The Internet is a big place. You may have the greatest product, service and blog, but people are just not finding you. This, of course, is where SEO comes in. One of the smartest ways to garner attention online is by obtaining backlinks, or having other sites link back to yours. Getting links accomplishes a few things, and it can be done in a few ways.
Linking accomplishes two main things:
- By appearing on popular websites, your content is being advertised, thus driving traffic to your site; and
- When well-established (AKA not sketchy) websites mention you, it signals to search engines that you are reputable as well.
In essence, gaining links is an SEO double-whammy. So now you know why to do it. Want to know how to do it? Read on.
How to Get Links
Let’s start off simple. First off, make sure you are on web directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages and any industry-specific directories. Most effective is submitting your business information to sites like Yext.com and Synup, which put you on most common directories in exchange for a fee.
The more difficult yet effective option is getting other blogs and websites to link to yours. Before you even start on that, you must have a blog with interesting content that others can link to (besides for the fact that blogging is an extremely useful SEO tool). Start small by reaching out to friends and business contacts with guest post requests. Don’t worry about a blog having too small of an audience- as long as it’s a trustworthy website, you’ll still see the benefits.
If that’s not possible, or you want to aim higher, it’s time to start reaching out. Brainstorm keywords that you are trying to rank for, or a category of websites that would link to you. Once you decide on a few, a quick Google search is in order. What websites do you see that would gain value from your guest post, and vice versa? You will have to weed out useless websites (like your competitors, for one), but you should get a few solid options. For example, a divorce lawyer in Savannah, GA was looking to increase their SEO. We decided on the keyword “divorce lawyer Savannah GA”.
What we came up with were legal help websites or divorce blogs. Even better would be any of those types of websites that specialize in the Georgia area, but with link building, it’s not necessary to be picky. For any of the websites that you find, look out for other guest posts. If they’ve done it before, it’s likely they’ll do it again for you.If not, it may not be worth spending the time reaching out.
Once you’ve settled on a few promising websites, it’s time to contact them with your proposal. Some websites have specific guidelines for submitting guest posts, so by all means, follow those guidelines when applicable. Otherwise, your best bet is sending an email, either the old-fashioned way or submitting a contact form from the website. Write a concise subject line with what you’re offering, and make sure it sounds real and not spam-like (i.e. “Would Like to Write a Guest Post on Your Blog” as opposed to “Quick! Open this Email Before it is Too Late!”). Be personable in the email- remember, it’s an actual human being who will be reading it! If you don’t get a response within a few days (very likely), send one or two follow-ups reminding them of what you’re asking. With slight perseverance, you will hopefully land a guest post or two!
A Few More Tips
There are a few things you can do on your own blog to encourage link building:
- For one, create good content! Original content like infographs and videos are things that people always want to see more of, and are therefore more likely to be shared.
- Include links to other blogs on your posts. This builds trust and rapport, and those bloggers are more likely to link back to you. Plus, they may share the post in which you linked to them on their social media and website, thus getting your website more attention
- If this applies to what you do, blog case studies of some of your clients. If you do a good job, that client may also choose to reblog that article and do some unofficial advertising for you.