Five Tips For Getting More From Your Backlinks

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When done right, building targeted backlinks to your website is perfectly “legal” and you shouldn’t feel like you’re breaking any “rules” by doing so. In fact, if you created your site in the hopes that people would find it and visit, you’ll NEED to build some links to it or that’ll never happen. Backlinks aren’t exactly easy to come by though, therefore it’s a good idea to squeeze every last drop of potential benefit from the ones you do manage to get.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when embarking out on the campaign trail.

1. Control what you can:

If you consider that most sites will link to you using either the title of your page or the headline of your piece (blog post, article etc), it gives you the perfect opportunity to implement your preferred anchor text. Make sure you’re using some descriptive keywords in there and don’t waste a perfectly good link opportunity, because someone linked to your post using your post title, that, although was extremely clever and humorous, didn’t include a single shred of optimized anchor text.

Keeping this in mind, you can actually begin to control what type of links you’re attracting by plotting out a series of posts, based on set of keywords you’re targeting. This technique will also allow you to target keywords you previously may have considered too competitive to tackle.

Most will only consider this step when it comes to optimizing for search engine rankings, whereas the wise site owner will also keep backlinks in mind, to a certain degree, when writing their content.

Recommended Reading : How to Explore Backlinks Anchor Text

2. Optimize your existing backlinks:

You probably already have a number of backlinks that aren’t being used to their full potential. For example, a certain site may link to you via an image of your company logo (with no alt text or image title). Or you may be listed on a great page but it’s a straight url link instead of a descriptive text link. It’s definitely worthwhile to hunt down all the links you’d like to change and then actually work towards getting them changed. Even if only 2 or 3 sites comply with your request, that’s 2 or 3 great links that just got better.

3. Lend a helping hand:

Getting a link strictly for the search engines is one thing. An added bonus is when the link boosts your link popularity and sends targeted traffic to your site.

Some of the best double-whammy links I’ve received though, were obtained, not because I campaigned the link for ranking purposes, but because I simply saw a need and filled it thereby creating a logical yet natural partnership. Instead of the backlink being the sole motivation behind my actions, helping someone in need was the driving force while the double-whammy backlink was the added bonus. This has caused me to realize that, a) most people will ignore a link request email yet almost everyone will listen to logic and b) almost everyone needs help with something.

Try not to look at every site as simply “the next link prospect”. Instead, try to look for opportunities to genuinely help people and recognize that the best rewards often come when you’re not even trying.

4. Strengthen your site’s inner linking structure:

If you’ve ever examined a site’s link popularity and found they were being credited with a bunch of backlinks from their own domain, you’d know that your site’s inner linking structure is a pretty important part of your overall link popularity. After all, if you’re not even linking to your own pages using your targeted terms, then how can you expect others to?

Keep this in mind whenever you write a new piece of content or if you’ve got some content that was previously popular and received a lot of backlinks. You can (and should) use those popular pages to give a boost to the newer pages you’re promoting. Linking to your own up-and-coming pages from your strongest pages is almost the same as getting a “real” backlink.

Recommended Reading : Link Building Steps : Clean Up Your Own Backyard

5. Be link worthy:

Of course none of the above is of any value to you if your content isn’t link worthy to begin with, therefore write about your industry… a lot. Remember, if you write like you’re an authority on your subject, then you’re more likely to get backlinks from credible sites such as edu’s, gov’s and news outlets when they’re looking for credible sources or resources for stories or articles.

Also recognize that YOU are part of your company’s content, so be the face of your company by interacting online and naturally promoting it everyday. Get involved in your industry by being friendly and helpful to others (yes, even your competition). Keep your company on the minds of your network, so they’ll be more likely to link to you when an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes with link building, there is such a thing as being in the right place at just the right time.

Recommended Reading : How to Optimize Your Site for Link Building

Melanie Nathan is a Canada SEO consultant offering custom link building services. Follow Melanie on Twitter to learn more about her and the work she does.

Melanie Nathan
Melanie Nathan operates CanadianSEO, a Canada SEO company with a reputation for creative link building. Follow Melanie on twitter to learn more.
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  • Barry Welford

    Good points, Melanie. It is just ‘work’ but is as important, or in the case of Google even more important, as getting the right content in the first place.

  • ROIGuy

    thanks for the tips Melanie. I love the new picture of you also. 🙂

  • Jim

    Great Post Mel

    Lot of good talk at the moment about existing links, i blogged about it today as well

  • Sue

    This was a very good read…I think I instinctively knew some of this, but it definitely got me thinking. I ended up here from Jim’s retweet on twitter. Thanks

  • Justin March

    Works for me inner linking structure is so important and so often overlooked.

  • Amelia Search Engine Optimisation

    The most important thing is content, don’t you think? The better the content, the more likely you will A) provide something of value and B) get backlinks from other sites.

    It sounds simple, but writing content is one of the hardest things, especially if you are trying to optimise a site for several local areas, and the keywords are pluralised. It takes real skill to be able to write like that!

  • Ryan @ Linkbuildr

    I find that when you have a bunch of link worthy content it helps by 10 fold to snag links from a niche related site…so email them folks!

    Melanie, good stuff! Might want to change that link up top to Canadian re Canada?

  • Daniel Natale

    I agree, especially with point number 4.

    Frankly, I can’t understand why internal linking is not done more effectively, or often overlooked entirely.

  • Renee

    Melanie, great post! I am currently working on building backlinks on several sites and this has indeed been helpful. The interlinking structure was interesting….I had never given it much thought before, but I’m thinking bout it now 🙂

  • inthistogether

    My 1st exposure to link building.
    thx Mel :-))

  • Wedge

    Melanie –

    Thanks for the info. For small companies like mine backlinks is tough work!

  • David

    Many thanks Melanie. I didn’t realise that a descriptive text link was worth less than a straight url link. Do search engines value them this way or is this for aesthetic reasons, to make the link more likely to be clicked?

  • Nina

    Nice posting,very informative, i also interested in the seo services and web development. Thank you!

  • Irvine SEO

    These are great tips, especially #3 – it’s a mutual benefit for both parties involved.