Two of the most used link-building strategies today are niche edits (also known as link insertions) and guest posting.
A quick web search reveals that SEO companies rely heavily on these two strategies to build links for clients that make a difference in Search Engine rankings.
But which link-building strategy is better for you and your business, with the best return on investment?
Let’s have a closer look at these two link-building strategies in terms of
- What they are
- The value they add to your website
- The process of building the links
- How difficult they are to build
- The pros and cons of each process
Niche edit links
A niche edit is a link that has been inserted into an existing article that is published on someone else’s website.
What value do Niche edits have?
Niche edit links are valuable because they originate from web pages that Google has already indexed.
What does this mean?
“A page is indexed by Google if it has been visited by the Google crawler (“Googlebot”), analyzed for content and meaning, and stored in the Google index. Indexed pages can be shown in Google Search results (if they follow Google’s webmaster guidelines)” (1)
So Google has already evaluated the page you’re linking from and has made it available to appear in their search results.
This also means you can evaluate the traffic that page receives and the strength it carries before you contact the site owner to add a niche edit.
Further reading: Do niche edits work?
How do I get a niche edit link?
One of the main points you need to remember when opting for niche edit link building is that they require a lot of legwork.
No, you don’t have to spend hours creating fresh content, but you’ll have to put in time and effort to research potential pages.
Here’s a condensed description of how to land a niche edit link:
Step #1 Identify relevant pages within your niche as link prospects
The keyword in the step is relevant.
If you want Google to pass link juice to your web page and send traffic to your target page that is actually interested in your content, you need to approach the right people.
For a niche edit to work, you need to provide value to the existing article. Here’s an example.
The above is an example of a niche edit link we gained from an existing article on the “Best ways to build links & Improve your website’s performance” article.
The site owner agreed to insert a backlink from the anchor text ‘link insertion’ as our page added value, clearly explaining the link-building strategy.
Step #2 Filter the good from the bad
Not all backlinks move the needle, so you must apply filters to differentiate the good from the bad when building backlinks.
To do this, you might want to ask yourself a few questions to help you pinpoint what is important for your website.
- Does my target site have enough steady traffic to impact my search rankings?
- Does the target site have a good domain authority – i.e, is it strong enough to help my ranking?
- In which country does my target site feature most in Google Search?
Ahrefs is a tool commonly used by link-building specialists to determine the answers to these questions and formulate a strategy that only targets the sites that will add real value to your site.
Step #3 Launch the outreach process
Once you have a shortlist of websites that are the most valuable to you, you need to contact each site owner with a proposal.
That first point of contact is more important than you think.
Webmasters often get spammed with hundreds of link insert requests, especially if they have a kick-butt article.
So make sure your first e-mail get’s straight to the point – what’s in it for them? Perhaps your page ads value because it better explains a term quoted on their page. Or you have a larger variety of products that would benefit their audience.
Whatever the advantage of inserting the link to their website is, make sure to state it in the e-mail as this will improve your chances of landing the link.
Is it difficult to find a niche edit opportunity?
Finding a website owner willing to go through all the effort of inserting a niche edit link into one of their existing articles can be hard to begin with.
And the task gets even trickier when you start working with websites that have been established for a while and have higher domain authority.
That’s because a backlink from one of these websites will almost immediately make a difference in your site’s ranking, which comes at a higher cost.
That being said, link building agencies that specialize in this field often have the resources and business relationships to help build these backlinks.
Meeting the requirements
Ensure that your content adds value to the article or page from which you’re trying to gain the link.
Coming up with fresh content isn’t always easy, especially with trying to optimize pages for Search Engines. But this is vital if you want to impress the website owner enough to grant you a link insert.
The pros and cons of niche edits
As with most things in life, there are some pros and cons to choosing to pursue niche edits. Let’s look at a few of them, starting with the good.
You get to choose the exact page for the link
During your early footwork and investigation of link targets, you get to choose pages that are already indexed (they appear in Search results) and have a good enough domain authority.
This is a real pro, as you know that the link will boost your website traffic, as opposed to a guest post that can easily land up in a dark corner of a website, hidden from potential web searchers.
You save time and resources
Researching and writing a guest post is no joke. In fact, some link builders will forego guest posting as they try to stay away from the content creation side of it.
Niche edits originate from existing articles, so you don’t have to figure that bit out.
Disadvantages of niche edits
You have no say over the content
While you get to pick and choose the pages you want links placed on, you do not have any say in the format, tone, or information on the target page.
