So, you want some backlinks.
I understand. For all the black hat tactics, link penalties, and bad mouthing, backlinks still matter.
Experts agree that “domain-level link features” and “page-level link features” are the most influential factors in a site’s ranking.
I can personally attest based on my own sites and consulting with others that backlinks drive a site’s authority, traffic, and revenue.
Any discussion of link building must take into consideration its inherent dangers.
I understand this, too.
To be as clear and helpful as possible, I will provide you with four simple, safe, and effective ways to gain at least four backlinks.
Why just four? Because it’s realistic and attainable. Anyone can do it.
Just a smattering of high-authority backlinks — yes, even four — can jumpstart your site, boost your rankings, grow your authority, and take your site from the backwaters to the mainstream.
Follow this process to see substantive results.
Reach out to an Influencer and Ask for a Link
Influencer marketing is a method that many rely on for link creation. It’s mostly safe, but it can be difficult if you lack a platform or personal relationship with the influencer.
An influencer is a recognized personality within your niche. For example, Seth Godin is a well-known marketer. When he says something, does something, or recommends something, that “thing” is likely to gain traction, earn attention, and score popularity.
Influencer marketing happens all the time on social media. For example, when 50 influential Instagram personalities wore a certain dress, sales for that dress spiked. It sold out in a weekend.
Influencer marketing has a variety of methodologies, but one of the most powerful is link creation. The concept behind this method is to reach out to an influencer and ask for a link to your blog.
The tactic works most effectively when you mention the influencer in your article or link to her content. For example, a simple Twitter DM or email could go like this:
Hi Jane, I recently mentioned your great article on my blog. Would you care to share it with your followers?
The better your relationship with the influencer, the higher your chance of getting a social share, shoutout, or backlink.
I recommend targeting several influencers with this kind of request. The more people you ask, the better your chance of success.
Write One Guest Blog for One Publication
Guest posting remains my preferred method for developing high authority links.
I contribute to several reputable online publications. My goal isn’t to gain links. These links just happen naturally in bylines and other ways.
Guest posting seems intimidating to some people. It’s a lot of work. Plus, it can be scary to get your name out there. When you realize how powerful it is, however, you’ll be sold on its benefits.
The only way to start guest blogging is by doing the hard work of writing posts. It’s best if you have published a few pieces already. Your own company blog or personal blog is fine.
Next, you simply reach out to a publication and ask for a guest blogging spot. Usually, they will ask you for some writing samples to qualify your writing skill and subject expertise.
Be sure to research the blog and their specific audience so you can provide them with a relevant sample. If they ask you for some “pitches,” then you should send them a few article ideas with titles and summaries.
I recommend starting with a single guest post on a single publication. Why? Because it’s an easy entry point.
I can guarantee, however, that once you try it, you’ll want to do it more. Plus, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
My friend Jayson DeMers, for example, started guest blogging by contributing a few posts to industry-specific publications like Search Engine Journal.
Now, he’s contributing to higher profile publications like Forbes.
Jayson’s content has even appeared on the influential Harvard Business Review.
Many publications are eager to accept contributors and guest bloggers. Be sure to qualify your target publications to make sure you truly want a link from them. Not every publication is worthy.
Finally, your primary goal in guest blogging is not a link. A link is a byproduct of something else — providing value to the publication and its readers.
Create a Single Infographic
A few years ago, infographics were in their heyday. You could put an infographic online and virtually guarantee hundreds of backlinks.
Infographics aren’t as popular as they once were. Everyone has started making them. However, they are still a valuable way to secure links.
Infographics are a type of visual content*. As such, they are appealing to users, and will retain link value for a long time.
The process of creating a powerful infographic is straightforward. You’ll need a designer and an idea:
- Develop a unique angle for your infographic. Focus on providing a solution, answering a question, or contributing data that is relevant to your audience.
- Create an infographic that is easy to read and visually compelling.
- Create an embed code for your infographic.
- Share the infographic on social networks.
- Submit the infographic to infographic directories.
This entire process can be completed in a day. And when you’re done, you will have a valuable piece of content that will start bringing in backlinks.
Fix at Least One Broken Link
What’s a broken link? A broken link is one that points to a page on your site that has moved or been deleted.
In other words, you used to have a great backlink. For some reason, the destination page for that link is gone — a 404, URL change, whatever.
To get the link back, you must ask for it to be fixed. How do you do this?
- Find broken links on your site. You can use a tool like Domain Hunter Plus or Broken Link Checker to get this information.
- Make sure you still want the backlink. Don’t try to fix backlinks coming from spam or off-niche sites.
- Find a replacement link. Make sure the replacement link that you offer is relevant.
- Send an email to the webmaster of the site, and ask them to fix the link.
Broken link building can be arduous and time-consuming, but it’s a safe and reliable method to gain potentially dozens of fresh new backlinks to your website.
Too many SEOs have rejected link building, believing the entire effort to be corrupt.
It’s not entirely corrupt. Legitimate and honest link building requires caution, expertise, and finesse, but it’s nowhere near dead.
If your site’s SEO has been struggling in the backwater for a long time, I suggest you take a weekend to give these techniques a try. I can virtually guarantee you’ll see fresh traffic flowing in the following week.
What safe methods do you use to build links?
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