You’ve got a blog, killer content and you’ve mastered the whole “keyword” thing. Face it, you’re an SEO pro! But, something is still missing. Your content isn’t ranked as high as it should be, and you feel like you’re getting no exposure. So, how do we fix this problem? Well, you probably aren’t going to like the answer. It’s time to put those networking skills to use – we’re talking backlinks.
You’re not alone on this one, we don’t like networking either (believe me). It’s tedious, frustrating, and sometimes, people are just plain rude. But, it is a necessary evil. And, the actual benefits that happen when you land that first backlink are sure to make all your worries and stress disappear.
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The Gist of it All
But, what ARE backlinks, and why are they so important to the SEO scene? In laymen’s terms, it’s someone (preferably an influencer) who links back to your article, site or resource on their article, site or resource. Simple concept right? Unfortunately, not always the easiest to achieve. I’d be lying if I said getting backlinks was the easiest part of my job. (I mean, it’s not the hardest either, but ya know…)Are you missing this key ingredient in your #SEO efforts? Read more: Click To Tweet
The truth of the matter is that everyone WANTS to rank, and that’s what backlinks help with, but not everyone CAN. That means it’s your job to spend your time wisely and figure out exactly who you should get backlinks from. For this, focus on quality! Not only should the source or person you’re reaching out to be interested in your industry, but they should be credible too. Research estimates that the amount of links to a specific page composes 22.33% of Google’s ranking algorithm. That’s almost ¼ of the puzzle, so you can see why research, consideration and proper outreach are so important to get those high-quality links.
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What To Do
Okay, so you know what they are, and what you SHOULD be doing. But, now the question is HOW. First and foremost, get yourself a useful tool! Here at Red Branch, we use BuzzStream which is perfect for influencer research, site analysis (for the places you want to be linked) and organization which is another huge key to success. You’re going to be talking to A LOT of people, so it’s important to keep everyone straight. Whether this means creating an Ed Cal, a specific tool or even a notebook. Find something that works best for the amount of people you will be contacting and, most importantly, works best for you. After all, you’re the one keeping all the information in line!
Next, know WHAT you need to actually be promoting. It’s crucial not to go in blind. Grabbing a random article or resource and trying to get it linked isn’t always the best way to go. Instead, find out what you need to focus on. Are there certain white papers that need extra attention? Are you running a campaign and want specific blog posts to get a boost of exposure? It’s best to chat with your team to get an understanding of the needs of your business or your many clients.
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What You Shouldn’t Do
Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy backlinks! Remember that whole quality thing that was mentioned earlier? The last thing you want is lots of backlinks of low quality, and that’s exactly what you get when you buy. Doing this won’t make your site any better. In fact, it will look sloppy and spammy the next time Google decides to crawl the site or a specific page. Meaning, you just spent all that money to wind up at the very bottom of SERP page 10 (ouch…).
Last Minute Tidbits
Overall, here are some main points to remember. Keep your content fresh. If you know you are going to be reaching out to certain people, fluff up your content a bit and make it cater more specifically to those people. For example, if you have an article over employee performance and you know there’s a group of influencers who would like it, but you notice they have recently been writing about appreciation as well, see if you can add copy so it fits their liking a bit more. It’s important to always keep content top-notch, and it’s no secret that some beefing up may have to be done sometimes.
Do your research and don’t settle for less than perfect! Constantly doing outreach can sometimes get disheartening, especially if you hear “no” numerous times throughout the day. But, don’t give up and don’t give in! Finally landing that one good backlink is worth all the trouble, and makes up one big piece of the SEO pie. So, dig in!