There are two type of SEO activities; on-page and off-page SEO. One of the most important aspects of off-page SEO is in relation to link building.
Link building is so vital because it send signals to Google that your website is trustworthy, relevant and has a high level of authority. Links is used by Google to determine a page’s ranking and it forms a significant part in the algorithm. Therefore if you are not attracting enough links (or quality links) then your website is likely to be struggling in terms of ranking.
Research from Moz explains that almost all of the website that are in Google’s first page of results have one or more external links. This means that it is very difficult for you to rank highly if you have no external links. These days, just one external link isn’t even nearly enough.
You will find that major brands have thousands and thousands of backlinks. Obviously, if you are a small – medium business owner you probably don’t have the time to establish and work towards gaining that kind of amount of backlinks. However, it is important that you put enough time in attracting backlinks because you will benefit greatly from it.
Backlinks aren’t as easy as they were say 10 years ago for SEO results. More people understand the benefits therefore more people are trying harder to get backlinks. These days, more businesses are actually failing when it comes to backlinks. It is now difficult to attract backlinks and as well as this, you might be going about it the entirely wrong way.
If you are finding you are struggling particularly hard to try to get your content enough links, then have a read below at some things to look out for, as well as how to fix them.
1. Using ineffective title
Titles are the first thing people will read and it will determine whether they stay on and read further. An ineffective title will not captivate the audience and they would have no desire to learn more. A title that is effective will set the tone for the rest of the content to come as well as help defining the type of backlinks you are after.
So, for example, if you would like the phase “water bottle” to be used as your anchor text when backlinking, then it becomes important to include that phase in your title. This is so imperative because when people link to your content, they pull its central idea. Therefore including the right phases will help you get the right type of links.
How to Fix: Think about your business and the industry you are operating in. What are the type of topics are you looking for in your anchor text? By basing your title around that you are more likely to get higher quality and more relevant backlinks to your website. By choosing a title that is compelling and relevant to your content you will hopefully see an increase of links.
2. Looking in the wrong places
When trying to find good websites to backlink to your site, people usually look towards blogs. Blogs are an excellent source for a backlink, especially if the blog is well known and a leader in the field or industry.
I find that many people are simply looking at the wrong type of blogs and therefore the time and effort spent on requesting a backlink from the blog is completely wasted.
How to Fix: When you are next looking for blogs to backlink to your website, have a little think about the below factors. If they pass these factors then you should certainly send through a request and get started with guest posting.
- Same niche – if the blog is in the same niche as you they are more likely to link you. This is because the information from the two different sites will usually complement each other well and make it better, therefore creating a win-win situation with the blog. So, if you are operating a clothing business, you shouldn’t reach out to blogs that have a focus on food! Choosing a blog in the same niche will also mean you steer clear of Google penalties. Google looks at your backlinks and where they came from and if they are from completely unrelated topics, this sends a red flag. Google is known to penalise websites that have backlinks from unrelated domains because they are thought to be untrustworthy.
- Interested by your topic – quality backlinks usually come when someone in genuinely interested in what you have to say. If they are genuinely interested, then there enthusiasm is likely to rub off onto other readers and hopefully they will click through to have a read of your content.
- Will actually backlink – some blogs do not want to backlink to any other site. It is important that you find out if a blog is open to backlinking or not because you don’t want your time sending a request if you have no chance.
Social networks are a great place to gain a whole heap of backlinks, if people share your content online. Making sure your content will be able to pick up traction from social media platforms is really important. If your content is shared more people are likely to read it, and if they like it, then they share it and more people read it.
This is how things go viral on social media. People also tend to listen to the opinion of their friends and family more than business owners or professionals. And what type of people do users add to their social media account? FRIENDS!
How to Fix: Make sure you have social sharing options on all your content. These options should allow users the easy ability to share instantly with all their friends. When reading content, users may think it’s really awesome but not think about sharing it.
By having the sharing button near the content you are reminding and encouraging users to share your post.
4. You aren’t trying hard enough
If you think that once you have finished writing your content you are done, then you’re in for a bit of a shock. This is not how backlinking works at all. You have to go out and engage with people and try even further to gain proper and solid backlinks. Just writing quality content isn’t enough on its own. People still not be able to find it, so if you show it to them, (and the quality shines through) you will hopefully gain some links.
How to Fix: If you want something you have to go out and work for it. This is the same for backlinks. Someone isn’t just going to magically stumble across your website, like your content and link it. You will have to work for it. The more backlinks you get, the easier the process will become (usually).
5. Your content isn’t quite there
This means that your content isn’t good enough that people want to link it. Therefore you should always be striving towards creating content that is a linkable asset, meaning that people love the content so much that they have no option other to link to it.
I know this does sound pretty ambiguous, I mean how exactly do you create content that is so awesome? Well, it takes time, research and a lot of trial and error. You must be patient and know that you probably will not create awesome linkable content on the first try. It takes practise and you will get better at it the more content you write.
How to Fix: You will need to choose a topic that is both relevant to your industry and popular. Choosing a topic with this mixture will potentially help in earning links. Then you will have to take a look and see what else is out there that is similar to what you are going to write about, then make it better.
You can make it better by including more up to date facts and data or simply going into more depth about the topic. You could also use more/ better graphics. This is a good way to break up the text and give the users eyes a rest.
Infographics are an interesting way to show data and this will hopefully engage your readers. Better formatting is another way and this will make your content easy to follow and understand.
6. You are asking the wrong way
I find this is a fairly common mistake as people don’t understand how to ask for a favour correctly. As well as this, the majority of the top bloggers and/ or influencers are probably getting hundreds and hundreds of emails every day by people asking to backlink to their website (or something similar).
This therefore makes it incredibly difficult to get your request to stand out from the back. Obviously, creating quality content is imperative. However, bloggers and/ or influencers are only going to get to your content if your request is written in a way that means they can’t refuse.
How to Fix: There is a process you should follow in order to attempt to win over the desired individual. Firstly you have to create some think link worthy. Then, find places that you link would want it to be linked. Now here is the important step: engage with them (essentially butter them up) and finally send them a request.
Think back to when you were a child and you wanted something from your mum. Would you just straight up ask her? No! You would complement her, or do a chore, etc. then ask. This is essentially the same thing. By engaging with the blogger and/ or influencer you are also making yourself known to them.
That way when you send an email request, if you have made a good enough impression, they will put two and two together and realise that you are the same person who has been talking with them before. You are more likely to get want you want this way, rather than sending a cold pitch.
7. Email request is not effective
Even if you have followed all the above steps and still feel as though you aren’t getting as much links as you deserve, then your request is probably not effective. The email that you send out needs to be original and enforce credibility. If the reader feels as though you are using a template and just simply sending it out to anyone and everyone, this will not make them feel special and will mean that they probably won’t link to you.
How to Fix: It is important to create personalised emails, however do not make them too long. If your email request is too long it could become unengaging for the reader. Therefore it is best if you keep it short and sweet.
Attracting backlinks is an important part of off-page SEO. Backlinks will assist in boosting your ranking because this is one of the important ranking factors that search engines use. However, it is important to be careful and establish only high quality backlinks; otherwise you may be hit with a penalty from a search engine. These days, just a couple of backlinks aren’t enough and you have to work hard to ensure that your content is good enough to have a backlink. You must also ensure your methods of reaching out to potential backlinkers are correct.
If you read and follow the above 7 points and change any bad choices you are making, it is hoped that you will see an increase in backlinks. This isn’t something that will happen overnight. It will take a lot of work and effort, but I can assure you that the benefits are totally worth it. So make sure you have a close read of the points and follow them so that your content can get the most backlinks possible.