Contrary to what some people in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry have been saying, backlinks still matter for your website. Unless you created your site just for kicks, the website that represents your business or brand in cyberspace could use a lot of link juice. Links, after all, remain a core aspect of Google’s algorithms, and acquiring backlinks—ones that point to your site from other websites—is still one of the best ways to inform Google and all the other search engines how valuable your website is to users.
Backlinks are a ranking factor that props up your authority in the eyes of Google, which means your site will perform well in the search engine results pages if you have many of them.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. Some links may be from legit sites whose traffic and metrics aren’t that impressive, while other links could come from questionable ones and affect your site negatively.
Then there are backlinks from popular sites with enviable levels of traffic and authority, and these are the ones your business should be working hard to acquire. One high-quality backlink, after all, is worth so much more than ten regular backlinks from regular websites.
To be honest, getting other websites to link to yours isn’t the easiest thing to do, but SEOs and webmasters do the groundwork just the same, and with varying degrees of success. Here are some SEO tactics they employ to do just that.
Write high-quality content to get high-quality backlinks
Here’s a question for you: if your content is atrociously-written, wordy but overly-simplistic, laughable, irrelevant, dull, and entertaining in all the wrong ways, what chance do you think it has of getting shared—and therefore linked to—by other websites? The answer is a big, fat zero.
You can employ all techniques in your bag of SEO tricks, and no webmaster will link to your content if it fits even just one of the descriptions enumerated in the previous paragraph. Your content has to be worth linking to, and that can only happen if it’s well-written, relevant to both your niches, and interesting enough.
Intensify your local SEO efforts
Most people often equate local SEO with claiming Google+ profiles or getting citation listings, but it does so much more than that. Local SEO can also be a mother lode of high-quality backlink sources.
To mine local SEO for high-quality backlinks, you will need to step up your game. Partnering with local charities would be a good place to start, as their respective websites will definitely recognize your efforts to help out by featuring your business and hopefully, a backlink to it.
The same thing goes for joining relevant industry associations, which could raise your brand’s profile even higher, even more so if you join contests within the industry and win awards. And if you build a relationship with local media, you will likely get link love thrown your way, not to mention free publicity.
If people are asked to choose between a 3,000-word article and an infographic talking about the same topic, which do you think they will choose? Of course, they’ll go for the infographic, which they could digest in a much shorter time than a lengthy piece.
And since this content is often more engaging, it is more likely to get shared, which means more backlinks for your business. Imagine all the backlinks if the infographic you created goes viral.
Publish ego-bait posts
It may have negative connotations, but ego-bait posts are a popular way of acquiring backlinks from industry influencers. Basically, this method involves creating or publishing content that features any given influencer, then emailing that influencer in the hopes that they will like it enough to feature it on their blog or site.
One way of looking at ego-bait posts is that they’re a win-win proposition. The influencer gets introduced to an entirely new audience, while you get a backlink from a high-quality blog or website.
Prospecting for broken links in a popular blog or website may sound tedious, but it is actually one of the simplest high-quality link acquisition tactics in use today. All you have to do is scan a popular blog for outbound links that no longer work, email the webmaster about it, and subtly suggest one of your own pages as a replacement. Of course, you can’t be too greedy, so you should recommend other websites too.
Because that webmaster will appreciate the fact that you just did him or her a favor by reporting the broken link, your chances of getting a backlink this way are good.
Do guest posts
You really have to ignore the myth that guest posting is dead because it’s alive and kicking. You only have to look at the numerous websites that accommodate articles from guests. There are many such accommodating websites, and it’s up to you to find them. Of course, you still have to create high-quality content, because that’s the single most important reason for that webmaster to feature it on his or her site and give you a backlink.
Build relationships with the media
Creating and maintaining an open line of communication with some of the more prominent journalists and bloggers in your industry is a great way to spread the word about your business and get high-quality backlinks as well.
An email outreach to members of the press would be a good place to start. If you’re in a position to talk to them, don’t hesitate to do so, particularly if you give them insights into your business and the industry in general. You may even end up becoming a regular source for their stories in the niche, and get regularly featured on their respective outlets, including Internet-based ones where they can put up a link to your site.
The acquisition of high-quality backlinks for your business is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s also one of the most essential elements of your SEO strategy. Working on it is worth the efforts if you want your business to achieve the SEO success that it deserves.
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