Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a very popular topic amongst website owners. Many tend to set their focus on practicing on-site SEO (the strategies used on a website), rather than off-site SEO. One of the most important tactics of off-site SEO is creating backlinks. This blog post is going to explain what exactly backlinks are and how to properly build them.
Backlinks are links on other websites that lead to your website, and the process of creating them is an off-site SEO tactic called “backlink building.” Search engines take the number and quality of backlinks a website has into consideration when determining how to rank a website in their search results. If you are trying to practice SEO with your marketing strategy, you need to build your website’s backlinks to ensure success.
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t want all of your backlinks to come from third-party blogging websites. Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing look at the variety of backlinks that lead to your website. Having a variety of backlink sources will greatly help your rankings because it’s an indicator of quality to search engines.
You have to be very careful of which websites you build backlinks on. Websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are often completely removed from search results, so avoid those mistakes. This is why it is absolutely crucial for you to build backlinks on high-quality websites. The following are some ideas where it is safe to build backlinks.
Education and Government Sites
Any website that ends in “.edu” and “.gov” are amazing websites to acquire backlinks from. These are some of the most difficult websites to get your link on, but search engines value them greatly. The easiest way to get backlinks on these websites is to sponsor an event or get involved in your business’ city. This will increase the chances of a backlink to your website being created.
There are dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of online directories where you can submit your website. This process is incredibly easy to do and you aren’t relying on others to build your backlinks. Some of these directories are not recognized by Google as high-quality backlinks and are not considered during the ranking process. When a directory is recognized by Google, this is one of the best ways to build backlinks. To help you get started here are 15 Free Local Business Listings to Claim Now.
Forums that have a great discussion about your business’ industry are fantastic places to create backlinks. The users of these forums are usually highly interested in your business’ industry, which will likely lead to more website traffic. The combination of building off-site SEO backlinks and an increase of website traffic will likely boost your search engine rankings. Only post your link to forums that are related to your business. You should never post your website link randomly in these forums. Doing so could cause harm to your online reputation.
Blogs are one of the highest quality backlink sources you can find. Search engines view blogs as a great indicator of high-quality content. It can be challenging to get your website featured on a high-quality blog, but it is possible. Only publish great quality content and network with bloggers regularly to increase your chances of getting linked to. A blog that is related to your business’ industry is even better for your search engine rankings.
Another route you can take is to start your own blog. You do not have to rely on other website owners and developers to create backlinks for you. Blogs are great tools for practicing both on-site and off-site SEO, as you can add your own internal backlinks in your content. We recommend most businesses start a blog. This is because blogging is an incredible tool that helps with online marketing on multiple fronts. You can read our post called Should You Have a Blog to learn about some of the ways you will benefit from blogging.
Social Media Platforms
Most social media platforms use “no-follow” links, which means they do not contribute much value to your overall backlink effectiveness. Fortunately, Pinterest uses “follow” links, which will contribute more to the effectiveness of your off-site SEO campaign. An easy way to generate backlinks on Pinterest is to always create a Pinterest compatible graphic for your content. Make it easy on your website visitors to share your content to build your off-site SEO backlinks by adding social share buttons on your website.
Wiki websites like Wikipedia are great places to build backlinks. The public has access to edit and remove content on these sites, which is great for building off-site SEO backlinks. Look up topics on wiki sites that relate to your business, and then add your link where appropriate. Anyone has the ability to remove things from most wiki sites, so do not rely on this tactic alone.
Social bookmarking websites make the process of building backlinks very easy. You can create backlinks to your website on social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Diigo and Plurk. These are among the more popular options for on-going backlink building. Similarly to what is mentioned for building backlinks in forums, you shouldn’t randomly post your link on social bookmarking sites. Only post your link to these websites when you have something interesting to share, such as fresh blog content, press releases, etc.
Image sharing sites have gained popularity over the past few years. You can use image sharing to help build your backlinks by leaving a link to your website in the credits of the photos. Flickr, We Heart It and TinyPic are a few examples of image sharing websites. They are excellent sites for building backlinks and uploading pictures created for your business.
Video submission is one of the powerful techniques of off-site SEO. You can share videos on many of the same websites that you share photos on. Similarly with photos, you will want to leave a link to your website in the credit of your video post. We have an entire blog post that goes more in depth on how to build backlinks with videos. Also, with both image sharing and video sharing websites, you will want to include and keyword focused description to go with the media you are uploading. This will also boost the value of your backlink initiative.
Document sharing means sharing a document such as a PDF, Word Document, PowerPoint, White papers, Case Studies, etc. on the various document sharing or document submission websites. This is a very easy tactic that doesn’t take much time at all if you already have the documents needed. Some examples of these websites are SlideServe and 4 Shared. On the 4 Shared website, you can also post photos and videos to further help build your backlinks.
Classified ads are the listings of your website on classified websites. Some great examples of these websites are USNetAds.com or ClassifiedAds.com. You can post an ad on these websites that include a link to your website, which will contribute to your number of backlinks. It’s also worth pointing out that you may not get any actual business from the ads themselves. The focus is really on acquiring backlinks from these websites. These backlinks will be helpful as long as you’re posting to a high-quality website, and the ads focus around the keywords in your SEO strategy.
You can submit articles to websites like Medium, Evernote and others. This is a great option if you are not quite ready to start your own blog, but you are ready to start publishing blog content and developing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This method can also help you gain more traffic on your website, which will also benefit your search result rankings.
A profile link is where you have a link to your website associated with a profile. You should create a profile on websites like Pearltrees or Flipboard, and then add your website link to your profile. Simply creating an account on these websites can help with your SEO efforts. This is a similar idea to having a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. You are also able to publish content on these websites and including a backlink to your site!
Backlinks play a large part in search engine rankings and it’s very smart to build them as a website owner. The websites mentioned in this blog post are the best websites to build backlinks on as they are in compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. We recommend you start building your backlinks now to help your search result rankings. And don’t just acquire backlinks from one or two types of websites listed above. It’s important to have a variety of backlink sources.
If you have any questions about how to build off-site SEO backlinks, feel free to let us know by filling out the form below. We would love to set up a time to answer any questions you may have about SEO.