Lets be clever making the right tweaks and gaining the right backlinks for your site.

For many search engines ‘backlinks’ are the holy grail of achieving a high ranking and is often one of the top areas targeted by any SEO optimising project. People spend a lot of time and money attempting to have the biggest portfolio of back links possible but a lot of the time a big majority of the links are irrelevant or simply don’t provide a boost to your SEO. So how can you be clever with your backlinks?

The following are some clever tricks to allow you to be smarter generating backlinks and some tweaks or changes you can make to really increase the potential of all the backlinks you gain.

1. Broken Link Building – Help Others Help You

This is one of the preferred methods when doing link building by hand, it allows you to add a personal tough and help out a fellow web master at the same time. We all know of countless other websites who are either information based sites, groups, forums etc who are likely to link to external sources of help such as articles, how-to’s, wiki’s etc.

With the nature of the internet is without doubt going to change over time and thus webmasters will find articles, or pages they have linked to go offline, change URL or get removed and thus this leaves behind a wealth of broken inbound links. So how can we use this to our advantage?

There is a fantastic plugin for Chrome known as Check My Links (get it here) which allows you to scan the currently opened page for links and find any which are producing a 404 error. Using this plugin and the following steps you will be able to track down broken links in your niche, e-mail the webmaster and get them linking to you as an alternative! fantastic.

  1. Google search for niche websites near you
    e.g. search for ‘your keyword resources’ or ‘your keyword links’ or ‘your keyword references’
  2. Run Check My Links and find 404’s
  3. If you find a 404 you could offer a replacement for then e-mail the webmaster
  4. Move on to the next site

This is a very underused tactic, whilst it is manually time consuming you are targeting sites in the top pages of google and thus earning quality, reliable back links. Just remember to introduce yourself, be friendly and offer decent content with your suggested link, remember you will get knocked back so don’t take it personally but it’s worth the effort.

2. Guest Articles – The Big Advantage

If you think you have some good content, which really you should if your attempting to build some back links then why not become a writer and provide content for other sites? This content will have a credit back to you and your site which can really help boost the SEO ratings especially if the sites you are guest writing for are ranked higher in terms of domain authority or page rank.

The real advantage with Guest Articles or Guest Blogging doesn’t just come from the back links but it also allows you to increase online reputation, increase your social media standing and network with influencers, webmasters and other bloggers in your niche area!

So how do you find these blogs or websites to submit articles to? the easiest way is to simply do a Google search specifically looking for guest blogging keywords such as ‘write for us’ or ‘guest post by’, so example searches may look like the following

Your keywords + guest post
Your keywords + write for us
Your keywords + submit an article
Your keywords + submit a post
Your keywords + written by
Your keywords + guest article
Your keywords + inurl:submit-article
Your keywords + inurl:write-for-us
And many others

Remember when writing a guest article to link back to your website AND your Social Media. If someone likes the articles content or your writing style chances are they will want to read further articles from you. Likewise, you can also use Twitter and Facebook to search for guest writers and guest articles to further expand your network of blog sites you can use.

3. Become A Spy

It’s all well and good building away at your empire but you really need to keep an ultra close eye on your competitors. The easiest way to keep an eye on what they are doing is to use an alert on Google Alerts for your competitors website e.g. site:mycompetitor.com. Each time a new link or area is indexed you will be given an alert so you can investigate what’s going on.

There are other services, normally paid for which will allow you to monitor backlinks and search engine presence for not only your own domain but for competitors too. These are worth considering as they can cut out a lot of manual work in finding and locating these backlinks manually.

4. Network Network Network

Networking is a huge aspect of gaining some ground with the bigger sites, if you engage, help and contribute to an influencer or journalists posts online then they are more likely to take note of you and your content. Places such as Linked In, Twitter and similar social media platforms are a great way to get the attention of higher rank sites and hopefully get them to share or link to your content.

It’s easier to reach out to a writer, blogger, influencer if they have come across your name in a positive light. For example if you re-tweet a lot of their tweets then chances are they will recognise your name when you reach out to them with a link to some great new content! simple but very effective.

