Every blogger wants to be on the hallowed turf that is Google’s first results page. Those that are just starting out might see this as a mere pipe dream – it shouldn’t be. There are a few golden tickets to the first page and one of these is link building, regarded by many as the backbone of search engine optimisation (SEO). If you are looking to gain high quality backlinks, follow these tips and watch your blog shoot up the SERPs.
1) Beware of the black-hat
Let’s start by sounding a note of warning: if you don’t respect Google’s backlink rules, you won’t go far. Link building methods that Google disapproves of are described as ‘black-hat’ (a reference to the symbolism associated with cowboy hats in early Western films – villains would typically be clad in black hats; the heroes in white). It can be tempting to make use of black-hat measures, but rest assured that Google will pick up on them and your blog will be relegated to the depths of the results pages.
Always seek quality over quantity when it come to backlinks. It is better to have five high quality backlinks than fifty low quality ones. In a similar vein, never deliberately attempt to manipulate Google’s search engine indexes. This is known as ‘spamdexing’ and is a sure-fire way to kill your blog’s SEO strategy.
2) Guest blogging
There are few better ways to gain backlinks to your blog than by guest blogging. Experienced bloggers shouldn’t find it difficult to find good guest blogging opportunities. But even blogging newbies can get involved. If you would like to know how to write guest posts for the best guest blogging sites, then check out this article.
Gaining backlinks from low quality sources will do more harm than good to your blog. Guest blogging sites that publish posts without first reviewing them are likely to be damaging to your SEO strategy. Look for evidence of a vetting process before you apply for guest blogging opportunities. Also note that Google favours multiple collaborations over one-off guest posts. For this reason, it is worth building good working relationships with the sites you are guest blogging for.
But the most important thing to master is the skill of getting backlinks into your guest posts without compromising the quality of your content. This is one reason why you should find guest blogs within your niche: you can refer back to posts on your own blog (gaining backlinks) whilst keeping an organic feel. If this isn’t natural and authentic, then don’t force it. It is better to include a short bio with a backlink back to your blog at the bottom of the guest post than to include unnatural backlinks in the body of the text.
3) Blogging directories
Google approved blogging directories are another means of gaining backlinks. They may not be as popular as they were a few years ago, but they remain a useful source SEO boosting backlinks for your blog.
As you would expect, there are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ blog directories. It is easy to find those that Google gives the go-ahead to: if they can be found near the top of the SERPs, then they are likely to be approved by Google. A great example is the Best of the Web blog directory, whose administrators only include high quality blogs on their website. The best blogging directories often categorise their library of blogs into different verticals. If you can find a directory that matches your vertical, Google’s love for relevancy will make it easier for you to gain a good quality backlink to your blog.
4) Broken Links
Most of us know the 404 Not Found response code that we get when we stumble across a dead or broken link and find it frustrating. But not some bloggers. Instead, they see them as an opportunity to gain backlinks.
Broken links are a nuisance for webmasters, who would prefer something rather than nothing on their website. As such, many accept bloggers requests for broken links to be replaced with links to their blogs. Of course, webmasters are much more inclined to accept your offer if your blog and the website share a similar niche. Searching the web for broken links can be a very good use of your time!
5) Have great content
All the aforementioned tips are important in gaining backlinks to your blog. But here is the bottom line: if you don’t have great, engaging content, you will struggle to gain good quality backlinks to your blog.
Without great content, you are unlikely to be accepted by any leading guest blog post websites. Nor will you be placed in the best blogging directories. Great content is the only way to turn heads in the blogosphere, and without turning heads it is very difficult to gain backlinks. It was once joked that the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google. Well, without great content that is where your blog could stay.
There is no cap on what high quality content can bring your blog. If your posts are well-written, original and interesting, they could even go viral. Exposure leads to backlinks, as they result in quotes taken from your posts and even to online interviews. Concentrate on your content and good quality backlinks will follow – having great content really is a one way ticket to backlink heaven.