There’s always been some debate over backlinks and where they fit in an SEO campaign. Google has never officially weighed in on their stance. And nearly every year, some SEO’er boldly declares “backlinks are dead!”. And yet, they live on as an important part of any SEO campaign.
In recent years, Google has put increased emphasis on detecting spammy backlinks and updating algorithms to punish websites that do. They also have things called “things not strings”, which essentially backs that push against anti-spammy links. Google wants links to have meaning, not just go from website to website. They want the websites to be related and be high quality.
There’s also been some debate among SEO’s about Domain Authority (DA) and links. Some argue the higher the domain, the better the link quality is. But that’s not necessarily true. It’s about the quality of a website, not its ranking that ups a link profile.
Read on for some ideas on how to get more links to your website.
One of the greatest ways to get links is through your content. You have lots of different options. You can share your content on other websites through guest blogging. Sharing content through social media. Or reaching out to similar websites to your own or influencers and asking for a link back from in an article they’ve posted. Practices like this happen literally all the time. And they’re solid for backlinking practices.
This is one of more common practices for backlinks. Guest posting to related and reputable sites won’t get you flagged for link spam. You essentially need to create a good piece of content. Better than you would post on your own site. Then you need to start reaching out to others who have reputable sites in your same area of expertise. For example, if you have a day care business, reach out to other parenting websites about your blog. This helps you not only reach an additional audience, but it can provide a valuable backlink to your website.
Social media posts
These are always a good idea. While not directly correlated with SEO, it can help because it drives traffic to your website. One good post can be just as good as 10 backlinks on other sites for traffic numbers. And others can share your good content across the web. Social media is a great way to spread your blog, your content, your message out further than you could otherwise.
Asking for links
Let’s all go back to our lessons we learned as kids that sometimes all you need to do is ask nicely. Please and thank you are still the gold standard, even from a professional standpoint. It’s as simple in practice as doing some research to find a blog that is similar to yours. Look for listicle-type content or things like “ultimate guides”. Things like that will always get a lot of traffic. Then reach out to the site editor, content head, webmaster, or related-person on a marketing team saying your article and link could add some additional authority and expertise to their already well-written guide. Would they like to link back to your site? Then provide your own link. While easy in concept, it’s not always so easy in practice. Most of the time you won’t get a response. But these kinds of links are extremely valuable when you do score a win. These types of links carry a lot of weight and authority with Google.
Internal linking network
Finally, an excellent strategy is to build your own internally linking network. Sometimes called content clusters, these kinds of internal linking can dramatically improve your organic traffic. Create a cornerstone piece that you can link all related blogs back to. Every time you write about links for example, you link back to that same piece. Essentially you’re building your own link juice and strengthening your website doing it this way.
Links without Content
While links are most closely associated with content, there are other ways to build your link portfolio
As a business, website, or single entity, you can leave reviews of all kinds of things. Leave a review for your distributor. You can leave a review for one of your contractors. Or of one of the businesses you frequent in order to make your business possible But make sure in it that you leave a link back to your own site! Whether that is in the paragraph of your review or in your name/company name that verifies that you’re a real person and not a bot leaving the review. This doesn’t require you to create new content, and it helps another business where you appreciate their services. It’s easy link juice that provides a win-win to both websites.
Many businesses list out some of their products and suppliers of those products. If you provide these kinds of services for your website, why not just ask those you supply to add a link back to your site on theirs. If you provide a good service, most companies will be more than willing to do so. Supplier pages are more common than you might think, so do some research around by searching your industry and “supplier” and connecting with new websites from there. This exercise could also earn you some additional business.
Search for unlinked mentions
This strategy is as easy as just searching for your business name on the internet. You can add additional keywords like “Boostability SEO” or “Boostability websites” instead of just “Boostability”. See what comes up. If other websites have mentioned your site, you need to make sure they actually link back to you. It happens all the time where someone makes a reference to a source in a blog without actually linking to it. When you find these unlinked mentions, reach out to the webmaster or head of content to see if they would consider linking back. Make it as simple as “I noticed you mentioned Boostability in your article (insert link). But you didn’t link to us. Would you consider linking to (insert your own link) in your article? Thanks!” Keep it simple, brief, and easy for the person on the other end to add in a link for you. But make it personal! That’a key here.
Best of lists
Consider lists like this similar to sites like Yelp. You search for “best mexican restaurant in _______”. And there’s a good chance you’ll find a dozen lists by different sites of top Mexican restaurants in your area. Do that for your own service area. Are you included on any of the lists? If not, reach out! Ask what it takes to get there. Some may be pay-to-play sites. Evaluate your budget and see if you want to be included. But others are not. They’re editorial decisions. Invite that marketing team to come try your food or evaluate your services. See if you can get included in the list in the future or be added to the current list. There’s no harm in asking! It’s also good to follow up if you don’t get an immediate response. Burt getting on this list will help people find your website organically, plus will give you an extra link through a press site, which is always a good think.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to increase your website backlinks. But it will give you a good start and good ideas in how to build your link portfolio.