Striving for niche relevant backlinks should always be at the core of any link building you do.
In this article, we’ll discuss more about what niche relevant links are, how to get them, and the benefits of having a more niche-focused approach to your link building strategy.
So your first goal, will of course be about creating high quality content, and building quality backlinks to that content. The more of these backlinks you can get, the more Google will trust your site, and the more likely it’ll reward you with better search engine rankings. However, not every backlink is created equally. Some links will exert a larger effect than others. There are different factors which can make one backlink stronger than the other (which we have covered in another article where we discuss “what is a high quality link”.
But, one of those factors which is extremely important is the niche relevance of the links. Relevance is what helps search engines determine if you are being cited in relevant sites, and the content is worthy enough of being mentioned in the right industries. For example, let’s say you’re a yoga studio, links from yoga niche blogs, yoga associations or crossover sectors like health & wellness would be relevant.
Whereas, a link from a construction site for example, would not be deemed as relevant, and may not pass as much value or link equity. You may even get links from large media sites via PR link building, which don’t fall within a very specific niche. At the same time, its a fine balance, and you wouldn’t want a disproportionately large number of links from highly irrelevant niches. A small proportion of irrelevant links is fine, but too many, would be unnatural, and its possible that the links will not pass much link equity, or may be devalued at some point.
Let’s dig a bit further into this. As we’ve said, niche relevant backlinks are key if you want search engines to attribute importance to your website and its content pieces.
Not only just at the domain level, but also at the page level, when you are trying to improve your search engine rankings.
Let’s consider an example of 2 competitors having a “Guide to photography” content piece and are going for the same keyword. All else being equal on the on-page and technical SEO, it then comes down to the links those 2 sites have. If they both are similar in terms of domain authority, and both guides have a similar number of links – it then will come down to who has the best quality links, and arguably, who managed to get the most niche relevant links.
It is not an exact science however, as you’d expect with ever-changing search engine algorithms and the complexity of how links are attributed. A site with less niche relevant links, may beat a competitor with more niche relevant links, but it is likely they’ll need an edge somewhere else. Be it the authority of the links they have, and/or just having a lot more links, which gives them higher domain authority.
With the changes happening with Google’s algorithm, the Helpful Content update, and the ever-increasing focus on E-E-A-T – being able to get niche relevant links looks to be increasingly important.
While Gary Illyes did say at PubCon on Sept 2023, that links are not one of the top 3 ranking factors anymore:
This doesn’t downplay the importance of links at all. The quality and depth of the content you’re producing, and the intent of it, has to be at the forefront. After that, what else can search engines like Google use to attribute value to content? It then comes down to links, and then by extension, the quality and what the search engine considers as a quality link, confirming that the content is truly an authority, and “expert” in that niche.
When you want to get niche relevant backlinks, the first step will be constructing the right link building strategy, and then using this to steer prospecting in a way in which you will end up reaching out to sites, where there is niche relevance. This is a very key step, as anything you collect at this stage, will determine the niche relevance of the links you end up with, or maybe even determine if your outreach is even successful or not.
There are a few methods you can use to collect targets, but the main one most link building processes use is Google. But we’ll also cover how you can use backlink analysis tools, Google Maps, niche directories and a few other sources.
1. Use search operators to find relevant websites
Google is a very powerful way of collecting niche relevant prospecting lists. By combining industry-related, or topic-related keywords, with advanced search operators, you can pull up SERPs which yield you fairly tight prospecting lists. You can use advanced operators like
- inurl:, intitle:, site:, AND, OR and others.
You still have to introduce some manual vetting, as its likely the search engine results pages you pull up, have some irrelevant sites in there, or pages which are not exactly in the right area. As well as that, you may want to use something like the Moz plugin, if you’re taking sites that are only over a certain DA level for example.
2. Use the Competing Domains feature on Ahrefs
Ahrefs and other backlink analysis tools, also have a feature, where you can input a seed site and see all its competing domains. You can collect all these domains, and it should generally give you a niche list of sites.
Its still important to vet the targets here as well, as backlink analysis tools are mostly attributing relevance based on the competing keywords. However, there are niches where different types of websites are competing for the same keyword. For example, a real estate agent may target the same keywords as a real estate news site, or a real estate portal. While they fall within the same umbrella, it’s important that you reach out to those sites differently, since they have different needs and value propositions.
