If you want to start feeling the love from Google and get your website to start ranking in the search engines, you’re going to need some backlinks to your website.
When we talk about getting your site ranked on Google, the trendy advice of the day everyone just says you know create great content. This is absolutely solid advice, and you should be creating great content, however, just having great copywriting and content in and of itself is only going to get you so far.
Getting backlinks from other websites is still a huge ranking factor for Google; it basically signals to Google and all the other search engines that your site is actually good enough to warrant sharing
Everything I will share with you in this article is purely white hat SEO and it’ll never get you penalized and it will keep you rising through the ranks. I should however mention before we get started that some of these techniques are going to rely on you having good quality content on your website first.
This is because a lot of times it’s much harder to get people to link to your homepage or a product page – they are much more likely in a lot of cases to link to a great article or a great video. Face it, you’re just going to get many more people to say yes to link to a great article or video on your site rather than a product page.
The good news is any link you can earn to any page on your entire website is going to benefit your overall ranking, so I’m going to share with you five of my favorite ways to get these backlinks to your website.
Be a podcast guest
Podcasts are becoming more popular than ever before and the cool thing about them is there really is a podcast for everything. Even, you know, so-called “boring niches” if you find yourself in one of those.
These podcasts all need content on a weekly basis or however often they produce and most of these podcasts are actually interview based and they’re looking for experts you can come on and talk at length about a certain subject. So how does this translate into backlinks to your website?
If you were to go on a podcast as their guest, they will usually link back to your website in the show notes from their website. The cool thing about this is they’ll usually link to just about any page you want them to, including a home page or a service or a product page.
So, if you have an area of expertise and I bet you do all you really need to do is go to Spotify or iTunes, and just do a simple keyword search for podcasts in your niche and when you find them they always have a link to their websites.
Then you can go directly there and on their website they almost always have a contact page. Now get in touch with them and just pitch yourself and pitch your idea. Before you do, however, I recommend a few things.
I definitely recommend listening to at least in one episode so you have something you know a little more personal to bring up or to compliment or to comment on that’s really going to make your email pitch stand out much more.
I also recommend subscribing to their podcast giving it a 5 star rating and then letting them know that in the email and then let them know that you think you would make a great guest to talk about [your topic].
The trick is to make it specific and what I would recommend is to look at the list of episodes they have to see what they’ve already covered and what topic gaps they have, that you could go in and fill in with a topic that you really know something about.
You probably don’t want to go after the biggest podcasts out there to start they probably have a lot more competition for guests so go after you know smaller ones to start and then once you have a few interviews then you can start bringing that to the table for the bigger fish to get better and bigger links as you go forward.
Get media coverage
Along similar lines to podcasts, imagine being a go-to source for media outlets? It’s one thing to get backlinks to your website from smaller lesser known sites, but it’s quite another to get them from the big end of town, such as Forbes, or the New York Times.
It sounds hard to get appearances in those, right? Well actually it’s not always as hard as you think. What if I told you that there’s a website out there whose only job is to connect experts with journalists and bloggers that are looking for sources?
Well that website actually exists, and it’s called Help A Reporter Out (HARO for short). You can just sign up as a source, fill out a simple profile that indicates your areas of expertise, and presto – you’ll start getting emails about articles that are looking for sources.
So you should just start responding to the ones that you[irp] think you can add value to and see who responds. It’s very likely that you will need to respond to a few of these before you get any response back. However, as long as you respond in a professional and polite way you’ll probably start getting some really reputable backlinks just for providing a written response to a specific question. Amazing!
Start guest posting
If you don’t know what guest posting is, it is basically you writing blog posts for other people’s blogs, and then they are linking back to your site in the author bio. It’s one of my favorite methods to get backlinks to your website.
The typical way this usually works is you find relevant blogs that accept guest posts and then you reach out to the blog owners and you pitch them your idea.
Now there are a few problems with this. Over the past few years, blog owners have been getting inundated with really spammy blog post requests. They are really only are looking for a link and they’re really not interested in writing a good quality article which leads to the next problem.
It is really hard to know sometimes which of the blogs you should approach. Start by finding someone in your industry who already writes a lot of guest posts.
Once you have a target, then just copy the URL of the headshot they use in their profile photo and then paste the URL into a Google reverse image search. Typically, the results will all be pages where that photo appears otherwise known as their guests posts around the web.
This is because every time they write a guest post that image is usually going to be showing up in the bio section so that’s a really cool way to find your opportunities.
Now, how do you pitch these blogs your idea and get backlinks to your website in a non-spammy way? My advice is to just be a human being about it; just don’t try to take shortcuts and write a really template email to everybody.
Please make sure every time you reach out to a blog owner it’s personal and you’re actually pitching a couple of blog topics that you feel will really add value to their blog.
Also, don’t just say “hi! do you mind if I write an article for you?” You should state “hey, I’ve got these two or three ideas and here’s what they are. Would you like to see a draft of any of them?”. See the difference there?
Snack sized content
Another method to get backlinks to your website, rather than creating a bunch of articles or a bunch of different kinds of content or going on a bunch of podcasts, is you basically create one really good piece of content and then you spread this content around the web.
Yes, I’m talking about little visual guest posts, such as short videos, or infographics. So, here’s what you do. Start by creating one really great piece of content – as I said, it can be a video or an infographic – and then you pitch a bunch of different blogs in your niche.
In that email, you should link directly to that infographic or video, and then you’re also going to offer to write a unique mini post to accompany it.
This is a very scalable method to get a lot of backlinks from one piece of content, by basically rewriting the same mini article a bunch of different ways so that it ends up being unique to each individual blog.
I recommend spending some money and hiring a designer to create the infographic for you, based on your brief.
Feature on link roundups
Lastly, let’s look at link roundups. A number of blogs around the web will like to link to good quality content, and they usually do this either weekly or monthly roundups, where they basically curate a list of links that they enjoyed.
What you’re going to want to do, is just go to Google and type in a search like “[your keyword] link roundup” or “[your keyword] +roundup” or even search for “best of”, etc.
Once you find the right websites, you’re just going to reach out in a very similar way as I talked about for guest posting. Reach out to the blog owner with a really simple email and don’t be pushy and make sure you use their real name – there is nothing worse that ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
That’s it! These are five great ways to get more backlinks to your website. The five tips, again, are;
- Get featured on podcasts
- Get media coverage
- Find guest blogging opportunities
- Publish snack sized content
- Pitch to link roundups
All the best getting more backlinks to your website in the year ahead!