Backlinking is to a successful traffic-building strategy what tye-dye is to a modern wardrobe in 2020: What once seemed kind-of nice but a little dated is now a must-have. And it makes sense: As Google and other search engines get more savvy, they realize that articles humans tend to read, like, and bookmark, humans also tend to share. In other words, higher quality content = more backlinks.
You could do this the old school way, which is to build the best content available, and wait for the links to come. Or, you could do it the AEK Solutions Way, which is to create the best content available and implement a successful backlinking strategy as well, which decreases the amount of time you have to wait for your article to go viral. Here are some of our secrets:
- Get guest blog posts on sites with good keyword positioning.
A solid backlinking strategy is grounded in providing value to other people with your website, something that never goes out of style (and which will never be written out with a new Google algorithm update). That said, if you want to reach like-minded people, find like-minded sites, and reach out to their owners. We have found that using LinkedIn or Hunter.io to find emails is often better than reaching out through contact forms on websites, but this is merely a matter of our personal experience and preference.
Create a simple letter, asking the sites’ owners to allow you to publish a high-quality post on their website. In our experience, reaching out to 100 sites will generate you 1-5 responses, depending on the subject matter, the popularity of the site (less popular gives you higher chances of a “yes”), the time of year (summer and holiday seasons tend to give site owners more reason to say “yes”), as well as other factors.
Once you receive a yes, send your guest post as soon as possible. We recommend adopting a similar tone, voice, and style to the one featured on the site. In addition, a crucial part of the guest post is that it must have keywords that link directly to your site. This is called anchor text, and it’s a vital part of the backlinking strategy.
- Answer questions on Quora/Yahoo Answers, and be sure to link back to the site.
Remember one of AEK Solutions’ mantras: Providing value to people will never go out of style (or Google algorithm). A backlinking strategy therefore should involve links that genuinely provide value to people, and what better way than by actually answering people’s real questions with pages or posts on your website?! As many times as you can per week, have someone answer relevant questions on Quora, Yahoo Answers, and social media sites, and link back to your website. Bonus points if you can provide an actual URL of a blog post relevant to answering the topic.
- Claim unlinked mentions.
As we mentioned in tips #1 and 2, the best way to build backlinks is to provide value. However, it is possible that your site has already provided enough value to someone else that s/he decided to mention your site already on his/her website. If this is the case, then it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to turn that into a live link.
To do this, do a Google or Bing search for your company name, or abbreviation. Find all of the sites that talk about yours, and do a quick overview. If the site is named, but not linked to, write to the owner of the site and ask for a live link to be placed in the article in which your site was mentioned. Since you are asking for a favor and the site owner is under absolutely no obligation to do this, it’s also a good practice to include a link to the blog post, article, or web page in question. You may also want to put a note in your calendar to follow up in 2-3 weeks – website owners are often busy, or have moved onto other projects, so you may not hear back without a bit of persistence.
- Get listed in directories.
Industry-specific directories vary dramatically at this point in terms of the backlinking value they provide, but some directories that are non-industry specific that nearly everyone can list on include Best of the Web and DMOZ.Use HARO – Help a Reporter Out. Respond to anyone who needs an expert in PCTI-related fields, and make sure that we ask their experts for quotes by the reporters’ deadlines.
- Encourage readers to share each blog post on social media — that’s vital here.
“Social sharing” hasn’t become a part of the cultural jargon just because it has an alliterative quality; it also can provide a serious, ongoing component of your backlinking strategy, depending on how big and engaged your social media audience is.
We recommend creating social sharing buttons on your website, which are easily accessible from every blog post and page. We also recommend sharing all of your content on social media, utilizing best practices.
If you want top-notch backlinking strategy, or have questions about your backlinking strategy, reach out to us at AEK Solutions for a free, no-obligation Q&A session. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable growth online by embracing a rapid-experimentation, funnel-based approach. We also utilize creative and technology, such as geotargeting, customer experience management, and moments of influence testing to develop solutions to specific digital marketing issues.