First of all what are backlinks?
If you ask Google, their quick answer will be:
an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.“the more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the more popular it will be
A “backlink” is one of the most used words in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).
If you have only just recently started a blog or a website then you may struggle to understand what the term “backlink” means.
Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage.
When a webpage links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage. A page with a lot of backlinks tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google.
This is true to some extent, but if the links are not coming from reputable sources then Google will rank another website that is.
Google’s main objective is to refer the user to the best possible webpage that answers their needs
Here is a glossary of common terms related to backlinks that you should know:
- Link Juice: When a webpage links to any of your articles or your website’s homepage, it passes “link juice”. This link juice helps with the ranking of the article, and also improves the domain authority. As a blogger, you can stop passing link juice by using a no-follow tag.
- No-Follow Link: When a website links to another website, but the link has a no-follow tag, that link does not pass link juice. No-follow links are not useful concerning the ranking of a page as they do not contribute anything. In general, a webmaster uses the no-follow tag when he/she is linking out to an unreliable site.
- Example: Links from comments on other blogs.
- Do-Follow Link: By default, all the links that you add into a blog post are do-follow links, and these pass link juice.
- Linking Root Domains: This refers to the number of backlinks coming into your website from a unique domain. Even if a website has linked to your website ten times, it will only be considered as one linked root domain.
- Low-Quality Links: Low-quality links are links that come from harvested sites, automated sites, spam sites, or even porn sites. Such links do far more harm than good. This is one reason you should be careful when buying backlinks.
- Internal Links: Links that are going from one page to another within the same domain are called internal links. The process itself is referred to as internal linking or interlinking.
- Anchor Text: Text that is used for hyperlinks is called anchor text. Anchor text backlinks work great when you are trying to rank for particular keywords.
Cool, so how do we start building these backlinks?
#1: Publish Quality Content That Is Sourceable
You’re probably already aware of which types of social media posts perform best for your business. For example, you might use an engaging video, aesthetically pleasing images, or inspirational quotes to get followers to like, comment on, and share your posts.
However, the content that gains links from social media is generally different than those examples.
If you want authoritative bloggers, journalists, and publishers to link back to your website, the best way to encourage them is to post content that is positioned as a source, such as an article with original research and data, or a selection of best practices unique to your industry. Those sites will be more likely to link to your article if your research confirms industry standards or debunks industry assumptions.
The key is for your social post to be the seed for someone else to write a story about. It’s unlikely that writers will update a previously published article to include your statistic in place of ones already used. However, if your content includes newsworthy information or a statistic people don’t typically think about, they’ll be more likely to write about it and link back to you as the source.
#2: Create a list of influencers
Now that you know what content you’re going to promote, it’s time to identify bloggers, journalists and key people that have a genuine interest in your niche. There are a few ways to do this. For example:
Use Twitter Advanced Search
You can find media for free using Twitter advanced search. You can refine your search with keywords, hashtags, places, dates, and more.
For instance, if you own a gym, you might search for #fitlife, #fitnessgoals, and #getfit to find users who are tweeting about fitness. Look through your search results to identify writers who might be a good fit for promoting your article. Look at their profile information, number of followers, and previous tweets.
Find Media Contacts Using PR Tools
A faster way to find background and contact information on niche-specific media is to use PR tools like Cision. You can search for media contacts by name, subject, keyword, media type, and more. The software will then pull relevant contacts along with complete profiles that include their areas of expertise, background, Twitter following, and most importantly, contact information.
To illustrate, if you’re looking for journalists who write specifically on the topic of fitness, you’ll see thousands of potential contacts to reach out to, plus a quick summary to help you determine if they’re a good fit for your pitch.
The downside is that this type of tool is costly, so if you don’t do outreach frequently, you may not be able to justify the price.
Set Up Google Alerts for Industry-Specific Keywords
Google Alerts are a great way to see who’s writing articles related to your industry. For example, you might set up an alert for the keyword “gym workout.” You’ll then receive the top articles of the day related to your search term.
Click on a link to find the journalist and see if they’re likely to cover a topic related to your industry. You’ll also want to make a note of any contact information you can use to target them on social media (Twitter handle, email address, etc.).
#3: Reach out to your target audience with Social Media posts
Once you’ve researched your targets, it’s time to get social! Your goal is to make the biggest impact with your post by sharing it with people who are most likely to link back to it.
While sharing your sourceable content on your social media channels is a great start, there are a few ways to make an even bigger splash with your target audience.
Promote Your Content With Twitter Ads
Twitter moves quickly, so if you want to increase the chances your post will be seen by the right people, it’s a good idea to promote it using Twitter Ads. With Twitter’s advertising dashboard, you can target the specific handles you captured in step 2 of this process; Twitter will then display your ads to people with interests similar to those accounts’ followers. Simply search for users or import a list of Twitter handles into the system.
Promote Your Post With Facebook Ads
If you have the email addresses and/or phone numbers of the people you want to target, you can upload their contact information to create a custom audience on Facebook.
If you don’t have this type of information, you can still get pretty granular with whom you target. One way to do that is to serve your ads only to people with specific job titles and places of employment.
This type of targeting ensures your ad will be shown only to people in the media, and even better, only those who work for outlets that often write about your specific niche. And, if you’re on a budget, you can sometimes get credit towards your advertising on Facebook, especially if you’re a first-time advertiser.
If your content provides great value or offers a solution to a problem then most likely someone will share or engage with your post. It will be their way of saying thank you for providing quality content.
I would be interested to know how you guys obtain reputable backlinks for your own website(s), so do comment below!