3. Prospecting from Google Maps
Not a common one for most link builders, but we find Google Maps listings really effective when we need a very targeted list. Let’s say for instance, we have a fitness site and we want to reach out to all the gyms in a particular region, and we have a fitness-focused content idea. We can simply search all the gyms in lets say Los Angeles and we’ll immediately have a really targeted list. This can be a fairly tedious task to do manually, so you can use some scraping software like BOTSOL, Google Maps scraper and others, to speed up the scraping. The advantage here, compared to prospecting via normal Google search, is you’ll generally have a much tighter list, in terms of niche relevance.
4. Competitor Backlink Analysis
Quite a few tools you can use for this, but the principle is the same. Plug your closest competitors into your tool of choice, and check where they got links from. At a basic level, you can do a Link Intersect, and just download all the sites where at least one of your competitors got a link – and then reach out to get a link yourself.
Or, look through the patterns of their backlink profiles to see what niches those sites come from and the context in which they got the link. This goes a level deeper than simply getting a link on the same site, and is really where you can take your link building strategy to the next level. If let’s say you’re a real estate company, and you notice one of your competitors has links from a few moving companies – you can take that seed idea, and build more prospecting lists of moving companies. The key thing is to ensure that the niches you’re taking from those profiles, are truly niche and/or target audience relevant.
5. Prospecting from industry directories
This is dependent on your website and its niche, but you might find there is a directory or a pre-existing website containing exactly the type of niche sites that you want. Let’s take G2.com as one example, which is a SaaS directory where companies are separated into different subcategories of different SaaS products.
If you have a SaaS company, you can look at G2, and find a subcategory which isn’t competing, but has some niche relevance, and where there is some topical crossover. Let’s say you have a keyword tracking SaaS- you could find the list of link building outreach SaaS products, and collect that as a prospecting list.
Conducting thorough research to find relevant websites in the same niche
As explained before, the success of your link building campaigns, and ability to get niche-relevant links (regardless of the quality of what you do in prospecting or outreach) is directly affected by how you seed the campaign at the strategy level.
Some of the questions to need to ask yourself, before you even start any link building include:
- What is your target audience, and what other websites could that target audience be on?
- From those relevant niche sites, or crossover niches, what value proposition do you have? Why should they link to you?
- What content do you need to rank and how competitive are the target keywords?
- What anchor texts should you be using for your content and how best can you incorporate that into your link building?
Checking Relevance and Vetting Targets
It’s important during the prospecting process, to ensure you are collecting truly relevant URLs. Not only because you want relevant links at the end of the process, but also so that the outreach process goes smoothly. The worst thing you can have at outreach, is a prospecting list of mixed targets, that all have different needs in terms of content. For instance, at TLG, if we want to reach out to a list of storage companies for a guest post, we’d want it to be a tight list of only businesses in the storage space niche. We wouldn’t want to mix in lifestyle blogs talking about storage, or real estate agents talking about storing items before a move – because we want to approach the sites with a very specific value proposition, and we want to be efficient as well.
On top of that, you’ll also want to vet the quality of the website’s you’re collecting as well. Even if the site is relevant in terms of page or domain relevance, getting a link would be in vain if it’s a spammy site, or a 0 traffic PBN site.
So at the basic level, you can use the Moz bar, and set a benchmark of 25+ DA for instance. But, you can also set a benchmark in terms of traffic, and you may only want to collect sites with a traffic level of 500+ or 1000+.
Just keep in mind, you don’t want to filter out good sites that have niche relevance, so don’t set your authority and traffic benchmarks too high, or you’ll greatly reduce the pool of sites. Like this example above, it seems like a site that has very low traffic and is low authority. But it is highly relevant to us (if we were in that industry), and its a legitimate business where the website serves some kind of purpose, and probably gets traffic from sources other than Google.
At the same time, ensure at prospecting that you filter out “link farms” sites with a manual “sniff test”. There’s several characteristics of link farms which we’ll discuss in detail in another article.
Crafting personalized outreach emails to request backlink opportunities
Once you’ve got the right prospecting lists in place, the next stage is to reach out with a thoughtful, and personalized email.