You might not have written the article in the same way, or you might not completely agree with all the statements on a page, but that’s simply one of the privileges you forego with using niche edits.
You could be penalized for the link
The Google algorithm is extremely smart and often picks up when a link insert isn’t completely contextual. In other words, they can tell if it was built unnaturally and this could cause them to ignore the link or, even worse, penalize you.
Always ensure that your niche edit link insert makes complete sense to the audience reading the target page to avoid this.
Is there a difference between Niche Edits and Link Inserts?
No, there is no difference between the two link building strategies.
You’re asking a site owner to insert a hyperlink from a selected page back to one of your own web pages. Your content adds value in some way or another, the basis from which we build niche edits or link inserts.
Guest posting is the act of writing content that is to be published on someone else’s website. As you are not the site owner, you serve as a guest author.
While writing content for someone else’s website for free sounds ludicrous, there is a method to the madness.
It helps to cement business relationships within your niche with webmasters or website owners that will help you reach a larger audience.
Here’s a good read on The 7 Best Guest Post Services.
What value does guest posting have?
A good guest post article will have a backlink that can naturally drive traffic back to your website.
Guest posting has more than just the standard value of a backlink that passes link juice and helps with ranking.
When done right, they help you build authority in your niche, which could lead to you being viewed as an expert in your field.
They also foster business relationships between you and site owners that could lead to an ongoing business relationship.
How do I get a guest post?
Besides becoming known as an authority in your niche, or someone that is an expert in their field, you can simply do a Google Search for Guest Post opportunities.
Here’s what I mean. A quick google search gave me more than 2 million guest posting opportunities in half a second.
A person in the Van life / RV niche simply has to search for his keyword and add “guest post.” Google will then give you all websites that accept guest posts in that niche.
Then you simply need to use a tool like Ahrefs to check each website and see if they carry the metrics you need to make a difference in your website ranking.
Is it difficult to create a guest post?
Creating a guest post that will entice a site owner to give you the link can be difficult.
Firstly, you need to align your thinking with your target website owners – You need to write with their audience in mind. You need to play by their editorial rules and put them first.
Guest blogging is an art that few master, as it requires you to put yourself and your brand on the back burner.
Meeting the requirements
Before reaching out to a webmaster and asking for an opportunity to write for them, ask yourself if it’s worth the effort…
- Will I see a difference in my website rankings, not just short-term but for months and years to come?
- Will I see an improvement in web traffic directly stemming from the guest post outreach campaign?
- Do I believe in the direction my target website is going in – will I be proud to have my name associated with their blog post?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you should get out your pen and notebook and start coming up with guest post ideas.
The pros and cons of guest posting
Just like with niche edits, guest posting has some real perks and drawbacks. Let’s have a closer look at this link building strategy, again starting with the good.
You choose what information to use
Webmasters will often choose a relevant topic to their audience and give you their own set of editorial guidelines, but ultimately you choose what information to add and what to omit.
This helps you guide the audience and influence what information they receive.
You have a say in the anchor text
You choose exactly where to place the link, carefully picking the anchor text for your website.
Anchor text placement is extremely important, as an over-aggressive use of direct anchor text can land you in deep water with Google.
John Meuller is a search advocate for Google, and this is what he had to say about the importance of using the right anchor text for backlinks.
So being able to select the exact anchor text you want to use is a huge bonus for guest posts.
Disadvantages of Guest Posting
Here are some of the drawbacks of using guest posts to build links.
You have to put in all the effort
You must do all the research and write a detailed article that will appeal to the target audience.
Keeping in mind that guest posts are meant to appeal to someone else’s target audience and still coax them into visiting an existing blog post or service page on your own website, balancing the needs of both sides can be tricky.
Others will critique your work, and that’s not always pleasant.
Your article needs to meet the editorial standards of the website you’re reaching out to, and hearing honest feedback isn’t always easy.
Guest posting is a link building tactic that exposes your knowledge and writing ability to others, which you might not like.
The link-building specialists
Both guest blogging and niche edits are a sure way of building backlinks from established websites that will make a difference in your search rankings.
When choosing between the two, there’s no right or wrong answer. The trick lies in doing it efficiently to get a high investment return.
If you’re interested in exploring these options, why not work through a link insertion service that knows the ins and outs of link building campaigns and can streamline the process for you?
Batlinks has built high-quality backlinks for various companies and can tailor a campaign to suit your needs.
1 – Google support