Backlinks are quality links that are created when another website links to your website. They are only a part of the holistic structure that helps in SEO. They are an important part of boosting your rankings and ought to be carefully considered. Marketers, entrepreneurs and anyone who would like to boost their rankings in search engines must have a great backlinking strategy. For a while, sites had found a way of manipulating and abusing backlinking. People got links from sites that had unrelated content. These links were often purchased, for example, you would find a link to a car racing site from another site that had information about kittens. This polluted the search engines and prompted action from Google. Some sites got penalized and disappeared from the search engine.
Backlinking Strategy as Part of a Holistic Approach
A backlinking strategy does not work in isolation. They have to be backed up by other features and factors that search engines such as Google consider. In order to boost your rankings, you must also have backlinks from reputable sites. Having links generated from stronger and more favorable sites boosts your SEO. A link from a weaker or newer site does not count as much as one that is from a stronger site. The traffic generated from each of these links is starkly different. Linking to any site puts your reputation at stake. This is why you cannot afford to link to just any site.
The Purpose of Backlinks
Backlinks were introduced as a way to reach out. They are not just a generic method to get higher rankings and more traffic to your site. They are designed to make you look for sites with similar content and send an email to reach out. They are designed to form an online community for reliable information to be better provided. This is why Google frowns upon irrelevant backlinks and those who pay to get these links. In order to boost your SEO through a great backlink strategy, one of the things to learn is how to reach out to people in a personal manner. This could be through emails, phone calls or even face to face meetings if that is possible. Bloggers and journalists always need new content, and so they will be interested in hearing how you can add value to their sites. If you have a product, they are also more likely to be open to featuring it on their various platforms, as long as it is relevant to what they do. It is a way for them to get more content.
Important Technical Properties
There are some technical properties that go hand in hand with any backlink strategy. Some of these include 302 redirects, duplicate content, redirect chains and 404 errors among others. You also need to consider the loading speed of the website by using Google’s Page Speed Insights. Another important technical feature involves how friendly the site is to mobile users. This can be checked using Google’s Mobile Friendly check. If you have these properties in check, you are better placed as a candidate for backlinks from other sites. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have bots that prefer visiting sites that have all these technical properties handled. If your site has fast loading time, UI and UX, Site Maps, a good response time and Site Structure, your rankings improve, and other sites are more open to the idea of backlinking.
3 Tips on Backlinking
So, what are some of the general tips that you would need to learn in order to get a grasp of backlinking?
1. Know Your Audience And the Sites That Appeal To Them
The first step is to know your audience. What do they like? What kind of information are they looking for? If you have answers to these questions, then you are well on your way to formulating a great backlinking strategy. Once you know the type of information the audience wants, you can go further and find out which other websites they like to visit. Obviously, these sites have to have information that is relevant to what you are also providing. It is easier to reach out to other sites that offer related information as part of your SEO strategy.
2. Have Well-Researched Content
In order to boost your SEO, you need to grab a hold of your audience’s attention by giving them relevant and informative data. No one wants to read half truths or get misinformed. Some of the readers you target, depending on your niche, already know a lot about the subject matter and are only looking to complement this information. The content always has to be amazing and mind-blowing. Presentation is also crucial. Ensure that your articles are properly punctuated and adhere to the rules of language. It does not matter how great your information is if it is not readable.
3. Do Not Mismatch Content
As you reach out to other sites in your backlinking strategy, match the content you have to the content that the other site has. If you present content that is not relevant, site owners will blacklist you. This is because backlinks that are unrelated greatly hurt the rankings of any site. If any site links to yours and the content is mismatched, that will affect both of your sites’ placements. You therefore need to be thorough in your search so that the content is always relevant, but not duplicated.