A generic, cookie-cutter email (the type you’ll find in most outreach guides) isn’t going to cut it .And you probably aren’t going to get anything good enough by only simply regurgitating something straight out of chatGPT. Although it can help with creating hook ideas or things like content ideation.
When you do niche-relevant links, the key here is to write an email that is relevant to the industry, or the topic of the article you are reaching out about.
A few techniques you can use to make your outreach emails more relevant to niche relevant sites:
- Using industry-relevant lingo within the email. These are usually tell-tale signs to the receiver that the person reaching out to them actually has experience in their industry, or at least has done their research.
- Touching on something trending in the niche. Useful if you start your email with a hook and/or have a content pitch for something timely that you know everyone in the niche is talking about. For instance, during the pandemic we reached out to some sites in the supply chain and retail sector and touched on the combined impact of Brexit and the pandemic – which was a very hot topic in that niche at that time. We could then segue quite well into our content piece from there which shed more light on what companies could do to combat those industry challenges.
- Humor and puns that are relevant to the niche. This may not work for every industry, but this can serve 2 purposes of breaking the ice, but also getting a laugh while you’re at it. Of course, the humor needs to be relevant for this to be truly effective, so memes or jokes that are industry relevant, and particularly timely could work here.
How do you measure the effectiveness of those niche relevant links, and how do you know if its actually giving you an edge?
Well this isn’t really an exact science, and it’s hard to always know if a link from one niche, will give you some % more link equity than another. (Remember there’s so many other factors about a link which determine its strength).
But, one way to measure the effectiveness, is to monitor the pages that you are building links to, and track the ranking movements and traffic increases of that page and its associated keywords.
You can even go a step further, and track referral traffic from those links and even enquiries. Now, it’s unlikely that all links you build are going to generate a significant amount of referral traffic – but it is possible. And the chances of you driving referral traffic, and massively heightened IF you are able to build some niche relevant links as part of your campaign.
We have done this for one of our clients in the seafood industry. We got them highly niche-relevant roundup links on sites like Forbes and The Kitchn – and on Analytics, found those pages were driving referral traffic. If you have the right tracking set up in Analytics, you’ll also be able to measure conversions and revenue.
It sounds easy enough, but ensuring you can consistently get high quality, niche relevant links, is more difficult than it sounds.
Here’s some of the best practices you need to follow.
- Be practical with your link building strategy.
It all starts with having the right strategy in the first place. As discussed before, be clear on what you deem to be relevant to your sector at the strategy level, and ensure its possible to implement that at the prospecting level. For instance, let’s say you’re in the telecoms sector and you want links from the telecoms industry. That’s definitely possible, and there are telecom industry websites like Telecomstechnews.com , that you can reach out to. However, when you’re dealing with very specific industries like this, the pool is only so big. If you restrict yourself only to a very specific industry, and especially only from a certain geographic location, the list will only be so big.
Now, if you’re in the food industry and you just want links from food blogs, thats different, as the list is practically endless!
There are also definitely benefits to getting links from a specific geographic location. If you’re in the UK, and get links from the UK, that will impact your authority due to the geographical relevance. But if you’re in a niche where you have an international clientele, it would be advised to try to look at it more from a niche relevance point of view, and not only a geographic relevance, if you are located in a country with a small population and therefore, small pool of niche website targets.
We also find especially when it’s a B2B strategy, you can only stretch the prospecting so far. That’s why you need to generate crossover sector ideas so you can expand the pool of targets you can reach out to.
- Find relevant, high quality websites in the same niche
When you’re prospecting a specific niche, you might find a wide range of websites within that list. The broader the niche is, the more likely you will come across more unsuitable or low quality sites.
So just ensure to set your quality metrics – lets say we only want sites that are a DA of 25 plus for instance, or have a traffic of 500+ or 1000+ – and then filter out sites when you’re prospecting. The free MozBar extension will help if you’re scanning through Google for targets, or you may need to use the Moz API, if you have ists scraped through other methods, and need to find the DA levels.
On the flipside, you may have to be flexible on your metrics as well. We’ve found strategies where if we are too strict on our DA or traffic requirement, we’ll end up cutting out most of the niche. For instance, for one of our clients we were looking to contact all the Councils in the UK. Each city and town in the UK has a council, which often will have their own website. These are really good quality sites, and in this case, a lot of councils had a resource page that was perfect for the client.
