Backlinks Are Important
Backlinks are important to any website, especially to a new website. The main goal of backlinks is to get higher page rank for a specific keyword.
For example, two websites are nearly identical: “Website A” and “Website B.” However, “Website A” has one relevant backlink from a high authority website. “Website B” has no backlinks. Then based on Google’s search engine algorithms, “Website A” should rank higher on the search engines results page.
So exactly what is it backlink (also called an inbound link)? A backlink is a hyperlink from an external website—to your website. Let’s say a hypothetical internet businessman reads one of your blog posts about “Professional Football Season Tickets” and thinks your information is valuable to his readers. He could hyperlink from his website to your website—and thus a backlink is created.
Anchor Text Is Important
The anchor text is the highlighted, hyperlinked text for a given link. Concerning backlinks, search engines use anchor text as an indication of the topic of the page and whether it is relevant to the external page. Therefore when creating backlinks to your website, take time to think about the wording of the anchor text. For detailed guidance on anchor text please read: “A Data Driven Guide To Anchor Text (And Its Impact On SEO).”
Topical Text On Both Web Pages
However, the internet businessman would not just choose any page from his website. Rather he wants the information to be useful to his readers. Therefore, he would carefully select a page on his web page that is relevant and “fits naturally” to your blog post.
From this example you see that two things that are crucial for an excellent backlink:
(1) high quality information on your web page, and
(2) a hyperlink from a relevant page on an external website—to your relevant web page.
It is key that the content/topic/keywords on both sides of the hyperlink are relevant to each other.
Here is a real example of a backlink which shows that the content/topic/keywords are related on both sides of the hyperlink are important to Google.com:
a. PrettyPleasePassiveIncome.com page topic: “first page of the search engine results page”
b. External Website backlink page: “your search engine results page“
Again, it is important that the content/topic/anchor text/keywords on both sides of the hyperlink are relevant to each other. The above example is an exact match of anchor text to keywords. But for Google’s current algorithm, “natural” anchor text are more important than exact match of anchor text to keywords (please this linked article for suggested percentages of anchor text terms that should not offend Google).
A natural anchor text includes SEO-friendly synonyms and could also include SEO-friendly contextual words, for example: “this article discusses page ranking techniques”. Natural anchor text will be discussed in training classes.
The best backlinks are from relevant web pages of high authority websites that you do not have to buy, ask, or build yourself. But backlinks are too important for you to wait for them. You should start working to create backlinks now.
Link Building Campaign
To build backlinks to your website requires a focused effort and will take months to see traffic, and ranking results. Since every one has different goals for their websites, it is not possible for us to design a link building campaign to suit everyone.
A highly successful campaign requires a detailed personalized long-term plan which is beyond the scope of this article. But here is a simple template of a link building campaign to just give you experience in building diverse types of backlinks (diversity is important). You do not want to focus on one or two types of backlinks because if Goggle chances its algorithm you could be adversely affected like many other websites.
Simple Backlink Building Campaign
Step 1. Determine who is the ideal customer for your product or service.
Step 2. Determine a measurable and achievable link building goal that will contribute to your website’s long term success.
Step 3. Determine how you will daily monitor and record whether you are working toward your goal.
Step 4. Determine your monetary budget, and how much time you can spend each day to achieve your goals.
Step 5. Determine the actual daily steps that will help you achieve your goal (stated in Step 2).
Step 6. Evaluate your efforts.
Signed and date to show your commitment to achieving your goal.
Most of the ways to increase backlinks presented in this article are free and require only your hard work, or can be easily scaled to meet most budgets. Also, keep a detailed journal so you can assess your hard work and the results.
Below are possible answers for someone who wants to increase the backlinks to a Professional Football Blog.
Simple Backlink Building Campaign
For [Your Website]
Step 1. My ideal customer is a person who is an avid fan of professional football.
Step 2. Add at least 15 backlinks to my website in 30 days.
