It seems like everyone is talking about SEO and backlinks these days. This isn’t surprising considering that cost-effective tactics can play such a vital role in the success or failure of a business’s website (and, in turn, the business itself). We all know that a website listed on page 4 of a Google search isn’t likely to get a lot of hits. But many companies that find themselves trapped way down low in Google rankings aren’t quite sure what to do about it. At this point, you could max out the annual marketing budget enlisting the help of an SEO agency, an approach which may or may not pay off in the long run. Or you could focus on improving the quantity and quality of your website backlinks, a simple and effective method for boosting the SEO of your business’s website.
What are backlinks and why are they good for SEO? Simply put, backlinks are links on a third party site which direct traffic to your website. The more people who click on these links, the more hits your website will get. As a result, Google views a website with plenty of backlinks in higher regard than it would a similar website with no backlinks. For example, two landscaping companies in the same area have websites. Both websites feature similar content. But one of the websites has numerous third party backlinks, while the other business’s website has none. Even though the two companies are in a similar area, offer similar services, and have similar websites, Google will rank the website with backlinks much higher than the website with no backlinks. So, the website with backlinks benefits in two ways: firstly, by ranking higher in Google listings (so more people are likely to find and click on the website), and secondly, by receiving more hits from people following the backlinks from third party websites.
It’s no wonder then that backlinks are considered the most critical metric to focus on when you’re looking to improve your website SEO. But it’s not enough to just have a high volume of backlinks – you want them to be good quality. This is why investing in cheap online deals guaranteeing huge quantities of backlinks for very low prices can do more harm than good. These sorts of deals may give you 200,000 backlinks in the space of a week, but Google is actively searching for these “farmed backlinks” and will penalize websites as a result. A far better approach is to obtain genuine backlinks on a range of trusted websites and grow the number organically. The question is, how?
There is a range of proven strategies that can help a business to develop good quality backlinks for their company’s website. While they require time and effort, they can be very effective in boosting the number of genuine backlinks that lead to your website.
Identify Broken Links: Broken website links are a source of great frustration to browsers, so many businesses welcome feedback identifying broken or out of date links on their website. Your first step is to locate websites that are relevant to your business niche and that contain useful resources (e.g. ‘How To’ guides, Frequently Asked Questions, product recommendations, blogs, etc.). The easiest way to do this is to Google keywords that you would use on your website along with words such as ‘resources’ or ‘links’. If your business sells baking products you could search for “baking + resources” or “bakery + links”. Once you’ve found some relevant websites, the next step is to search for broken links. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to trawl through the entire website clicking on every link. Google Chrome offers a free plugin called ‘Check My Links’ that will quickly and thoroughly check websites for broken links.
You can then politely reach out to the business in question, identify who you are and what your business does, and notify them that their website contains some broken links. As an alternative to this link, you can recommend a specific page from your website that offers relevant content.
Build a Skyscraper: Of course, we’re not talking about a literal skyscraper. Skyscraper content is a reverse-engineered marketing method. You find online content in your business niche that is performing well (has lots of backlinks and high Google rankings) and then you create new content on your website that is even better. Begin by performing a Google search using keywords relevant to your company. For example, a dry cleaning business that specializes in wedding dress cleaning could search “dry cleaning wedding dress tips”. The first few listings will undoubtedly contain many backlinks (because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be ranked so high). Your goal now is to create some new content for your website that will be even more useful to browsers than the current top listings. Once you have this new content available on your website, you need to tell others about it. Post links to it on your social media accounts and encourage others to share. Send links to any businesses or individuals that you positively referenced in your new content, letting them know that they have been included and why - they’ll no doubt want to share this with their followers and, in this way, you’ll generate backlinks.
Be a Source: Registering as a source can be a simple way of getting high-quality backlinks to top-ranking news and current affair websites. This process has been simplified thanks to websites such as Help a Reporter Out which has been designed to match up journalists and bloggers with people and businesses that are willing to share their expertise in exchange for greater online exposure. Help a Reporter Out allows you to choose from either a free or a paid plan when registering as a source, so it’s a viable option even for businesses with very small marketing budgets. Once registered, you can view requests from journalists seeking specific source material and then put yourself forward as a contributor. The goal is to submit a brief proposal that clearly shows how your business knowledge and industry experience could add valuable content to the proposed article. In return, you’ll be listed as a source (with a link to your website included).
