Off page SEO techniques, also known as backlink building, is one of the SEO activities that has always been an overwhelming job for most SEOs, especially beginners.
An online business thrives only when you have more and more inbound traffic to your website. The more the number of visitors, the more the chances of increased sales and recognition.
Along with visitors, as an online business owner or SEO, you also have to be aware of increasing your website’s domain authority. Google and other search engines look favorably on sites that have a high domain authority, powerful backlinks, and are optimized accordingly to follow all their stipulated SEO guidelines.
Sounds pretty daunting, right?
Well, backlink building or inbound link building is indeed a tough job but achievable using certain proven link building strategies. If done right, these strategies will do wonders for your website’s SEO and increase the overall value of your business in the eyes of the search engines and your audiences likewise.
It is a known fact that high domain authority and good off page SEO of your website mean increased visitors to your site, which then translates to the overall recognition of your brand and its success, which in turn again boosts the domain authority of your business.
The entire backlink building process is a closed-loop where each step impacts the other, and the effect ripples out to the sales of your business and its branding in the digital market.
So, undoubtedly off-page optimization is that one essential step that can trigger the success of your website and thus the business?
What is Backlink Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks for your site from other authoritative and relevant websites. A backlink is considered as the currency of the internet. They are the indicators of your website’s reputation online.
Search engines use links to crawl the web and various pages of your website. The number of backlinks a website has informs the search engines about its popularity online.
So, in general, the more the number of authority backlinks you have, means more recognition for your website.
There are various ways of fattening up your inbound link profile. However, keep in mind that good link-building means building high-quality backlinks, not just any links. The stress here is more on the quality rather than the quantity of the backlinks acquired.
Developing a link profile that can boost your business in all ways of digital marketing is a challenging job and the most time consuming one as well. But once you know how to do link-building well, it can put your website significantly ahead of your competitions.
The Importance of Backlinks in SEO
Backlinks or inbound links are the links that are directed towards your website from other sites. It indicates the popularity of your website and is the main building block of your site’s search engine optimization after on-page SEO.
We know that getting higher rankings in SERP is the ultimate goal of a good SEO strategy, and building high-quality backlinks is an important step towards achieving that goal.
Search engines, especially Google, attach more significance to a website that has more high-quality inbound links. This influences Google to rank these websites higher in the search results as it considers them to be more authoritative.
But as I have mentioned earlier, you have to make sure that these links you are receiving are from high authority websites. The quality of a backlink to your website can be measured by its relevance to your business, and the domain authority and influence of the linking site.
For example, if you run a digital marketing business and have a backlink from a fashion product website, then there is no relevance; hence the backlink is not of high quality. But if you have a backlink from another digital marketing website or blog, then that will be considered as a relevant inbound link. At the very least, the page that has the link pointing to your site should be related to digital marketing.
As for the website, you are getting a backlink from; you have to be vigilant to not acquiring backlinks from bad websites that Google considers as untrustworthy. Backlinks from websites that apply unethical SEO techniques can do more harm than good to your site. Google may even penalize your website if you are found linked from sites that are “bad” in Google’s eyes.
So, be very cautious while building backlinks and always double-check the websites that you are building the links from.
Types of Links
There are two types of links with regards to the direction they point to. These are internal and external links.
Internal links – These links originate from your website and are directed towards a webpage that is under the same domain. It is necessarily linking one webpage to another of your website.
External Links – These links are directed outside a website. They can be inbound links that are originating from a different website linking to yours, or outbound links that are generating from your site linking to a different website. Backlinks discussed in the previous section are the inbound links that you have to consistently acquire to up your search engine rankings. Where your outbound links are backlinks to the websites you are linking to.
Links can again be classified into another two categories based on a parameter called Page Rank juice or PR juice. These are Nofollow links and Dofollow links.
Nofollow Links – These are the links that have a rel=”nofollow” attribute applied to the HTML of the link. As these links do not pass PageRank or PR juice from the linking page to the linked page, they are less powerful for search engine rankings. Nofollow links are mainly used in these following cases:
- Paid Links – The nofollow tag in paid links (marketing links) informs search engines that the link to the website is paid and not to pass the PR juice.
- UGC or User Generated Content – If you allow users to post comments or articles on your website, the nofollow tag should be applied to the outbound links, particularly if you are not moderating them personally. It prevents search engines from evaluating your website based on the links to dubious websites of the users who have posted.
