First things first, you need to build backlinks. That’s really all you can do. However, there are a number of different ways to build backlinks. But first, let’s describe what backlinks actually are and how they’re important to your site.
What are Backlinks?
I’m a big fan of using analogies so let’s start off with one. Let’s say that backlinks are like a tree’s root and your website is an apple tree. Your apple tree is towering in height, has thick branches, full of luscious green leaves, and has apples that can be purchased for a healthy snack or delicious apple pie. The tree looks amazing and is a fine sampling of the apple tree community. All of this can entail your business services, history, about us & more. Over its life the tree grows. It gets taller each year, produces more fruit and its roots go deeper and deeper into the ground. You never know how deep those roots actually go, but you know that they are existing and entail a vast network that crawls throughout the sub-surfaces of the earth. Some roots are stronger than others. Some have more importance over some of the smaller and less established roots, but together the roots work in unison to hold the tree together and prosper. Without them, the tree would die. The same applies to backlinks to a website. Backlinks are the roots of your website.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Some websites have much more “authority” AKA are stronger than others and thus are more powerful. When you’re building backlinks, ideally you’d like to get backlinks from more authoritative websites but as long as the links are relevant to your industry, you’re on the right track. Quality over quantity. Backlinks are the most important factor in SEO and are vital to your website’s successful performance.
How To Get Backlinks:
Submit to Directories
- The number of directories out there is endless. However, if you’re going to submit to a specific directory, I’d recommend DMOZ. It’s a super powerful, international directory where you can list your business in a very relevant category. Just be sure to have everything in the right place before submitting. They’re a little stingy when it comes to their guidelines but if you can get it right, it’s oh so worth it! Be patient with this one as it can take a while to show.
Guest Blog Post
- This one is pretty self explanatory but can be a bit of a lengthy process. A few months ago, we had a woman who was a DIY blogger. She reached out to one of our clients asking if she could write a blog post about effective moving tips and moving essentials. I was a little skeptical at first, but I agreed as she wasn’t charging any thing. She turned around the article in a week. It was really well written so I posted it on behalf of our client and linked back to her website. We posted new content to our site and she gained a new link. A win win situation!
- Local sponsorships can be a great way to earn links to your website. Each city has a bountiful number of organizations that are happy to accept donations from local businesses. Pick and choose which ones you would like to associate your business with and voila! Backlinks. On a side note, this can be expensive depending on how well established the organization is so proceed with caution and set aside a budget.
- Meetup.com is a fantastic way to build links for your website. But how? Meetup is for meetups, right? Yes, and this is where the beauty of the meetup comes into play. Sponsor a meetup! Local Meetups are always looking for places to host their events and your place of business is a perfect setup for it. By sponsoring an event, you’re able to gain an extremely valuable link to your site.
- How long has your business been around for? If it has been in business since before the dawn of time, chances are you’ve got plenty of brand mentions out there on the world wide web. Here you can actually search your business’s name, like so in quotes: “Odd Dog Media” and sift through the results. If you stumble across a site that has mentioned your brand, but not linked to your site, you can personally reach out and ask them for a link! Some great tools to do this on Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer and Google News.
Research Your Competition
- This takes some time but allows you to find what we like to call “low hanging fruit.” By researching your competition’s backlink profile, you’re able to compare your domain with theirs and determine any links that they have and you don’t. Chances are if they’ve got a link coming from a particular site, you can too. My personal favorite tool for this is Ahrefs. It’s easy to use and you can compare multiple domains at once.
- HARO stands for “Help A Reporter Out” and it’s genius for link building. HARO is a website that “provides journalists with a robust database of sources for upcoming stories”. Each morning, afternoon & evening, HARO pushes out a list of reporter queries that you can respond to. Simply sign up (it’s free), set your interests and industry and you’ll receive a list of questions each day based on your selections.
For now, that’s all my brain can handle. There are numerous other ways to gain backlinks to your website, you just have to get a little creative! In case you’re curious as to what those might be, here are a few more:
- Job Boards
- Dealer Listings
- Sports teams sponsorships
- Bring goats into your workplace for a charity like Reuben’s Brews. It’s time for a beer!
If you’re in the mood for a little jingle, our most creative team member, Danielle, has put together a memorable song for us all when we’re building links! It’s called “All About The Links”. Enjoy!