When it comes to making an impact (and profit) on the internet, 3 little letters determine whether you will succeed or sink – S.E.O.
SEO is a pretty intimidating discipline if you have no understanding of it, but it’s a discipline you can’t avoid. And one of the more mysterious and complex parts of every SEO strategy is building backlinks.
What are backlinks?
That’s the best question you have asked all day.
Backlinks, also called inbound links, are simply links from other sites to your site.
What’s so special about these backlinks?
Well, that’s the next best question you have asked.
The Power of Backlinks – 3 Reasons You Need Them
When it comes to backlinks, one thing that you need to know right off the bat is that the more of them you have, the better your visibility on the web. This is simply because this is still one of the major ranking factors the search engines use to rank websites. And the reason is simply – backlinks show that you have something valuable to share.
And the search engines are all for value-based content.
Having said that, let me give you 3 great reasons you need to consider building backlinks, no matter what industry or niche you are in.
1. Drive Traffic
Every business that has the wisdom to go digital understand that the internet is a dual currency economy – content and traffic.
And those 2 currencies are related.
This is where backlinks really come into play for the wise businesses. They create quality backlinks that bring relevant traffic to their sites.
At this point in time, let me point out that not all backlinks are equal as far as traffic is concerned. There are 2 factors you will need to pay close attention to as you design your link building strategy.
- DA (domain authority) ranking of the linking website. The higher the ranking of the website linking back to your site, the more “juice” it gives you. In other words, the more the search engines will value your site.
- The relevance of the linking website. When it comes to relevance, it means you need to build links on sites that will drive traffic that is interested in your product or service. For example, it doesn’t make sense building backlinks to a gaming website with a very high DA when your product is cosmetics. If your product is cosmetics, build links on sites that have visitors interested in cosmetics, like sites that feature female entrepreneurs for example.
When you place the right links on the right websites, the inevitable happens – you get the right traffic.
2. Increase Your Own Domain Authority
Another great benefit of having other sites link back to you is that it increases your domain authority. Domain authority is simply a measure of how well a website will rank on SERPs. The higher the DA, the more likely that site will rank high on search results.
What this means for you and your business is that the higher your DA, the more likely it is that your customers will find you on the internet.
3. Increase Page Ranking
Page ranking is different from DA in that DA is the likelihood of the entire website appearing on the top pages of SERPs while page ranking is the positioning of a particular page on your website.
This is especially important if that page is helping you market and sell, of which every page should have that purpose in-built into it.
A page with a lot of backlinks will rise to the top of the SERPs quickly. That is not just so you feel good and earn some bragging rights, but it will result in more traffic and leads.
Now that you know why you have to be serious with your link building efforts, let me show you 5 simple ways you can build those backlinks.
6 Simple Ways to Build Quality Backlinks
One of the reasons many people shy away from building backlinks is that it is quite a time-consuming (and at times laborious) process.
But in all honesty, the results are well worth it as you can see.
That being said, if time and labor are not resources you can invest into building links, then your best avenue is to outsource. But if you are just starting out and would rather do it yourself, here are a few easy ways you can do so.
1. Create Amazing Link-worthy Content
As I said, content is the currency of the internet. Everything on the internet is built on content.
This is why crafting amazing content should be your first port of call if you want to build quality backlinks.
Everyone loves linking to resourceful, informative, and valuable content because it makes it easy to drive their own point through. If you can create (and market it) well, chances are, people will link back to it.
You may not be as good at creating content as the best copywriters on the planet but if you follow a few basic tips, you can produce epic content that others will want to link to.
So how do you create such unicorn content?
- Write for your friend. The problem that many businesses make when writing content is that they write to customers. That just turns your readers off. Instead, when you write any piece of content, write it as if you are writing (or talking) to your friend. In other words, your content must be conversational and friendly.
- Provide value. Why should anyone read your content? That’s the question you should ask yourself. People are very busy nowadays, and everything they do is something that adds value to them. This means when you create content for your business, it should add a lot of value to your reader’s life. After all, that’s what friends do, right? And guess what, if your content is valuable, other websites will link to it.
- Employ the “Skyscraper Technique”. The Skyscraper technique is a content creation technique invented by SEO expert Brian Dean. This technique simply involves studying popular and trending content in the field you want to write in and write an epic post that outdoes them all – in quality, value, and in length (depending on niche). Not only will this help you create a resource that is a good, comprehensive read, but it will make your post a resource others will want to link to.
Now that you know how to create epic content that will attract backlinks, let’s get to the next way of easily building backlinks.
2. Include Guest Posting in Your Strategy
This is one of my personal favorites.
Guest posting is just an amazing way, not just to build links but relationships as well.
Wondering what guest posting is?
Guest posting is simply writing content that you publish on other sides. This may seem counter intuitive and counterproductive but the results can be quite explosive if it’s done well. Two benefits you get from guest posting are traffic and that coveted backlink.
Let me give you 5 quick tips to ensure that your guest posting produces amazing results.