- Comments – Make sure that the comments on your websites have nofollow links if you are not removing low-quality, spammy links personally.
- Sites you are not sure of – If you are linking to a website because it is relevant to your context or could be resourceful for your visitors, but you are not sure about its quality enough to allow the PR flow, use the nofollow tag.
Dofollow Links – These links are default and do not have the “nofollow” tag attached. These links allow search engine crawlers to follow the link and transfer the PR juice from the linking to the linked page. Use these links when you can vouch for the website you are linking to.
Quality link-building is an arduous process, but the results are very rewarding and can make all the difference for your business’s recognition and success online. There are many ways in which you can start building a top-notch backlink profile. The methods are namely:
- Blog commenting
- Directory link
- Social bookmarking
- Classified links
- Local listing
- Web 2.0
- Guest posting
- PR links
- Content repurposing
Blog Commenting and Link Building
As the name suggests, in this method, link building is done by commenting on relevant blogs.
When you comment on a blog post, you are asked to add your name and link to your website. This makes an excellent way of building backlinks from a blog that you are commenting on.
Around 20 percent of your link profile can be comprised of blog comment links. That’s a pretty huge chunk of your backlinks that you can acquire with minimal effort, just by engaging with your peers online.
The most salient points you need to remember while blog commenting are:
- For blog commenting, you need to use a genuine email address along with the name and URL of your website. For this purpose, you may use your company email address, if you have one. In case you don’t want to use your official email account, use an email address that clearly shows your name and the brand you are associated with. For example, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Besides, if you are an SEO freelancer, you should ideally use client-specific email addresses for blog commenting.
- Next comes, the avatar of your email address. You might have noticed that all the people who comment on blog posts have an avatar of their headshot that shows who they are. Well, you need one for your email address too. Use the WordPress tool Gravatar.com (https://en.gravatar.com) to assign an avatar to your email ID. Once you successfully upload the headshot against the email, you will get a confirmation link from the website, click it, and you are done. From now on, wherever you use the same email address to comment on a blog, the assigned image uploaded on Gravatar will appear automatically next to your name.
- This traditional backlink building method is as simple as it gets, but the most important thing to remember in this process is the relevancy of the linked page to the linking page. For example, if you have a website dedicated to “graphics designing”, then commenting on a parenting-related blog using your website’s link is not going to serve your purpose of link building. But if you are commenting on a blog related to any avenue of graphics designing, web designing, digital marketing, or SEO, then that backlink can be counted as a good quality backlink.
Now the immediate question that arises is how you will find relevant blogs matching your industry and niche. For that, you can use Google’s advanced search operators. Search on Google with “graphics designing” inurl:blog. You may also use intitle:graphics AND intitle:design inurl:blog. The second search operator will list more refined blogs that have “graphics” and “design” both mentioned in the page title.
- Before creating a backlink, you must be aware of the quality of the website or blog you are commenting on. For checking that, copy the root domain of the blog and analyze it using the Moz Link Explorer. Here you will get the domain authority, page authority, and spam score of the domain. Comment only on those blogs that have a DA at least 10 more than the DA of your website. Ideally, the spam score of the blog should not be more than 20 percent, where you intend to comment.
- For further precaution, make sure that the website is not penalized (deindexed or sandboxed) by Google. Search on Google with the domain of the blog. If the domain ranks on the first position of the organic results, then you are safe to proceed further. Else leave that blog, as most probably it has been hit by an algorithm update or by a manual action.
- After checking the relevancy and quality of the blog, the next important thing to keep in mind while commenting is to say something appreciative about the blog post. Your comment should reflect your gratitude towards the author of the blog. Even if you disagree on a point, say it gracefully and politely. Certainly, don’t pound on the blog author.
- If you have any points that will add-on to the blog post topic, then you can write about it in your comment, but it should be value-adding to the blog readers as well as the author. Do not just write a comment just for the sake of a backlink. Be specific about what you are trying to say while being respectful and appreciative.
- It is always recommended to avoid writing any negative comments on a blog. If you do not have anything to add to the topic, then just simply write a “thank you” comment while specifying how the post helped you personally in achieving your goals. But be authentic and do not spam the internet.
- As for using keywords in comments, it can be done but moderately. Don’t overdo with the commercial keywords, or Google may flag you for applying lousy SEO practices and can even penalize your website for spamming. Or, at the least, your comment will not be approved by the author of the blog.
Remember, participating in an active discussion on a blog that is relevant to your business while providing value to the discussion is another way you can build relationships with influential bloggers along with backlinks.
