This simple tactic can help improve your link building campaigns and will have a direct impact on your rankings. This post will explain what link blending is, how it works and how it can fit into your SEO strategy.
Link blending is a strategy used when a website links to your site, and on the same page, links to other pages within the top 20 search results for your target keyword. This will then indicate to search engines that you are in the same ballpark as the highest-ranking pages. This can result in improved rankings for your target keywords.
How do you blend links?
Whatever link building tactics you are using, please be ethical – although black hat SEO can still work and would give you a degree of control over link blending, it isn’t worth the risk. The best way to do link blending is to look for who’s linking to your competitors, and who are ranking really well for your target keywords. Links from these sites will already be in the right circles, and if you get a link from that page, your rankings will climb up faster as they will be blended.
Another tactic is to look at who is ranking on page one for your target keywords, and aim for those pages to link to you. This will show Google that you are really relevant, and your rankings will start to improve quicker than if you were to have links from elsewhere.
The whole purpose of link blending is to ensure you are in the correct circles, the links are very relevant, and the search engines can easily see that your link is relevant.
Neil Patel, an influencer in digital marketing, wrote a post on launching a PPC campaign for the first time. Within this article, there were links to the likes of Wordstream and Google (pages one and two for PPC). He also linked to a post on the Hallam Internet site about PPC landing page best practices. Unfortunately, rich anchor text wasn’t used:
However, this link is still extremely relevant and has helped push our page two rankings for the term 'PPC landing pages' up to position one:
What’s the catch?
There is one catch with link blending, and it relates to the anchor text. Imagine you sell e-bikes and your site has been linked to in a Forbes article, with other links in the article to bicycling.co.uk and The Independent. All good right? Well, it depends on the richness of the anchor text being used: the richer your anchor text the better, and the broader the bicycling and Independent anchor text, the bigger the advantage you have.
The reasoning behind this is simple. If all the links had the same rich anchor text, such as “e-bikes”, they will start to outrank your website for that key term. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where:
- Your link has rich anchor text
- The page links to relevant websites that rank 1 – 20 for your target keyword
- The other links use non-rich anchor text
I know, it’s a pretty tough balance trying to get all of the above-right for every link building campaign, but what this does is provide a sound template for making the most of your link building strategy.
Why should you use link blending?
Bottom line, this tactic won’t deliver instant number one positions for your target keywords. But, it is a great strategy to implement as part of your link building process. In your next outreach campaign, think about it: if you have a piece of content you’re looking to place, then do a little research into the top-ranking sites for your target keyword. Why not link to them in the post and separately link to your website with rich anchor text.
Another scenario where link blending can really come into play, is with guest posting, as this will allow you to manipulate the types of links and anchor text used. As long as this is done ethically, you can use it to your advantage. You are able to craft the content and anchor text – just make sure you don’t overdo it, and as with most guest posts, they will be thoroughly checked before going live, so don’t go too wild.
Lots of people practise link blending, but not a lot of people talk about it. It’s a good process to have in your link building strategies, especially for outreach and guest blogging. All natural and ethical links back to your site are nice, but if you can head into a campaign with a blending process in mind, you’ll be able to push for your target keywords better and stand a stronger chance of improving your rankings up to pages one and two.