However, a lot of the smaller city websites didn’t have a lot of links and probably didn’t really have many search engine rankings. But, I know the site would be considered very relevant, many of the sites had a .gov TLD, and the sites themselves had actual traffic, from sources that may not come up on SEO tools. So, we set the metric requirements much lower, to ensure we didn’t filter out good sites.
Never lower your requirement on quality however. In some niches, you may also see a lot of PBN or “link farm” websites – for instance, you see a lot in the health & fitness, travel and technology niche. Blogs that just look like blatant link farms, can get cut out easily at the prospecting level. Even if they meet the DA and traffic level requirements, you’ll find the content is very poor, DA metric is inflated and/or traffic is coming from completely irrelevant keywords.
- Consider the nuances of finding contacts
You’ll get to see this, depending on the type of niche or website you’re prospecting, and hoping to get links from. In many cases, like if you were trying to get links in the marketing niche, the type of contacts you need to collect are pretty straightforward. Your natural instinct is to look for people with titles like: Content Manager, Content Editor, Editor, Content Marketing Manager etc.
But not all niches will be like this. We tend to find that if we want to collect relevant blogs from a very specific niche like the RV sector, we are mainly collecting local businesses that have a blog section. In such cases, the majority of the niche are small to medium sized businesses, and they may not have a dedicated editor or content person. You may find that they only have a Marketing Manager, or a person that oversees Sales & Marketing, and is a person that wears many hats. While if you are trying to get links on university resource pages, you may find the contacts are from very specific departments. We’ve often had to contact librarians or secretaries, admin assistants, or sometimes it’s a webmaster.
So just remember, to get those highly niche relevant links, will require highly relevant contacts.
- Filter out the competition
One drawback of trying to build links that are closer to your niche, is the chances of collecting sites that have competing interests with yours. This will tend to happen if you look specifically at your industry, or you are using keywords which have close crossover with your own.
Not everyone that mentions the same keywords, will be a competitor, but you will find a % that are. And of course, it’s usually a waste of link building efforts to reach out to a competitor asking for a link. There’s no incentive for them to link to you.
We’ll talk about this in more detail later, but the skyscraper technique is notorious for bringing up competitors in the prospecting process, so you really need to ensure you have safeguards in place to make sure you don’t add competitors in your prospecting lists.
- Have the right value proposition or insights
This comes with the territory of reaching out to sites that are in your niche or in very relevant crossover sectors. There is a higher likelihood they are aware of your business type, or the type of content you write about. With that, if you want to attract links from niche relevant sites, you need to have something that compels them to want to link.
That’s where having really valuable industry reports, whitepapers, research studies or even free tools, can work really well. Those types of linkable assets may even attract links naturally as well. But, in the context of link building, you’ll find that the less likely that others have an asset that’s similar, or have a content that is as valuable or comprehensive as yours – the easier it will be to get links during the outreach process.
For instance, we had a client in the modular home sector, and we wanted to reach out to crossover sectors like the real estate sector, namely real estate agents. Modular wasn’t something that the websites in these sectors really had top of mind, as they only sold normal houses – but it was still relevant due to the audience crossover. So what we did was to reach out with guest post ideas which “bridged the gap” between the two.
Rather than reaching out with something boring and generic like “10 Reasons Why you Should Buy a Modular Home”, we created ideas like “Home Improvements That Increase Your Home Value”. This didn’t clash with that website’s content strategy, and still aligned with the client, and gave us enough contextual relevance to work in a natural placement to the client’s page.
- Guest Posting
Guest posting is a really popular method and something you may be familiar with. The value proposition with this tactic is pretty clear – the publishing website gets a unique, fresh piece of content, while you get credited with a link from that content. Often within the author bio at the bottom, or within the body of the article.
While there are a lot of guest posting platforms out there, and you may be able to find niche-relevant links that way, the key thing is to ensure they meet a certain quality standard as well.
If you want to land niche-relevant guest posts the key steps to follow are:
- Strategise the niches that are relevant or crossover with yours.
- Determine how best you’ll get those niche lists (be it skyscraper technique, manual prospecting via Google, or scraping through Google Maps or other sources)
- Create topic ideas relevant to each niche list. (keeping in mind what we discussed in “Have the right value proposition or insights” section.