So, go about link-building through blog commenting in a reasonable and value-adding way. It must be relevant, should sound genuine, and highlight your involvement and experience on the topic at hand.
Directory Backlink Building
Directory websites contain thousands of business listings with proper categorization and location tags for easy access to businesses.
During its initial days, Google used to access Dmoz directory data for crawling and indexing websites listed there. Later on, Google stopped reading Dmoz data, and on March 14, 2017, the directory was shut down permanently.
However, to date, many directory sites are still at work and can provide good backlinks to your website by listing your business on them. However, you should enforce some restrictions on the number of backlinks that you create for your site using directory websites.
The best bet is to create 5 percent directory backlinks, i.e., if you have a total of 100 backlinks to your website, then 5 among them could be from directory websites. More than that, and you will run the risk of getting penalized by Google.
Before you go about submitting your business on directory websites, there are few crucial things you should keep in mind regarding the directory websites you are planning to post on. They are:
- The directory website’s domain name must rank on the first position in Google’s organic results when searched by its domain name.
- After you ensure the first step, you have to analyze the domain authority of the directory website using the Moz Link Explorer tool (https://Moz.com/link-explorer). You have to make sure that the directory has a domain authority more than 50 (higher is better) and a spam score not more than 20 percent. Anything other than this is not safe and can harm your website potentially, so steer clear.
You can get a list of popular directory websites from Google, choose the ones you want and then start analyzing them by hand, according to the points mentioned above.
Once you are done analyzing, select the first directory site on your list and start the process of submitting your website details on it.
Now that you know what directory websites are and how to analyze them let’s now see how to submit a site on directory websites.
- The home page of any directory site lists all the business categories and subcategories that they are providing for listing. First, you have to select a proper category that is matching with your business.
- Next, click the “Suggest a site” link (or similar options) on the top of the page. This link should take you to the directory submission page. Additionally, the page may have a list of all the instructions on how to fill the directory listing form properly.
- The first information to fill out is the “Site URL”. Here, you have to provide your website’s domain link. Make sure to include the complete URL, specifying whether it is an HTTP / HTTPS site or a www (or non-www) site. Do not put the end slash (/) at the end of the domain.
- Sometimes, some directory websites ask you to select the “Type of Link”, which gives you the option to choose the link type. It can be regular, PDF, RSS, and Atom. If you are submitting your website, select the regular (website) option.
- Next comes the “Title of the Site”. Here, you need to input the title of your website or the name of your business. If the domain URL is “www.abcdedu.com”, then the site title should be “ABCD Edu”. Avoid inserting any keywords here.
- The next field is the “Site Description”. This is the place where you have to describe your business in 25 to 30 words. While writing the site’s description, avoid using all capital letters, promotional and foul language, keyword stuffing, etc. There are specific guidelines to fill this, which you can find on the directory guidelines page. Stick to them to up your chances of getting approved.
- The “Email Address” field is the place where you are asked to add the official email address of your business. In case you don’t have an official email account, or if you don’t want to mention it, you can input your personal email address as well. However, make sure that the email address you specified here is genuine, active, and accessible by you. Most of the directory websites send an activation link to the email address to click to complete the directory submission process.
- Finally, after submitting your directory listing, the wait time for approval is generally 2 to 3 weeks minimum.
- So, keep checking the directory website periodically to find out if your listing has been approved. Once it is approved, your website link will appear under the category tab that you have chosen in the beginning.
- When some directory sites allow dofollow backlinks, some may not. This can vary with different directory websites.
One important thing to keep in mind while creating a directory backlink is to always opt for the “Free Listing” option. A “Premium Listing” requires you to pay money to the directory website, which can speed up the approval process but is a strict no-no for backlink building. You can even get penalized, so always go for the free directory listing.
There could be another category for a directory listing, called “Free Listing with Reciprocal Link”. This means in exchange for a backlink from the directory site, you have to provide them with a link from your website. This is also called “link exchange”, which is free but not recommended by most of the SEO pros.
Social Bookmarking Link Building
Social bookmarking websites are online tools that allow you to bookmark webpages on the web rather than on your personal browser. This way, the bookmarked URL becomes a backlink and always remains available online, which you can access from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Social bookmarking is a great way to make your bookmarked URLs available to the public as well as browse other’s bookmarks to discover new websites based on categories or interests.
Some popular social bookmarking websites available on the internet are Pinterest, Reddit, Scoop.it, Slashdot, etc.
