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Here Are 4 Things You Need for an Excellent Backlinking Strategy

When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Site speed, meta descriptions and image alt tags, design elements, responsiveness, forms… it can all start to feel like a lot.

Then, add in something like backlinking and it’s hard to keep a hand, or even single finger, on everything. Backlinking can feel especially challenging because it can feel like something outside of your control. If someone links to your website or not is not something you can make anyone do—so how is it possible to have a strategy or plan for it?

Well, it is possible. And while it is true that backlinking can feel very out of your personal control, there are ways to strategize and have a plan for something like backlinking. In fact, we think there are 4 essential elements to every backlinking campaign. In this blog post, we’ll cover what backlinking actually is, why it matters, and then these 4 essential elements.

What is Backlinking?

Backlinking refers to when your website is linked on another website. Anytime another website links to your website, that is a backlink because it can be crawled by search platforms like Google and Bing.

Backlinks, and the number and quality of the domains that link to your website contribute to your SEO in the form of Domain Authority.

Domain Authority is a number, created by Moz, that refers to the authority of your website. Several years ago, Google used to make your Page Rank score available on your analytics and this was a base number that scored the SEO of your website. However, Google no longer makes this information public—and Moz’s Domain Authority is a guess at that number.

Domain Authority is heavily influenced by backlinks, because your DA score is an attempt to determine how much of an “authority” you are in your niche or industry. The more backlinks you receive from high quality, high Domain Authority websites, then the higher your Domain Authority will be.

But if backlinking requires someone else to link from their website, you ask, how can I strategize that? Well, it is possible, but it requires focusing on things other than backlinks. Let’s go through it.

1. Good Content

Websites with high Domain Authority and a lot of backlinks have one thing in common: good content that is posted regularly. They do keyword research regularly; they write blog posts that appeal to their audience and are shared widely. They aren’t posting content just once a month, but weekly or even twice a week.

If you want to see more backlinks to your website, that’s it, that’s the secret: your backlinking strategy needs to revolve around writing and posting good content frequently. A good backlinking strategy relies on a content marketing strategy; in fact, we would argue that they are one-and-the-same. You can’t have one without the other.

Sometimes, clients will want to improve their number and quality of backlinks, but won’t want to dedicate time or resources to writing good blog content. We know budget constraints can sometimes dictate what people can do on their website. However, without good content, backlinking just isn’t possible.

About 5-6 years ago, schemes where people would drop their website link in blog comments, or sign up to have a website link to them a certain number of times were very popular. These strategies worked for a short period of time, but, just like keyword stuffing, this strategy is now penalized by most search engines. In fact, doing things like this can actually increase the spam score of your website—rendering other SEO efforts null and void.

( You can read our tips for writing good content here.)

2. Social Strategy

Alongside good blog content, a social strategy is incredibly important. Blog content is great and can gain traction on organic search purely through SEO; however, having a social strategy to share content can better help your website to gain traffic through social shares and backlinking.

Social strategy takes into account the platforms that are best for your business and specific niche. For more lifestyle-based businesses, that might mean focusing on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. For more service-based businesses, we always recommend Facebook and Google My Business.

Having a strategy for sharing blog content links to social media and having regular social media content goes a long way towards developing a following. But beyond that, having more links to your content out on social media will make it more likely for someone to discover to add to their content. If you aren’t advertising your content, and how knowledgeable you are, then you are missing an opportunity to be discovered.

( Is Instagram Right for My Brand?)

3. Focus on Your Audience

When doing a blog strategy for a client, the number one question I often ask them is: “what are the questions you hear most often from customers?”

Then, I ask: “does your website’s content easily and concisely answer those questions?”

Often, those are the first questions we design blog posts around. When it comes to backlinking, writing blog posts and website content that specifically serve your ideal audience’s needs—the questions they ask about your products and services—will help appeal to that audience, which in turn appeals to websites that would want to link to your content. Focusing on your audience, instead of simply trying to write content that you think would be most appealing for backlinking, will give you the most return, both in terms of helping customers, getting conversions, and gaining more backlinks.

4. Time & Patience

It takes time to do all of this. We know this often isn’t the answer that people want to hear when it comes to SEO. When we design goals for SEO, and especially backlinking, we are speaking in terms of 6 month increments, as opposed to 6 weeks. In 6 months, we hope to always see improvement, but often that improvement feels small in comparison to other digital marketing efforts.

However, we feel that this dedication to time, and having patience as we perform backlinking and SEO tasks, is an important one. Having patience is important and the more time you give your website to develop backlinking, the better. The most important aspect of backlinking is that, even if it seems to be taking a long time, you keep with the plan of writing great content, following a social strategy, and networking with websites that you think will provide value to your potential customers and that your content will provide them with value as well.

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