- Write the article, keeping in mind their audience, and their editorial guidelines.
- Ensure the content is contextual enough where you can segue into something about your business or one of its target pages. Then naturally include this as a link.
- Expedite this back to the target website’s team.
Here is an example of a strategy map we created for a company operating in the wedding industry. We do this for every client that we on-board, especially when we have to leverage guest posting as a tactic.
We won’t go into this in this article, but the writing process is really important, and particularly your anchor text strategy and page selection. While the domain itself may be niche relevant, you can get an extra edge by ensuring the context within which you’ve mentioned your link, is the exact context you need. But its a balancing act of ensuring it still looks natural. The link and the context shouldn’t look “forced in”.
- Broken Link Building
Broken links are an oldie, but a goodie!
There’s a few different ways to uncover broken link building strategies, but backlink analysis tools like Semrush will help you here.
It essentially involves finding dead articles that have backlinks still pointing to it. You should then have an asset that covers the same topic/use-case , and then reach out to those sites, asking if they’ll update their broken link, to your live article or asset.
Plugins like Check My Links, are really good if you need to find the broken anchor quickly, as you may need to refer to exactly where the link is, as often the website owner or editor isn’t aware that it’s broken.
The reason this tactic works is that you are helping them out. Broken links over time, and if they accumulate too much, can cause some harm to a site’s SEO. It also can harm the user experience, as they may be clicking to see what that useful resource is – only to find it points to a page that no longer exists!
Just make sure when reaching out that the article you have is at least as useful as that content piece you’re offering to replace, or preferably, is even more valuable. The good thing is that email pitches are pretty straightforward. Something as simple as this can work (and this got us a free link on a niche relevant sports site, due to a broken healthline article link).
- Resource Links
This tactic involves securing links in already existing content, often within the blog post of other websites, or within some kind of curated resource list.
This is a good tactic to use instead of guest posts, as it means you don’t have to keep writing fresh content for each link opportunity, and you can leverage content you already have on your site.
There are so many ways to create niche targeted lists of resources but a few include:
- Using combinations of keywords + google search operators
to find articles talking about crossover topics. The idea here is that if they are talking about the same kind of topic, it should lead to niche relevant sites. Just keep in mind, searches will still bring up irrelevant targets or low quality link farms, so you have to ensure you have manual vetting as well.
- Backlink analysis and “modified skyscraper” approach.
You’ve probably heard of the skyscraper technique as coined by Brian Dean, but what is the modified approach?
In this context, it basically just means finding articles that align with your article (but not covering the exact same topic), then scraping their backlinks, and reaching out to those sites to see if they’ll link.
With the conventional skyscraper technique, it involves scraping the links of a directly competing page, and reaching out to those sites, to see if they’ll link to you. The problem here is it relies on you having to build a much more comprehensive piece, and then banking on this being enough to get them to link to you. Whether your piece is better or not, there is the fact that they’ve already linked to a website about that topic. They found it valuable enough at the time, so why would they link to yours?
Anyway, here’s how this method works:
Let’s say we had a content piece about “How to Find Motivation for Exercise Again” – we want to find crossover topics that align with this.
For example the people who rank top with terms relating to topics like:
- Tips to stay motivated for exercise
- Best workout songs
- When you don’t feel like exercising
- Workout motivation quotes
And so on. You get the idea.
Now, what we’ll find here, is that we’ll get articles that are linking to these (still relevant) “crossover” topics, rather than articles also talking about the exact same thing. And in our testing, we find the success rate higher since they haven’t already linked to an article talking about the same thing.
- Curated industry resource lists
At TLG we call these “Resource Pages”. These curated industry lists are the pages you see on a lot of websites which are titles “Useful Links”, “Useful Resources”, “Useful Websites” or other variations of those.
You can often find these types of pages with the use of advanced operators like inurl:links and inurl:resources.
Once you find a resource page strategy like this within your plan, you’ll find that a lot of sites within the niche follow the same pattern. And by going through Google’s search results pages, you’ll be able to build up a nice big list of them.
It’s then just a case of reaching out to the relevant people at those sites, and showing them something worthy of being included within that resource page.
Here’s an example of us finding resource pages in the woodworking niche:
5. Content Marketing & Attracting Links
This is something you should also do in-house while you proactively build links – and that’s producing linkable assets that also attract links.