Social bookmarking websites have made it really easy for users to discover trending websites on a category based on the number of people bookmarked them. Rather than trudging through thousands of search results that Google comes up with, you can simply use people’s recommendations to find the most popular websites on a topic or category.
This backlink building method is pretty straightforward yet effective. It increases your site’s traffic along with the chance to make your content go viral. And do not forget the backlinks that you are gaining from authority bookmarking websites like Reddit.
Let’s break down the entire process of creating backlinks through social bookmarking.
- Make a list of the social bookmarking websites that you want to post on.
- Analyze the websites and find out their domain authority, page authority, and spam score. When DA should be more than 50, the spam score shouldn’t cross the 20 percent safe-mark.
- Next, you have to create accounts on bookmarking websites using your name, website, and email address. As these are social bookmarking sites, so don’t forget to add your headshot or brand’s logo and complete the profile.
- In the business description field, add a keyword that most resonates with your business and website.
- You are now all set to bookmark your webpages you want to bring in the traffic to. When some bookmarking sites may fetch the page title and meta description of the bookmarked URL automatically, some may not. The point is simple; use proper bookmark title and description that best describe the link you are bookmarking.
- Don’t forget to tag the webpages appropriately. Irrelevant tagging is no way going to be helpful in terms of SEO as well as traffic.
Search engines consider bookmark links from authoritative bookmarking websites as quality backlinks. It goes a long way to boost your SEO while driving traffic to your site.
Besides, you build backlinks from bookmarking sites; these links can further help you get faster crawling and indexing of your webpages. Whenever you create a new page on your website or blog, you should inspect the page URL using the Google Search Console tool. However, this isn’t all. Right after inspecting it, you should also bookmark the same URL on a couple of authority bookmarking websites. This always ensures faster indexing of the page, which may eventually end up ranking the page quickly on the search engines.
Moreover, as we said earlier, the links you are bookmarking can bring a load of visitors to your website. Further, if your content is excellent, or the product or service you are selling from the page adds real value to the customers, that extra chunk of visitors may increase your site’s average session duration and page views largely. Consequently, this, in turn, improves your website’s organic ranking on search engines like Google.
Classified Backlink Building
We all are familiar with classified websites like Craigslist, where we can find items or services to buy or can post an advert of our own if we want to sell something.
Modern link building process like content marketing is highly effective. But when you are a new business with no customer base as such, then driving traffic using content marketing is challenging. Because content marketing requires decent investment, high skills, and a long time to deliver good results. That’s when traditional backlink building methods like classified links come in.
Classified links boost your site’s organic and local search engine rankings. Especially if your business is in the market to sell products or services, then backlinks from classified ads will get you more traffic, as well as new leads.
These types of backlinks are not useful for blog websites that do not sell any physical products. So, only create classified links if you have a service or product to sell from your blog. Else, classified links are only effective for business websites.
The three main advantages of classified backlinks are:
- You will get a backlink directly to your sales page, which will improve its organic ranking on search engines.
- If you run bricks and mortar business, you can include the NAP citation (Name, Address, Phone number) of your company while posting a classified advert, which can improve your local SEO ranking on Google local box.
- Finally, by promoting your products or services on classified websites, you will be able to attract more traffic to your site, as well as increase the number of potential leads.
Now that you know what is classified link and how they benefit your business let’s now see how to build classified backlinks.
The entire process of classified link building is broken down in the following steps:
- At first, select the right category and location for your advert, based on your item and service area.
- The first field here is the “Ad Title”. Usually, this becomes the page title and H1 of the advert page. Add a relevant keyword in the classified ad title and make it succinct at the same time descriptive as well. The point is simple; the ad title must highlight the item you want to sell and also should be optimized. However, avoid using the same keyword that you have used on the same product’s landing page on your website.
- The next field is the “Ad Description”. This is the place where you are going to put your classified ad content. Make sure that your ad description is fresh and not copied from another classified advert. As this is a commercial advertisement, you should mention the USPs (unique selling points) of your products here. List down the unique features of the items that you are offering. When it comes to ad copy optimization, just like any other content optimization, you have to use a few keywords here, contextually and logically. While creating the classified backlink to the sales page of your website from the ad description, make sure to use a relevant keyword as the anchor-text. However, don’t use the same key-phrase repeatedly to create classified links, instead, diversify them as much as possible. At the end of the ad description, include your NAP citation as available on your Google My Business listing. Make sure it does not differ in any way from what is specified in GMB. Lastly, consider adding a Call-to-Action at the bottom of the classified ad description. This could be your phone number, contact email address, or the sales page link.
