When we put time and money into marketing, we want it to work.
Today we’re going to dive deeper into how gaining authoritative backlinks can boost your marketing efforts.
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We all use the search engines to find the things we need every day, but making sure that our business comes up when someone else is searching can be daunting.
Sure, you can pay to have an ad for your business at the top of the page, but that way you’re paying for every single click!
It doesn’t matter if someone clicks to your page and spends 5 seconds, that click could easily cost you $25 for that five seconds they were on your site.
We’re talking today about what it takes to get your website to come up “organically” at the top of search results. This takes a little more effort, but it allows you to take advantage of the free traffic that is already available to everyone! Anyone can take advantage of free traffic to grow their business, but it won’t happen without intentionally going after it.
In episode’s 1 and 2 of Fusion Fire, we talked about how to write irresistible content that gets the click, and how to optimize your page for the search engines. Today we’re going to dive into how backlinks affect your page ranking.
What is a backlink you ask? Brilliant question. A backlink (or inbound link) is a link to your website that comes from someone else’s website. For example, if I’m writing an article like this one that’s talking about backlinks, I probably want to link to some of the best resources on the web that have already been compiled on the topic.
Google and Bing use inbound links as a primary signal that your website is worth showing to someone else. Their logic is that you wouldn’t put a link to something that isn’t good on your website, and for the most part this is true.
There are black hat SEO’s who put up shell websites and fill them full of links to try and get a quick jump in rankings, but that’s against the rules and can get you a hefty penalty, and that’s not how we roll, right?
Here at Fusion Creative, we believe in doing it the right way the first time, so we work to gain links from websites backed by awesome people.
So, how do we go about getting backlinks?
Step #1 – Create great content that begs to be linked to. If you’re creating web pages and articles that are really helpful and answer the questions that people are asking, you’re naturally going to get links over time.
Spend the time on the front end to make sure that you’re answering the questions people are asking, and then let people know where you’ve written the answer. If you get the topic right and follow the steps that we’ve laid out in episodes 1 and 2, people will link to your content because it’s helpful and meets a need.
Step #2 – Research your competitor’s backlinks. You already know who your competitors are, so head to the web and see who is giving them link juice.
(For those of you new to backlink and SEO slang, the term link juice refers to the power that each backlink gives to the website it links to. The more links a website gets, the more link juice. It may sound weird, but it’s a strangely accurate description of how links affect rank.)
If you’ve never looked before at your competitor’s backlink profile, there are many great tools to get it done.
We subscribe to Moz.com at the office. Moz is a subscription based service, and their software allows us to pull up a complete backlink profile for any site on the web. It’s incredibly helpful in looking at our clients’ sites as well as their competitors.
Another fantastic website is AHRefs. AHrefs is a competitor to Moz, and we actually got a note from their marketing manager in response to our last video. Anastasia referred us to an article on their website that they’ve written about on-page SEO, which is what we covered in our last video. More on this in a bit.
Step #3 – Ask for people to link to you. This doesn’t mean that you just willy nilly email everyone across the web and ask them to link for you. In case you haven’t tried this yet, let me save you some time. IT. DOESN’T. WORK. It’s often said in digital marketing that, “nobody wants to link to your content.” This is both true and false.
True, nobody wants to get emails every day that say, “link to my content bro.” I’ll ignore that email every single day. On the other hand, if you ask the right way and your article is truly helpful to my audience, I’ll link to you all day. Let’s go back to the email we got from Anastasia over at AHRefs a few days ago. Here’s what she said.
“I wonder if you’ve seen our study of on-page factors (that’s actually the biggest study Ahrefs did so far).
We analyzed how all the ‘conventional’ on-page SEO factors correlate with Google search results across 2 million keyword searches. You can find the full article here: (see Fusion Fire Episode 2 for the link.)
She ended with, “I’d love to hear what you think about the results of our study. And if you’ve got any ideas for other SEO stuff we could test in our upcoming researches — that would be just great.”
So, did you see where she asked for a link to her website? That’s because she didn’t ask me directly. She has a piece of great content that is relevant to what episode 2 was talking about, and she wanted to offer it as a resource to begin a relationship with us. That’s it! There was no hard sell, no soft sell, and reading her email didn’t make me want to hit a quick delete.
Anastasia never asked me for a link, but because she shared an awesome study that’s relevant to my audience, I was more than happy to add a link to last week’s post and video. This is a great example of how to ask for a link, so learn from the experts and start a relationship with people in your vertical.
Step #4 – Link to other people’s resources. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s actually a great idea to link to other people’s content and resources. It’s not only the inbound links or backlinks that help your website become more authoritative.
Google and Bing are also looking at how many times you link to other websites as well. For every page on your website, the search engines are constantly on the lookout for what you’re linking to and if that content is any good. They believe that if you’re linking to great content, you’ve probably read it and are adding to the body of knowledge it’s about.
Some people are terrified to link to someone else’s website because it might take the reader off your page and they’ll be lost forever… Remember, your reader may click a link in your article and leave your site, but they’ll remember how they found this new amazing resource. By showing your audience great resources, you become one of the great resources for them. Don’t be afraid to link to content outside of your website. It can be a great thing for everyone.
Step #5 – Thank those who link to you. If someone takes the time to link to your content on their website, shoot them a quick email or comment on their post and say thank you. There’s nothing like taking the time to set up a link to someone else’s content and never hear anything back.
Link building is relationship building, and whether you’re linking to someone or being linked to, reach out and touch base. The more you can grow the relationship between your two organizations, the more natural it will be to freely link back and forth.
We could spend another 30 minutes talking about the backlink, but we’ll save that for a future video.
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David works every day to help businesses turn clicks into customers. He's the CEO of Fusion Creative - a digital marketing agency located in Indianapolis, IN.