Many digital marketers, including me, are reluctant to reach out and bent over for backlinks, which, unfortunately, happens to be the very core of search engine optimization.
Back to fundamentals for a few seconds, we need firstly understand how search engines rank website pages and decide which to showcase in the premier page instead of in the 99th, which of course no cares about.
Really? Backlinks more important than content?
Generally speaking, search engines index websites based on authority and relevance:
1, They crawl content like URLs to look for topics, browse HTML code for metadata like particular tags or markups.
2, They scan and visit links to or from the website. Quality links count as a positive recommendation.
It is actually similar to traditional market places, building good products as a prerequisite while pushing and distributing the content serve another essential element.
However, robots can not taste and discuss the quality of strawberries like humans. And this leaves a great hoop hole. Have you ever encountered articles that are so horrible in the Internet that they literally burn your eyes and make you wonder why they even manage to show up in the search results?
Well it is because the search engines do not read. They only crawl and match. Therefore producing as much as content, i.e. key words, gives better odds for certain pages to somehow stand out from competition.
Of course Google is working on this, that is why now references from other websites, especially domains with high authority and too references are gaining increasingly more importance regarding search engine ranking.
Let me give you an example.
This is a mom blog that I found on the Internet. With around 700 organic keywords you can imagine they have a bunch of articles posted. Yet Url Reference and Domain reference scores are extremely low with only 187 backlinks.
Now a tech startup with a basic website: 230 organic keywords and yet almost 600 backlinks. Good job I would say. As a consequence, UR and DR scores totally beat those of a blog with much more content and therefore would rank much higher in search results.
In fact, Ahrefs announces that both UR and DR scores are calculated based on the internal and external links each with a different focus. Therefore we know now backlink building becomes vital for getting a higher ranking for your business.
3 proven methods to build backlinks
Yes I say there are four and all of them involves begging.
1, Get links from resource pages
You might want to recall times when you encounter a website page with “friendly links”? Truth is they have nothing to do with friendship but money.
It is easy to implement. Once you find a page where they are willing to offer a backlink, you outreach and pitch yourself. If they can put links, especially those of your competitors, why not yours too?
To find a resource page, simply try type those in search engine. I learned this from Ahrefs.
- inurl:links.html strawberry
- intitle:strawberry inurl:links.html
- intitle:strawberry intitle:resources inurl:resources
- inurl:.com/resources intitle:strawberry
- inurl:.com/links intitle:strawberry
- inurl:.org/resources intitle:strawberry
Feel free to place “strawberry’ with your own keywords.
|The result might look like this.||I clicked the 1st outcome.|
There you got something. Definitely a page offering backlinks. The next step is just to write them an email, of which the address is clearly placed on the top.
Remember to check the UR and DR scores for potential pages just to have an idea of what you are begging for. This is what you will see if you install Ahrefs SEO Toolbar.
This is actually the easiest method to get backlinks without outreaching too much or feel pity for yourself.
However, you might have seen the disadvantages too. Firstly, it is difficult to find one website that is willing to accept backlinks but not asking anything in return. For example, I crawled 500 pages those days with different keywords but only found 3 qualified ones. It is still worth it though I would say.
Secondly, as it is free most demains offering this services have relatively lower Domain Rating scores. We just need to remember that those lower than 20 might not have a strong reference to our website. Therefore do not bother.
2, guest posting.
This is the killer technique to obtain backlinks from high authority domains. Simply no better way. Those sites are so well established that they do not care at all about either internal or external links. All we need to please them is high quality content.
Therefore if you are really serious about SEO ranking, it is time now to invest a little bit of cash. Even though advertising brings in quick traffic, such content marketing techniques as this one works better since it is able to result in better ranking and as a consequence to generate much more constant traffic in the long term.
In addition, outsourcing content is quite feasible nowadays with the advance of freelance platforms, like Upwork, Freelancer, Problogger and even Craigslist.
Take Freelancer for an example. It is free to post a project. Process is that you choose one bidder among multiple proposals after discussing with them and then make a deposit to the website and pay as you are satisfied with the work.
The website adopts a so called Milestone Payment where you can split the total budget of your project into smaller ones and only release one of them at each step to the freelancer. In this way, they make sure that the project is delivered on time and as you expect.
Feel free to ask the bidders for similar samples before committing to them. Some of them look quite satisfying I admit, data driven, cool tone, written by native English speakers. More importantly, around 50-150 euros for each 1500 words it is really cheap. Anyway I let you decide on your own.
Next we look on the Internet for websites that actually take guest posts. Type those phrases in any search engine and then refer to the 1st method to filter the qualified ones.
- [pick_strawberry] “write for us”
- [pick_strawberry] “become an author”
- [pick_strawberry] “guest post”
- [pick_strawberry] “guest article”
- [pick_strawberry] inurl:contribute
3, Get links from press.
This method is rather fancy, as it not only brings about backlinks but also requires no new content from you. Main idea is simple though: reach out to people who might be interested in writing about your business.
There are different ways to achieve:
3.1 Look for authors in press who write on similar topics as yours.
To do this we can simply search in Google for our key words or use specific tools like Buzzsomu, Ahrefs (I am paying for this one now) or Moz. And then make a small pitch to the authors who are interested in this field.
Don’t be afraid, those writers are looking for inspiration to create content all the time just like you. I will give you an example.
Finally they reached this author from Maddyness and sent him/ her an email and guess what? 1 article generated over 1000 traffic immediately after publication and 10 customers in 2 days.
3.2 Track down those who already did and propose new advancement of your business to generate a second piece.
Here we will need an important tool, the “content explorer” of Ahrefs, to find out all the content on the Internet that mentions our brand, product, services or those of our competitors but did not provide a backlink.
The next thing to do is write them an email. (Don’t worry, it is free!) My pitch will look like this. Simply introduce yourself humbly, show your appreciation for the article and lastly ask the favor.
Sorry to bother, I am Camille a student from xx, now responsible for marketing in xx, I saw that you mentioned us here: https://xyz.com. It is a very well written and interesting article, thank you!
Could you help and make our brand name clickable so people can find our site please? Could you add a link: www.xx.com under the texts please?
It is very beneficial for our company and I really appreciate your help. Thank you very much!”
And this method actually works. Here you can see the result. She offered to do an interview of our company which is really out of expectation.
The key to build backlinks is spare no effort reaching out. After all the objective is to be known and no one will come to you if you don’t take initiative.