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Why should you care about building backlinks for Off-Page SEO?
Links to your website from other websites (known as backlinks) are a highly important ranking factor for your website’s SEO in Google. However, this is very much a quality over quantity scenario, and the points below should help you achieve relevant backlinks.
Think of each link as a trust signal for Google, the more you are linked to by highly authoritative sites, the more of Google’s trust you obtain. You’re essentially looking to increase the authority of your domain by having other sites, that are already well established, linking to your site.
Cutting corners in order to get a bunch of backlinks quickly from low-quality websites could result in receiving a manual penalty from Google, the last thing that you want for your site, so everything mentioned in the points below are safer ways to go about obtaining backlinks.
Most search engines are incredibly smart these days, and they know exactly what websites to reward with first-page rankings. If a search engine, such as Google, sees that your website’s backlinks are not created within their guidelines, then you may actually find your site lower in the search results.
1 - Get included on resource pages
To get included on resource pages, you need to have some useful content (or a product/service) that people, or other businesses, will want to share. The combination of having some quality content, along with some high-value links will help to drive organic rankings & website traffic.
Good resource pages will tend to link out to websites that are extremely relevant to their audience. So if you run a pizza restaurant and want to earn relevant links, it would be highly unlikely that you would be featured on a resource page of a website for personal trainers, as that would be irrelevant to the users.
2 - Outreach for guest posting
Reaching out for guest blogging is a tried and tested way to be able to introduce your business to a new audience, as well as help your website’s SEO. For every guest post that you have, you will be able to get one backlink (and sometimes more) to your website, as links can be in the main copy or in the author bio at the end of the post. Some websites make this very obvious with a ‘write for us’ page to contact them, we tend to stay away from those types of guest posts.
When you find some websites that would be suitable for your guest posts, you need to have a good pitch. Think of an article idea that is relevant to your business, as well as to their existing content. A good strategy for guest posting can help generate a large number of backlinks to your site.
Be aware that other bloggers will only allow for a guest post if the content makes sense to their audience also (or at least they should). When you do get a positive response from your outreach campaign then it’s time to compile a well-optimized blog post. One of the reasons that guest posting is our favorite method to earn high-quality links is that you have control over so much.
You control the content, the relevant keywords that are included in the article (which allows you to provide more insights to the reader), the anchor text that leads back to your website. Depending on how you have approached the outreach of your link building campaign, you may even have control over the Domain Rating (DR) of the website that you have just gained new inbound links from. This makes these types of backlinks important.
Remember that the guest post that you write will also show up in search engine results pages (SERPs) and is not just created for the sake of linking to your website. Your guest posts are from real websites, with real human visitors, who may even share it on social media, or link to it themselves, generating what is commonly known as ‘Tier-2’ links for your guest posts.
3 - Assemble ‘Ultimate’ guides
People such as bloggers like to link back to articles that are ‘ultimate’ or ‘definitive’ guides in their blog posts. When they do this, it helps them to demonstrate a concept or an idea to their readers. They can share the link to your ‘ultimate’ guide for their readers to click for more clarity.
If you want to boost your SEO performance and make the most of that link-juice, then you need to have some lengthy and detailed guides that people will want to link back to. This still needs to be relevant, so think about what will suit your niche, such as ‘The Ultimate Guide to Solo Travel’ if you are a travel business.
4 - Local directory submissions
A local directory is a website that will allow you to submit a website link to them, which they will then display publicly on the page/profile of your business. Sites like Yelp are an example of a local directory where businesses can get backlinks from, although there are many other local directory placements that you can avail of. The more links from high-quality sites, the higher that your rankings will be in Google.
Directory backlinks are a good place to start for any website, simply because they are backlinks just waiting to be built. They can be simple to create, and they serve a business purpose too; helping local customers know where you are, what you do, and how to get in contact with you.
Not all backlinks are created equal, and most links that you acquire from directory sites will be NoFollow, however, you do need a balance between DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks to have a natural backlink profile when building links to your site.
Start by viewing the directories in your site’s targeted country with this awesome list from loganix. This will really help to get the ball rolling.
5 - Build tools (such as calculators)
Calculators, or other free online tools, are a tried and tested method of creating quality backlinks. They are one of the best content-based tools to be able to have good quality backlinks. Calculators and other tools are good for link content as they are evergreen; people will keep coming back to use them. Think of a mortgage calculator from a bank, that would get shared by so many different, yet relevant, websites and blogs.
Building tools to earn backlinks also works on a reciprocation basis. When people are given something to use that is free, they will not only come back again and again, but they will also share it, which can make it easier to earn links using this method. People share (i.e. build organic links to) things that help to make their life a little easier, as they provide value to the user.
