SEO: 6 ways to increase backlinks

Link authority – the number of high-quality sites linking to yours – is one of the most important organic ranking signals. Encouraging other sites to link to yours is one of the most difficult and necessary aspects of search engine optimization.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links to your site from other sites. Each link serves as validation to search engines that the linked page is worthy of ranking.

The most valuable backlinks come from sites that are relevant to the page they link to. Sites with higher link authority—those with a large number of relevant links on the topic—are more valuable to your link acquisition efforts.

The most valuable backlinks come from sites that are relevant to the page they link to.

The concept of using backlinks as a ranking signal stems from scholarly citation analysis. A study or article that researchers mention or cite in their own work is probably more valuable than one that researchers do not cite. Google’s PageRank algorithm was developed 20 years ago on this logic. The theory lives today in various forms each of the algorithms of the major search engines.

Unfortunately, backlinks are not easy to acquire. This difficulty translates into value in natural search. If all sites had tons of backlinks, they would not be useful as a signal to differentiate the most liked from the others.

6 ways to increase backlinks

Create compelling content. First, we’ll start with Google’s advice: create quality content that people want to visit and link to. If you’re like most SEO professionals, this advice isn’t very helpful. Of course, that’s what we all strive to do. However, some search visibility is necessary for people to discover your great content in the first place.

Engage in community outreach. One way to receive something is to ask for it. Some companies have established community outreach programs – for example, public relations staff – as a means of nurturing online connections to spread news and information, such as internal blog posts.

Work with PR staff to help them understand the SEO value of getting links. Explain which pages are most useful for link building. Some sites will just copy and paste what a company’s PR team sends them, which will result in an optimal link from that site to a page on yours.

Promote on social networks. Similar to community outreach, social media can get your content in front of more people faster. However, social is an indirect form of link acquisition. You are not asking for a link; you’re just delivering the content so people can engage with it. A certain percentage of them may own a blog or other site, and a certain percentage of them will link to your promoted content.

The trick here is to promote on social media in a way that encourages links to specific pages on your site. Posting a photo on Facebook and writing something witty does nothing to drive traffic back to your site. And if it’s not going to your site, there’s no way for your subscribers to discover the content they should be linking to. Always include a teaser and a link to encourage that click to your site. This will drive traffic and increase links from subscribers’ sites to yours.

Use your experts. Your management team is probably passionate about the products your company sells. Use this passion to offer podcasts or web conferences. If your executives speak at conferences or teach classes at local universities, it’s common for the host organization to include a biography. Use them as opportunities to get links to your site.

Sponsor events and charities. Local and national events and charities often have sites where they list sponsors at a certain donation level. When your business decides where to donate, make sure the web link is one of the decision criteria. You can even research which of the opportunities would produce the highest link value.

Don’t forget that there are many great sponsorships to choose from. There’s no reason you can’t get a little something back while you’re doing something good for a good cause. It’s just another form of recognition, similar to printing your logo on a music program or banner on race day.

Hunt down competitors. Backlink data is publicly available through tools like Majestic and Moz. Examine the link profiles of your main competitors and extract the most relevant ones. For example, a site may have created a list of the best retailers in your industry, but your business is not listed. Visit this site. Make an inclusion case.

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