- Next, in the “Ad Location” field, you must select the nearest location for your business.
- Most of the classified websites allow their users to add multiple relevant images. So, when you are done with the rest of the classified ad, upload an optimized image that will more likely attract customers to your classified advert.
Typically, there is no waiting period here. Your classified ad will become available as soon as it is posted and approved.
Some crucial points to keep in mind while creating classified backlinks are:
- Create fresh and unique content every time you want to post a classified ad. Do not duplicate the ad copy from another classified ad, as this could seriously harm your website’s SEO.
- Just like the content, every classified ad should have a fresh image to go with it. Create unique images and optimize them accordingly to fit with the ad you are posting them against.
- Diversify the classified backlink anchor-text as much as possible.
- Before building an inbound link from a classified website, do not forget to analyze it using the Link Explorer tool from Moz. For a classified website to be acceptable for backlink building, the domain authority should be more than 40, and the spam score should not be more than 20 percent. Also, check with the root domain of the website, whether it is ranking on the first organic position of Google or not. If all of these criteria match, you can post an ad and build a backlink from the classified website.
The process of building classified backlinks is similar to all the classified websites. So, stick to the instructions mentioned above to get the most out of the classified backlinks you built.
Side note: Craigslist doesn’t provide backlinks to external websites.
Local Listing Link Building
Backlinks from local listing websites like Yelp, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, Super Pages, Yellow Book, Hot Frog, etc. can significantly boost organic rankings of business websites. However, unfortunately, these types of inbound links are not very much suitable for blog websites if they don’t have any real products or services to sell to their audiences.
The primary benefit of the local business listing is local SEO. Local business directories allow companies to register their business details along with the NAP citation that helps these companies to up their local rankings on Google local box and Google Maps.
So, local business listing sites offer three-fold benefits.
- They allow a backlink to the home page of the website, which improves the site’s overall search engine ranking.
- The local business directories let you add your company’s information and the NAP of your business. If you can build consistent NAP citation across the internet, then that will improve your company’s local rankings on search engines.
- Lastly, many of your customers use online business listing directories to search and find products or services they want to purchase. Therefore, listing your business on these websites can increase the business leads and sales of your company.
When using local listing websites for backlink building, you need to follow a few crucial things meticulously.
- There are multiple lists available on the internet where you can find loads of business directory websites. However, we recommend you to analyze them using the Moz Link Explorer tool prior to using them for link building. Select business directories that have DA more than 50 and Spam Score less than 20 percent for building the backlink. Additionally, they must rank on the first organic spot when searched with the domain name on Google.
- First, if you are listing your company on multiple business listing sites, make sure your company’s NAP information is consistent across each website. Additionally, you should specify the same NAP details that you have already listed on the Google My Business tool and your own site.
- When most of the business directories allow linking to your site’s home page, some may let you link to your website’s sales pages. Be careful when creating the backlink. Use the HTTP / HTTPS and www / non-www versions of your URLs correctly.
- Write a detailed description of your company, products, and services to let your prospective customers find your business when they search for similar products or services on business directories. Additionally, make sure that you are not using any copied content as that can cause a lot of trouble in terms of SEO.
- Use attractive visuals like business logo, team photos, product screenshots, service images, videos, etc. to entice more customers to your listing page and finally drive them to your website.
When there are a lot of international business directories, many of them allow listing businesses only in a specific country. So, if you find a local business directory that doesn’t allow listing businesses in the country where you run your company, stay away from it. Building backlinks from such local listing sites are not going to be considered good by Google.
Web 2.0 Backlink Building
Backlinks from web 2.0 sites have always been powerful for websites, be it a business site or a blog. These websites allow you to create and manage content, just like you do on your own website. Some popular web 2.0 websites where you can build backlinks are wordpress.com, weebly.com, tumblr.com, blogger.com, medium.com, quora.com, etc.
Majority of the web 2.0 websites are high authority sites. So getting backlinks from them to your site is a highly effective way of building authority inbound links.
These websites are one of the best platforms for promoting your brand and creating an active image with increased audience interaction online.
Most, if not all, of the web 2.0 sites allow “dofollow” inbound linking to external websites. But whatever may be the case, if not the PR juice, all of them do transfer massive trust and authority to the linked websites. The result of this can be seen in the rapid improvement in the organic ranking of websites with backlinks from web 2.0 sites.