Step 3. I have selected 4 easy but effective ways to build backlinks:
a. Write two quality blog posts each week, preferably at least 1,500 words for each blog.
b. Comment on 1 high quality, niche-related websites every two or three days.
c. Upload a high quality, keyword relevant slide deck to SlideShare.com each week based on one of my blog posts.
d. Upload a high quality, keyword relevant video based on a blog post to a video sharing website.
Step 4. My budget is $50.00 a month. I will do the necessary research to ensure that I have the necessary skill to do new projects well. I will keep everything I do simple and effective to avoid having a reason to give up or to fail.
Step 5. This is what I need to do to achieve my goal of getting at least 15 backlinks to my website in 30 days.
a. I will comment on two websites in the morning before my work day begins.
b. I will conduct research for my blog articles throughout the week; and write both of my blog articles over the weekend.
c. I will outsource my slide deck on Fiverr.com. I will upload the slide deck to a slide sharing website on Sunday night before 7:00 p.m.
d. I will outsource my video creation on Fiverr.com. I will upload the completed video on Sunday night before 8:00 p.m.
e. I will create high quality unique content. I will not duplicate word-for-word the title, anchor text, url, in any of my content or links etc.
Step 6. I will evaluate whether my daily actions are effective. I will daily view referral links and visitor counts to my website to see if they are increasing. I understand that some comments are moderated and every comment will not be accepted, if so I will find another website to offer a comment for a backlink. I understand that building backlinks requires a long term effort.
Signed: [Your Name], today’s date
Surely, some will disagree with this simple link building campaign. But the goal is to get started and not to be perfect. You need some experience to gauge your future efforts. You can fine-tune your link building strategy as needed.
High Quality Content
High quality content naturally attracts people to backlink to your relevant web page. Please read from Moz.com How to Rank by Cyrus Shepard. It also attracts Google since it wants to ensure a good experience for their users. Its algorithms mimic the thought process of your hypothetical internet business visitor. Therefore, Google also checks for keyword relevance and a natural fit of the external hyperlink to the specific page on your website.
Let us go back to your hypothetical internet business visitor. He linked to your web page about “Professional Football Season Tickets” from his web page with these keywords: “Affordable Hotel Tips for Avid Professional Football Fans.” This is a relevant backlink that Google probably will use to improve your page rank. With his thoughtful keyword relevant backlink, he has given you a “vote of confidence as a trustworthy” website–and your web page could rank higher in search results.
Avoid Unnatural Backlinks
Always remember that Google wants to give its users a good web experience. Therefore, you want to avoid being ignored by Google.
Let us take another look at your blog post about “Professional Football Season Tickets.” Let us say a different and less astute visitor to your website links from his web page about “Organic Tomato Plants Coupons” to your page about “Professional Football Season Tickets.” This is an “unnatural” backlink is one that Google probably will likely ignore.
Avoid Backlink Schemes
Google also dislikes large numbers of “unnatural links” from “Link Farms.” These are websites which will sell you a large number of links from their websites (“farms”) to your web pages. Of course the bulk of these links will be non-related to your web pages and low quality. Such links can get your website banned by Google.
Further, Google dislikes Private Blog Networks or other such schemes. The private blog networks scheme is similar to a link farm except that it involves links from a number of websites controlled by you and linked to webpages on your other websites. Regardless of the scheme, you want to avoid unnatural, non-relevant links to your website. Please read, “10 Big Brands That Were Penalized by Google.
Also, avoid bad neighborhoods (defined below). You want to avoid severe penalties, (Please Read: “An In-Depth Guide to Link Quality, Link Penalties and “Bad Links.”)
14 Easy High Quality Backlinks Strategies
There are many sources of high quality backlinks. The goal of this article is to provide you with some easy, white hat strategies, so that you will get started today. You can try more complex methods after you have mastered the basics.
Here are some diverse strategies to get high quality backlinks to your website. Most are free and only requires your hard work. Others are scalable to most budgets.
1. Blog Commenting: Leave useful comments on high authority, niche related blogs. Important: Include relevant keywords/keyword phrases in your comment and a hyperlink to your website.
