When it comes to developing backlinks to your brand’s website, it can be frustrating, as it is a process that requires patience, work and dedication. Gone are the days of simple search engine optimization (SEO), where you could insert any link to your website anywhere on the web. For backlinks to be truly successful, digital marketers and copywriters must be conscious and deliberate about their backlink-generating strategy.
As one of the traditional SEO techniques, backlinks provide websites with easy ways of increasing their search traffic and rankings on various search engines. However, only high-quality links are effective in generating best-in-class SEO results and increasing your website traffic.
Since backlinks became a popular way of boosting a site’s SEO rankings, Google has changed how they classify backlinks and how they affect SEO rankings. This means that, to build backlinks now, it’s important that site owners, managers and editors work hard to organically grow their backlinks over time.
What Are Backlinks?
Simply put, a backlink, also known as an external backlink, is when another site links to your website somewhere in their content. This could be on a blog post, a service page, or on any other page on a website. Backlinks are important for SEO as the amount of authentic, high-value backlinks that you have backs up the quality of the content on your website.
So, how can you generate backlinks to your website? Although it’s near impossible to know the exact algorithm that Google and other search engines use to qualify your content for SEO purposes, there are some best practices that best-in-class site owners and managers use to increase their SEO rankings and generate genuine backlinks to their website.
Use the following tips and tricks to generate backlinks and grow the online presence of your website.
The Best Practices
1. Allow Others to Credit Their Work for You
From web designers to copywriters to entrepreneurs, people are always looking to create portfolios to showcase their best and most recent work. Often, these portfolios will have some sort of backlink to your site for viewers to review a service provider’s work.
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Not only does allowing backlinks from portfolios help to enhance the business of the person who helped you make your business better, it helps you appear higher in Google search rankings.
2. Develop Shareable Content
Shareable content is just that – shareable; providing you with the opportunity to have your expertise pushed throughout the Internet and the chance that your website will be linked to multiple web pages and platforms. Whether you decide to create a well-researched blog post, actionable eBook or valuable infographic, any shared content can be distributed with a call-to-action (CTA) asking content viewers to distribute the content as they see fit.
Pinterest is another great way to generate backlinks. Make sure that all of your blog posts, case studies, infographics and high-value sharable content is linked to your Pinterest board. If an individual finds your work and insights valuable, there is a chance that they will create a backlink when posting the content in a blog post or on one of their web pages.
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The initial reach-out can be done over social media, using hashtags and other methods of targeted distribution to reach people within your niche.
3. Backlink from Your Own Website
As another form of shareable content, create well-researched posts that link to other valuable content fitting into a specific niche. For example, creating countdown posts to your favorite CRM tools or travel blogs allows you to link to recognized web content, and creates the opportunity for that respected site to share your post and link back to your website.
It’s all about putting your best foot forward when working to generate backlinks, so why not give a shout-out to the products, services or content creators that help make your daily life better?
Additionally, you may choose to do a simple content round-up to compile helpful tips and tricks for a certain topic or concept. If this is the case, you can find timely content using Feedly. Feedly helps you sort through available content to find articles and blog posts that relate to a specific topic or niche. Try creating a content round-up once a week to keep your readers updated on topics of interest, and make sure to link back to all mentioned websites.
4. Write More Guest Posts
Guest posts are one of the best ways to showcase your industry expertise while generating high-quality backlinks. Most websites and blogs include a short writer biography at the beginning or end of each post, allowing space for backlinks.
Not only does writing guest posts allow you to demonstrate your knowledge, collaborating with others helps you to build a professional rapport and cultivate a brand personality. Reaching out to websites with a large following can be scary, but it will be well worth it if your guest blog proposal winds up being successful!
5. Network Online
Whether you’re an online entrepreneur or a successful business owner, you’ve probably been given this advice more than once: networking is key to business success. Now, networking has come into the digital realm with platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook for business.
Networking carries more benefits than ever, with the opportunity to pitch guest blog posts, share valuable content, and even agree to backlink to the websites of those with whom you have a close professional relationship within your industry or niche.
Networking can be valuable for everyone involved, and allows you to work on your professional communication and online business-building strategy.
6. Get Creative
If you want to speed up your backlink development process, it’s time to get creative with your strategies. Shareable content is a high-value, high-return endeavor, so why not use your creativity to start a new project and generate backlinks?
Linking to your website on various social media platforms is immensely helpful, but make sure that you use this sparingly, rather than linking to your site in every post you make. If you’re an industry expert, why not use all of your knowledge to share the work that you’ve done for other clients? Case studies and reports on past client work or customer experiences can be freely shared on your social media platforms while demonstrating your expertise and value to potential customers.
In the same way that you let your designers and digital service providers promote the work that they’ve done for your website, you can ask that clients share the case study you developed on their project on their social media accounts. Case studies also come in useful when you’re working to land a guest posting deal with a large-scale website, as it shows that you truly care about your work and are proud to share it with others.
7. Collaborate on Creative Projects
Collaborative creative endeavors are a great way to build backlinks to your website and reach a wider audience at the same time. Projects like podcasts have become increasingly popular with creatives and business owners alike, as it allows them to share their expertise while linking back to their website in every episode description.
8. Stick to Your Niche
Networking and deciding to exchange backlinks can be fruitful for all parties involved, but only when it’s done right. Make sure that you take time to get to know the professional, their business, and how your content can best fit on their website. For example, there’s no point sharing an in-depth case study on a coaching client on a leadership development blog if there are no direct ties.
Your niche matters when building backlinks, so make sure that your link sharing practice aligns with your niche to keep a clean “record” and improve your SEO rankings.
9. Conduct Interviews and be Interviewed
Regardless of the industry, interviews are completed on a regular basis to generate shareable content for websites and publications alike. If you’re a good public speaker or have time to type a thoughtful reply to a list of suggested interview questions, this tactic may be a good bet for increasing the number of backlinks to your website.
The most important factor in building backlinks is ensuring that every website that you are linked from is just as dedicated to quality content as you are. Although we do not know the exact criteria that classify a website as “quality” or not to Google, a couple of high-value backlinks can do a lot to improve your SEO rankings.
Generating backlinks can be a tedious process, but if you’re dedicated to generating high-quality backlinks on a range of websites and social media accounts in your niche, you can stay in Google’s ‘good books’ and experience an increase in web traffic over time.
Remember that the quality of your own website and content goes a long way in relationship building and cultivating professional rapport with other website owners who will potentially backlink to your website.
Make your content useful and actionable, target highly-rated websites, and continually nurture online professional relationships to generate the types of backlinks that can positively affect your SEO rankings.