When we talk about search engine optimisation (SEO) we usually divide it in two; on-page and off-page. Off-page SEO mainly consists of social signals and building high quality, relevant links back to your website to increase the authority of your domain and boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Unfortunately producing great content isn’t enough for people to link to you, you need to be proactive in acquiring links and sharing your content in order to improve your search rank and generate traffic.
Before we go into the ways in which you can build quality backlinks for SEO. It’s important to note that quality matters! You should be seeking out highly relevant i.e. from sources in your industry or niche and those that are as authoritative as possible. Look for domain authorities (DA) as high as possible of at least 40. Moz has a great Chrome extension you can use to quickly gauge the DA of a site. It is ok to gain links from sites with lower DA if they are relevant but never ‘buy’ links and avoid low authoritative, spammy sites at all costs they will only damage your SEO efforts – the Panda and Penguin Google updates saw to that.
Let’s get you backlinking, ranking better in search engines and increasing your traffic!
- Broken Links
This is a great way to earn backlinks off high quality sites quickly. Find broken links on a website (related to your niche) and email the content owner/webmaster notifying them about their broken link. When doing so be friendly and introduce yourself. Tell them the resource they were linking to is no longer available, the exact location of the link so they can find it easily and give them a link from your website which has similar content for them to replace their broken link. Use the Chrome extension Check My Links to discover broken links.
- Guest Posting
Many travel blogs allow guest posting. Seek these out in your niche, pitch a topic to them and submit posts for approval. Always try to send a personal email alongside to up your chances of being published. In addition to aiding your rankings you will also improve your reputation and social media presence. There are dedicated Facebook groups for travel blogs so join these and look for opportunities. You can even search Google to find blogs accepting guest contributors: your keyword + inurl:write-for-us
your keyword + guest-posts
your keyword + inurl:guest-post-guidelines
your keyword + become a contributor
your keyword + bloggers wanted
your keyword + submit an article
your keyword + want to write for
your keyword + contribute
your keyword + become an author
your keyword + guest post by
your keyword + now accepting guest posts
Comment on high domain authority, dofollow blogs (use the NoFollow Chrome extension), relevant to your niche. They won’t carry too much link value as you’re only commenting so aim for a high DA at least 70 if possible. They will generally contribute to your link profile though.
- Social Media Groups
Join Facebook, LinkedIn groups and Google + communities in your niche to connect and collaborate with others in your industry. Often bloggers and businesses are looking for sound bites, photos or entire guest posts to help with their own content creation and calendars and are happy to link back to your site in return. Don’t be afraid to post asking for collaborations; reciprocity goes a long way!
Interview leaders and influencers in your industry and post on your site; they will most likely link to you, but ask them to help you by sharing on their social channels as well. You can also seek opportunities to be interviewed and ask your interviewer to link to you.
If you are knowledgeable and want to be perceived as a thought leader in your sphere, a common PR tactic is to seek, respond and pitch to journalists to provide quotes or sound bites on a given topic. This can also be fantastic for gaining backlinks as well as boosting your PR. You can sign up to sites like HelpaReporter.com to be notified when they need someone with your skills for an interview. Alternatively you can network with journalists within your niche, presenting yourself as a go-to person for a quick sound bite when they need it.
- Social Media Threads
Post a link to a helpful, value add post on your website in relevant threads on social media. Social signals are shown to improve search rankings and you never know someone might find your post so useful that they then link to it from their own website. Always be considerate of group rules, often self promotion is not allowed so you must make the effort to provide value for free and support others.
Analyse your competitors backlink profiles and target sites that link to them. You can use tools to do this but also create Google Alerts for your key competitors so that you are alerted when they post new content.
- Press Releases
Write press releases on significant events for and affecting your business; if newsworthy enough journalists and bloggers will love to repost these. You can also submit them for press release distribution.
- Discussion Boards & Answer Sites
Answer questions on sites such as Quora, Yahoo Answers etc. and link to your website as the source.
Join relevant and respected organisations in your industry; often these will have a members directory where you can place a link to your website.
- Link to Relevant Sites
Linking to other relevant sites within your content is a great way to build links. Email those people to let them know that you linked to them but don’t expect people to link back. An article from Neil Patel suggests that some people will link back but less than 5% and 20%-25% will tweet out your post. Which in turn will bring more traffic and maybe even more links.
- Build a Tool
Build a great tool or app on your site that is useful to your industry. Odds are people will link to it if it provides a great deal of value.
- Local Business Directories
If you are a local business; submit yourself to well respected business directories such as Yell and True Local.
As long as you have been a customer you can write reviews on other websites, it will take you just a few minutes and you may be able to get a link back to your site.
- Create a Roundup Post
These posts get lots of links, people just love them! Email a bunch of experts (the more the merrier) in your industry asking them 1 or 2 questions, remember to give a deadline and always email more people that you need responses from. Once posted email your experts thanking them and encouraging them to share on their social channels.
Donating to non-profit organisations can earn you backlinks. Find websites in your niche that accept donations and link back to donors. Don’t do this just for links, find causes that fit with your business and that you are passionate about. For example I love to contribute to ecotourism and marine conservation causes.
- Promote Your Content
Whether on your own site or someone else’s, always promote the content you place on social media, by email and any other online channels you are using.
Infographics are still super popular content that attracts backlinks and get shared on social media. An easy way to do this is to search a topic in your niche on BuzzSumo and collect lots of statistics about it to create an infographic. Publish the infographic on your blog and make it embeddable by using the embed code generator. Then reach out to sites that have published similar content e.g. the ones that came up in your BuzzSumo search, and offer them the infographic plus a small guest post to go with it that will contain your link.
Look out for mentions of your site with no links. You can use tools such as BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, Mention or by setting up Google Alerts to find mentions of you or your business. Check the links used when you receive a mention, reach out to the website owner be polite and appreciative and ask them if they could add a link.
Link building remains one of the most effective ways to improve domain authority, rank better and drive more traffic from search and with the right, high quality, relevant links, can also be more targeted. Don’t forget you also need good on-page SEO and a good internal linking structure too!