To find such blog do a search on “powered by WordPress” + [your keyword] + “leave a comment.” You will find blogs which will allow you to leave a comment. Be very selective. Take time to outline and write your comment.
2. Blog Content: Create high quality posts so others will naturally want to backlink to your website.
3. Directories (High Quality): DMOZ.org is the oldest and most respected directory. It is a multilingual, open-content directory run with volunteer editors who organize website listings into very specific categories
Along with listing with DMOZ.org (if they will accept your website) search for other high quality, high authority directories for your niche. (Search “directory” + [your keyword] to find directories. Again, be very selective.
4. Guest Blogging: Guest blog or a high authority website and you will look like an expert in your niche. Search “[your keyword]” + “guest posting” to find such opportunities. Also you can type your domain in a Similar Search Tool.
6. Local Directories: This is similar to “Directories” above but for your local city or region. To find such directories, do a search on “[your city or region]” + directory; or directory + “submit my site” + “[your city or region]”
7. News Service: Help A Reporter Out/HARO.com Set up a separate free email account, and sign up to this website. You will get daily inquiries from reporters. If they use your comments or expertise they might give you a backlink in the news story.
8. Paid Syndication Websites: Use the Outbrain.com paid syndication website to get a few sentences of your content in the footer area on websites such as CNN.com. With Outbrain.com, you should get high quality backlinks as well as targeted web traffic.
9. Podcasts: Create a podcast for iTunes. Put your website hyperlink in podcast notes, descriptions and wherever else it is appropriate so that you can get backlinks. Promote your podcasts on other networks.
10. Press Releases: Issue a press release for a truly newsworthy event. Choose the best free or paid press release distribution service based on your project. Include your web page hyperlink in in the press release as backlinks. Here is a very good article on choosing a free or paid press release distribution service.
11. Slide Sharing Websites: Upload your slide deck to SlideShare.net a slide sharing website. Once uploaded, your slide decks can then be viewed on the website, printed, or embedded into other websites by its members
12. Question and Answer Forums: Yahoo Answer is the largest such forum with millions of daily visitors. Go to this website and “Sign In”to your regular Yahoo email account (the “Sign In” link is located on the upper right side of the web page) . Find a broad category that is appropriate for your blog post. Then drill down a relevant, specific subcategory. Thoughtfully answer a question using keywords from your blog post. Then list your blog post url as the source citation. Rinse and repeat the process for each new blog post.
13. Videos: Create a video channels at Youtube.com, Vimeo.com, and Wistia.com. Put your hyperlink in your profiles, in the video descriptions, and in the actual video. Include relevant keywords at every opportunity. Make sure the videos, content and descriptions are different for each channel to avoid being ignored by Google.es.
14. Web 2.0 Websites: These are websites which emphasize user-generated and user-controlled content (meaning any computer user can contribute content to these websites). Some of the Web 2.0 websites have high authority. You can contribute by writing an article, sharing photos, microblogging, etc. and include a backlink to you website. Here is an excellent, backlink article which organizes some of the many Web 2.0 websites by categories. Conduct your own research before using these websites.
In conclusion, when it comes to building backlinks, the best approaches include:
• Do not pay for backlinks.
• Be proactive and build your own backlinks using white hat techniques. Do not wait for other websites to backlink to your website.
• Be patient and build backlinks manually, and gradually to ensure they are relevant and are of high quality.
• Avoid any fast or automated backlinks (link farms, private blog networks, questionable code embedded website “badges” for completing courses, etc.). You want to avoid Google penalties.
• Remember that all backlinks are not equal and avoid bad neighborhoods (defined below).
• Develop a link building campaign to ensure you are consistently increasing the number of your backlinks for the long term success of your website. Continue to learn more about backlink strategies.
It will take time to build your relevant, high quality backlinks. However, the reward is long term so it is worth the wait. Backlinks will result in higher search engine page ranking. Also they contribute to a steady growth of targeted, organic traffic to your website.
Keep a journal to track what you are doing to build links. You will see yourself becoming better at it each day.
