3 min read

Boost Your SEO With Link-Building Friends

Link-Building-Friends

Backlinks still matter when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). But these days it’s all about quality, not quantity. We caught up with Digital Marketing Strategist and backlinking whiz Rylee Leonard to learn how Vital’s link-building team is scaling high-quality links through networking.

Link-Building Friends Video Transcript

Melissa:

Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m the Director of Brand Strategy at Vital, and I’m here to talk about something called link building. Over to you, Rylee.

Rylee:

My name is Rylee. I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist here at Vital, and I also manage our link-building department.

Melissa:

So what is link building?

Rylee:

Link building is an SEO tactic intended to build site authority and increase your brand visibility by getting links pointing back to your website from other websites. Backlinks are a huge metric that Google uses to decide what content is going to rank highest in the search engine result pages, so the more links — and the more high-quality links — that you have pointing to your site will help boost your SEO and help your content rank higher.

Melissa:

So it’s not just about the quantity of links, it’s also about the quality. So how does Google decide what a high-quality link is?

Rylee:

The way that Google is deciding and defining high quality right now is using something called E-A-T.

Melissa:

For those of us who don’t know, are we talking about what we had for breakfast? What does E-A-T mean?

Rylee:

E-A-T is not my avocado toast from this morning. It is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

Melissa:

Got it. So you have to go out there, get high-quality links from other sites that have high E-A-T, or Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. How have you gone about doing that here?

Rylee:

At Vital we do a lot of guest blogging, which can be pretty time consuming. We have a great team of copywriters that can tap into our clients’ subject matter expertise, and we also have a great team of coordinators that go heavy on the research to find these sites.

But in terms of scaling, something that I’ve recently explored is a high-tech meets old-school approach that I’m calling “link building friends.”

Melissa:

That sounds fun. Tell me about your link building friends.

Rylee:

I’ve found that to scale the number of backlinks you want to build, a key to success is building relationships with like-minded link builders, publishers, and authors. My new goal is working smarter, not harder. Some people would say this is gray hat SEO, but I think it’s successful because when you’re working with people who have the same goals as you and align with E-A-T, you’re not doing any of that old-school link spam. It’s all real. It’s all intended to build authority and to provide good content and good backlinks that align with your audience.

Melissa:

Since you’ve switched your focus to this relationship-based model where you are working more directly with other link builders, what kind of results have you seen?

Rylee:

It was a slow transition, but in the first month that we started dialing back our cold outreach strategy, we saw a 95% increase in the average total number of backlinks that we built each month, so that was when I knew right away that this was going to be a game-changing solution for our link building.

Melissa:

Before we wrap it up, what advice do you have for businesses that are looking to improve their SEO and their site’s E-A-T rankings in 2023?

Rylee:

My first piece of advice would be: You need to earn links that your competitors can’t replicate. This is where a little bit of reverse link building can come into play. Basically, create that high-quality content, maybe use stats, or run your own study to create something that is link worthy naturally for journalists and PR outlets, but also that can’t be replicated. With good-quality content, you’ll build links naturally at scale.

My second piece of advice would be taking on a mindset of SEO as a facilitator. I learned this at the SearchLove conference in Philadelphia that we went to, but the traditional mindset of link building has been long game SEO. I think in the future, and even in the upcoming year, to be successful you need to start thinking short-term SEO. Think of capitalizing on those trends,

being an early adopter, being in the right place at the right time. This can change your backlink profile drastically.

And then lastly, of course, I would recommend that you need to grow your link-building friends. Networking, building those relationships up, and finding the right people to work with will help you build your site authority faster and more effectively in the long run.

Melissa:

Awesome. Well, I can’t wait to see all this put to work for us at Vital and for all our clients who are lucky enough to have you on their team. Thanks, Rylee.

Rylee:

Thank you.

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