- Guest post on relevant sites. When you guest post, make sure you do so on sites with an audience that is already interested in your product. This will help you drive a warm and already engaged deluge of traffic to your site.
- Create the best content. Just because you are guest posting doesn’t mean you should give your host inferior content. If anything, the content you post on other sites should be better than the one you post on your own website. This will help you to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- Don’t be selfish. A grave mistake many make when guest posting is that they only consider themselves. That’s a selfish mentality. When you guest post, think of your host as well. How do you do this? Easy. Link to some posts on their site, quote them in your article or include their social media handles when sharing your post on your social networks. And be sure to help by answering comments on your post. By so doing, there is a mutual exchange of value and referrals.
Guest posting is a great way to gain backlinks and a lot of exposure, if you don’t believe me ask marketing copywriter extraordinaire Jacob McMillen. Through guest posting on relevant sites, he started ranking high on search engines and went from writing $5 articles about cockroaches to writing $1000.00 articles on topics he’s passionate about.
So, if you haven’t started guest posting yet, now is the best time to do so. This is one marketing tactic many businesses are under-utilizing.
And that, my friend, gives you an edge over your competition.
3. Comment on Other Blogs
Another easy way to get backlinks is by commenting on other sites. This should be easy for you as I’m sure you already read other people’s blogs and interact with them.
If you don’t, you should. After all, do unto others as you would love them do unto you.
But this technique should be done in an ethical way, in other words, don’t be spammy. Don’t go around every blog on the website posting irrelevant comments just so that you can get a backlink.
So how do you do it?
Before we get to that, it is important that you know that after the Google Panda update, links in blog comments became useless as far as backlinks and SEO are concerned.
But does that mean you should stop commenting?
Not at all.
What that means is that your blog commenting serves another purpose – building relationships with website owners. These are relationships that will help you get a better chance of guest posting on their high ranking websites and thus earning yourself a coveted byline on the site.
The other reason you should continue posting comments (useful ones) is that it will get other readers and site owners to notice you. This will ultimately lead some of them to visit your site, find your amazing content, and, yes, link back to it.
It’s a win-win situation whichever way it goes.
4. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media posting is another great and easy way to earn yourself some good quality backlinks.
Many marketers and SEO “gurus” dismiss social media backlinks as pointless simply because they are “no-follow” links. But social signals do play an important role when it comes to ranking.
How do you create backlinks through social media?
- Connect your social accounts to your website. Most social media profiles have a provision for you to add your website to your profile. That’s something you should actually do as that little SEO juice does help.
- Use your website or article link in comments. Where and where relevant, link to your website and/or articles when commenting on social media.
- Include sharing buttons on your website. Sharing buttons make a website look nice, but they are more than just decorations. Use them! Allow your readers to easily share your content by including easy-to-find and use share buttons.
- Include your web address in your email signature. Although this is not directly a backlink, it will help you drive a bit more traffic to your website. And who knows someone might just subscribe to your blog because of that signature, or even link back to some of your articles.
Every way that can earn you a single backlink is important and is worth that little extra effort. So make sure you utilize every single opportunity to attract those backlinks.
5. Linkless Backlinks
There’s a new type of backlink that Google is using to rank websites – linkless backlinks.
This may sound like an oxymoron but it’s actually something that exists.
A linkless backlink is simply a mention of your brand or website anywhere on the web.
This means anytime your brand is mentioned anywhere on the web, link or no link, Google notices and uses that towards ranking your website.
So how do you get those linkless backlinks?
This one is easy.
Write (or do) something worth talking about.
This boils down to knowing your audience and creating content that touches their pain points or inspires them. Human beings are emotional creatures, every one of them, and if you manage to push the buttons that make them tick emotionally, you’ll find that they’ll talk about you – a lot.
6. List Your Business in Business Directories
This one is so simple yet powerful.
Listing your business in a business directory is actually one of the least known ways of creating backlinks. Imagine the number of business directories online, both general and specific. Those are untapped backlink mines you should immediately start tapping.
A few general business directories you can start with right away include:
- Google Places for Business – google.com/placesforbusiness
- Bing Business Portal – bingbusinessportal.com
- Yahoo! – http://listings.local.yahoo.com
- Hotfrog – hotfrog.com
- com – http://www.business.com
- e-business Pages – http://www.ebusinesspages.com
You should also look for niche specific directories that you can list in. These carry more weight as they will be relevant to your product or service, and the search engines do check relevance mind you.
So go ahead, start listing in as many business directories as possible.
Backlinks – Not as Difficult as You Thought
There you have it, a beginner’s guide to building quality backlinks on a shoestring budget.
I know these methods are not exactly easy, especially that they require a bit of time and networking, but they are doable. If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay for a comprehensive SEO strategy, this simple guide will help you get your website on the path to ranking high.
So go ahead, give it a try and reap those backlinks (and traffic).
About the Author
Kato Nkhoma is a unicorn content writer who specializes in creating highly engaging content that will keep readers coming back for more. If you’re looking for something special to beef up your content marketing, this unicorn is it.
Twitter handle: @Katonkhoma