Backlinks to your website are one of the most valuable components of SEO and one of the best ways to increase your rankings in search engine results—when done properly. Earning backlinks the “white hat” way can help improve your visibility in search, help Google recognize your website as high-quality, and can even help you increase brand awareness.
Here are the tactics I suggest implementing to earn backlinks for your website:
Guest blogging takes time and effort beyond simply writing a blog post, but it can pay dividends when done right. Here are the steps you should take:
- Research blogs that are relevant to your industry and aim to contribute to sites that have a domain authority (DA) of 50 or more.
- Contact the desired organizations with a message stating who you are, what value you’ll bring to their blog with your content, and asking if they’d be willing to feature you.
- Once the organization commits, draft an outline for them to approve.
- Once the outline is approved, write the full post and run it through copy editing.
- Send the finished piece to your guest blogging opportunity and continue to check in until you see your post published on their blog.
Domain authority is the biggest key player here—always remember: the higher the domain authority, the better—but it’s also important to make sure the places you’re contributing guest posts make sense and are relevant to your target audience.
Brand Mentions and No-Follow Captures
There are some great tools out there (such as Moz and SEMrush) that can quickly and efficiently search for your brand name anywhere that it’s mentioned on the web, even when the mention doesn’t link back to your site. When you uncover these opportunities, simply reach out to the company and ask them if they can hyperlink your brand mention. On the other hand, sometimes people will mention your brand and link to your website, but make it a no-follow, meaning you don’t get the “SEO juice.” When this happens, do the same thing. Reach out and ask if they’ll switch it from a no-follow to a follow. These may seem like small wins, but they add up!
Directory Listings and Third-Party Review Sites
A lot of directory listings will allow you to create a listing with a link to your website for free! Just make sure the directory is legitimate and relevant to your brand. The best way to identify directories where you'd like to be listed is to find out what directories list your competitors without listing you—then work on getting placed.
Partnering with another great brand to create killer content is a sure-fire way to earn high-quality backlinks. Whether it be a webinar, an e-book, or even a podcast, focus on creating incredible content that your personas will find useful. You’ll not only easily earn backlinks via cross-promotion, but you’ll also generate high-quality leads while you’re at it.
Although this tactic requires an additional cost (not just your valuable time), when you write a well-written release, you will inevitably earn backlinks from some, if not many, high-authority websites. There’s been a lot of chatter about this tactic and just how beneficial it is for your backlink profile. If you have truly newsworthy content, I would recommend considering this avenue but following these steps to ensure Google doesn’t penalize you.
Although your main goal in inbound marketing should always be to create high-quality content so that people will want to link to your website organically, that can be hit-or-miss, so ramp up your quality backlinks using the above strategies and watch your pages strategically increase in search!
Looking for even more tips on backlinking? Check out “Link Building That Builds Relationships” which covers broken link outreach and influencer outreach.