Backlinks are the most important metric on a checklist of two hundred that Google uses to rank websites. As far as a robot or spider is concerned, a quality backlink pointing back to your site is a vote of confidence and your site will be ranked higher. As part of your SEO you need to get high-quality backlinks to convince search engines into rating you at the top. It’s easy to get five thousand free backlinks overnight, but Google knows their dubious quality and gives a lower rating. Credibility from proven authority always ranks higher. Accumulating quality backlinks can sometimes be challenging and are often earned through brute hard work. Here are some strategies to help you get quality backlinks and more search engine traffic for your site without having to swap favours or having to pay.
THE MOVING MAN METHOD
The moving man method entails finding sites or resources in your niche or industry that have shut down, moved or changed names. They may have re-branded and moved to a new URL or stopped offering the service contained in the link. The links are all still live, do follow and unbroken. For example, you have your chosen site that has rebranded and their old, still live page. Using your favourite backlink checking tool find all the external sites that link to the old page. Download into your spreadsheet of choice. Now that your cup runneth over with plenty of contacts for link opportunities it is time to reach out to your new friends still linking to the outdated resource. With a well-crafted introduction email inform them of their outdated link and suggest that they add yours as a replacement. Many webmasters are happy to help out as you have raised the value of their site twice. Once by giving the heads up about the lame link. Twice by offering a value-added service as a replacement.
This technique works by informing webmasters of broken links on their site. First, find websites in your niche that have resource pages. Then, use your link checker of choice to find any broken links. Download these into your preferred spreadsheet so you can refer to their exact location when contacting webmasters. As with the moving man method the next step is to compose a well-crafted and friendly contact email informing them of the problem and helpfully suggesting they replace the unavailable resource. Provide several alternatives along with a link to your page or site and let things happen organically. Having increased the value and functionality of their site many webmasters are happy to oblige, use their initiative and mark up your link. Some are not but never be disheartened.
Keeping up to date with what your competition is doing is not only common sense but an important part of generating organic traffic to your site. Intel on your competition helps you create effective SEO and mould other marketing strategies to become outstanding in your niche. Setting up Google and Monitor Backlinks alerts keeps you up to date with what moves the competition is making on the web. These weekly metrics give you useful insights for new link building opportunities. Subscribe to the competition’s newsletters and follow them on social media making sure to take note of their link building techniques, the quality of their content and their online marketing strategies.
Well used internal links help the user easily navigate your page and provide a seamless visitor experience as they learn about the culture of your business. Build as many internal links as you can without making the experience disturbing by having every other word an anchor text. Matt Cutts from Microsoft recommends keeping anchor words to internal links below 100 per page for functionality and SEO. Often too many anchor texts look spammy rather than authoritative. Keep them on point and relevant to the subject at hand. In the end, it is a matter of personal taste.
Getting out into the real world and getting your hands dirty is still necessary when accumulating backlinks.
- Email webmasters of sites in your niche offering links to your content that can be useful to them.
- Outreach to journalists, influencers and bloggers in your niche.
- Donate to non-profit organisations in your niche that link back to sites that have donated.
- Get interviewed. Find websites in your niche that are running interviews and inform them of your expertise and that you would like to contribute.
Common fallacy aside, social media is certainly not a backlink wasteland. The no follow, anti-spammer safeguards put in place to prevent the unethical creation of thousands of social media profiles backlinking to one site absolutely do their job. There are still legitimate, well primed and approved for Google optimization social media backlink strategies that may be utilized. With all social media be sure to fill in the profiles completely replete with links. Use keywords in your descriptions, add extra information, photos and videos where possible. The more information for bots to scrutinize and figure out what you are all about the better.
GOOGLE PLACES & PROFILES LINKEDIN
Google Places allows you to list yourself in a Google Business directory that closely ties in with their maps service. With targetted keywords, it is a great source of backlinks and often ranks highly in google searches. LinkedIn is somewhat similar, allowing you to create a profile on a highly reputable site, and add your relevant links on it. Be sure to make a company profile and one for each employee. Then select “other” as an option for your website link, and put in your custom anchor text. You can also add 2 additional links, but without anchor text, for some easy backlinks.
DIGG AND REDDIT
Each allow links in their profiles and all article links are followed. Write and submit articles and news stories on your topics of choice. These are active communities with highly engaged and connected users. Combined, a powerhouse of traffic generation.
EZINE ARTICLES HUBPAGES
Not quite as valued since the Panda overhaul of the Google algorithm, but still valuable backlink resources. Links are allowed in profiles. You may write on topics of your choice and include custom links and anchor texts or simply recycle old posts published elsewhere.
LINKS IN PROFILES
Creating a custom channel on YouTube for your company allows a link in the profile. Even if you are not the check-in type Foursquare also allows links accredited to profiles to be followed. No need to be a gourmand Yelp profile links are followed.
FINAL WORDS ON HIGH-QUALITY BACKLINKS
Gazing into the crystal ball of SEO to discover the one thing that will rocket you to page one, position one simply reveals another crystal ball. Unfazed you gaze on only to find another crystal ball and another. The amount of tactics, strategies and intrigues for Google optimization can be overwhelming. Establishing your content as authoritative and page one worthy primarily requires backlinks. Google thinks that the more people that like your website the more valuable it must be and the higher it needs to be ranked. Backlinks are a measure of popularity. Google thinks popularity is a good measure of value. Backlinks are a good place to start.