Backlinks are a critical element of SEO strategy, and require a lot less technical knowledge than some other SEO boosting hacks. But what exactly are they? Before we explain how to get them, first we’ll clue you in on what exactly they are. Backlinks, sometimes referred to as inbound links, are simply links from other websites that link back to your site. Whether they’re from a similar business, a friend, colleague, or partner, they help boost your SEO results
and therefore your traffic, which hopefully leads to more customers and a better business. You may already have some existing backlinks without even trying, while getting others secured may require reaching out or setting up profiles across some sites, the effort it takes is well worth it. Here are a few ways and places to start when looking to score some backlinks.
It’s great to maintain a relationship with your past clients, we all know that. Among many benefits, it makes asking for something like a backlink infinitely easier. Many of your clients may have a case studies or past work section on their site, which can be an opportunity for them to include any partners or collaborators and link back to your site. Offering to exchange backlinks is a great way to help secure a spot on your client’s site. If you often work with well known clients (with a lot of traffic) this is definitely more beneficial for you than them, so jump at the opportunity.
Local Publications or Blogs
You know what they say, “any press is good press!”. While we aren’t totally sure if that’s true, being included in location publications or blogs and sites of any kind is a great opportunity to score a linkback. Competing, and ideally winning contests is also a surefire way to have your site included in a roundup of entries, runners up, and definitely winners (if you win!). Participating in events either in person (trade shows, neighborhood events, etc) or online (digital sponsorships, awards, charity, etc) within your industry or locally can help your site be included on a roundup of participants or sponsors online. Sometimes all it takes is making a hit list of publications and blogs you’d like to be included on, drafting an update or release, and getting the conversation started via email, often writers are looking for businesses to include, and no one is going to mention a business without linking to their site.
Industry Websites or Directories
From Yelp to any modern day Yellow Pages, getting listed in a directory is a great way to get a linkback while also contributing to the directory, that way both parties win! Even Facebook location pages, Foursquare/Swarm profiles, or industry/niche specific/pay to access directories will help. See if there are any industry only sources that pertain to your business and inquire about getting a profile set up there.
Though this often costs money or involves some sort of product trade, collaborating with anyone from a famous blogger, to a brand, to a media company to get your site’s link included in their content can often be far more valuable than it’s cost. For example, a shoe company collaborating with a fashion blogger in exchange for links on her blog as well as social media channels would greatly increase SEO visibility, especially when the blogger has tens if not hundreds of thousands of followers. For collaborations or sponsorships with partners with smaller followings, trading products, services, or discounts or a linkback should suffice in lieu of formal payment. Modern readers can detect a sponsored post from miles away, so try to keep these as authentic as possible for branding and credibility, though that will not directly affect SEO, it can’t hurt.