Although SEO is always changing, one force has remained constant: authority. Search engines want to know how authoritative and trustworthy human users find your website. While search engines use a variety of metrics to determine your authoritativeness, the most important metric is your backlinks. A backlink, or inbound link, happens when a website links to your website. Backlinks are earned by writing amazing content that’s relevant and useful to audiences in your industry.
Some businesses assume that any backlink is a good backlink, but search engines can differentiate between a spammy site and a quality one. That’s why every business needs to carefully build trustworthy links to their site to avoid penalties.
Why backlinks matter
Search engines use backlinks to determine how useful search engine users would find your content. When you invest in a backlink strategy, you’ll see benefits like:
- Improved relationships: Link building requires reaching out to other businesses, bloggers, and journalists in your industry. Managed well, this can create more marketing opportunities and backlinks for your business.
- Increased site traffic: Backlinks can significantly increase your site traffic. If you want more people on your website, backlinks can help.
- Better SEO rank: Although backlinking is a long-term strategy, it improves your SERP rank over time by showing that you have a trustworthy website that users find valuable.
Think of backlinks as a vote of confidence. The more reputable the site that’s vouching for you, the more that backlink can affect your rank.
3 tips to earn more backlinks
Backlinks signal that you create quality content. But one backlink won’t have a big effect on your business by itself. You want multiple high-quality websites linking to your business. Follow these 3 tips to ethically source more backlinks for your website.
1 - Create amazing content
The easiest way to collect more backlinks is to create incredibly useful content. Ideally, you want to share a helpful, comprehensive resource that does a deep-dive on an important topic in your industry. Your goal should be to share content that’s so valuable, people can’t help but link to it.
In practice, that might mean creating:
- An ultimate guide that covers a big topic in-depth.
- An in-depth tutorial or how-to post that includes images and videos.
- Roundup or listicle-style blogs. If you’re linking to other businesses, email them to let them know about the feature. Sometimes they’ll share your post on social media or even add it to the News area of their website.
- A video series on common problems or pain points.
Link building only works if you offer something of value. If you aren’t receiving backlinks now, take another look at your content. It should be so valuable that it compels people to share it with their network.
2 - Conduct link building outreach
You can also source backlinks by reaching out to other website owners, journalists, and bloggers. There are several ways to do this, but the most effective include:
Finding 404 errors: Tell the website owner that you’ve identified a 404 error on their website where a backlink no longer works. Politely suggest that they should link out to your website or resource instead. No website owner wants a 404 error on their site, so this is a win-win!
Locate brand mentions: Add your business name to a Google News alert. If a news outlet or blogger mentions your company without linking to you, you can politely ask them to add a link to your website.
Offer resources: Identify a website with a resource page. Email the website owner and offer your high-quality guide as a resource that their readers might enjoy. The key is to target websites where your resource would actually be relevant and useful; don’t try to promote a fly fishing guide on a website for soccer moms.
You won’t hear back from everyone when you do link building, and that’s okay. Not everyone will respond or agree with your request, but it can’t hurt to ask nicely!
3 - Talk to the press
Have you done something newsworthy? Brag about it! That’s a great way to collect backlinks.
You can gain more backlinks by:
- Writing press releases: PR.com is a free resource for publishing press releases. But don’t spam the world with a bad press release. Make sure your release is actually newsworthy, not a veiled product promotion. Talk about events, new executive leadership, awards, and more.
- Pitching via HARO: Help A Reporter Out is another free resource that connects you with journalists looking for news sources. This is a great way to gain backlinks and establish yourself as an authority in your space.
The bottom line
When it comes to backlinks, quality is always better than quantity. Done right, backlinks are an important component of SEO that will grow your business organically. Use these 3 strategies to give your business a leg up in the SERP.
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