Without efficient off-page optimization, on-page optimization has little impact. Ensuring link building is vital to the success of any business. Some tactics to employ in order to accumulate backlinks are discussed below. The key to success is variation and credibility. As you accumulate quality links, you’re simultaneously increasing the credibility and therefore the authority of your site. Accumulating a wide variety of links coupled with unique content will drive results and boost your rankings.
There has been a lot of change in what Google is doing with its algorithm ever since penguin slid into place. With it the focus went from quantity to quality which we’ve discussed briefly before. So in link building we focus on backlinks with a few other topics. Consider building editorial links from social media, citations or guest posts while you focus on using your content to provide value to your readers no matter who they are.
So what’s are Backlinks?
Backlinks are simply links from another site to your own website. So the more popular the website the more sites that link to it which shows it is relevant to the matter at hand. This isn’t the only factor in SEO but it is an important one that you have to consider and more importantly use. Moz an expert in SEO whose checklist is used by other SEO mavens as a basis of website SEO analysis.
Moz breaks down the different elements to how Google and other search engine see backlinks according to these 7 different metrics:
Popularity – The more popular the website and authority it has the more its links to your site matter which is one reason why links from Wikipedia ranks so highly and are so useful in link building.
Topic Popularity – If your website is popular within a specific niche community then related sites that link to you will matter more than those outside that topic that do the same.
Anchor Text – This simply means that does the link point to a page that uses the right keyword that fits the topic.
TrustRank – Google wants real authentic content and penalizes those sites that link to you from spam sites. They use their algorithm to rank sites on trust and if the website is trustworthy, its connect is relevant to yours then it will rank higher.
Link Neighbourhood – This is simply if you link to spam the odds are your link is spam so by looking at all the links that go to your website search engines can see the link community in which your website lives and make that type of association.
Freshness – A recent link is better than an old one. If a site was once highly ranked isn’t as popular now as it was before the link may not be as relevant and as such rank lower than a more recent link on the same subject.
Social Shares – This is the more people share your content on social networks the better. This is treated differently than normal links but with so much being shared in our online always world they to help to show how popular your content is and are an important to consider.
When you have a strong social media presence it allows your business to reach a medley of different people and therefore increasing the variation of quality links created. This means using more than Facebook or Twitter and dive into other platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or Tumblr will help enhance any link building strategy you employ.
Social Media is apart of link building even though it is considered differently than normal links. It shows how popular your content is on those channels and acts as a funnel to your website itself. As social has grown so has the diversity of platforms and you can’t use them all or you wouldn’t have time to run your business. Choose the channels where your customers are and focus on them.
To Give is to Receive in the Testimonial Game
Its not just about having testimonials on your own website it’s also about giving them to those products you use and more importantly rely on. Brian Dean at backlinko says that “companies big and small love to show off their customer testimonials.” So if there is some product that you and if you would recommend it to other people then write them an email and give the product a recommendation of your own, telling them they can use it on their website.
You’re making it easy for them to use your testimonial without them having to ask which makes it more likely that they will use it. We know the bots are among us and people want to know if someone said they loved your product that it was a person. So if the companies uses your testimonial they will often link back to your own website to show the reader that it was a real person, that the recommendation was authentic.
Find your Link Reclamation Superpower
Link reclamation is about contacting people who have mentioned you or your company and having them add your link to what they’ve already written. There are a few tools that will help you find those mentions like BuzzSumo or you could keep a Google Alert setup in case your brand or business is mentioned in the press.
What this does is it allows you to get those people who are talking about your products and or services already and get them to link that content back to your site. Many people link back to the sites they talk about but not everyone does. This gives you a chance to engage with someone who has talked about you and is best for positive mentions. You don’t want to approach negative mentions but you may want to engage with those people to get feedback on what happened to prevent it from happening again.
Once you’ve found those people that have mentioned you it is about contacting them. A simple email asking if in their post about you or your brand they can link back to your website is all you need. You want to thank them for their feedback and that you appreciate it. It’s as simple as that. It works well for businesses that have been in operation awhile and its something that you would do when your brand or business is relatively new.
How to get people talking using Blog Reviews
So you have a product that would be interesting to a specific audience, to get those reviews entice it to bloggers by offering it for to them for free. Whatever your product, it targets some sort of niche and with so much information out there its just about letting them know about it. One way to do that is to find bloggers in the niche that you can reach out to and engage with to see what they think about it.
Search for blogs in a niche by using “best of” in your search and once you find them screen out any authority and new sites. A narrow niche is better to target because if your product suits that niche well there is less competition than for some larger audience that your product may suit.
Generally, you’ll come out of your blogger search with a mix of blogs depending on your target audience. Connect with blogs that have good audiences, they don’t have to be huge but focus on those bloggers that are blogging regularly. It doesn’t mean they have to blog every day but that day-in and day-out they are engaging with their respective audiences is what you should be after.
