In the world of SEO – search engine optimization – backlinks are the main currency.
That means that the more websites point back to your own through a link, the better – the more search engines like Google will consider you an expert in your field, and will move your website search hits up the results ladder.
So how can you get more backlinks? Well, like most things that are truly valuable, there isn’t an easy way. It’ll take work, and it’ll take time, but if you’re serious about building your online SEO, it can be done.
Create shareable content
Google already favours sites that are creating fresh content on a regular basis. It’s not enough to put out a website of a few static pages and hope it somehow magically makes its way to the top of the search list.
You should be adding high-quality content to your website regularly through a blog – content that is of interest and value to your target audience and those in your field.
Not only will fresh content catch the eye of Google, it will generate back links. Other companies or people interested in your kind of services will want to share it on their social media accounts. They’ll want to reference it from their own blog posts on a similar topic. They’ll want to talk about it in their weekly newsletters.
Companies that are doing SEO right have a huge need for content themselves. They want to be active on social media and on their own sites – so they need other content to share, post, and link to.
Give them that content! Make it meaningful and interesting and cool. Make it fresh and readable and most of all, shareable.
Get a two-way conversation going
It’s not cool, not cool at all, to ask other companies or people for a link exchange – an “I’ll link to you if you’ll link to me” kind of thing.
But it IS cool to generate natural conversations with other people in your field and other companies by:
- Giving a company that does work for you a testimonial – and asking them to post it with a backlink to your site
- Asking your clients for a testimonial that you’ll link out to their site – linking out to other sites lends your site credibility, and who knows, maybe they’ll be inspired to mention you (and link to you!) on their own site
- Linking to other blog posts in something you’re posting on your own blog, that might provide additional information or add to the conversation
- Asking experts in your field to do a guest post or interview on your blog – you’ll link to them, which lends credibility, and they’ll likely link back to you when the post goes live, inviting their audience to check you out
- Planning and hosting an event for your clients or potential clients, and encouraging them to blog about it or post about it on their social media, with your hashtags and links to your site
Think about what you can do to engage your audience, share information with them, and open a conversation with them.
When you’re encouraging your community, and supporting them with your own links, it’s an investment that will eventually pay off.
Be active on social media
When you make a new blog post, share it!
Use every social media platform that you like and are willing to invest in. I always tell my clients that it’s not worth it to spend a lot of time on social media platforms you don’t like – if Twitter isn’t your thing, try Facebook; if Facebook doesn’t work, try Instagram; if you love social media, do it all, but remember not to fall down the social media rabbit hole, you’ve got work to do!
Still, choose at least one to make your social media home base and be sure to post your own content there. Search engines don’t always put a lot of weight on social media links, but by getting your content in front of others, and making it shareable (oh, so easily shareable), it will help create a nice web of backlinks to your site.
And don’t forget to build your community by sharing information from others, too. Follow a few blogs that are relevant to your audience and share interesting posts by them, or re-post interesting social media conversations that might spark some action on your pages.
It all leads to more backlinking from fans of your work and your content – links that will show search engines that you’re a reliable, authentic expert in your field.
But what about this surefire shortcut I heard about?
Like I said above – good SEO takes work. There’s no easy way to generate a lot of backlinks.
DON’T pay someone to create a lot of links to your site from bogus sites or index sites. Search engines know not to put a lot of weight on these kinds of links – you’re throwing your money away.
DON’T bother creating a few “supporting” websites with similar branding that link to your site, and vice versa. This kind of insular linking, where you’re just looping between the sites you own, won’t carry much weight with Google. The supporting sites won’t have any clout or respect from their own backlinks – so their link to you won’t be worth much.
DON’T ask established companies or experts to link to you without offering a real working relationship in return. And don’t try to make your name by starting a controversy or debate with an established company, unless you’re a rap artist or YouTube makeup star.
The only real way to get yourself an awesome set of backlinks is through hard work – producing content, interacting with your community, and sharing your knowledge online.
If you’re ready to work – or at least willing to hire a social media content strategist to do this kind of work for you – then over time, it’ll pay off with an increase in SEO.
Don’t forget other SEO boosts
Backlinks are your number one way to increase your SEO.
But don’t forget good SEO also comes from:
- a well designed, well structured website
- a mobile-friendly website
- excellent website metadata
- supporting website sitemaps, submitted to Google for crawling
- properly configured and updated business listings with Google, Bing, and other search engines
We can help with all of that stuff! Get in touch today for a free quote.