Best Backlinking Strategies That Work
Now that you have an understanding of what backlinking is and how it works, the next step is to take a look at some of the backlinking strategies that you could use in a bid to improve your site’s SEO. These strategies have been used by other site owners are recorded some very impressive results. They include:
#1. Using Guestographic Method for SEO
The Guestographic Method has been tried and tested. It boosts organic traffic to your site by over 90% in about a month. Others claim to get up to 170%+ boost in their organic traffic in just a month. This then automatically boosts your rankings on search engines. The process of using Guestographics is really simple. First, you come up with an infographic for your website, then find another site that writes about the content you have in your infographic. The next step is to approach the site and show them the infographic while offering them unique content. If you follow through with these steps then you will have your contextual backlinks at the end of it all.
Publishing an Infographic
The design of the infographic has to be impeccable, but it need not cost you an arm and a leg. You do not even need a huge marketing budget to get a good design. You can use as little as $250 on the design to boost your rankings. Apart from the design, your content has to be fresh and relevant. One of the ways to do this is to have an infographic on a new social platform that has recently blown up. This strategy has been tested. It brings with it an explosive wave of backlinks, shares on social media and referral traffic.
While relevant topics are crucial, you also have to incorporate great content and information. The trick is not about having too much information. That will not be as effective as you would like. In this backlinking strategy, what you need is quality information. It is highly recommended that the infographic have 10 data points at most and around 6 or 7 at the least. This way, you do not bombard the target audience with a lot. They can appreciate the information, find it easy to remember and thus find a reason to share and forward the same.
Layout of the Infographic
Another important factor to consider is the layout of the infographic. Design and layout are very different. While design is the skeleton without the information, the layout is what is crucial to your backlinking strategy. It entails how you present your information. The information needs to be provided in a logical manner. Think of it as a staircase. The idea is to build up the information in a cohesive manner. The three important things that you need to remember are:
- Include the best or most important information at the top
- When organizing the information, create it to look like a story
- Always leave enough space in between your data points as it makes it easier to read
Finding Favorable Sites for Backlinking
When looking for a site to play into your backlinking strategy and boost your SEO, you have to do some research. What you would like is an authoritative site that also has content that is relevant to your infographic. The first sites to consider are those that have already published information and content that you have included in your infographic. This gives them something to link to for a compressed form of what they might already have. It is rather simple. All you have to do is Google whatever keyword you are trying to optimize and look through the results.
Reaching Out To the Site
Once you have chosen the site you like, send them an email. One thing that makes people fail at generating backlinks is the tendency to send out blanket emails that are not addressed personally. If you want to boost your SEO through backlinks, you must learn the art of reaching out through personal emails. One thing you need to do is mention the name of the site and whoever runs it. This shows that you have carefully considered what they have on their site and are genuinely interested in what they have to say. The next thing to note is that the email has to be short. Nobody has time to read through a long email. Like they say, keep it short and sweet. A good number of words for the email would be a maximum of 100. Then again, do not use very few words. It will come off as unusual or as though you do not take the request seriously.
Lastly, and probably the most important thing about the email, is to only ask if they would like to see the infographic. This way, you are only making a soft sell. If you come on too strong by immediately asking to include them in your backlinking strategy, they probably will not oblige. Ease into the conversation later and let the infographic speak for itself first.
Free Content and Contextual Links
Once you have a go ahead from the site about sending over the infographic, offer them new content for free to go along with the infographic. This will add value to their site and earn you the backlinks you desire. You can offer 250-300 words as an introduction to the infographic. This way, they get: a guest post on information that is relevant to their site, a cool infographic that also has content their readers are interested in and free content that complements the infographic. It is the ultimate triple threat.
Google frowns upon infographic backlinks. However, the truth in this statement ought to be expounded. The backlinks that Google devalues are those that are embedded or just plainly put at the bottom of an infographic. Guestographics goes a step further and includes contextual backlinks. This works for your backlinking strategy because the backlinks count for something in SEO. The best way to include the link is to have it in the introduction section before the infographic. You want to ensure that your rankings are boosted as much as possible.
#2. Using The “Man Moving Method” for SEO
The “Man Moving Method” is another great backlinking strategy that will improve your rankings on search engines. It is a very simple and straightforward strategy that involves alerting sites that have linked to other sites which are outdated, no longer in operation or have rebranded. This is not to be understood as broken link building because the links in question are not actually broken. Sites that have changed names or their URLs often redirect the links to their new pages. This is very different from sites that have shut down altogether. The “Man Moving Method” works if you check that the links are still active.
