You might have heard the terms “link juice” or “link equity” thrown around. Still, like many beginner marketers or small business leaders, you probably don’t understand what those phrases mean or how they impact your organization. We like to enlighten our readers, so in this post, we’ll dive into link juice and explain what you need to know regarding SEO.
What is Link Juice?
Link juice — sometimes referred to as link equity — describes the value passed from one page to another through external linking systems. When one site is linked to another, the search engines recognize the site it’s linked to as credible and authoritative. That site is more likely to receive praise from the search engines when their algorithms configure their ranking factors.
Think of it this way — two sites are the same, but four sites have linked to Site A, and Site B hasn’t been linked to at all. When the search engine’s algorithms determine which site is more valuable and authoritative to its users, Site A will rank higher because four other sites have referenced it in their content.
Link juice comes from pages that have:
- Content that’s relevant to your site
- High PageRank
- Relatively minimal outbound links
- High-quality content
- Top appearance in search engine results in pages (SERPs)
- User-generated content
- Popularity with social media audiences
How Can You Get More Link Juice?
Link juice isn’t something you can gain overnight. It does take practice and time. However, with a little effort and creativity, you could soon develop premium link building that’ll help boost you higher in the SERPs.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Link Internally
You don’t have to wait for authoritative sites to find your content and link to it. Start by linking to your content within the blogs and web pages you post on your site. This is an often-overlooked source of potential link juice. You’ve put the time and effort into curating information that speaks to your audience, so tap into that valuable reservoir by linking to your pages via internal links.
Start by doing your keyword research. There are a lot of free tools available if you need help coming up with optimal keywords that’ll help you target your goal. Look for pages on your site that feature those keywords, then narrow that list of pages down to a few with high authority. Armed with this information, you can place links to your target page using the keywords you’ve identified as anchor text. Be mindful to include longtail phrases that will help the search engines understand exactly what you’re linking to and why that anchor text is important for searchers. You don’t want to link to the exact keyword or phrase every time because that can ultimately look spammy, hurting your SEO rankings.
2. Find Not-So-Obvious Sources for Link Juice
Sure, blogs, articles, and promotional web copy are obvious places to look when trying to find untapped link equity. But, there are some great opportunities on nearly any website that often go unnoticed. Think about all of your administrative pages, such as:
- Contact us
- Terms of service
- About the company
- News and press
- Meet the team
These pages are ripe with link equity because they’re only a click away from the homepage, which is usually the page that attracts the most links and collects the greatest amount of equity.
3. Utilize Your Top Referral Sources
Check out the top referral sources of your site. These sites are already linking to your content and giving you backlinks.
When you find out which types of sites are linking back to your website and the type of content earning those backlinks, you’ll be able to figure out new opportunities to create similar content that earns attention, too.
4. Connect with Industry Publications and Websites
Stop trying to get the New York Times to notice your business, and look for publications that are zeroed in on your niche. Pitching to general-interest-focused publications won’t likely do you much good for several reasons. First, they’re huge and get a ton of inquiries daily, so you compete with many people for a little bit of real estate. Second, you’re not targeting anyone specifically. It’s a far better idea to use your time finding three to six publications that are serving your customer base.
Once you’ve made your list, connect with those publications to see if you can contribute guest posts. Often, industry publications will allow a backlink or two to the contributors’ websites, giving you the perfect opportunity to advertise yourself to the search engines without being overtly obvious to the readers you’re trying to impress.
5. Spy on Your Competitors
You should be doing this for other parts of your marketing strategy, so why not integrate it here?
Take some time to figure out what type of content your competitors publish, then ethically spy on them to identify sources for backlinks, keywords, social media activity, and top-performing content. Use an SEO tool such as SEMrush, which allows you to enter a domain into the site and check the backlinks that the URL is earning. This will give you a great source of publications and sites you can reach out to so you can offer your own company’s content and expertise to their audiences.
6. Find Broken Links
Broken links are links that don’t work or exist any longer. They can be caused because the initiating site removed the source page, the URL isn’t entered correctly, or the destination site moved to another page or closed altogether. Whatever the reason, broken links hurt pages’ SEO efforts, which is why people who have them on their websites are generally grateful for the opportunity to repair this damage.
Once you find a broken link, reach out to the website, and pitch your site as a replacement. It’s that simple!
7. Work with SEO Experts
Gaining backlinks does take work, but when you pair with an expert SEO agency, the team members will be able to steer you towards ideas that’ll help you improve your SEO by generating high-quality backlinks that create link juice. You don’t have to go through this process alone!