On Google, trustworthiness and relevancy are the pillars of SEO. On other search engines, the idea is similar. On our blog, we talk a lot about the best ways to convey both trustworthiness and relevancy. In this article, we want to focus on trustworthiness specifically. The best way to earn a search engine’s trust is by gaining quality backlinks.
If you’re not sure what a great backlink is, be sure to read this article about getting quality backlinks.
If you’re aware of what a great backlink looks like, but have had trouble getting them, then this article is for you. We’re going to be sharing tips and tricks regarding backlink outreach and other strategies for earning valuable links back to your site.
Backlink outreach is one of the most intimidating phrases relating to SEO. Reaching out to essentially ask people for backlinks sounds difficult, confusing, and a little bit scary. However, if it’s approached in the right way, asking for backlinks can be easy.
The first step, weirdly enough, is to not ask for backlinks at all. After all, there’s a reason Google trusts the sites that it does, and these sites wouldn’t earn the reputation that they have if they tossed out backlinks left and right. Instead of going to great sites and writing to request backlinks, try looking for ways that you can provide some sort of value back to the site owner.
There are several common ways to do this:
- Broken Link Outreach
- Guest Blogging
- Providing Expertise
- Serving as a Cited Source
- Writing a Testimonial
Each of these methods focuses on providing some sort of value to another site. They don’t have any emphasis on earning a meaningless backlink. Rather, the backlink comes along as a natural consequence of these outreaches.
1. Broken Link Outreach
Broken link outreach is a common SEO tactic that involves a little bit of searching on websites that relate to your industry expertise. By looking around a little bit on larger sites, you’ll often find that it’s easy to come across a broken link or two that leads to a page that’s no longer in existence.
Instead of simply moving on, consider if there are any pages on your site that could fill in as a backup source for the tidbit that the site owner was looking for a reference on.
Since broken links are harmful to SEO, site owners will often be grateful for you shooting them an email to let them know. In your email, you may also want to consider stating that you have a web page that would fit perfectly within the vacated spot.
2. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is another practice that’s reliant on providing value. This process is pretty straightforward and simply involves serving as a writer that creates content to be posted on someone else’s site. In most cases, this allows the writer to link back to their own site.
Although this is a longstanding process, be warned, Google is on to the spam factor, and they’re starting to reduce the effectiveness of this practice.
3. Providing Expertise
Providing expertise might be one of the best ways to earn backlinks. Providing expertise is another simple process, and it’s simply the result of taking on the role of a source. While guest blogging requires you to write entire articles on other sites, providing expertise only requires the amount of writing involved in conveying important information to media outlets or blogs.
Since contextual backlinks are the most effective kind of link, this strategy might be the most effective at all.
4. Serving as a Cited Source
Serving as a cited source is similar to providing expertise, but it can often involve even less work. In some cases, posts that you’ve already written are exactly what writers need in order to write great posts. They can help to add credibility or additional information to just about any relevant post.
However, to serve as a cited source, you’ll have to know what kinds of projects writers are currently working on, and this is often possible only if you have a relationship with that writer.
To form relationships with writers, try reaching out to them. You’ll have to convince them that you can be a potential source for them that’s of value. This could be tricky, but an ongoing relationship could be of great value for you and your website.
5. Writing a Testimonial
Writing a testimonial is a great way to earn quality backlinks. Consider products and services that your small business already makes use of. Are there any that you’ve found genuinely valuable? Consider writing up a glowing testimonial and sending it to the company that the product or service is from. In many cases, the company would love to have the opportunity to post your testimonial. They’ll be likely to link back to your site to improve the review’s credibility.
Backlink outreach may be difficult, but nothing’s easier than earning backlinks in a natural and honest kind of way. That is – if – people are linking to your content. If you’re trying to earn links from the content you’ve already created without doing any additional work for them, then it’s important to get your content out in front of the right kind of audience.
Once your content is in front of the right audiences, it’s important to ensure that it’s the kind of content that converts. Certain kinds of content is much more likely to earn backlinks.
Content that’s more likely to earn you backlinks is often in the form of:
- Query-Answering Blog Posts
- Informative Videos
- Interesting Facts and Figures
The key, then, is to provide people with the kind of content that’s not so readily available anywhere else. You’ll want to have unique angles on important subjects or information displayed in a clear, presentable way.
If at all possible, come up with some studies, survey results, or information that can’t be found anywhere else. By sharing it, you’ll find that people are naturally attracted to new and valuable content.
To earn backlinks from the content you already have, try experimenting a little! What seems to be getting the most traction? If your readers are enjoying the things you have to say, then it’s likely that writers and other industry experts will too.