It’s no longer an option to have a website for your business. In the digital world of today, a business without an online website is one destined to fail. Moreover, the best way to jump start your new –– or revive a not so new –– business is by improving the quality of its online presence. Yet, it’s often easier said than done. While having an online website is a no brainer, keeping it alive and going strong in a competitive market is not so much simpler.

The key to making sure your website is up to date and competing is search engine optimization (SEO). It’s basically how you ensure your website reaches your target demographic. The better and more SEO friendly your website is, the more people it’ll attract, and the better your business will be. One of the strongest weapons in your SEO arsenal is backlinks, one you just can’t do without.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are simply the links on other websites that link to yours. So, if another website has an external link that redirects users to your own website, this is called a backlink. The importance of backlinks is they ensure your website has good traffic. More importantly, more backlinks means more exposure for your content, and it also means your website is trusted. If you think about backlinks as proof of credibility –– where other sites are dying to link to yours –– then it’s something you’ll want your demographic to experience; think of it as a recommendation of your website.

How then can you build backlinks to your website? The short answer is ethically and professionally. There are those who resort to shady methods to increase the website traction, which often results in a backlash and the website gaining notoriety for being not too honest. This is the last outcome you can hope for your business. What are some ethical, professional ways to get backlinks to your website then?

Broken Link Method

This is how it works: you’ll search for websites who can ideally link to yours –– that is, having similar content. Then you’ll contact the webmaster to report the broken links on their website, and give them same candidate links to replace those broken links –– naturally yours will be among the list. Since you’re doing them a favor by reporting broken links, which make for an awful user experience, it’s quite likely your link would end up on their website in return. This is quite an efficient and quick way because no matter how good the website and the webmaster are, every website has broken links and every website doesn’t want those broken links.

Guest Posting

This is another good and reliable way to build backlinks. The idea is simple; you write content for another website which would mean you’ll get to include a link to your own. This could be done in the text itself –– since you’ll probably be contacting websites that have similar content to yours –– or in your author biography, in which you could include links to your website. Either way, the links will refer back to your website which is what you want at the end of the day. It’s quite important however not to abuse this strategy, as many do.

Don’t go for websites that are not reputable or are somewhat shady; look for someone reliable and trustworthy enough in your niche, so as to ensure your backlink would count for something. It’s also important to keep in mind what it is you need to do. According to the article How To Build Backlinks – An SEO Link Strategy From 37,942 Anchor Texts, the most important thing to get right when building backlinks is the anchor text you use as that is the first thing Google is looking at in a natural backlink profile. Also, don’t just write the one time; contribute several articles to each website you’re guest posting at.

Help A Reporter Out

Help a reporter out (HARO) is a free service which reporters and journalists use to get information on certain articles you’re writing. What you can do is sign up for free –– it’s also quite quick –– and you’ll get weekly requests from reporters looking for help with certain reports or features. When you do get back to certain reporters about certain inquiries which you can help with, whether they’re citing you and your website as a source or citing information from your website –– which means a backlink –– either way you’re getting a backlink. Be sure to filter out requests, though and only respond to those related to your specific niche.

Testimonials

Testimonials are another clever way of earning backlinks. So, any company likes to brag about its sales, and some even have specific pages on their websites dedicated to that purpose, called Testimonials page. What you’ll do is make a list of products and services you’ve used for companies that have testimonials pages. Then, start writing reviews for each of those, which will naturally ask for your contact details, and then leave your feedback on the page. You’ll find that most, if not all, companies will automatically take your testimonial and link back to your website, as proof that this is not a scam of a testimonial and that the person who wrote it is a real one. This gives your website greater exposure as Testimonials is a page many visit to make sure the service or product they’re about to pay money for are legit and trustworthy.

Patience Is A Virtue

A key point in building backlinks is being patient. If you ever come across someone claiming they can sell you the secret to getting your website to the number one place on Google rankings, it’s most likely a scam. The process of building backlinks takes time and patience, because there are no shortcuts here. But you need to do it correctly and properly to ensure that the backlinks you got will do your website good, not the other way around. That is why it’s important to play it by the book so you can sleep tight knowing your backlinks will not get deleted the following day or the shady website that backlinked to yours won’t disappear out of the blue. At the end of the day, how well you play out the backlinks game will determine how much traffic your website will get, and ultimately how your business’s online presence will look like.
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