The three simple steps to boost your SEO are: find sites that have shut down or rebranded, find sites that link to their pages, alert the sites still linking to the old pages on their outdated resources.
How Do You Find Outdated Links?
Google and other search engines are instrumental in the process. You want to search for sites that have stopped offering a service altogether, shut down and gone out of business, moved to a different URL, stopped updating one of their resources or changed the name. Since your backlinking strategy is supposed to involve links that arise from relevant sources, you need to be abreast with information about sites in your industry. Be in the know about which sites have rebranded or shut down in order to maximize on these opportunities. Many businesses change their names. You can narrow down your search to the industry you are in. for example, if your site is about insurance, your search would contain “Insurance Rebrand”. From this, you can get some valuable information on which other sites have changed their names. This is because most reputable businesses announce rebrands or renaming through a press release.
You can also search for businesses or sites that have stopped offering a particular resource. Searching for terms such as “service not available” or “no longer available” will bring results for sites that stopped offering a resource but still have the page running. Most sites prefer to have the pages running instead of shutting them down altogether. Other common phrases include: “Page no longer exists”, “this website is no longer updated”, “website closed” and “this page is no longer updated.” Once you key in these words and find the pages, you will realize that some of them actually have links from some reputable sites such as About.com or Wikipedia.
Look For Sites Still Linking To Old Pages
Once you have found your old resource, the next step in your backlinking strategy is to search for other sites that are still linking to the old resource. For this, you need a backlink checking tool. Take the URL and put it in the checking tool to see what results come up. Export these backlinks to a separate sheet such as an Excel or Google document. Now you have a database of all the links that are still directing readers to the old resource and can move on to the next step in a bid to improve your rankings on search engines.
Alert the Sites and Pitch Your Site
First of all, you do not want to come off as an opportunist. You want to add value to the site you are reaching out to as well as boost your SEO. You want to reach out through an email that is gently worded. The structure of the email is very important. The first thing you need to do is to address the email directly to the person running the site. This will always place you in a favorable position, whether on email or in any correspondence for that matter. The next step is to alert them that you noticed they are linking to an outdated site so that their link is outdated as well. Let them know that you came across a great article (the one that links to the outdated source) and clicked on a link which led you to an outdated source. You can then indicate that the site in question went out of business and gently suggest that they may want to remove the link from their site. To back up your claims, you can include a screenshot of where the link is located. Finally, let them know that you have written about a particular topic of interest that is related to the article which contains the outdated link. Include a link to your article and let them know that it could make a nice addition to their site.
The email could be written like that for example:
This backlinking strategy often works because it adds value to the other site on two levels. First, is that you alert them on their outdated link which might be hurting their rankings. Next, you offer a solution which contains relevant and new content. It is an offer that is simply hard to reject. You have your links at the end of the process and boost your SEO without having to pay for links. The great thing about this method is that you get quality backlinks from reputable sites.
SEO is a crucial aspect of having and running a website regardless of the products or services that one has to offer. Backlinking has worked well for some sites. Other websites, new and old, have not discovered the potential that is in having a backlinking strategy. New sites, especially, opt to post around the clock to generate more content for their sites. This is a good SEO strategy, but it is not as effective as backlinking. There might be some improvement on the traffic flowing to your site, but it cannot compare to the amazing results that backlinks bring your way. However, it is important to emphasize that you cannot have and implement a backlinking strategy in isolation. To improve the rankings of your site, you have to consider a holistic approach. You need content that is of impeccable quality. You need to post regularly and ensure that your site is not dormant. You also need to put some links to other sites that have relevant information. After all, backlinking is a reciprocal approach to add value to a network of websites that offer similar information. However, this should not be viewed as a scorecard that has to be tied. The more you keep linking to other sites, the more others will also link to your site, not as a favor or ‘payback’ but because you also have great content and make for a good resource.