The beauty of this, is that you won’t really have to think about what industries are relevant, or what niches may or may not use your asset. If the content is comprehensive/useful/unique enough, the right people will find it, and link to it.
There’s all manner of ways to do this, but some examples include:
- Industry tools or calculators
- Industry white papers
- Data-driven research
- Image link building via Creative Commons (really good for industries where visuals are important like travel & food)
Niche edits are one tactic used for building niche relevant backlinks, and it essentially is a kind of umbrella term for getting links inserted in existing pieces of content. It may just simply hyperlinking existing text, or asking for a piece of the content to be edited, in order to link to you.
We’ll probably cover this in more detail in another article, but we know that the term niche edits is often used synonymously with “paid link inserts”. Nothing wrong with buying links, but you should ensure you are still vetting the sites you’re getting niche edits on as well.
No matter how good the article is, and the contextual relevance of the article and/or the domain’s niche – the quality of the site is paramount. The last thing you want is to purchase links on sites like the one below:
There are a number of benefits, if you are able to steer your strategy towards being able to build more niche relevant backlinks. Here’s a few of them
- Link equity and search engine visibility
Simply put, the more contextually relevant your links are, and the more of them you are securing in niche relevant sites, the better this will be for your backlink profile and your ability to rank for keywords that are relevant to your niche as well. Search engine algorithms are becoming ever more advanced by the day, and while you could get away with spammier techniques in the old days, it truly does pay off in the long run, if you can build better quality links, on sites that are actually relevant.
Exactly what niche is going to give you more link equity than others, isn’t an exact science. And there are other factors to consider in terms of link quality. But if you work with an agency that can at least have the right intent and a more niche-focused approach to the process, that will definitely benefit your rankings in the long run.
- Increased referral traffic
This is a benefit of links anyway, but it’s much more likely when the links are highly relevant. If you think about it, if the audience of that site crosses over with yours, and the link makes sense and has some contextual relevance, this should lead to some click-through traffic.
Compare this to some agencies, who simply re-rinse an existing list of sites, and they ‘pigeon-hole’ your links into those sites. While they could in theory make it relevant at the page, or paragraph level – if they haven’t actually considered the niche of the site, and started their strategy at that point, it brings to question if you are missing an opportunity to build links from more relevant sites.
- Brand awareness and establishing authority
By securing links within your niche, you also get some brand awareness as well. For example, if we’re working with a logistics company, then getting links on industry publications aimed at the supply chain sector, warehousing associations, retail sector news is ideal. You might find this benefits your business in ways other than just SEO and links. For example, we secured a link to a publication about “How the Blockchain could solve the e-waste issue”, and the founder was approached by an industry conference to give a talk about this!
Also, it can help you establish authority in your niche, from a search engine point of view. Not only in terms of direct link equity, but also because search engines can see the signals you’re gathering within the niche, and this will have an impact on your overall E-A-T-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). And if those sites you’re getting links from have good E-A-T-T signals themselves, that will in turn, pass onto you as well.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Your efforts to get niche relevant links, does come with some caveats, and there are some mistakes that people often make when they want to take a highly niche-relevant focus to their link building process.
Here’s what you need to avoid:
- Focus on relevance but not to the detriment of prospecting list size. The fact remains, only a certain percentage of sites will even link to you, so make sure you don’t become overly strict on your relevance criteria to the point where it filters out too many sites.
- Don’t be dogmatic about guest article topics. When building links, relevance at the domain and page relevance level is important, but you won’t always be able to get both in the exact area you want. Often the editor/website owner will want to control the topic, which you’ll often have to relinquish control over.
For example, let’s say you own an IT company and you have a very specific product page you want to push selling something like SD-WAN ( a type of networking tech product.) At the same time, you want to get on supply chain sites as you want to penetrate that niche. The problem is, editors on those sites may not even care, or even understand that product. They may want a broader topic – let’s say something like “10 IT Infrastructure Must-Haves for a Logistics Company”. You could still incorporate your target page, but the writer just has to ensure they can segue into that topic appropriately within one of the sections.
