Every SEO specialist who knows anything is aware of how vital search engine optimization is for every website. The only way to get any traffic on your site is through some form of marketing, and the more marketing, the better.
SEO serves the same purpose as a marketing campaign. It puts your product in front of the consumer’s eyes, giving you greater exposure and opening up more opportunities to sell your product.
What’s great about SEO is that it takes advantage of Google’s search algorithm to let someone else do all the heavy lifting. The goal is to evaluate your websites niche and try to improve your results on Google.
When you type anything into Google, it gives you thousands of pages of indexed content. A site with really good SEO will appear at the top of the first page of search results, but that can be hard depending on how vague the search is.
There are several ways someone can improve their SEO, but today we’re going to talk about backlinking for SEO.
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Table of Contents
Backlinking for SEO
A backlink is a link on another site that leads back to your own. Backlinking for SEO involves reaching out to various people online and convincing them to host your link. Some cases of this are easier than others.
Get easy Business Citations to improve SEO
Many business citations are happy to have your link. They set up easy profiles for you to create and fill out to your heart’s content. There are a lot of seemingly obscure sites out there that may have you thinking, “What’s the point, nobody will ever find my link here,” but that’s not the idea. Your goal is to get listed on authoritative sites for Google to associate your domain with, thus improving your own domain authority.
Business citations are pretty easy to make once you know what you’re doing, but they aren’t the most effective form of backlinking for SEO. They get your name out there, sure, and they tell Google to consider it a business, but there are more effective ways to get results.
Free Link Exchange is an open market
Cue the free link exchange. Link exchange is a little bit more involved than the relative ease of business listings.
There are a few things you need before you’re ready to engage in link exchange. First, you need a site with some content. Many people will create a blog they can fill with quality content that is relevant to their industry and the niche they want to associate their site with. This part is important because it’s going to be the first place people look when they want to exchange links with you, and you want it to be enticing for them.
There’s also an SEO benefit for filling your site with quality content, but as far as link exchange is concerned, the greater your library, the better.
The second thing you need to do before you can start getting involved in link exchange is to find some people to exchange links with. It’s important to find people who are just as interested in backlinking for SEO as you are, that way there are always new links to be had.
This means sourcing a pretty big base of collaborators. Luckily, there are a lot of digital marketers and web designers out there who have already done this. Facebook has plenty of link exchange groups that are filled with people who are interested in backlinking for SEO, but watch out. A lot of them have spammy sites that can hurt your SEO ranking by association. To learn more about what’s bad for your SEO, read our beginners guide to link building.
On top of Facebook groups, you can also hunt for dedicated link building forums online. They can be hard to find, and many of them are outdated and haven’t been touched in years, so this can prove a challenge, but it helps to diversify your sources base beyond a single location.
Once you have a few sources for links and a decent catalogue of content on your site, you can start building your links.
Link exchange for SEO is completely dependent on outreach. In order to get any links for your site, you have to put your name out there and tell people what you have and what you want. You also have to respond to the people who will be posting in those threads. The key word here is exchange, so it doesn’t pay to be timid. Besides, all the people you’ll be seeing are interested in getting the same thing as you. There’s really no need to be nervous in the link exchange crowd.
Once you find someone to exchange links with, it’s as simple as evaluating their site for its authority and niche, picking a spot you want your link, and deciding what you want the anchor to be. The anchor is the text that the link will be associated with. An example of an anchor link would be, “Check out Awesome Web Designs’ guide to backlinking with SEO.” Don’t forget, anchors are a great place to plug your keywords into. It can only ever help your SEO results.
Of course, it is link exchange, so it’s meant to be reciprocal. You’ll also be expected to include a link to your partners’ site within your own, which is exactly what that blog is there for.
Submit Guest Posts on blogs and find guest post opportunities
Guest posts are like backlinking, but they’re much more intensive. The goal is, of course, the same. You’re trying to get your link on another site to improve your search relevance. Guest posting is really its own section within backlinking for SEO, with a few similarities and some big differences.
The guest post methodology is the same as what you would do when backlinking for SEO. You need a niche and a bunch of people to write for, but this time you don’t have to worry too much about already having content in your own blog. You do want people to think you’re an authoritative source, but the rest of your site can probably attest to that.
You want to find groups dedicated to guest posting, which isn’t too hard considering how many backlinking groups are also interested in sharing guest posts.