Offer Your Services as a Guest Blogger: A fantastic way to expand your audience and gain authentic backlinks is by volunteering your services as a guest blogger. This will give your business enhanced exposure and provides a natural conduit for others to add backlinks to relevant content on your website. Guest blogs from experienced professionals add value to business websites because the content is seen as authoritative and highly useful to potential customers. As a bonus, it’s free content, so many businesses will happily accept a well-written guest blog that adds credence to their product or service. A Google search will help you to locate businesses that are actively seeking guest contributors, as will a search on popular social media channels (e.g. “#guestpost” on Twitter). Another option is to look up influencers who regularly contribute to guest blogs and then approach the same websites that the influencer is using (since they’ve already shown that they are open to the idea of guest blogging).
Volunteer a Testimonial: This is a simple “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach to obtaining backlinks. Businesses love receiving positive testimonials – they’re a surefire way of proving to new customers that a product or service is useful and well-liked. Think about all the various products and services that your company use regularly. It could be stationary suppliers, industry-specific accounting software, or a nationwide courier service. If you’re happy with the company and the service’s they offer, then why not let them know? Reach out to the marketing manager and ask if they would like a positive testimonial that they can use on their website, in exchange for providing a backlink. Most companies will be more than happy to do this as it gives them something usable and costs nothing in return.
The above suggestions are all proven methods for establishing backlinks, but there is no denying that they require a great deal of time from your behalf. Building a large volume of backlinks takes a certain level of commitment and a willingness to be patient as you wait for results. Whether you’re searching for broken links, sending a pitch to a journalist, or even just offering testimonials; the process requires ongoing effort and, unfortunately, there are no guarantees that every attempt will result in a backlink. An alternative that many businesses are now embracing is a modified approach to backlinking, which requires less effort and yet provides high-quality backlinks at an affordable price. This alternative form of semi-automated SEO is referred to as LinkLifting.
LinkLifting is a Search Engine Optimization service that combines the speed and precision of automated software with the real-world intuition of human experts. By taking a semi-automated approach to SEO, LinkLifting has been able to drastically reduce the costs that are commonly associated with manual SEO. Additionally, since LinkLifting is ultimately controlled by real people (not just a computer program), the results are far more natural than what you would typically get with a generic automated SEO program. By generating good-quality backlinks to reputable websites, LinkLifting can drastically improve a business’s Google rankings, thereby increasing traffic to their business website.
Using a semi-automated SEO service such as LinkLifting is much like investing in any form of online advertising. The real difference is seen in the return-on-investment or ROI, particularly for large websites with many pages. The bigger a website, the more cost-effective LinkLifting is when compared with other forms of online advertising (such as pay-per-click or banner adverts). One of the other advantages of investing in LinkLifting is that it takes very little time to set-up and you don’t need a degree in programming to get the most use out of it. You don’t even need to have a pre-prepared list of keywords – just select the country of your target market, key in your current website, and LinkLifting will compile a list of suggested keywords for you to use. We’ve found that the most successful outcomes generally involve selecting 10-20 keywords and focusing on these. The keywords don’t need to be expensive to gain the best results, but they do need to be tailored specifically to your website, which is why the LinkLifting automated algorithm is so useful for choosing the right keywords.
The LinkLifting approach is based on a carefully constructed database of over 10,000 quality donor websites. The skilled team at LinkLifting use this database to match up client keywords with relevant content on donor websites. Once a pertinent keyword is identified (using sophisticated software to speed up the process), one of the LinkLifting staff members will add a backlink on the donor website which will connect to the right page on the client’s website. In this way, the client gains a multitude of high-quality backlinks that will aid in improving their Google rankings. And because the final linking is completed by a team member with SEO experience, you won’t need to worry about software inadvertently matching up keywords with irrelevant content. All links are vetted for naturalness and effectiveness prior to the backlink being completed, delivering optimal results.
While numerous tactics will assist with boosting your website SEO, LinkLifting is undoubtedly the simplest and most effective option. You won’t need to invest a great deal of time or money, yet you’ll receive measurable results that are visible in a short space of time (often as little as one month). So, if your business has identified a need to boost SEO, don’t waste any more time. Focus on increasing the quality and quantity of your backlinks with some expert assistance from LinkLifting.