You may have heard this before, but that's because it’s true: backlinks are one of the most important organic signals that search engines consider in the ranking process. A long time ago, people used to buy tons of links for their websites. They did this so that Google would see that many sites backlinked to the website, meaning it must be popular and thus worth ranking higher in the results. But over the years, Google’s algorithm has changed drastically—it is no longer possible to buy backlinks in bulk and expect Google not to notice.
Nowadays, valuable backlinks must come from sites that are not only relevant to the page they link to, but they must also come from a site Google views as reliable. So, for example, a website about cat grooming that has 100 backlinks from travel companies and real estate agents probably isn’t going to be ranked high on Google, since the backlinks don’t have any real relevance to the topic of the website. On the other hand, a website about cat grooming that has 100 backlinks from pet supply stores, cat adoption centers, and other pet-related websites will be much more likely to rank higher in the search results!
So how can you build backlinks that are valuable and worth your time investment? We have 7 tips to help you get started.
1. Ensure the Content on Your Site is Top-Notch.
It’s no secret that Google loves well-written content. In fact, it is one of the most important ranking factors of all, according to a search quality senior strategist at Google. Keywords are an important part of your content, but relevant content written in natural language is also key. There are ways to do both—and this is what you should focus on when building your website. This does not necessarily help you build backlinks directly—rather, it helps your site have inherent ranking value, which will set the stage for others to want to link to you. After all, if a site doesn’t have good content, who would want to link to it? Nobody. So lay the groundwork first.
2. Update Your Social Media Accounts Regularly.
Social media is indispensable these days. Every company has an account, most likely on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. No matter which social media networks your business uses, it’s important to update regularly. People expect consistency from businesses. If you don’t update for weeks at a time, people are going to go to your competitors for the products they need.
The other great part about social media is that it’s built with free advertising in mind: the goal is to get others to share your posts for you. When followers share your posts, they spread the link to your social media account or website—and this can be done without any monetary investment. Another trick is to ensure that you have links to your websites available on every social media profile to make it easy for new followers to find your home base.
3. Do Your Research.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but it helps to see who is linking to your competitors. You may be able to reach out and find a way to get them to include your site as well. For example, you can find free tools such as Serpstate backlink analysis tool to help you locate the source of backlinks. You might also try looking at sites that are already linking to your site. You can do this through Google Search Console. This can help you discover which types of sites are already linking to you—then, you can reach out to similar sites and see if you can make a connection with them as well.
4. Reach Out for Connections.
Speaking of reaching out, this is one of the most important parts of building backlinks. It is almost impossible to build backlinks without forging some connections first. You may be one of those lucky people who just happens to have a site that goes viral—that is, people link to you and share your information with little-to-no effort on your part. But most people need to work for the high levels of traffic and backlinks that come with having a popular site. So, reach out to other online connections. Maybe you can offer blog posts. Maybe you can collaborate with another expert on a project. Still others might just post a PR blurb for you. Do your outreach and see what kinds of connections you can make.
5. Do a Site/Backlink Audit.
This might be tougher for those who don’t know much about auditing, but it’s a great way to evaluate the quality of links on your site. You can conduct a link audit on your own site to see if there are links that Google might deem high-risk, and thus could be hurting your ranking chances. Then, get rid of those links on your site. Alternatively, you can audit your competitors. You can see how they’re gathering backlinks and it’ll give you some inside information on which backlinks you could be getting.
6. Get Involved by Donating or Sponsoring Local Businesses, Charities, and Events.
This is another tip that might seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out: Local events need sponsors. If your company chooses to donate to a cause or works with a nonprofit, use this to your advantage. You get good press, but you may also ask that whoever receives your support simply provides a link to your website on their website. It’s that easy. Now you have a reason to feel good about your donation, and you’ll get backlinks and traffic as a bonus!
7. Let Everyone Know About Your Expertise.
This could be in person or online. Are there conferences about your field? A company representative could visit and speak at a panel. Is a local university holding a career air? Send a representative out to get in contact with potential future hires. All of these events will likely put together profiles of the participating businesses, both online and in print. This opportunity creates backlinks on the host’s website and provides more hiring and advertising prospects for you.
These are just a few of our tips for building valuable backlinks. There are many ways to do this. Some are complicated, and others take just a few minutes of your time. No matter what you choose to do, Zoek is here to help. We have SEO experts and Personal Marketing Consultants ready to help you create a marketing plan that works for you. If you have questions, just get in contact with us or schedule a demo to see how our services will help you rank higher online!