The key benefits of creating backlinks from web 2.0 websites are:
- Easy on your pockets – Mostly, all the major web 2.0 sites, including the big ones, are free to use. You just need to create a free user account and then start creating relevant content along with linking them back to your main site. It is a cost-effective way of building high-quality backlinks and does make a massive impact on the overall ranking of your website.
- SEO Safe – The majority of the web 2.0 websites are high authority sites. So if you create quality content and follow all the backlink building rules, you are safe – no worries about getting penalized by Google for backlinks from them.
- Avail Multiple Links – You can build numerous inbound links from multiple authority web 2.0 sites. These backlinks may even link to all of your major internal pages, be it a sales page or a blog post.
- Fast crawl guarantee – A backlink from an authoritative web 2.0 site can significantly influence Google to crawl your linked content quickly. So, less delay in indexing your money pages.
As you can tell, the web 2.0 sites provide an easy way to create quality backlinks, but you need to observe some rules while developing content that you will use for link building.
Here are a few to-dos and not to-dos while link building through web 2.0 websites:
- Complete the user profile section across all the major web 2.0 sites that you want to use.
- Create contents for web 2.0 sites only if they add value to your consumers and are interesting to them. Do not create a lackluster post just for the sake of backlink building. Google does not see kindly to such backhanded approaches to create backlinks. It may harm your site eventually.
- Always create original content for these platforms. Do not reproduce someone else’s work. It can harm your brand image as well as the search engine rankings.
- Google does not attach any importance to contents that are thin with little or no worth. Therefore, creating such content for web 2.0 link building won’t benefit your main site.
- Format and optimize your web 2.0 contents properly with headings, lists, paragraphs, etc.
- Include at least one high-quality, optimized, custom-made image to each web 2.0 posts. Be very careful while using images found on the internet. Check to see whether they are copyright free before you use them on your contents.
- Mix the inbound link anchor-texts. Don’t use the exact keyword repetitively as this could lead Google to flag your website for doing over-optimization.
- Consider linking to a few relevant websites which you are not associated with by any means. When this doesn’t help your site directly in SEO, this may help you build good relationships with fellow bloggers, content creators, and business owners. In the long run, this can pay you off in manifold.
- Never hesitate to promote your web 2.0 content using your social media channels and other online outlets.
- Do not overdo web 2.0 backlinks. To get the most out of web 2.0 sites, use them moderately and optimally along with other SEO strategies.
Backlink Building Doing Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the method where you post top-notch content on other websites or blogs as a guest author, and acquire backlinks to your site.
If your business is in the early throes of gaining traction, you will have a very limited number of audiences. Guest posting on big-name blogs and websites will allow you to become visible to their large and dedicated audience base. This exposure can get you traffic, increase potential leads, and help your brand gain a far-reaching recognition online.
The backlinks acquired through guest posting are powerful for your website from the SEO perspective. The sites where you are guest posting are already popular and ranking on search engines. And getting backlinks from them will assure Google that your website is relevant, trustworthy, and qualified for better rankings in search results.
As most, if not all, of the backlinks you earn through guest blogging, are dofollow, they are very effective in boosting your site’s domain authority, improving organic rankings, and gaining recognition.
The important steps that you need to follow almost always while guest posting are:
- Search online for all the well-known websites and blogs that are related to your business industry and accept guest posts.
- Consider analyzing the history of an unknown site that accepts guest-blogs and is relevant to your business. Something that looks clean from outside may be a real mess inside. So, use tools like WayBackMachine to unearth the history of the domain and take the guest-posting decision accordingly.
- Check their guest-posting guidelines and follow them thoroughly.
- Create relevant content on your niche that will add value to the audience of the guest posting site while projecting your brand to their readers. Make the content fun and engaging while providing a real solution to a problem that the audience is most likely facing.
- If the guest posting website allows, you should add one or two backlinks to your site (or blog posts) from the guest post content.
- Create a succinct author-bio that describes who you are, what you do, where you work, your experience, achievements, and interests. Besides these, you should also consider adding your website link here.
- Pitch relevant blogs and websites with your content. Use compelling but respectable language while outreaching them.
- If they accept your guest post pitch, then they will publish your content on their website or blog, and you will get a backlink to your site.
- Lastly, promote the published guest post on your social channels to multiply the benefits.
