How to Get Other Websites to Link to Yours – A 5 Step Beginner’s Guide
After having your on-page technology in order, one of the biggest search engine ranking factors of 2014 (carrying over into 2015) is the number of quality sites linking back to your own. Simply put (for beginners), Google deems your site to be a vessel of important information in your industry if others that discuss (blog) about your industry (online) link to your content. When they (Google) draw this conclusion, they rank your site higher than that of your competition. Your PageRank increases as does your website’s “SEO visibility”. For you, this equals more online customers.
So, now that you know that your website is in dire need of these backlinks, what can you do to get them?
5 Ways to Get Your Website Noticed so that High-Quality Relevant Sites Link to It
1. Content is the Chicken and the Egg
There is no question as to what comes first. Your website needs to be frequently updated with interesting, informative, engaging, and media-rich content relevant to your product/service offering. Your site’s static pages need to be written, rewritten, and edited accordingly, explicit product/service landing pages need to be created, and a daily/weekly blog must be maintained. Without all of the above your website will have little to no ammunition to garner the interests of other site managers (webmasters). If you’re at a loss as to how to plan, create, and integrate this content into your site simply fill out the contact form here or call to discuss.
2. Set the Table for Your Content to be Found On Search Engines
The content requirement detailed above needs to be written/created to account for the keywords you want your website to rank well for. In addition to that, all elements associated with the content on the backend of your website need to be search engine optimized. This includes filling-in and integrating targeted keywords in a strategic manner into SEO title tags (title, h1, h2, h3) in addition to meta-descriptions, image/video attributes and image alt-tags. By doing all of the above you essentially “set the table” for SEO for your content so that it will gradually be picked up on by search engines and delivered onto page one where interested parties will find it. The only way to get webmasters to notice your content on its own merit is to ensure it can first be found on search. Learn more about basic SEO here.
3. Distribute Your Content on All Relevant Social Networks
Until SEO “takes” and search engines recognize your content you truly have just one other online avenue to get your content found – social media. If you already have a decent following on at least three of the major networks (Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tumblr to name the essentials) then you’re off to a great start for content distribution. If not, you’ll want to start building these networks ASAP. Either way, as soon as you have created and optimized any new content for your site, distribute it (post it!) evenly on all of your social networks. Once this content goes live on these social channels the likelihood that it will be discovered increases exponentially. Among that inbound referral traffic will be webmasters that may be interested in referencing your content, in turn linking back your site as the original source. Learn more about social media for your business here.
4. Put Yourself on Your Website Wish-List Webmaster’s Radar
If you’re attracting backlinks the natural way (everything detailed above) then you have little control over who links to you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take proactive measures to earn interest from sites that you would love to have in your backlink profile. Create a “wish list” of qualified websites that you need to get on the radar of. Be ambitious yet realistic. CNN.com or Harvard.edu won’t come calling, but there are many authoritative websites that are within reach. Instead of CNN, a local online news site may be interested in your insightful content. Instead of Harvard, the local online student newspaper might be a great match. Identify these sites, and start getting noticed by them. “Getting noticed” includes using your social media profiles to engage (like/comment/share) theirs and the content they post in addition to emailing their writers, columnists, and editors when you have exclusive content that complements their own stories. For example, a real estate agent could create a great infographic about new residential communities under development in the area, and contact an online columnist that covers such topics, offering use of their professional graphic to add value for the columnist’s readers. They won’t always respond, but you’ll get on their radar. Eventually, they will need to reference outside content in your field, and you’ll be the first to come to mind.
5. Bring in a Professional Natural Link Builder
Proactive link building takes time. To be honest, it also helps to have a knack for public relations because in essence, that’s what it is (on a more intimate scale). As a business owner, you may need to outsource this effort and talent. The problem, is that there are dozens of so-called link builders offering to get you X links in X amount of time for X amount of dollars. Those that offer this, are getting you involved in unnatural link-schemes (buying and selling of links on directories and useless websites regardless of content quality). Link-schemes always backfire and put your site in harm’s way (w/a drop in rank) when the Google Penguin algorithm uncovers them. As an alternative, find an SEO provider that offers natural link acquisition services with a sound content management plan (item #1 above) at its core. There will be fewer links attained, but these links will be of the highest quality and serve your website for the long term. When it comes to backlinks, it’s quality of quantity every time.
If you need help with any of the above, item #5 included, simply contact me at your convenience and/or post your question in the Facebook comment area below.
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