How to Use Backlinking Strategies to Improve Your Website Traffic
A backlink in its simplest terms is a link to your site from another website. Obtaining backlinks naturally or “organically” is the best strategy to ensure that you don’t get penalized by Google’s updated algorithms. This simply means that you should not purchase or obtain backlinks from questionable sources, but rather acquire them by providing great, relevant content. When you consistently publish content that others deem important, they will link their sites to yours naturally to allow their readers to learn from your valuable information. In essence, this is a strategy that has always been followed by the best online marketers, writers and publishers and has become the gold standard for improving a website’s search engine optimization.
The following is a comprehensive list of backlinking strategies to improve your website traffic by improving your ranking on Google’s search pages, or SERP.
- Include about 50% of your backlink anchor text using your brand name, but make sure you vary how you use your brand name (mix it up a bit).
- Make sure <30% of your text anchor links contain your keyword or keyword phrase.
- Use several variations of your long tail keywords in your anchor links.
- About 25% of the time, use anchor text that contain generic words like “read more”, “click here”, “click here for more details” etc.
- Use internal links often (these are links you use from one page/post of your site to another page/post within your site), and make sure they make sense. It is also better if the links are within the text instead of in a sidebar, footer or menu.
- Get relevant links from external sites that make sense. For example, don’t link to a site about sneakers from a site about eyeglasses, and don’t solicit links from a site about dog collars if your site is about tennis rackets!
- Keep your link building consistent. Don’t create 100’s of links at once then stop linking!
- Use several different variations of your URL as link anchor texts. For example, use www.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com, your domain, yourdomain, etc.
- Use the following format for anchor text (as recommended by Blackhatworld):
- 10% Primary Keyword
- 35% Various other Keywords
- 25% Click Here/Here/(variation) (especially on 2.0 sites, etc.)
- 30% Raw link (the “www. versions”)
- Backlink Placement (also recommended by Blackhatworld):
- 5% Primary (Authority) Backlinks
- 5% High End Contextual Backlinks
- 10% Mixed backlinking
- 80% Web2.0
Here are more details about the suggestions listed above to use backlink strategies to increase traffic to your website:
- These are links that link back to your site from high ranking, quality (whitehat) sites such as:
- LinkedIN – get into groups that pertain to your industry and answer questions with quality, useful answers. Be seen as an “expert” in your niche/industry
- Quora – same as above
- Blogs in your industry – research and comment on high ranking blogs in your industry – don’t forget to add your website link on the blog
- Some tips to commenting on other blogs
- make sure they have something to do with your industry.
- make sure you actually READ the blog post.
- don’t worry if they are “do-follow” vs. “no-follow” links as often the “no-follow” gives you much better SEO, even if you can’t leave your website URL (eg. getting a link on Wikipedia is an excellent “no-follow” link).
- assign the task to one person so the voice sounds the same every time.
- use a real name.
- keep it organized & keep track where you’ve commented.
- link (if you are allowed) to INTERNAL pages of your site.
- don’t get frustrated if all your comments don’t get through.
- make sure you don’t use generic comments.
- avoid keyword dropping.
- Some tips to commenting on other blogs
- Online journals – write quality articles that pertain to your industry and include your web address and keywords pertaining to your keyword phrases
- Directories – submit your website to industry and keyword phrase-related directories using your website and keyword phrases. Make sure you have a lot of quality content on your site before submitting to the directories.
- Professional websites – these relate to professional organizations in and around your area or industry. Contact the owners of the sites and see if you can be included on their site (either paid or free).
HIGH END CONTEXTUAL BACKLINKS
- These consist of posts on other blogs, forums, social bookmarks, etc. that you actually add more than just a comment – you are adding a full post or article. You will be allowed to add your website somewhere on this article or within the account, which is where you acquire the backlink benefit.
- Believe it or not, you actually want some “bad” backlinking taking place – in order to look natural to Google, you will need a little of this thrown in. You would use some “middle of the road” sites to add your site links to in order to represent this demographic.
- These are places you will want to create or add quality, keyword-rich articles to in order to get ranked well. Examples of Web 2.0 sites are wordpress.com, squidoo.com, weebly.com, blogger.com, tumblr.com, friendster.com, hubpages.com to name just a few. You will need to set up accounts on each of these sites before adding your articles. You will also want to point to your site somewhere in the article.
Here is a list of social bookmarking sites that you may want to use for furthering your Web 2.0 backlinking strategies.
- Also use: twitter.com, Digg.com, Stumbleupon.com, Reddit.com, Pinterest.com, friendfeed.com, newsvine.com, diigo.com, and dzone.com.
OTHER TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS – Remember to always include a link to your website when creating accounts on these sites. Some will actually allow you to include the link within the article, post, etc.
- Be careful with backlink timing. If you add too many backlinks too quickly, it will appear too SPAMMY and Google will lower your rank.
- Reading level – Believe it or not, Google can tell if the reading level is low. You want to write for high school to college-age level, as that is what is best for your readers as well as for Google.
- Create INFOGRAPHICS (there is a great article by Neil Patel – click here for the original article). Click here for another article by Neil about how to create popular infographics.
- TACTIC: Use phrases like “The top 10 fixes for…” or “The top 5 reasons why…” in your posts, articles, etc. It’s even better if you offer a solution to a specific problem. For example, I used: “5 Things You Can Fix On Your Website in the Next Week to Improve Your Business” for my eBook optin form.
- TACTIC: For document or presentation-sharing sites, create slide show presentations and upload them to popular slideshow sites like Slideshare.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR BACKLINK STRATEGIES
- Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com shares his backlink strategy here. He had to make some edits to the blog to account for the Google updates, but it’s great to see what used to work and what he now does to help catapult his sites in Google’s search engine ranks.
- MOZ (formerly SEOMoz) has one of the best beginner’s guides to SEO. Here is the chapter on growing popularity and links.
- Brian Dean wrote a great blog post about untapped sources here.
- Krista LaRiviere wrote a fantastic article explaining how a backlink strategy includes 3 concepts: Relevance (there’s that word again), Authority & Influence, and Diversity [RAID].
This is truly just an important topic to continue to learn about and monitor. It continues to change and update according to Google’s latest updates.