Backlinks and Link Building Tactics
Link Building has always been an important part of Search Engine Optimisation. Search engine optimisation is how you make your website attractive to the search engines. When the search engines think your site is worthwhile, it will rank higher in search results. The higher it ranks in the search results, the more likely searchers are to find it. There are many optimisation tactics that can help you improve your rank in the search engine. There are things that you can do on your site, like producing rich, informative content. There are also things you can do away from your site, like building backlinks to your website. Here are some things you should know to help you with off-site search engine optimisation.
Why Link Building is Important
Link Building is an important part of search engine optimisation. Establishing your site’s usefulness is what earns you domain authority. It is considered useful if it is an authoritative resource. How do you establish yourself as an authority? If other authorities are willing to give you an endorsement, that is one way to prove yourself. Backlinks are important to search engine optimisation because they help to establish your authority for the search engine. The more quality backlinks you have the better.
Link Building: Good vs. Bad
While having a number of quality backlinks is a good thing, having too many links or having backlinks that are from less than desirable sources can work against you. If you have too many backlinks from the same source or just too many poor quality links at all, it appears to the search engine that you are gaining links through improper means. For the search engine, it looks like you have bought or manufactured them – even if you have you don’t want them to know about it! Having links from sources that are not reputable also makes you look disreputable. Think of it as being found guilty by association. If you hang out with a bad crowd, then you will look like just another one of the thugs.
The best strategy is to have a mix of building links from a variety of relevant authorities. Then, instead of looking like a fraud, you will look like you know what you are talking about.
Types of Link Building
There are a number of ways to get backlinks to your site. Those methods can generally be placed into one of three catagories:
Natural link building occurs through no effort on your part. They are given editorially. This means, for example, that if a dog groomer wrote a post on his blog giving patrons tips on how to train a new puppy, he might include a link to your dog obedience school with in the text of the post.
These are backlinks that are acquired through conscious effort on the part of the site owner. You might, for example, quote influencers or authorities. You might also encourage your customers to link to your site.
This tactic can include adding your site to online directories, embeding your address in blog or forum comment signatures or in a press release with targeted anchor text. You have to be cautious, though. Some tactics such as using your comment signature for link stuffing can get you into trouble. If you are a regular commenter and are offering relevent information in your comments, that is one thing. But simply commenting on everything, especially if you do not offer anything of value to the conversation, just to get links is inappropriate and will get you into trouble. It’s a fine line, so be careful.
How to Get Good Backlinks
So now that we know the difference between good offsite optimisation versus the bad, how do we build good offsite SEO? There are many, many ways to be link building for your site. There are new ways being developed all of the time. The following is a list of favorites. This list is by no means definitive, but it should give you some ideas.
Businesses– whether big or small– love testimonials. Testimonials are proof that what they have to offer is worthwhile. In a way, testimonials help to build their authority. Often, in order to prove that you are a real person, they will add a link to your site. You do not even have to ask. All you have to do is send in your testimonial and let them know that they are free to post it on their site.
Bloggers are always seeking content for their sites. If a blogger writes about a field that is relevant to you, you may be able to help them out by offering them a guest post for their blog. In exchange, most are happy to give you the credit and include a link to your site. We have a wealth of Guest Posting sites we can approach on your behalf!
HARO (Help A Reporter)
HARO is a site that reporters use to find authority content. If you sign up for the site, you will receive emails with requests from reporters looking for sources. If you have something to offer them, then you can earn yourself a killer backlink.
Create a Profile
There are many places that have no-follow links, meaning a link that does not count toward your ranking. You may get people to see you through that link, but you will not get the search engine to think that you are very important just because you got a backlink from that particular site. Google has quite a few places where you will end up with “no-follow” backlinks. One such place is YouTube. If you put a link in a video description, it will receive a “no-follow” status. On the other hand, if you put a link in your YouTube channel profile, it will be a “do-follow” link.
You can also add links to Google Profiles– although these should be to keyword phrases within the profile and not to your business name.
You can also get a backlink from your LinkedIn profiles. You can build one for your company and others for key employees. In each you can include a link through anchor text as long as that text is not your company name.
Promote Your Content
There are a number of article sharing sites that you can join such as StumbleUpon and Reddit where you can share content that you have found useful. Think of Pinterest for articles.
Building relationships with other bloggers and influencers is a good way to get a little love. There are many influencers that create round ups– a post that lists a number of sources. For example, an influential beauty blogger may create a “round up” post of her 10 favorite hair products, including a link to each. If you have something the influencer finds valuable, he may promote it.
Make a Donation
Find a site or non-profit organization in your niche that takes donations. Click on their donation button. Make your donation and add your URL. The hardest part is just finding the right sites to give donations.
Give an Interview
This runs along the same lines as writing a guest post, except that you don’t have to write a post. Instead, you just answer some questions. Once you are an authority, you will get asked for interviews all of the time. Until then, you will have to seek out sites taking online interviews and convince them that you have something to offer.
Offsite optimisation, which primarily involves link building, is a vital part of your Search Engine Optimisation strategy. While there are many things you can do on your site to make it more appealing to search engines, you cannot replace backlinks for helping to establish your credibility. Using this information should give you a good start.