We all want more traffic to our blog so we appreciate that we need to get backlinks to boost our search engine rankings. After all it’s no secret that one of the biggest ingredients for getting ranked highly in Google is your ability to get quality backlinks – the greater the number of links and the higher the authority of site that those links come from the more targeted traffic you’re likely to receive from Google and the other search engines.
As a result the concept of “link building” has become big business with numerous tools, courses and specialist providers helping to get backlinks. But make no mistake – it can be boring, slow and frustrating to get backlinks for your blog – especially if you’re looking for the very best authority links to beat your competition.
Reframing The “How Do I Get Backlinks?” Question
Let’s be honest here – there aren’t many altruistic website owners out there willing to link to you “just because”. A key element for success if you want to get backlinks to your blog is understanding that in many ways links are “transactional”; that is to say that when someone links to your website they’re generally expecting to get something back in return.
Now that “something” may be a direct benefit for linking to you, such as payment in the form of paid links. Or it could be something less direct such as linking to your site because it makes them look good when they pass it along to their readers.
But be aware that whatever the “currency” is going to be, if you want to get backlinks then you need to appreciate the transactional nature of links. In light of this we need to reframe the primary link building question from “how do I get backlinks?” to “what do I have to offer other website owners in exchange for a link?”.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons that bloggers struggle to get backlinks from other sites…
Don’t Get Backlinks From Poor Neighborhoods
Google has publically stated that one aspect of their ranking algorithm is looking at the over “link neighborhood” of a website. If you get backlinks from low quality sources – mass-produced forum profiles, blog comment spam and suchlike – the more than likely you’re going to struggle to rank highly.
Just as worryingly authority site owners are going to be far less likely to link to you simply because they don’t want to be associated with such a neighborhood. After all your link neighborhood doesn’t just cover the sites that you get backlinks from – but also just as importantly the sites that you yourself link out to.
So if you want to get backlinks that really make a difference to your position in the search engines then pay attention to your link profile and try to avoid junk links that may cause Google to view you less favorably than your competitors.
The owners of authority sites have spent years working to produce top-quality content and then intelligently get backlinks. Authority websites don’t just happen – they require a lot of time and effort to create and understandably these website owners want to protect their “brand”.
Whilst it’s not always a deal-breaker if your website design screams “amateur” you’re going to struggle to get backlinks because the professionalism of the originating site may be called into question.
Your website design needs to reflect professionalism and trust the moment anyone arrives. That means a clean, crisp theme. That means minimal flashing banners and popups. That means no broken links and so on. It needs to be a site you’d be proud to show your family and friends. If not, make the necessary changes before you go out trying to get backlinks.
Lack Of Truly Unique Content
What makes your site better than linking to any other? These days you can get an average-quality article written by a freelance writer for a few dollars so it’s easy-enough to fill a website with content in a very short space of time. But these low-quality articles often simply regurgitate content available elsewhere on the internet, offering no real additional value over your competitors and consequently making it hard to get backlinks.
Thinking about the situation from the perspective of your link prospects clearly they want to offer their hard-won visitors something truly unique and original – something notable that stands out from the sea of “me too” sites out there.
As a result try to avoid writing yet another article on “how to get more Twitter followers” or “why you should start a blog” and instead try to find unique, original and interesting angles to your chosen topic to make it easier to get backlinks naturally. One smart way to do this is to present information in the form of personal experiences – show us what you did and the results and/or interview other people in your niche for additional unique viewpoints that haven’t been explored elsewhere. In doing so it’ll be far easier to get backlinks because you’ll be offering something new and unique that others will want to read.
A Focus On Monetization Not Valuable Content
There’s nothing worse than arriving at an overly-monetized site. These are sites with more adverts than content, where all the article titles focus specifically on carefully-chosen “money” keywords, where flashing banners, popups and Adsense adverts are so prevalent that you’re unable to enjoy the actual content itself. Unsurprisingly as a result they struggle to get backlinks from high quality sources that will really help them build their traffic levels.
Other websites want to link to sites that add value to their visitor’s experience. Oh sure, we all want results from our websites but try to find the happy medium between user-experience and monetization.
Is it slow and boring to get backlinks? It certainly can be but if you’re trying to build links to a website that deserves links and that other sites will want to link to then your link-building will be a lot easier – and you’ll get backlinks with far less effort than if you were doing outreach for a junk site. The key lesson is this – work on your website until you genuinely believe it is the sort of site that other people will want to link to – and then go out and get backlinks afterward.
So now it’s your turn – leave us a comment below and let us know what makes you unlikely to link to a website that may request a link from you…
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