promoting local events.
Websites like Meetup, allow you to create your own group and hold events for anyone interested in attending.
You can also look through existing events and offer to sponsor a meeting in exchange for a link to your website. The details would need to be negotiated with the host, but for the most part, local events incur the cost of the venue and any refreshments that might be offered.
Crowdfunding link building
There are a number of crowdfunding websites that offer link building opportunities. Many of these sites won’t have a lot of domain authority, but you can still find some great links on websites that are getting a lot of traffic.
What’s more, is that if these websites end up receiving the funding they’re looking for they have the potential to explode with authority. Of course, there’s a great deal of speculation that goes into choosing the websites that are right for yours, but you can eliminate the risk by choosing sites that match up well with your content.
There are offers that will allow you to donate an amount of your choice for a link to your site. Some will require a minimum donation. In either case, make sure you’ve selected a website that’s contextually related and relevant to your own.
I know, I know… Tsk, tsk right? Paid links are somewhat painted in a light where they are thought of as bad practice, but the truth is there are links you would absolutely pay to have.
First off, the ONLY reason paid links will sabotage your site is if they’re not marked as sponsored or nofollow and the linking site is identified as offering links for money. Apart from the aspect of rank manipulation, there are plenty of websites where you can use paid links to your advantage.
Wouldn’t you pay for a nofollow link on a site that sends you an amazing amount of targeted traffic that has a high chance of converting to clients?
If you’ve found a place where your potential clients are spending time, it doesn’t matter whether the link improves your domain authority because it sends you potential clients!
What makes a quality backlink?
Ideally you want to find backlinks that have a high domain authority. Moz uses this metric as way of measuring the quality of the backlinks that at website has acquired. Ahrefs uses domain rating as their metric. This isn’t the only thing you need to consider.
Look at the content that’s linking to the page. Is there a relationship between the two pieces of content? You’ll get the most impact from a backlink when it’s an editorial backlink (link within the body of an article) and that link has strong contextual relationship with the content it’s linking.
Your next quality assessment is to see the volume of traffic that a website has flowing through it. You want links from websites that have organic traffic from keywords that are related to your business.
The best types of links will send visitors to your site that will engage with your content and be interested in what you have to offer.
The relevance linked content has to the linking content is the number one factor for contributing value. When exploring link opportunities, an identifiable relationship between the two pages is required to demonstrate relevance. Does the site offer a quality referral based on the content that would be linking to yours? Is the site in the same industry or an appropriate vertical that has the authority to make a quality referral?
The second factor to establish is whether the site is healthy. There should be a healthy volume of traffic that is flowing through the site to indicate good search visibility.
If the site is ranking for multiple keywords it indicates that it is providing value to its audience. This also indicates a link from that site will send traffic to benefit your site with like-minded visitors who have an interest in the content you’re providing.
Lastly, the metrics the site possesses can impact your site. If it is an established authority in your niche and has a high domain authority (or domain rating or trust flow) there will be authority passed on to your domain. With all other things being equal, a link from a high authority domain will improve your site’s ability to rank more than that of a low authority domain.
Links should be viewed as referrals
One of the defining components of Google’s algorithm is the strength of a website’s backlink profile. A strong analogy to this is that links are supposed to serve as referrals from other websites. The whole concept of a link is to share the content of another website because it will enhance the user’s experience, which credits the site being linked.
From this perspective, it’s easy to see how the relationship between two pages plays a major role in determining the quality of a link. If a website operates within the same niche to yours they are most likely publishing similar content, which increases the likelihood of a link from this site being relevant.
After the hummingbird update and every update since Google’s ability to determine the meaning of content has become incredibly accurate and has changed link building forever. The relationship between the two pages is an extremely important part of establishing what determines a quality link. Without a contextual connection, links are meaningless and can even be harmful.
PageRank vs. authority
PageRank is a value that Google assigns to pages that represent the ability to rank. Since Google stopped publishing PageRank we have relied on third-party tools to help assign values based on the link attributes of the page.
Domain authority is a widely accepted term used by Moz that is used to measure the number of linking domains and their quality. In addition to Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic provide popular ways of measuring the ranking attributes of domains, which we commonly refer to as “authority”.
This indicates that no one tool can properly assess what Google uses to determine PageRank and should only be used as a clue in determining the value of a link. Although many people heavily rely on these tools to discover link opportunities, none of these tools represent what Google uses as PageRank. Each tool is merely a measure of how each company has defined the ranking ability a domain possesses.
Responsible linking is an asset to your success
Backlinks are a crucial aspect of creating search visibility for every website. Quality trumps quantity every time making link building as much an art as it is a science. Finding ways for websites to link to you with creative, outside the box thinking can lead to acquiring high-quality links.
Always keep in mind that a large part of link building is public relations. Build relationships with those who will help you the most in your efforts and reciprocate where it’s needed to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship.
Choose the link building strategies that best suits your website
At the end of the day, you need to choose the methods of link building that will get the type of links that mirror the backlink profiles of top-ranking websites.
If you’re a local business and try to build all of your links with guest posts, you won’t rank with the top local business sites. Top local business sites might have a healthy mix of guest posts but the most natural links for a local business will be directory links, review site links and local website links.
Make sure your linking strategy matches the type of website you own.
Keep in mind that every type of link building strategy has the potential to work against you. You’ll need to create links that make sense to users, which in turn makes sense for search engines as well. Create a link building strategy that’s natural to ensure you won’t be penalized for unnatural links.
Although building links has become highly scrutinized it still remains one of the top-ranking factors that search engines use to determine a website’s rank. In order to outrank your competition, use a blend of these proven backlinking strategies for 2020 and beyond.
The quality of your links outweighs the quantity so link responsibly to promote long-lasting success and increased search visibility.
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