Acquiring backlinks is like trying to get references for a job. When you get one, someone out there is saying, “I like this person. I vouch for them.” But just like job references, not all backlinks are worth the same. A job reference from a crooked bookie won’t help you obtain a job as a financial planner, just as a backlink from a shady site won’t impress Google.
So how do you get backlinks from reputable sites? Try these ideas.
7 Ideas to Getting Valuable Backlinks and Building SEO and Domain Authority
Think about your keywords and what you want to rank for. Now think about symbiotic industries that don’t compete directly with you but share a similar audience. For instance, a marketing agency that wants to work with small businesses may look into a small business lender. They share the same target market but neither is a direct competitor.
Do a little keyword research.
See what site is considered a website of high authority. Include bloggers and other industry experts like associations in your list.
Need some help with your keyword research? Check out this blog post.
Using the information you compiled in step 1 and step 2, approach these entities or bloggers and ask if they accept guest bloggers. If they do, find out what’s involved.
Do you pitch the idea or will they assign one? How long are the posts? Will you get a byline or a backlink to your site? If the answer to the last question is no, move on. If they will provide a backlink, get on their list of guest bloggers.
Not only is a link to your site helpful from an SEO perspective, but you might also increase your reach and be shared on social media, which also helps with SEO. Don’t forget your blogging manners if you want to be invited back again.
Google Your Business.
People search for businesses online. Add your business name and URL and complete your profile on Google Places so they can find you on Google and Google Maps.
Google+ Your Key Employees.
Notice a pattern? We highly suggest you placate the Google beast by adding your business information and creating profiles on Google+ for your key employees. Google believes its tools are rather important so it will reward people who are using them.
Yelp Yourself and Other Review Places.
Make sure if it fits your business that you claim all your business profiles on review sites like Yelp. Build out the profiles and include your URL. As a side note, make sure all of your social media profiles also contain your URL, especially your company profile on LinkedIn.
Join Your Chamber of Commerce.
If you’re not a member, ask them what online exposure businesses receive. Some chambers have online directories, others have guest blog opportunities, sponsorships, or other ways to receive a backlink from them.
Chambers generally rank very well locally and get quite a bit of web traffic. If you’re already a member, make sure they have all of your information and build out any profile opportunities you may have with them.
These seven ideas can help you pick the low-hanging fruit on the SEO tree but ultimately you want people to value your content and site enough that they share things on their own. Those are the kind of authoritative references Google is looking for in order to “give you the job.”