Whilst it may seem pointless, it can really benefit you to have a LinkedIn or similar professional profile to enable you to manage connections with others and discover potential new connections. Sometimes being able to trade, or speak to someone within an industry or niche can render benefits for you and your site.

5. Testimonials, Discussions and Opinions

Are you using products, tools or services? one of the best ways to gain some quick link backs and boost your networking position and authority level would be to leave testimonials, reviews and opinions on those products. Likewise join in with any social media discussions, respond to tweets, like their posts etc and this will all result in increased exposure for you.

6. Promoting Your Content

As with most strategies, sometimes the best solution is to be a bit cheeky and just get out there to promote your contact. A lot of bloggers and influences will do weekly or monthly round up’s or summaries and it’s possible to sort google into showing you results from the past week or month. Try searching for your keywords with the addition of ‘summary’, ’roundup’ or ‘resources’ and sending a very polite, nicely worded e-mail showing them your related, valuable content.

Some will be ignored, some will simply say thank you but no thanks, but some will link back to you and every link, especially from a higher DA or PR domain will really help.

A nice little touch for a lot of blogs is to ensure that you have some form of social media sharing setup, whether this is floating buttons, buttons at the bottom or even something a bit more advance like Facebook/Google+ comments at the bottom. People who like your content will desire to have a way to interact and if they can share a post or leave a comment without the need of signing up seperately this will allow you to get more comments and more sharing of your articles.

7. Charity Can Help You Too

Most people have some form of value they can offer to a charity, good cause or for your local community. This work will often result in some credit back to you, some good networking and a huge boost in reputation and social standing. Whilst it may cost you some time, or possibly even some money, it is worth every last drop of work or money for the networking and reputation that follows.

8. Citations, Directories & NAP

I’m sure by the time you have reached a far volume of citations or directory listings for your company or online area, if not then this should be the first step before adding content and back links. However one part people often overlook is the NAP for your company (Name, Address & Phone).

N (Name) A (Address) P (Phone)

It is known and documented that your NAP should be the same on ALL listings where possible e.g. if your company is in 123 Woodlane Street, then make sure your address is the same each time, not 123 Wood lane Street or 123 Woodlane St. Likewise keep the same for your company name (Ltd, Limited for example)

9. Internal Linking & Related Posts

One area often overlooked is the flow of traffic through your site, if you write some new content or a new blog post it can take weeks before it is indexed and backlinks generated. However you may have a related article so once you have made your new article, take a look back at older articles and add internal links or use a setup to enabled related posts to be listed at the bottom.

After all, you have gone to all this effort to get traffic flowing through to your site so why let it go to waste once they have reached the bottom or end of your content. This is prime time to offer them similar articles or content that may be of interest to them. Not only will this reduce your bounce rate, but it will also allow spiders to locate new content quickly and efficiently.

10. Article / Content Length

This one goes against some peoples ideas or opinions but from the research carried out we have found that generally speaking the top listed and indexed articles have an average word count of over 1700 and sometimes closer to the 2000 limit! Whilst a question may be answered in as few as a few hundred words, this is generally not enough for Google to really pay attention.

One of the best ways of really boosting your content is to merge articles, for example you may have a website dedicated to bicycles, rather than do a post on picking your first bike, setting up your first bike and what safety gear to use for your first bike, you could combine this all together to produce a single article that covers all the elements based on it being your first bike. You can then do further versions of this article for say your first road bike, or your first suspension bike or even the best bike for racing/competition.

The possibilities are endless and it’s always worth super niching each part of content, however concentrate on those word counts to really keep the search engine spiders happy.

11. Conclusion

Obviously there are many hundreds of ways of earning back links, some automated, some manual, some via third parties or paid for. All of them are likely to have some impact and some will work better for some niches than others. However from our experience the methods discussed here have always produced effective, measurable results that have always been completely white hat, measurable and ethical.

Enjoy being a web master.

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