At first glance, link-building and creating backlinks are one in the same. While closely related, they’re actually two different concepts. Both are very important for improving your ranking but you have less control over backlinks. Link-building is what you do to increase traffic and latch onto the power of how people’s search patterns and behaviors. through your own content or by forming partnerships with other websites, the media, and other avenues for getting your content noticed
These best practices for getting backlinks can improve your ranking and establish you as an expert in your field.
Creating the content isn’t enough: where is your content going?
If your site is fairly new so you don’t have much of a following yet and your site isn’t getting much traffic, you need to find other places to post content for link-building purposes. Partnering with a blogger or influencer who has a sizable following in line with your target demographics is one way to do this. The arrangement can be a sponsorship or an earned media opportunity if you form a relationship with this person or brand.
Other websites that accept user submissions are excellent places to look, and you can also pitch media sites (including major press outlets and print publications.) You can have the best content ever written but you need to get some eyeballs on it.Working with high-traffic sites is effective for link-building as those followers will be more apt to link to it and share than if it came from a site they are unfamiliar with.
Engage with visitors.
People will feel inclined to link to a piece that was not only helpful, entertaining, or timely but if they ask questions and you’re there to answer them? That engagement helps build trust and drive traffic, resulting in more backlinks.
Social media is a major part of getting lots of backlinks. There are many finer nuances to developing a trustworthy social media presence that results in a sizeable following, but you definitely want to make smart use of social accounts and both organic and paid social traffic. Many people discover content and brands through social media and reading a piece they find particularly helpful can result in not just sharing, but actually linking to it on forums, comment sections, and the like if they don’t have a website.
Diversify your online presence to get a more holistic link profile.
Google’s algorithm (among other search engine) values link diversity. There are about 200 different factors that affect your Google rank, but when it comes to getting a profile full of backlinks you want to make sure you’re on the right track.
Guest blogging and putting out a press release are older techniques that aren’t as effective as they used to be. Guest posts are still helpful for positioning you as an expert in your field, but you want to get a mix of local, regional, and international sites relevant to what you offer to really rise up in ranking. Create content that will be universally helpful to anyone regardless of where they are in the world, but don’t be afraid to have a couple pieces that speak specifically to a local market.
Give it time.
Content can still be effective years after you post it, so don’t be surprised if you’re not generating backlinks immediately. If Google suspects you’re getting backlinks unnaturally (e.g. through a network of sites you own that exists solely for posting links),you can get penalized. Whether you’re paying for traffic or driving it organically through influencers of social media, you have to give it time to work.
Link-building is the act of putting content out there, whether it’s on your own site or someone else’s, while a backlink is essentially an up vote. The more up votes you have, the better your search engine ranking will be because search engines will start to recognize you as an authority. While it’s better to have link-building content up that is driving no traffic than none at all,having that “street cred” from people finding your content helpful and constantly visiting it is what ultimately improves your ranking. You want as many “up votes” as you can get!