For implementing this method, before you start, you do need some time to grow your business online. This is because, initially, you won’t have any significant brand equity to entice bigger, higher authority websites to consider you as a trustworthy guest contributor.
But once you reach a certain level of popularity and traction, start pitching to websites and blogs frequently and try to publish at least one guest post each week.
Backlink Building Using PR
The sole objective of the press release (PR) is to increase brand exposure, create a brand image, and gain publicity. PR is used to reach out to media outlets to pitch the business to raise brand awareness.
So even though the PR goal is not backlink building, it does end up being the byproduct of whatever PR does to promote a brand. So, if you do what PR agencies do, then not only will you create newsworthy brand stories without the sole intent of gaining backlinks, but also acquire inbound links from hotshot media websites, generate referral traffic, increase potential leads, and gain recognition.
The most important PR strategies to help you in building links are:
- The first and the foremost thing that you must know about PR is how to write them so that they quickly catch the eye of a journalist. A press release has a specific format to be written in. It must contain an appealing PR headline, a subheading, a dateline, a few bullet points, an introduction, a detailed PR body, a company boilerplate, and contact information of the company. Following the correct PR format, makes the press release powerful enough to be pitched to media reporters.
- When you know the press release format, next, you have to plan a real story for your brand that your target audience would love to read about. This is by far the most critical part of the process. You may consider creating a story about one of your flagship products or services, telling how it solved a particular problem, how it empowered your target audience to achieve something significant, etc. You may also cover a story about one of your recent researches and findings that remarkably changed something in your industry. When there is no restriction as to what story you can cover in your company PR, it must be newsworthy.
- Now that your PR story is ready, you should add a link to a relevant page of your website. This is going to be the backlink that you will build from the press release. Make sure that you haven’t used any keyword in the link anchor-text. Instead, either use your brand name or naked link as the anchor-text. Remember, the backlinks from PR sites are usually nofollow, but still, they are very effective in building the trust of Google on your website.
- When you are done with creating the press release content following the exact PR format, this is the time to distribute your PR using the PR publishing sites. The press release publishing websites are high-authority sites. If you post a press release through them, your business will not only earn a powerful backlink but also get more traffic and increased sales leads.
- Next to distributing the PR using the PR distribution sites, you should now invest some quality time doing some researches about the journalists who would be interested in publishing your PR on media websites. Reach out to the relevant journalists from reputed publication houses for media coverage. If your press release is interesting and catches the eye of a media outlet, then your brand has an excellent chance to go viral, which could be a huge achievement for your company. And if you have the budget to pay your way to popularity, then you are welcome to do that as well, though it won’t be as powerful as the previous way.
With Google evolving every day, it is getting harder and harder to create legitimate links. With the bar of link quality going up constantly, your PR strategies will come handy in generating organic links from high-authority media websites.
The only thing you need to consider is you need a specific news angle to create a press release. So, use it sparingly only when you have something newsworthy to announce to the public.
Content Repurposing and Backlink Building
Once you have created content and posted it online, it does not mean that it ends here.
Old contents that are still relevant are powerful resources to gain new inbound links from various platforms and websites. All you have to do is repurpose and post them as something new, targeting a whole new segment of the audience while building backlinks for your website.
There are many ways to go about repurposing your content, and below I am going to list some significant ones that you can try for yourself.
- Select an evergreen post that you published a long time ago. Now, update the content by adding new insights and recent trends that will make it more relevant to the current audience base.
- Create a video repurposing an evergreen content and then post it on several video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. and get powerful backlinks from there.
- Create eye-catchy infographics that summarize any old content in one picture for a quick overview. You can post them on your blog or image hosting sites like Pinterest, Flickr, Canva, Instagram, etc. and build backlinks for your website.
- Convert your written content to podcasts; air them on sites like SoundCloud, Libsyn, Podbean, Spreaker, etc. to capture the audience belonging to that specific segment along with backlinks to your site.
- Create free, valuable resources like eBooks, PDF files, research documents, etc. Host them on your website and encourage others to use them for free for their projects in exchange for a backlink to your site. Additionally, make them sharable so that your audience can further share them online and spread the good words about your brand.
The entire content repurposing method involves less hassle than creating a whole new content. You save time and money while generating natural links, shares, awareness, and potential leads.
Apart from the link building methods discussed above, you can use a few other off page SEO techniques to expand your backlink profile and boost your website’s organic ranking. Let’s see them below.
You can create a handful of backlinks from a few high-authority websites by creating your profiles there. You can get multiple “profile creation sites” lists on the internet to use to create your profile pages and build backlinks for your site.
