If you’ve read articles on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you’ve heard about backlinks. But what are backlinks, and how does the average website owner get them? Do you just ask nicely, or is there a process? Here are a few methods for building quality, effective backlinks.
A backlink is basically a link to your site from another site, typically in your niche. In the simplest form, a link to your website appears on another reputable website in some form: either listed as a recommendation, a contributor, a sponsor, or more.
A backlink can help you gain organic traffic, as people click on the link and immediately start exploring your website. More organic traffic means better SEO rankings, so it stands to reason you’ll be yearning for a ton of these connections.
But hold up- this isn’t necessarily a case of “the more the merrier.” Before following any of these tips, make sure you have carefully vetted any sites that you might want to connect to. Like everything else in marketing, it’s important to find quality partners. Do your research and avoid marketing mishaps!
Before diving further on how to build backlinks, make sure to understand the basic concepts of back linking.
Here are five helpful tips for building a solid collection of backlinks. Note that these tips can work in conjuction with each other.
There is no one right way to get a backlink: in fact, some people have created these networks just by talking to the right person at an airport bar! When it comes to an at-home strategy, though, these are some ideas to help you reach out to the right sites for support.
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: key an eye on the other guys. They can be your competition, but they can also be your friends. Follow them on social media. Sign up for their email newsletters. This will help you get a feel for where they’re landing in their marketing strategies.
If they’re writing guest content on a particular blog, reach out to that blog. If they’re hosting an Instagram event with a social media influencer, reach out to that influencer, or others in the same niche. And if they’re getting reviews, reach out to the reviewers and introduce your products or services.
There’s no harm in introducing yourself to mutual acquaintances. This is called “networking.” Go one step deeper and check out a tool called Monitor Backlinks. This tool allows you to track four competitors’ links and marketing outcomes. Your goal is to build backlinks like successful marketers do.
Be a Guest
If you’re confident in your content and copywriting (and you definitely should be before requesting backlinks), consider being a guest blogger for another site.
This works on multiple levels. First, you get your name and link posted on another website. Next, you gain additional audience as an expert in your field. Additionally, you can cross-promote on social media to gain even more organic traffic.
You can find blogs that are looking for guest posts easily through a Google search for your keyword and terms such as “guest posts” or “become a contributor” or “submit an article.” Just make sure your content is ready to rock before you submit!
The Sky’s the Limit
Speaking of killer content, another strategy to consider when you build backlinks for your business, is the Skyscraper Method. This method is an analogy for taking the biggest and best thing in town and making it your own.
Again, content is always key for a successful website. There are plenty of tips on having comprehensive content, and your website and blog should already be filled with articles that are a good length, full of detail, and well-written in a clear voice.
That way, it won’t be a major surprise when your own take on the week’s hottest blog post appears in full glory on your front page. This method takes a little more effort.
First, find an article that is highly linked in your niche. Make sure it’s no more than a week old, because relevance is everything. From there, write a longer, even more current, even more striking article on the same topic.
You’ll then reach out to websites that linked to that original article and pitch your Skyscraper version. They publish your article on their site, or share a backlink, or even write a review of your amazing article, and the organic traffic comes your way!
Wait, what? Just… ask? Yes! Find the contact for a website or blog, and write them a very nice email asking them politely to include your backlink on their site.
Website owners get up to hundreds of these each day, so they’re not going to be completely put off by the request. Start with a subject line that draws attention. Include your name, your link, and a brief description of what your product or service does.
Most importantly, explain how displaying a link to your site can benefit them. Consider this a short sales pitch, and explain to the site owner how posting a link to your site can benefit them.
Keep it short and simple and friendly, and use your authentic voice. This could be the start of a marketing partnership!
Quality Bring Success
Before you dig into any of these methods, it’s very important that your site is white-glove ready.
Site owners will grant backlinks to quality sites, not just to any ol’ Joe with a good blog. Make sure your layout is spotless. Review your site for broken links. Have your social media links available. Make sure your content is glowing: no typos, no unfriendly fonts, no pictures that take years to load.
You might even have a freelance editor come in and tidy up the text. A prospective backlink site will read your content and click your links: they want to protect their site as much as you do!
Building backlinks is a process, so don’t expect to build an empire overnight.
As you continue to market your website and gain these connections, make sure your site is clear, with comprehensive content. No one wants to share a backlink with a site that quickly goes to seed!
Your increasing network will help increase your organic traffic, which in turn, with gain your site SEO exposure, and give you greater insight and influence within your niche!
Do you want to have more information about how to build backlinks? Watch the video below to receive additional insights.