That being said, the guest post environment is completely different than the link exchange one. Here, people are often desperate. Many people charge for guest posts on their sites, and many people charge to write guest posts on other sites. There are also a lot of sites dedicated to guest posting, published with pieces written by thousands of people vying for recognition for their writing skills.
There are also a lot of people who write low-quality guest posts for the sole purpose of SEO. As a result, guest post culture has developed some negative connotations associated with it within the online SEO community.
Alternatively, the best way to get guest posts on other sites is by reaching out directly to people within your industry. If you send a professional email to the right person, you can cut through all the noise and start talking to the people that really matter.
This includes people such as your direct competitors, publishers of tools you use that you can write a review for, and people you’ve worked with in the past.
There are also a lot of professional sites out there that accept guest posts, but they demand quality. What makes guest posting so different than other SEO link building techniques is the process of doing business. Which brings us to our next point, writing a guest post.
Writing a Guest Post
When you write a guest post, you’re at the liberty of whoever you’re submitting to. The content you provide them is going on their site, so they ultimately get the final say on whether it goes up or not.
As such, many sites impose strict quality control on their guest posts. For example, expect to see minimum word counts anywhere between 700 and 1000 words. They’ll also expect a minimum amount of authoritative links included, and they’ll only let you have one or two do-follow links in the piece. Restrictions vary greatly from place to place, but these are things to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for guest posts.
When writing a review, the company you’re writing for may want you to touch on certain things in your piece. For example, they may have specific questions about your experience with their product, or they’ll want you to talk about a specific feature they offer.
If you can adjust your writing style to fit the demands that are being asked of you, great! You’ve just found a place for your guest post.
It may seem like a guest post is a lot of work for just a single link, but guest posts have some benefits you might not find with other forms of backlinking for SEO.
The benefits of Guest Posting
For starters, Google values content. If your site is associated with quality content, it’s going to rank better in search results. This doesn’t just refer to content on your site, but content that links to your site. By writing a well thought out guest post, you’re creating a high authority link connecting to your domain.
Even better is the fact that you don’t link back to theirs. The folks at Google have gotten wise over the years. When they see two links pointing to each other, they know that someone is trying to take advantage of the Google search algorithm. These links are devalued because of it. When they see a single link pointing from one highly authoritative source to another, however, they take it as a sign of quality content. This is what makes guest posts worth all the effort you put into them. The first step is finding a really good place to write a guest post on; if you pick the right place to write for, it can do you a lot of good.
While guest posting might seem like a really long and complicated way to get a link out there, it’s actually the strongest method of backlinking for SEO.
Just the basics: Guest Posts and Backlinking for SEO
These are three free, easy ways to practice backlinking for SEO. They all boost your sites search ranking with Google, but they each have their unique set of circumstances.
The best way to practice backlinking for SEO is to establish a good mix of these techniques for your site. Sure, getting a bunch of guest posts published will be rewarding, but it will also take up a lot of your time. Yeah, you could make up a couple of hundred business citations, but they’ll only do you so much good. It pays to combine your backlinking approaches for SEO.
There are also many other ways to practice off-site SEO like this. On top of that, not everyone has the time to implement their own SEO strategy by themselves. By no means is this a be all, end all guide to backlinking for SEO.
You can always get in touch with SEO experts in your area or abroad to outsource the job too. SEO is one of the best investments a business can make because it’s a semi-permanent funnel towards your site. All it takes is ranking number one in a handful of search queries and next thing you know, you’re seeing a hundred people coming to your site that was never there before.
If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person though, there’s nothing quite like doing your own backlinking for SEO. The free marketing for your site is worth it.
#BONUS: Download our list of sources for SEO Backlinking and Guest Posts
If you’re looking for a place to start, or maybe you just want a convenient list of sources for your backlinking for SEO purposes, download our database below. It may seem small, but it only takes a handful of good sources to fulfill your link building needs.
Do you need help getting backlinks?
Download our spreadsheet now and start growing your Google Traffic!
Remember, if you ever need more, you can always look at what other people are doing. Research the sites that link to your competitors, look at the places other people are going for SEO, and (barring plagiarism) don’t be afraid to copy someone else’s idea.
If you’re interested in exchanging links with Awesome Web Designs, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can make something happen.
Social media optimization plays a key role in directing natural traffic to your site, too. Angelagiles.com can tell you all about social media strategy for business and how you can incorporate it together with SEO for an effective marketing strategy.