How to get backlinks still seems to mystify some. If you are new to blogging or have been doing it for awhile and are just figuring out the importance of backlinks, this post should help you out.
Some or all of these backlink tactics you may have heard of but I have placed them in order of what I feel is of importance. I hear bloggers buzzing about different types of SEO and marketing which actually might not be the best option for their blog because it can be time consuming or not the right thing to do at the present moment.
Read through the list and decided for yourself where you need to set priorities for building one way backlinks. Find what interests you. What can you automate or delegate.
What are Backlinks?
A super quicky. You gain page rank by being popular, which determines if you are higher up on a search engines front page or not. That is what you should strive for if your serious about traffic and SEO. The more backlinks you have the more popular you are in the eyes of search engines.
Add carefully selected keywords to this technique and you're simply unstoppable.
- Build links slowly. Too many backlinks too fast can get your blog penalized. An exact number? Who knows. Keep it simple and you'll have less to worry about.
- Don't link to crappy sites that link to other crappy sites. (Thank you Gary at impNerd he layed down the law for me. Just don't freakin' do it.)
- Link exchanges are okay as long as they are relevant to your blog. Don't overdo it and place the nofollow tag in the link. (See previous guideline.)
- Don't expect your backlinks to show up the minute you create them. There are millions of sites and blogs doing the same thing you are and it takes time to populate info. Don't be discouraged if you do not see immediate results just keep building backlinks. Your efforts will catch up in the end.
- Use keyword researched anchor text whenever possible if not every single time.
- Not all backlinks are equal. Some will raise your page rank and some will absolutely screw with it. Some are just a plain ol' backlink which is fine. You need a balance of backlinks that add to your arsenal so just consider backlinks that benefit your PR to having more bang.
- Have a good portion of backlinks that are relevent to your blog. Yes this is a hard and fast rule but never pass up an opportunity to drop a link on blogs that are not as relevant as long as they are not linking to other crazy sites.
Hands down this is the number one way to get backlinks. These are the posts that people backlink to, bookmark and pass around. They incorporate them into their posts, add them to link lists, save them for when they need them, email them to friends, send them out in newsletters or add them to their articles.
When you write useful posts you also get your post or blog, as I like to call it 'socialized'. You get Stumbled, Dugg, Del.icio.us'ed, Mixxed and Twittered, etc.
The best types of content are lists, benefits, tools and how to's. Interviews work well and facts v. myth type posts are also good. Example: '10 Backlinks Facts' or '5 Myths about Backlinks'. Another example ' 8 Reasons to Use Blah'. Fill in the blah.
Whatever you have researched or feel that you are somewhat specialized in it makes for usefulness.
Great content helps your reader either accomplish a task or changes their point of view. This is win-win. Readers benefit from the info and you have the potential for backlinks.
This is by far the easiest. Most forums allow multiple links in signatures and some forums are no-nofollow. That's a bonus. Add to the fact that you can add your own links to forum posts and it's practically backlink building on auto pilot. Don't get too spammy and don't forget to backlink to some of your favorite sites that contribute to the conversation. "Hi all. I used http://such-and-such"... You want others to do the same for you right? You'd better be doing it too! Double standards have a way of catching up with you sooner or later.
I say social bookmarking is before social networking because you get it out of the way to go work on other things. Sites are constantly updating so let them do the work for you. While that is kicking in it's time to socialize.
Honestly people tend to think that social networking is not good for backlinks. Obviously if you find sites that have a no-nofollow policy that is a bonus. Again you can end up getting two or three backlinks from sites that are affiliated with each other. Plus there is the potential for traffic and if you created useful content in the first place it may get passed around.
Look for sites that encourage you to submit your own content. There are more than a few out there.
Why do I think commenting is high priority? It's very easy to do and not so time consuming once you set everything up. There is also the potential for traffic. Subscribe to blogs that are similar or of interests to yours and when you find yourself at a loss as what to do, go comment. Subscribe to your own comments so you can reply to questions faster. You can also backlink to your own site in the comments area.
PR's are immediate and depending on the site you can either get link juice or they will allow more than one link to your site. Keyword them correctly and they will be high up in the SERPs if not in the top 3 spots. Send out press releases on a regular basis to keep people up to date on your blog. Next to a great blog post spend your time writing up press releases.
This is a toss up in my opinion. Some people swear by directories but I find that if you are going to do it, it's something to either pay to have someone else to do it or something you do from time to time. Doing the research on a regular basis can be a drag and time consuming. Try and do it all in one shot if you can. Here is a tip, do it quarterly.
I'm so old school I believe the best way to market is to have someone else talk about you rather than direct advertising. In this case that can actually be a more practical backlink at someone elses' expense.
Internal links are great because you are already blogging and writing posts so you don't have to go far for the backlink. (See 'comment marketing'.) Make sure your internal links are no-nofollow. I put it low on the totem pole because it seems that if it is over used you could get slapped for it. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Links Swaps & Exchanges
Or as I like to call it OPBs = Other Peoples Blogs.
Again another toss up. I've got a white hat heart and a black hat mind. Both tactics are debatable so use them at your own discretion.
Links exchanges are best in the form of banners and you can be blatant about adding them to a blog roll as long as they are relevant to your site and aren't attached to anything crappy. If you exchange links with just about anyone, it's a total crap shoot for a lot of reasons.
Blogrolls are for your buds or your own sites and not anyone else.
Another form of link exchange is guest posting. Again I say debatable because you may get backlinks and traffic but sometimes your useful content is better used for yourself unless there is come cash involved. Then who cares right? Ha ha. Yes I am a total believer in selling out too.
If you have good content they will write about you and backlink anyway. If you are going to use this method, offer your articles and let the blog masters pick and choose. Be leary of those who ask you to post for free unless they check out or you know them.
Ezines & Article Directories
Am I crazy to put this at the bottom of the list? Probably but I would say unless you are a whiz with keywords this is very time consuming and the rules are changing as we blog.
Ezines are better than article directories because if you provide great content someone is bound to add it to one of their articles or blog anyway.
You can have multiple backlinks to your sites from article directories and people use your content and then there is another backlink, but that is for people who are serious about content. Most are not.
Save your valuable keyword researched information for your own blog. If you just want to write and become an authority then it wouldn't hurt to add some links to your site and not have to dread over SEO. Some directories allow duplicate content because they just want more pages for CPM clicks and to have a variety of searches to win the hearts of paying advertisers. Tons of articles benefit mostly the directory, as they are always looking for free content.
Over time you will get traffic if that is your goal for article marketing. So add articles over time and include your backlinks.
Unless you have a system down, article marketing is better left for affiliate marketing or bloggers who want to be known as writers, and writers who want to be considered experts.
This is the end my friend.
If you want more specifics please see my tools area over to the right which I've been updating as I find helpful blog posts.
Please comment especially if you disagree with any of the info provided in this post. This is my opinion as far as priorities go. I get a lot of questions asking about SEO and some bloggers are working backwards or not implementing backlinks at all and that is going to get them nowhere quick. Or at least somewhere that they really don't want to be at all even quicker!
For your amusement: There is only one researched keyword, used once and only one backlink in this post.
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