6 - Sponsor an event
If you want to build backlinks, then it is a good idea to think about sponsoring an event. This could be an online event or a local event. Sponsoring an event will mean donating some money or products to the event, but as a result, you will get mentions on their social media and event website. The event site will always mention sponsors, which will include your helpful backlink. The more relevant the event is, the better.
Not only do you get the link juice when you build links this way, but it helps local people or those interested in the event learn all about your business and what you do. Remember that the goal of a backlink is not just to be another tickbox checked, it is there to drive relevant traffic to your website.
Take a look at the image below, containing sponsors for BrightonSEO, all of which contain a backlink to each individual sponsor’s website.
7 - Compile informative case studies
If you want to be seen as an expert in your industry, then compiling some informative case studies can really help with achieving that goal. A lot of statistics found online can be out of date, so having some relevant and up-to-date information is what people will search for online.
Not only that but having some up-to-date information in your case study can be how you approach people who have written about the topic in the past. You can then approach them with your more up-to-date case study, and suggest adding in your link as a benefit to their readers.
8 - Steal competitor’s broken links
Finding the perfect backlink can often take a while, as well as even longer to acquire. That is where stealing competitors’ broken links can come in. A broken link means that the page is out of date and no longer working, which is an irrelevant link to a blogger or website owner.
Once you can identify broken links of your competitors, using SEO tools such as Ahrefs, you can then approach the website owner linking back to the broken link, to suggest a swap to your website with a link that works, helping their website, as well as you, getting the new link back to your website.
Broken link building can be a great way for search engines to take notice of your site over your competitors, especially if you are providing better content. You can even see what your competitors’ content used to look like (before the link lead to a 404) by using The Wayback Machine, this helps to make your content even better, so it is a no-brainer for the site owner to replace the dead link of your competitor with your shiny new working link.
Click on the video below to see how the broken link-building method tactic can be utilized. This particular method is mentioned at 08:15 within the video.
9 - The skyscraper technique
Skyscraper content is a strategy for link building that involves looking for some existing content that is popular online, and then looking to improve it. This could be making the content longer, or by adding a video you have created. Then you can essentially duplicate the backlinks.
The best way to do this is to search on Google for a topic that is relevant. If you wanted to write a guide on marketing for small businesses, for example, then look that up. The results that display on page #1 will be the content that is most popular & probably has the most backlinks.
10 - Provide testimonials
If you want to create more backlinks, then it can be a good idea to help other businesses with their growth, and show them a little love. If you have used a product or service and really like it, then approach the company to offer a testimonial for their website. In exchange for giving them a glowing testimonial, you could get a backlink to your website. This is a win-win as it can also help them to increase their conversions.
A lot of companies want testimonials for social proof or influence. They will usually have these on their homepage, displayed prominently, so as a result, can be a big benefit to your business. It should go without saying, but only do this with products/services you actually use & like. Depending on how popular the software/tool is that you are providing a testimonial for, it can be a handy way to acquire new links from a high site with a high DR (Domain Rating).
11 - Web design credits
If you are a web design business, then there are a number of websites that you will be designing that are going to be online. That means a range of opportunities for backlinks! A lot of web design credits are in the footer of a website, with a backlink included. If you put this into your design and design two hundred websites, then that is two-hundred easy referring domains (unique websites) out there that are linking to you.
A footer backlink can create a pretty valuable sitewide link, so if this is you and your business, it is important not to forget about these links. Some clients may not want you to include your link in the footer, which is fine, and some may be low authority sites, so use this with caution.
Not all links are created equal, and beleive it or not, we would actually recommend that these footer links from your client websites should include a NoFollow tag. The SEO community have been debating this for years now, but in our opinion, these are not great links (in regards to link building opportunities). They are great for brand awareness, and referrals, but when it comes to link-building campaigns, it makes more sense to find websites where you can earn quality backlinks from suitable, similar domains. This will move the needle and result in more organic traffic. Take a look at the video below that we have created that outlines exactly what makes a great backlink, and what you should aim for.
12 - Sign up to HARO
HARO, (Help a Reporter Out) is an online platform used by journalists that is incredibly helpful when it comes to new link building opportunities. They can get feedback from the public in order to use that in their articles. This helps journalists with what they are writing, but it also means you have the opportunity to get some backlinks for your site.
All you need to do is register with the site HARO, and then they will send out different requests that are relevant. Then you can pitch to them with your idea or content, and if interested, they will contact you directly. This can lead to earning links from some very authoritative websites.
13 - Be a guest on podcast interviews
Being interviewed is a great link building strategy from more authoritative websites in your space. You could reach out to bloggers and even vloggers for this kind of thing, but one of the best ways at the moment is to be interviewed on a podcast. If you have got lots to say in your industry, then this can work well.
