October 19, 2023

Can You Increase Keyword Rankings Without Link Building?

There is no doubt that backlinks are a vital part of developing a website with authority in a Search Engine’s Results Page (SERP). When another user provides a link to your website online, this tells Google that your website is a popular place for people to visit to find the answer to their search query. However, building links is not the only method of improving keyword rankings. So, how else can you improve keyword rankings without link building?

There are many factors aside from backlinks that Google considers to be ranking factors. These include:

Keep reading to find out more about how link building works, and how to improve keyword ranking using methods other than link building.

Can You Improve Keyword Rankings with a Poor Backlink Profile?

To improve your keyword rankings, you first need to know where you currently stand. There are a number of tools online that can help you to get an idea of how you are ranking for certain keywords. Using tools like SerpApi, Advanced Web Rankings, SEMRush or Ahrefs, you can gauge how you are performing for the keywords that you are targeting.

While backlinks have a significant impact on how well your keywords will rank, they are not the only factor to consider when attempting to improve your keyword ranking.

How Backlinks Impact SERP Rankings

A poor backlink profile typically tells Google that your website is not holding authority in your industry, and so will not look favorably on your website when positioning results to a query. It is important that the websites that are linking to your site are from reputable sources, with authority.

However, backlinks are the only way to improve keyword rankings…

Ways to Improve Rankings Without Link Building

Of course, link building is not the only way that you can show Google that you are a trustworthy and reliable source of information. Here are some ways that you can improve your keyword rankings without engaging in link building methods:

Make sure that you are targeting the most appropriate keywords

Have you done enough keyword research into what people are searching for and clicking on? Are you providing a solution to a common problem within your industry? Make sure you are spending enough time researching which keywords you should be targeting.

Ensure that your page contains high-quality and engaging content

It is important that users find and enter your website, but it is also important that they stay, and find the answer that they are looking for with high-quality content. Ideally, people that enter your website will leave with more information than they were expecting to find, and potentially convert. This way, your website will gain authority as a hub of useful information.

Check your website’s performance using Page Speed Insights

How are your website’s core vitals performing? Is there anywhere that load times can be reduced? All of these signals are read by search engines, and will affect how your website is ranked.

Consider your website’s crawling and indexing performance

While it may not be the first thing that people think of when they are trying to improve their keyword rankings, the crawling and indexing performance of your website can have a major impact on your website’s ranking.

Evaluate your website’s on-page SEO performance

On-page SEO can refer to a number of different factors such as internal links, organic click-through-rate, and user experience. Use a free tool such as SEO Quake to get an idea of where your website might be lacking in terms of on-page SEO.

Tips for Improving Link Building 

To check your website’s backlink score for free, use a backlink checker. If you think your backlink profile need improving, you’ll be pleased to know that there are steps you can take to improve the links for your website: 

Reach out to other websites to provide a link to your site on theirs

Try directly contacting other websites that might provide a link to your website. If they add a link, this will give your website more credibility, and tell Google that your website is a reliable source of information. Likewise, you could target websites that currently link to your competitors, and ask for them to link to you. 

Ensure that you are receiving links from reputable sources

It is important that backlinks come from websites that are trustworthy sources themselves. If you are receiving links from websites that are not considered by Google to be reliable, then they could be negatively impacting your ranking score.

Manually add links to your website on other sites such as social media sites

This is a fairly easy option to improve your ranking. Simply provide a link to your website on your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other profile that you have online.

Earn links by creating high-quality and engaging content that encourages people to link back to you organically

By producing high-quality content, more people will trust your website to provide them with the information they are looking for. This should lead to people recommending your website to others online.

Become a source for journalists 

Submitting information that may be relevant for journalists to publish is a great way to build backlinks from reputable sources. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and #JournoRequest on X (formally known as Twitter) are great ways of doing this.

Climb the Ranks With Wildcat Digital’s SEO Experts

Here at Wildcat, our expert team is on hand for all of your SEO needs. Get in touch today to arrange a free consultation and see how we can help with your digital marketing strategy. Alternatively, why not check out our Knowledge Base pages for more answers to your SEO questions?

Post by

Andy Blanchard

Will Hitchmough


Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

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