When discussing SEO strategies, whether it be with your webmaster buddy, or even a stranger in a forum, you can argue until you’re blue in the face about Meta tags, keyword density, header tags, and all of the other simple stuff that’s still pretty much undecided. But there’s one aspect of SEO that you can’t argue about, and that would be the importance of backlinks.
You see, one can deploy all of the standard SEO tasks to a web page, and maybe if you’re lucky, you might at least rank somewhere (keeping in mind it’s probably not going to be in the first 20 pages if we’re talking about even a semi decent keyword), that is, until you start getting backlinks to that particular page.
Why? Well, without going into a long explanation, Google pretty much ranks any page based around how many backlinks it has, and of course, the quality of said backlinks. The easiest way to explain it to someone would be – each link to your site is like a “vote” – not all “votes” are equal, but it’s a “vote” nevertheless. Generally speaking, the more “votes” you have for your page, the higher it’s going to rank. Obviously, the quality of the vote matters quite a bit too, but the bottom line is – if you don’t get these “votes” to your page, you won’t be ranking anywhere at all.
So listed below, are 10 ways you can start building more backlinks to your site to start getting better rankings. Some of these lean towards blogs, some towards static websites, but between them all, you’ll surely find some tips that you can start using today. Also it should be noted that a majority of the methods are ways to start “naturally” building links, which if you didn’t know, Google and other search engines love the most.
1. Be The Authority – Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to get people to link to you is establishing yourself as an authority in your subject of choice. It’s easier than you think to do this! First, make sure you double check your site for spelling and grammatical errors. Hire someone to edit it to perfection. That alone does wonders in making you look like an authority. Second, and very important – if you’re serious about becoming an authority, you need a site that physically looks the part. Splurge on design, make your site look like a rockstar, and eventually people will start to think, “wow, this site really knows its stuff”. Once you get to that point, visitors may naturally start linking to you, and it can do wonders for your backlink gaining strategy.
2. Create A Viral List – I can’t explain why, but people absolutely love lists – especially good ones. What I mean by creating a list would be along the lines of writing something like, “101 Ways To Turn A Peanutbutter and Jelly Sandwich Into A Nuclear Bomb”. I know it sounds crazy, but the point being – write something unique and useful. Promote it on the big social bookmarking sites, get some viral buzz, and if it’s good enough, you could quite possibly see hundreds of new links coming into your site, if not more. It’s happened to more than one webmaster in the past. Just be creative, and the sky is your limit.
3. The Local Hookup – Perhaps you run a site that offers local services or something similar. Good news for you, because often times (depending on your town or city), you can get links from the BBB, your local Chamber of Commerce, local library, other local businesses websites, church websites, community club websites, and similar locations. If you just open your eyes, there are usually many local links you can get, and these types of links can often do wonders for your rankings, since typically they’re from trusted sites.
4. Contests – People love free stuff! Create a contest that’s worth talking about (give away something nice, like a Nintendo Wii, cash, or something cool like that), and you’ll definitely get people linking to your site. Taking it a step further, tell them that if they link to your contest page, they’ll get an extra entry. Watch your links go up overnight!
5. Directory Links – Find a list of quality, SEO friendly directories (not spam directories), and get your site submitted. Usually a good rule of thumb that tells the quality of a directory is the price you have to pay to get in it. Not always true, but more often than not. The more quality incoming directory links you have, the higher your page will rank.
6. Yahoo Answers – This one is pretty cool. Basically, strive to become a guru at answering questions on Yahoo Answers. You can actually build your reputation up, and make sure you leave quality answers to obtain guru status. Point being, in your answers (where possible) leave a link to your site. This can often lead to natural linking depending on what type of question it is.
7. Squidoo And HubPages – These are community based websites that allow you to build a page on a certain topic. Not only can you use these types of sites to look like an authority on a subject, you can also use them to link back to your own websites. If your topical page becomes popular enough, you can bet that a link on it to your own site is very valuable.
8. Submit To Industry Sites – For example, if you’re in the Aromatherapy business, write up a great article on it, and submit it to one of the super authority sites in the aromatherapy world. If published, you can count on people seeing your article, and linking to your site, because you now look like an authority in the field.
9. Press Releases – Often times, hiring someone to write up a professional press release, and getting it submitted to sites like PR.com or similar press release sites, can land you tons of extra links. The trick with this one is – don’t make it sound commercial. Have someone write up a genuine piece about your site that would be newsworthy. If you hit the mega jackpot, and a local news outlet picks it up, get ready for instant website fame!
10. Great Content – Nothing wins over the hearts of your readers like consistently good content. Once you get people to your site, presenting them with nothing but quality content is often enough to get the natural linking process going in your favor. Don’t ever slack off…only give ‘em the best, and you’ll build more backlinks from this method over the course of time than any of the above. Simple, yet effective.