By John Turner, founder of SeedProd, a popular coming-soon page solution for WordPress used by over 800,000 websites.
Do you want to take your search engine optimization strategy to the next level? If so, one of the keys you need for success is backlinks.
Backlinks are hyperlinks that lead back to your website from other sites. They can appear on social media, blogs, podcast interviews and other places across the internet.
The team at Google has stated on several occasions that backlinks are one of the core factors the algorithm examines when ranking websites. This thought process makes sense because backlinks are essentially a seal of approval from other businesses.
If other reputable companies actively share and promote links to your website, it signals to Google that you’re trustworthy and offer sound advice that would help the community.
But building backlinks is easier said than done. Today, I’m going to share several actionable strategies you can use to boost your position in the search engine results pages and secure high-quality backlinks for your brand.
Publish long-form, valuable content.
If your goal is to get people to link back to your website, you need to give them a reason to do so. A simple landing page alongside your product catalog is not enough.
Focus on creating valuable, long-form content for your blog—the more in-depth your posts, the better. Ideally, your content will allow you to establish yourself as an expert while helping users with their industry-specific goals and pain points.
One strategy I use is to include a statistics section on the topic I’m discussing. These articles often see significantly more backlinks than those with no stats. I believe this is because people are more likely to share and link to a post if there’s tangible information worth passing on to peers, friends and customers.
Review audience insights and cover topics that matter to your readers and other experts in your industry. This one strategy is perhaps the most effective way to build organic backlinks without ever leaving your website.
Reach out to journalists.
You can find plenty of opportunities to build backlinks to your site if you’re willing to get in touch with journalists online. My go-to resource here is Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO allows you to create an account as a source and seek writers, podcast hosts and journalists who need help with their stories.
You can choose your categories when you sign up and receive a daily list of inquiries delivered to your inbox. So, an email marketing software owner might sign up for the business and marketing category. If you see a request for email marketing advice, you can respond with a detailed, high-quality answer.
If the reporter chooses your answer to add to their content roundup or decides they would like to interview you, you’ll score a backlink for your website.
Seek out guest posting opportunities.
Guest posting is an old link-building strategy, but it’s still relevant today. This strategy involves looking for businesses and blogs that could benefit from your content. Once you find a suitable website, check its domain authority to ensure they are reputable and trusted by Google.
Now, find out if they are open to receiving guest contributions. If so, send them a pitch that you think would interest their audience.
Let’s revisit the email marketing SaaS I mentioned earlier. This type of business would likely partner with other brands in the same industry. They may choose to reach out to a hosting company or an analytics solution, to name a couple of examples. Consumers that need these products are also likely to benefit from a tool to grow and manage their email leads.
In many cases, you can form partnerships with brands where you both write guest posts for each other’s sites. This strategy can help keep your content fresh and exciting while helping you build backlinks for your business.
Use Google Search Console.
Another powerful way to secure more backlinks is to find what previously worked for you. Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool you can use to track many different aspects of your site, including your backlinks and top posts.
Use this information to discover what type of content other brands and consumers found helpful on your website. If one topic or format has significantly more traction than other posts, this could help you create linkable content in the future.
You can also look at the Top Linking section of GSC and see the websites that are linked back to your content. It’s worth reaching out to the website owners with guest post pitches or sharing previously published content that may be relevant to their audience.
Look for broken links off-site.
Finally, let’s talk about replacing broken links off-site. Every day, websites shut down, effectively rendering their backlinks useless. This doesn’t look good for the company that decided to link to its posts. No one wants to send their readers to a 404 page.
If you’re proactive, you can find broken links on popular sites and reach out to the webmaster with an alternative link they can use to replace the broken link.
I find that if you’re willing to step in and offer to help, most companies will accept your article so they can quickly fix their broken links. This strategy takes plenty of time and patience. You may go weeks without finding broken links.
However, if you connect with even one brand using this method, there’s a good chance you could form a lasting partnership with the company and earn more backlinks in the future.
To conclude, building backlinks is a time-consuming process but one your company needs to thrive. I recommend carefully reviewing your options based on your industry and the size of your business. Look for opportunities to connect with companies and produce high-quality content, and you’ll begin to accumulate backlinks for your business.