The next thing is the hardest thing for many people, its contacting them by email. Be honest , you offer your product and cross your fingers is how it works. This is because according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines you are not supposed to ask for a link or a review. Those guidelines state that “sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.” All you have to do is reach out and send them your product and leave it up to them if its worth a mention or a post to their audience to stay within Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Submit your Website to Blog Aggregators
OK a blog aggregator is simply a list of blogs that is usually separated by topic. All Top is king of this hill and they make it easy to sign up. All you need to do is submit your website, then you have to add a tiny bit of HTML code to show that you own the website. Then you play the waiting game and wait for someone from the aggregator to stop by and take a look at your site. When they approve your website, it will have its own page on All Top and a do-follow like to your website.
Another blog aggregator is Blogarama and there a few other ones as well. There are smaller blog aggregators out there which act as a list of blogs that may make sense depending on your market and where you are located. Although these smaller sites may not get the traffic volume of their big brothers may really good opportunity to create new backlinks for your website. The process will be different but should be fairly straightforward for all of these types of sites.
Scoop It and Flipboard Curation
Scoop It is a news curation website that’s been around for awhile that allows you to curate your favorite online contact into a magazine format. One other site that does something similar is Flipboard. Flipboard is a news aggregation company that started on the iPad and was later released on Android.
It would be primarily app based until early 2015 when they created a website. Flipboard could be another option consider for content curation especially if you don’t want to pay to share it on more than 2 networks and face some of other limitations which inherent in Scoop it’s freemium business model.
One benefit of Flipboard that it’s free whereas Scoop It has pricing tiers. Scoop it and the like helps you build an audience for what you are reading. This can get you (nofollow) backlinks with just a little bit of time and commitment. You can easily do it to take what you are reading every day and add it to your content on Scoop it, Flipboard or other similar services.
Structured and Unstructured Citations
Citations without hesitation ensure your business’ presence on the obvious local listing sites. A local citation is any mention of a business on a site regardless of a link or not. This means that having the company name and phone number together or even just by itself can be a local citation. There are two categories, structured citations and unstructured citations.
Structured citations exist on widely known sites like Yellowpages, Yelp or Superpages. Whilst unstructured citations can be found on blogs, digital news, press release articles, job websites and so forth. Getting your company listed on either of the above-mentioned sites is worth far more than picking up a link from a low quality, spammy sites that have no authority.
Build those Broken Backlinks
Felix Tarcomnicu has a great article with this and other tactics to build up those backlinks here. This is simply finding broken links on other sites and contacting the webmaster with options to fixing them. You use a broken link checker tool (there are a few out there such as Free Broken Link Check) or you could install the Chrome plugin called Check my Links to find those broken links on their sites.
Now as a site within your niche make sure that you are targeting those dead backlinks where you have content that can replace where the dead link used to go. So once you have that its about telling the webmaster or the person that they are linking to something that is no longer available.
It’s important to give them the details like the specific page and which link and then offering them alternatives to replace the broken link. These details make it easy for them to replace . Don’t just offer your website as the replacement, give them a few options. This is about helping them by making the link easy to fix, with the hope that their appreciation will be using your site as the replacement link.
This is a tactic that benefits both of you and is a tactic that you should use on a regular basis to build up those backlinks. Maybe you don’t have a resource that fits the old link but you can let them know all the same and still offer a few alternatives. It’s about being a person and maybe a little bit about a bit of karma for helping them out that you never know how it will come back to you later on.
Another link building tactic is through the use of guest posts. Actively making posts and contributing to online discussions in a community related to your business can help create backlinks. It isn’t difficult especially when you are a relative expert in a field. You just have to content blogs in your business area. Like it was mentioned before in getting reviews you want to go for the blogs, not those sites that are already authorities or news sites and find those blogs that will respond back.
This is about offering to help build their content and spread the word about what you do. It really helps both of you out. For them, it’s more content for their site and for you it is exposure to a potentially new audience. It is important to be aware of a blogs’ authority so as to avoid being viewed as a link scheme. Huffington Post, Forbes, WSJ and Mashable are all examples of sites with unquestionable authority. It’s crucial to remember quality over quantity as a final thought when accumulating a variety of credible backlinks.
When the penguin slide into Google the focus shifted in SEO to high-quality link building and away from the pure volume which was what SEO had focused on prior. Backlink quality is more important than ever and how you get those links matters because as Google improves its algorithm it is gaining much more nuance in how it analyses your site for SEO through backlinks, keywords and all the rest of it. You can see that Google is focusing on the user because that’s their audience to provide the most relevant content they can to people and protect them from spam and scams that can use their services for their own ends.
So there is a lot you can do to create backlinks to your website than what is on here but this gives you a way to get started to improve your own page rank so your website can call the first page home. It isn’t even close to being exhaustive or unique but it’s a good way to up your SEO game and help your business or website at the same time. This post wouldn’t be possible without the sources below especially backlinko for which this is based which go into advanced tactics that we didn’t think would be viable for many small and medium-sized businesses.
Some of these are simple while others may require time like content curation or finding broken links and contacting their webmaster but if you make some of these as part of your workflow you’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t have to take that long but the most important thing is being committed to these actions and expand upon them as you gain more experience with SEO. So good luck and good backlink hunting.
Below you’ll find a list of most of where the information from this post was gathered, the sites mentioned that are relevant and the resources for the tools we looked at.