- Link exchanges are good, but don’t over-rely on them. It’s tempting to take a shortcut to building niche-relevant links and without a doubt, link exchanges are one way to do it. But if you’re not careful about it, it can start to get risky, and it becomes a very convoluted process. I have seen some content managers decide to give out a bunch of link exchanges, and then later delete the links without informing people. Or, if you use the various Slack communities and Facebook groups for link exchanges, you may find you’re dealing with people not actually from those companies. It then becomes a bit like a game of arbitrage, where you are getting a link, but you can never really be safe and secure about whether your linkback will stay there, who actually is inserting the link and what their “end of the deal” was. If you have complete control of the process, and are dealing with the company directly, doing ABC link exchanges that is fine, but just be careful when there’s a risk of involving multiple parties into the process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are niche relevant backlinks?
Niche relevant backlinks are links from websites that are from a niche or industry, in the same as your own website, or within a reasonably close vicinity.
How do you build high-quality backlinks?
You can build high quality backlinks via a number of tactics, but some include doing guest posting, resource link outreach, broken link building to name a few. To ensure the links are of high quality, you’ll need to carefully vet the targets at the prospecting level, and introduce some quality metrics to filter out low quality sites. Not just in terms of DA and/or traffic, but also by looking at things like the relevance of the content and the relevance of the keywords they rank for.
What are the 3 main features of a quality backlink?
The markers of a good quality link can be distilled down to 3 main features – relevance, authority and traffic.
Relevance, in terms of the niche of the site you’re getting the link on, and the context in which it has been mentioned. Anchor text ties in with that, so that is also important.
Authority, not from an arbitrary DA or DR perspective, but actual, true authority. Is this a trusted website that is considered a legitimate website in its niche, has its own topical authority and may even be ranking quite well and has decent backlinks.
Traffic – could partly mean that it ranks well on search engines and gets traffic that way, but its important to think more holistically. I believe a good quality site will be getting links from multiple sources, and it may be getting direct traffic, social media traffic or other methods. In other words, it has an active readership and actual sources of traffic.
What is the difference between backlinks and niche-relevant backlinks in SEO?
With niche relevant links, it helps you to establish some topical authority in your specific niche, and it will be one factor which helps with E-E-A-T. The more relevant links that search algorithms see you getting, the better it’ll be for your rankings.
Backlinks in general do help, and will impact your SEO, but different links have different weightages, with relevance being one of the qualities that search engines do look at when trying to determine the value of a backlink.
Do niche backlinks hold more weight than generic backlinks?
Your preference should always be to build niche relevant links wherever possible. Now, sometimes you may get links which are a bit more generic. It’s not to say they won’t have any value, but it’s important to consider other factors. Sometimes if you’re building links via digital PR or HARO, you may find you’re getting a link on a site which is not really your niche. Let’s say you’re a rehab clinic, and you got a link on a psychology news publication, commenting on an anxiety topic. It’s not as relevant as, lets say, a link on an alcohol addiction charity website. But, it still has some tangential relevance due to being in the health niche, and the psychology website may have some topical authority in things relating to addiction and alcohol. In a way, it makes it somewhat ‘relevant’ but to a lesser extent.
On top of that, let’s also consider the authority of the link. If it’s on a particularly large site with millions of visitors, like a major news publication, that can make up for some lack of relevance. In those cases, the site will contribute to your domain authority, and will be beneficial for E-E-A-T.
With niche relevant links you do also have the added benefit of being able to drive referral traffic more effectively, and the brand awareness that comes with building links in the right niches.
Can I mix niche relevant backlinks with other types?
As said in the question above, getting links that fall slightly out of your niche targeting is fine, as long as the links are still on good quality sites. You wouldn’t want every single link to be in irrelevant sites, and if you’re working with an agency, it’s important that they don’t completely allow the strategy to be a free-for-all in terms of industry niche. But some links that are a bit less relevant than others, won’t cause harm.
How can I get niche-related backlinks for my website?
The tactics you can use are the same as you’d do for link building anyway. This may include guest posting, skyscraper technique, broken link building, creating assets that attract links, to name a few. But, it all starts with the strategy. By starting off with the right strategy, and knowing what kind of niches you want to build lists around, or knowing exactly what articles you want to collect and reach out to, will heighten the chances of you getting those lucrative, niche-relevant links capable of taking your site to the next level.
If you need the help of an agency that specializes in taking a ‘niche first’ approach to link building, just contact us to find out more about our process.