The Greater Your Site’s Authority, The Easier It Is To Rank Higher For Keywords, Thus More Likely To Be Found By Your Target Audience
Before I jump into “Foundational” backlinks, I want to show you how to boost your site’s authority. Remember, the purpose of link acquisition to build the authority of your site.
1. Fix Broken External Links
Remember, every external link you place on your site leaks authority That’s why it’s important to audit your site (here’s an SEO audit checklist) to find broken external links. This applies to both external links in your content and in the comment section.
To find broken links use one or all the following:
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Google Search Console
2. Reclaim Lost Link Juice (404 Link Reclamation).
404 link reclamation is at the top of the list because it is the easiest. To find all 404 errors on your site use Google Search Console or Screaming Frog. Run the pages through a bulk check on Ahrefs or Majestic if you find 404 errors. I recommend doing both just in case you miss some links. You must 301 redirect them to a relevant page on the site or to your homepage when you find pages with link equity.
3. Find and Fix Redirect Chains.
Sometimes the most obvious solutions are right in front of your face. Once fixed, redirect chains are another simple problem that can boost your site’s authority.
4. Change 302s to 301s.
302s redirects block authority flow and could be stealing authority from your site. Identify all 302 redirects on and off your site, and change them to 301s. Once again, use Screaming Frog to find.
You now know how to improve your site’s authority without building new backlinks. Now it’s time to learn how to build foundational backlinks.
How to Build “Foundational” Backlinks.
The more “trustworthy” your site is, the better you will perform in the search engines.
The Foundational backlinks will create a layer of trust around your site. That’s because you will be using nothing but unoptimized, branded backlinks on authority sites. This system works extremely well.
Important note: You should only use naked link or branded anchors for foundational backlinks.
The first thing you need to do is secure all your social media properties. At the very minimum, your business should have:.
Google + (Personal & Business).
LinkedIn (Personal & Business).
You don’t have to actively market on these platforms, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
For example, for some clients we decided that Facebook was our best social media platform based on referral traffic and engagement. That’s why we are “all-in” on Facebook and not as active on the other platforms. Choose what platforms work best for your business. At the minimum, populate these accounts and share some content, so that you at least have a base.
Google values business listings so much that it is apart of the local search algorithm. This should be more than enough for you to use them for ANY SEO campaign. The cool part about listings is that about 50% of them give you a DoFollow, unoptimized link.
Business citations are a perfect way to build a foundation of trust around your site. Remember, not all backlinks hitting your site need to be 100% relevant. I’m referring to business listings and social media profiles.
Google trusts these platforms and is well aware that all types of businesses will be using them. In a sense, they get a pass for not being relevant. Make sure you check out our citation building service if you don’t want to waste your time building citations.
While most directories are pretty much worthless, there are some diamonds in the rough. Niche-targeted directories offer both a relevant and DoFollow link. As you know, backlinks with both of these characteristics are hard to come by.
Use these search strings in Google to find niche directories:.
NICHE + Directory (Example: “fitness + directory”).
NICHE + “submit site”.
Geo-targeted directories are a must-have link source for local businesses.
Here are some search strings you can use to find geo-targeted directories:.
city + directory.
directory + city.
submit my site + city.
niche + city + directory.
city + directories.
Niche Relevant Blog Comments.
I’m always amazed why so many SEOs skip out on niche relevant blog comments. Too many SEOs neglect them because of the dreaded “NoFollow” tag. I highly recommend you don’t neglect them.
My agency uses niche relevant blog comments to:
A) create a layer of relevancy around our client’s site.
B) improve to the ratio of Do Follow and No Follow backlinks.
C) diversify our anchors in a meaningful way.
D) sometimes get small amounts.
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