Now download, complete, and sign your link building campaign form. Or just get started based on the template mentioned earlier in this article.
Anchor Text: The anchor text is the highlighted, hyperlinked text for a given link. (Please Read: Wikipedia article on “Anchor Text“). You should avoid using generic links words like “ click here” or “next” for anchor text. You want to make it easy for Google’s search engine to determine that the backlink from the external website to your website is relevant to the content of your web page. Use a specific, relevant keywords in the anchor text.
There are different classifications of anchor text that are used within the search engine optimization community (SEO) which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Exact Match: an anchor that is used with a keyword that mirrors the page that is being linked to. Example: “search engine optimization” is an exact match anchor because it’s linking to a page about “search engine optimization
- Branded: brand that is used as the anchor. “Pretty Please Passive Income” is a branded anchor text.
- Naked: URL that is used as an anchor. “www.prettypleasepassiveincome.com” is a naked link anchor text.
- Natural: anchor text that is a SEO-friendly synonym or contextual text of the page topic that Google algorithms will recognize for determining page rank.
- Generic: generic word or phrase that is used as the anchor. “Click here” is a generic anchor text phrase. Other variations may include “go here”, “visit this website”, etc.
- Images: whenever an image is linked, Google wi;; use the “ALT” tag as the anchor tag.
Backlinks: This is a hyperlink from an external website to your website. The goal is to have relevant, high quality backlinks.
Bad Neighborhood: This phrase refers to websites which search engines consider as low quality or have violated search engine guidelines. Such websites include “casino,” and the like.
Broken Links/Defective Links: Such links are like roads that lead to nowhere instead of leading back to your website or to relevant information. This can occur when the address of a web page has changed. They lower the quality of your website; and also wastes “Link Juice” (see below).
Duplicative Content: This refers to websites with very similar content. It could result in lower page ranking or possibly Google viewing the websites as part of a “Link Farm” or part of a “Private Blog Network” (see below).
Interlinking on Same IP Address: This could result in lower page ranking. Google might view this as being a scheme to unnaturally increase page ranking.
Link: This is a hyperlink that links web pages, images, documents, etc.
Link Building Campaign: A focused effort to increase your backlinks by consistently working to add backlinks to your website.
Link Types: There are various types of link that include:
(1) Editorial link: natural results from your high quality content; such links are organic and not paid or or requested.
(2) Image link: images that are hyperlinked to your specific url.
(3) Resource link: links visitors to beneficial information.
(4) Social bookmarking link: centralized online storing service which allows members to share bookmarked links.
(5) Acquired links (see below):
a. Reciprocal links: mutually exchanged links (which search engines might ignore).
b. Forum signature links: forum communities which allow outbound links in the member signature of comment.
c. Blog comments links: leaving a relevant, keyword rich comment on another blogger’s website (sometimes search engines ignore such comments but you will get targeted traffic when visitors click the link to your web page).
d. Directory links: List of websites by categories, listing can be free or paid.
As stated earlier, you want to avoid reciprocal links (exchanging links) to avoid being penalized by search engines.
Link Farm:Usually a link seller makes promises of many backlinks to your website. But, it is a link building scheme involving low quality links from external websites with the goal of unnaturally, and quickly increasing page rank. Link farms might be severely penalized by Google including being banned.
Link Juice: Link juice is the ability of internal and external links to increase page rank because Google’s algorithms view websites with many links as being popular and trustworthy.
Page Rank: This is a Google algorithm which help determine the popularity of a page by the number of relevant, high quality backlinks.
Private Blog Network (PBN): This is a scheme similar to a Link Farm except you control it. The goal of a PBN is to unnaturally increasing page rank. Google likely will penalize PBNs when detected.
Quality Backlink: This is an external link, preferably from an external high authority website, to your site using relevant keywords to your web page.
White Hat SEO. SEO techniques that follow search engines policies and avoid getting their website penalized or banned.
Please listen to audio for this blog: 14 Easy Ways to Build High Quality Backlinks.