You can simply pitch to a podcast that is relevant to your industry. It is best to include a bit about your qualifications and experience, and discuss why it would be relevant to the podcast listeners. Once you have become an authority in what you do, the chances are that offers will come into you, rather than the other way around, which is amazing for business growth. Podcasting is daunting at first but becomes very fun.
Take a look below at episode 114 of Agency Highway. As a guest, John provided value to the listeners, and then the site owner linked to the sites they had mentioned on the podcast.
14 - Produce insightful infographics
Creating articles can be helpful, but it can take a lot of time. Another approach is to create some informative and insightful infographics as a way to build up links. When looking online, infographics can break up content, and be a visual representation of information, that is provided in a clear and easy-to-read way. In the interest of full transparency, that is exactly what you’re looking at with the post you’re reading right now.
Just because the nature of infographics is visual, they are easy to share and are useful for readers, this is why it is one of our top tips for link building. So if you want to create something interesting that can earn backlinks and increase your organic traffic, including an embed code (just like we have above), then it is more likely that it will be shared by like-minded people or businesses.
Infographics can also help with your anchor text ratio, as an infographic may acquire relevant links to your site, but it doesn’t have any anchor text, making it appear more natural in your backlink profile.
15 - Reclaim unlinked mentions
Each time that someone mentions your site on theirs, but they don’t link back to you, you are missing out on some potential link juice for a backlink. In order to rectify this, you need to reclaim your website’s mentions, which can be done when you search online or use specific tools.
Since the original author mentioned your business, they do know who you are already. So you just need to get in contact, with a nice email asking them to add a link to the specific mention. You need to make sure that you only reach out when your site is mentioned positively.
16 - Reclaim unlinked images
In the same way as reclaiming mentions, you might find that your website’s images have been used elsewhere, they may even be hidden inside some website’s photo galleries. Like reclaiming mentions of your site online, reclaiming unlinked images means many potential backlinks. Obviously, this is more useful if you have unique and original images.
You can do image searches online, as well as reverse image searches, and then approach the websites or blogs where your images are. It is important to not be threatening when you approach them, as they may feel like they’ve done something wrong and delete the image. Be friendly and ask for a link back. In most cases, the site that is using your image will be more than happy to oblige by linking to your site.
17 - Create fun and enjoyable quizzes
Quizzes get a lot of website hits and shares online. The main reason is just that they are enjoyable and fun to do. Sites like Buzzfeed are full of quizzes with all different genres. They also make it incredibly easy for the user to share their results with their whole network on social media.
As you are looking for relevant backlinks to your site, think about creating quizzes that are going to be relevant to your website’s niche. Find the balance as this will help you to get new site visitors from people who have a genuine interest in what you do and the niche of your website.
18 - Use link intersect tools
Often your competitors will have loyal fans who will link to everything that they post, as well as new products. You can make the most of this, and easily find out who links to your competitors using link intersect tools. If they already link to websites like yours, why not link to yours too?
Once someone knows about you, then what are the chances that they will start linking back to you, too? Using something like ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool, you can find the sites that are linking to your competitors, but that aren’t linking to your site (not yet anyway), and reach out.
19 - Supplier/Business associate links
Using suppliers or business associates can be a good source for creating backlinks because they already know you, and have a professional relationship with you. One of the trickiest aspects of creating any backlinks is having a reason for someone to link back to your website.
An example for eCommerce SEO may be that you are a proud supplier of Company X’s product, and they can link to you from their website. If you want to improve local SEO instead, you could become involved with some of the community events, which would be linked in local news.
20 - The best way - naturally
One of the best ways to get backlinks to your website is, of course, going to be getting links in a natural way. This is going to be done when you produce a piece of amazing content that people genuinely want to link back to and encourage sharing when creating their own content.
Content is king when it comes to SEO and backlinks, so keep creating great content, high-quality images, relevant statistics, infographics, videos that dive deeper into a particular topic, and more. When you’ve got some good stuff, it is much more likely that it will get shared.
It should be part of your content strategy from the get-go to gain referral traffic from other websites.
Have a look at the example website below. You can see a steady and natural increase in their backlink profile over the last several years. This is exactly how a backlink profile should look. If it looks more like a cliff edge, that will look unnatural to Google and could raise alarms.
Backlinks are an incredibly important part of each and every website’s SEO strategy. Remember that a backlink is not there just to demonstrate to Google that your business is legitimate and trustworthy, it is essentially acting as a powerful PR component for your business.
Dedicate some time to researching where your website has backlink opportunities from other authoritative websites that are in your niche. Setting aside time to send a few outreach emails each day will pay dividends in the future, but if you do nothing, then you will gain nothing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post that we have put together. We wish you the best of luck with improving upon your backlink profile!
– The team at Launch Site Boost.
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