How to Earn Backlinks
Does the word backlink send you running for the hills? We wouldn’t blame you if so. The practice of growing backlinks over the years has fundamentally changed, and there’s still some debate as to what constitutes white hat SEO activity from black hat. The answer is, you need a certain amount of knowledge and understanding on grow your backlinks the right way. Here are a few handy tips.
Backlinks are otherwise known as inbound links. They are links pointing back to your website, from other websites, such as news sites, blogs and directories. They an important part of SEO because they demonstrate to Google that your website is important and popular. This is a significant rank signal, which Google uses to determine where in the SERPs to rank you.
Are all backlinks good for SEO?
No. And in fact, some can actually do more harm than good. This is especially the case with links from spam sites, low quality sites and sites that have no relevance to what you do as a business,
10 years ago, the story was very different. Google perceived the quantity of backlinks to be a significant indicator of your site’s popularity. This led to webmasters requesting links left right and centre. Link farms sprung up, as well as link trading where you could engineer your backlink quantity by creating fake sites to link from and buying large volumes of links. These were often poor-quality links and Google eventually clamped down on this by launching the Google Penguin algorithm.
Buying high volumes of poor quality links to manipulate the SERPs is considered a black hat SEO practice and is likely to result in a ranking penalty under Google Penguin.
What are considered good backlinks?
Basically, links that are from high quality sources. Sources that are trusted sites with a good domain authority. You can check domain authority using Moz’s domain authority checker, before you go and get your backlink.
Here are a few white hat SEO suggestions on the types of backlinks you can get and advice on how to get started:
Arguably the hardest type of links to get. Here you are looking for a respected online publication in your industry, to either give you editorial coverage and a link, or make some reference to your brand within their content and a link back to your website. You want to pick sites with a good domain authority (DA) as mentioned above. When a publication with a high DA links back to your site, the search engine passes on some of their website’s trust to your own website.
How to Get Editorial Backlinks
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Make a list of publications that relate to your industry and don’t be afraid to call them up to ask if your brand can be included in their content. Publications are perpetually looking for new content, so it may require some research in terms of topics that might interest them, that present an opportunity to mention your brand.
Try not to go too salesy. Rather than suggest topics that serve as an advert for your products, come up with an angle about what your products do, with interesting stats or revolutionary data.
Directory links are probably the most obvious type of links to go for and potentially the easiest. Online directories are just like the old paper phone books for businesses. They are a reference source for people looking online for specific products and services.
Directory listings have free and paid versions and will offer a weblink to your site. Sometimes this will only be offered as part of a paid listing.
How to Get Directory Backlinks
You don’t need anyone’s authorisation to get a directory listing. Make a note of relevant directories and set up, at the very least, a free listing. If that offers a weblink, great. If not, then dependent on your budget, you can upgrade to a paid listing.
Make sure your NAP protocol(name, address and phone) details match exactly to your website’s NAP. By this I mean exact word/number match. If you write Rd on your website, do the same in all your directly listings. This will help your SEO.
Blog Comment Backlinks
You need to be careful with this one. You don’t want to look like you are just seeding your brand across the net. On the flip side, if you have some content on your site that adds value to that blog, it’s worth linking it up. Not only will it help your site, it will also help theirs. Networking up relevant and well-constructed content is good for SEO.
How to Get Blog Comment Backlinks
Target blogs that are about your industry. Read the blog thoroughly and if there are any questions or poignant points in the blog that you have some content about on your site, add a comment in the comments section, and add a link. Avoid sending people to your homepage or generic page. Link to the most relevant page. This could be a blog page for example.
Forum backlinks are a similar story to blog comments. It’s all about finding relevant forums for your industry and networking your content to give added value. If you add comments and links to content that is unrelated, it will look like spam and your comment will be removed. Worse, you may be blacklisted.
Guest Blog Backlinks
There has been some debate over the past few years on whether or not you should be doing guest posting but as long as you approach it in the right way, it’s a good way to grow quality backlinks.
Try not to approach this with the idea of getting an inbound link, but rather with the aim of providing added value to the site you are guest blogging on.
How to Get Guest Blog Backlinks
Make a list of sites you would like to blog on. Contact their editorial or marketing departments to ask if you could contribute to their blog section. Have an idea of interesting topics in mind, similar to the list you made for editorial blogs. Pitch these ideas and see who bites. They may want you to ghost write as them or may accept you having your name to the blog. Either way, there is an opportunity for you to link back to relevant content on your site.
Need help with your SEO strategy? Whitefish Marketing agency in Kent work with businesses in the south east to improve their online visibility. We can help you to grow your backlink network sensibly. Call us on 01303 720 288.