However, don’t stop yourself after creating the profile and building the backlink. Instead, make sure that you are engaging with other users of the platform. By posting, commenting, sharing, and following on the platform, you can generate internal links to your profile page, which boosts the PageRank of it, and this, in return, can make the backlink to your site more powerful.
Backlinks from published interviews are powerful for boosting the website’s ranking. They not only improve the SEO of your site but also increase the trust of your customers. However, getting such interview links is no cakewalk. You have to build good relationships and offer amazing products or services to your customers.
However, this is not all. People request for an interview when they perceive you as an influential person or brand. So, first, create meaningful relationships, help others, and build your authority to earn interview links.
Backlinks from Roundup Posts
High-quality roundup links can significantly improve your website’s SEO and ranking. However, similar to interview backlinks, these types of links are pretty hard to acquire for a beginner.
Many authority websites create roundup posts where they ask for views of industry experts. If you get such an invitation, accept it. In return for sharing your view and experience, you will acquire a backlink from an authoritative website.
Build Links by Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is another avenue that will give you both the coveted high-quality inbound links as well as access to a huge customer base. Reach out to the influencers in your niche and negotiate mutually beneficial deals for them to give your brand exposure through their blogs and websites. A positive mention, along with a backlink from an influencer, will go a long way to boost your brand’s popularity and drive sales. Cultivating long-time relationships with these influencers is a must-do for the success of your brand.
Links from Q&A Websites and Forums
Question-answer sites like Quora are excellent sources of backlinks. Moreover, these sites can drive a load of visitors to your website.
Whatever industry you are associated with or whatever level of experience you have, you can utilize Q&A and forum sites to answer questions that are posted by other users like you. If your answers are good, in-depth, and help others, your profile rating will increase, and you will get quality inbound links to your site.
Become a Speaker in an Event
If you become a speaker at an industry event or chamber of commerce, you may get a backlink from their website. These aren’t very frequent, but getting a few inbound links from such events could amplify your brand-voice and SEO to a whole new level.
Become the Best Player in Your Industry
This is by far the easiest way to earn backlinks naturally. I am sure you have a secret recipe for becoming the best, but let me point out a few general things that will reinforce yours.
Value your customers and audience, reward and appreciate your employees, help others unconditionally, deliver excellent after-sales service, stand up for a social cause, collaborate with your peers, and create amazing digital contents that suit your business type.
If you can create a process that ensures these seven points are always met, you will not only build a lot of high authority backlinks for your website, but gradually you will emerge as a brand.
When it comes to off page SEO techniques, backlink building is the most crucial thing for a website. However, where the inbound links come from, matters the most. Google wants you to acquire your backlinks naturally while adding value to your customers and audiences.
If you want your rankings to improve steadily, then creating backlinks is what you have to continue to scale up your business in this cut-throat online competition. With Google cracking down on ingenuine and spammy methods to create backlinks, you have to be extra careful while building your inbound link profile.
All the backlink building methods discussed in this off page SEO techniques article are effective. All of them can help you get the much-coveted rank boost, but as long as you follow Google’s guidelines and do not overdo them.
“Balance” is the name of the game here. Even out the number of backlinks, you create by applying different link building methods based on their effectiveness and diversify the anchor-text profile as much as possible.
The traditional link building methods are fixed, and you can create limited backlinks using them to avoid the wrath of Google. However, the more advanced backlink building methods like content marketing, guest posting, repurposing, PR, etc. are limitless and all-powerful.
So, keep experimenting with the types of contents you create, make tweaks according to the rules to attract backlinks naturally. And most importantly, do not forget to incline more towards the “give” policy than “take”, to gain your consumers’ trust and boost your brand’s authority.
How do you build backlinks for your website? Did you try out the discussed link building methods for yourself? Were they helpful? Do you use any other off page SEO techniques that earned you high-quality inbound links?
Please comment down below. We would love to hear from you.
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Soumya Roy is the Founder, CEO of PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy, a leading digital marketing course in Kolkata, India. He is a seasoned digital marketer and coach with over 13 years of extensive experience under his belt. In his long years of experience, Mr. Roy has worked with 100s of brands of different sizes, and mentored and trained more than 7000 professionals and corporate clients.
Being an entrepreneur and digital marketer, he loves to share his knowledge and experience in topics related to internet marketing, SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and many more. Latest posts by Soumya Roy (see all)
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