Regardless of whether you are a blogger or a digital marketer, if you plan on including SEO strategies in your tactics, you may have heard of the term backlink, backlinking, or link building.
If that's all that you know about it, don't worry, we have got you covered in this post.
What exactly is a backlink?
A backlink is nothing but a link from one website to another. If someone adds a link in their post to your website, then you have acquired a backlink from them. Similarly, if you were to add a link to another website, then they have got a backlink from you.
When one website links to another, the content is believed to be noteworthy. Earning backlinks are an important part of off-site SEO. Backlinks add credibility to your content and make it more authoritative. It also adds to the authority of the source content.
So, backlinks are… essential?
Absolutely! Backlinks are one of the many indicators that search engines like Google rely on, to measure the value of a page.
They help increase the number of clicks to a website and improve a content's Google ranking and visibility in search results.
There are two basic types of backlinks (yes, it's important to know the difference).
Let's take a quick look at each one and find out how they affect your site.
- Nofollow backlink: A nofollow backlink tells a search engine to ignore the link. It does not pass authority on to the website it is linked to. These links do not add value in terms of SEO.
- Dofollow backlinks: A dofollow backlink is what everyone wants. Acquiring a dofollow backlink can do your website a lot of good. It will help improve your website's domain authority, which in turn will enhance keyword rating.
Let's dive a little deeper and look at what are some of the common mistakes to avoid while pitching to websites for backlinks.
How NOT to ask for backlinks?
The more backlinks your website has, the higher it will rank on search results.
High traffic and publishing websites get a lot of requests from sites for backlinks.
Below are some of the common mistakes that people make while requesting backlinks.
If you are an SEO professional seeking backlinks, follow these simple rules and you will garner enough attention from some of the big players in your industry.
1. Avoid Mass emailing
A lot of marketers see email marketing as a great opportunity to get links, often failing miserably.
They send lazy, uninteresting emails out in bulk to several websites at a time with link exchange proposals like the one below -
"Hey, my name is Mark. Here is an article that I wrote and I thought you might like it. Would you please link to it in your article and I will add a link to yours on my website? "
It's because of these unappealing mass requests that link-building emails end up getting deleted. On average, an office worker receives close to 121 emails - the chances of them noticing your backlink request email are slim.
If you are looking forward to a new opportunity to post on a blogger's website, begin with drafting a backlink request that is impossible to deny!
2. Avoid generic messages.
It's important to be personal in your outreach. Take time out and research the blogger's name, find out what he/ she cares about and draft messages taking these into account.
3. Avoid using unprofessional language.
Keep your messages short and to the point. Always be professional. Correct spelling or grammatical mistakes if there are any. Send it to a proofreader if required.
Be friendly, talk to your bloggers as if you would to a friend and not as an anonymous business contact.
4. Avoid asking for a link without offering something in return.
Simply put, don't ask without giving. Successful pitching is all about reciprocity. Offer a backlink in return, this is a sure-shot way to ensure you get one. It's also a great way to build rapport.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks function as a vote of confidence for your website from a different source. If someone is ready to endorse the content you put out and direct their readers to your site, they are alerting the search engines that it's good stuff.
Backlinks help with 3 things:
Out of the 200 known Google ranking factors, backlinks count as one of the top 3 search ranking factors on Google search algorithms.
SEO marketers should pay close attention to their backlinking profiles. The more votes you gather, the higher your site will rank for relevant search queries.
Word of mouth
An inbound link to your website is more than just a link. It's perceived as a recommendation. It's a way for bloggers and publishers to tell their readers, “here’s a trustworthy source, go check it out.”
Backlinks drive referral traffic to your website, which is traffic that may not have otherwise found you in a search.
If you can generate referral traffic and keep people on your site with engaging high-quality content, then it sends a message out to the search engines that your content is relevant and valuable to your visitors.
How to get backlinks from high authority sites?
When it comes to backlinks, quality matters over quantity. Not all backlinks are credible. It's important to ensure links aren't spammy or containing malicious links within them.
This implies that you need to do some research when searching for high-quality links. The links need to come from authoritative sites that offer quality content.
Here are some of the best practices for building backlinks:
Outreach is a process of proactively pitching for backlinks by contacting website owners via email or Twitter. This way your chances of getting the link are much higher than if you were to wait for them to discover your content.
Look for sites that are relevant to your website but are not your direct competitors.
To get people to respond to your emails you need to send them the right kind of emails. Particularly emails that don't seem spammy. Reach out to your immediate circle and ask for a link exchange.
Build a great rapport and provide value to them in return. Linking to quality sites that complement your content, improves your readers' overall experience on your website. This way, you can establish your website as a reliable source of information.
Leverage the best X posts to get linked.
Getting mentioned in articles that list out the best products just like the one you offer is an incredible way to reinforce your brand and of course get more people to try out your products.
To get your product or service featured in a list, do a quick Google search to find high-ranking blogs that talk about your product or industry.
Collect the most ideal prospects. Once your list is finalized, write a short pitch to the blog author letting them know why your product or service deserves a spot on their list.
Create a useful tool
Building useful tools like calculators or template generators is a great way for acquiring links and creating new leads.
Start with keyword research and see what tools appear in the top 10 results for your industry. Figure out which tools earn the most backlinks.
Create something similar but way better than that in terms of design and layout.
Create original research
Bloggers are always looking for data and information in the form of actual research and statistics that they can use to back up their opinions with facts. Create and publish original research and get cited.
Leverage unlinked mentions
People sometimes talk about your business but fail to link to you. This happens way too often. Leverage unlinked mentions and convert them to links by simply reaching out to the author and requesting them to make your brand mention clickable.
All you have to do is to be on the lookout for who is mentioning your brand in blogs or the media. You can do this by using Google alerts, which will notify you every time your brand gets mentioned in a post.
Upload photos on Unsplash / Pixabay and reach out to them
You can generate backlinks to your website by making a selection of images available for free download on websites like Unsplash or Pixabay. You can then reach out to them for a credit and link to your website.
Got cash? Sites accept paid guests posts too
If you are going to write a guest post for another website, make sure that your content is 100 % unique and will be of value to the host website's readers as well as your own.
Published Ultimate guides
Ultimate guides are a fantastic source of backlinks. They are detailed pieces of content that provide a comprehensive account on any given topic, other sites naturally start linking to it.
Get forum links
These are easy to obtain. Sign up for a forum, find relevant threads, and leave valuable comments, and you are guaranteed some quick backlinks.
As you can see there are one too many ways of getting backlinks to your website. The strategy that works for your business depends on factors like the industry you’re in, the content that you are pushing out, and how your competitors are approaching link-building tactics.
If you’re in search of more ways to optimize your content and get it to rank higher on Google, then it’s time to give Dashword a try! Sign up now for free and discover ways in which you can write better content.