- Why does a blog need backlinks?
- How to start building backlinks to a brand new website?
- Types of links. Which ones are good for blogs and why.
- 5 link building strategies I use to increase my blog visibility.
- Wrapping up
Why does a blog need backlinks?
What is a backlink? I would compare it with a rumour. A word in real life or a link in the digital world provides “data” about “a person, a situation, a brand or a website”.
A good story told by a well-known person can skyrocket brand awareness. A good backlink on a high-quality website can boost the blog visibility in search results.
Backlinks are fuel for the blog reputation to earn traffic and rankings.
On the other hand, bought backlinks, or those from link farms, or any black-hat methods can force search algorithms to drop a website to the bottom of search engines.
Good-quality and regular link building is one of the essential things to:
- get a blog ranked higher in search results;
- increase organic traffic and conversion rates consequently.
How to start building backlinks to a brand new website?
In one of my posts, I mentioned that small but planned and persistent steps would give results.
🌱A year ago, I set up my new blog, created niche content and started distributing it through social (Vkontakte, Twitter, Pinterest).
⚙️ My first backlink site became my earlier blog on a free platform Blogspot. A couple of articles contain some backlinks to my current blog and get ranked meeting the queries on Google. So, my old Pop brings me some traffic.
⚠️ If you have an old blog or a community website, don’t miss out on this opportunity to place your link there.
⚙️ As I’m an ESL teacher, I have many printables for my lessons. I share some materials with other teachers now and then on ESL sharing websites. To do that, I registered my profile account with a link to my blog out there.
⚠️ Think about some sharing websites or web 2.0 ones that are popular in your niche. Popular means still working, not spammy, with good domain rating and traffic. Great to exchange your freebies with other interested people or colleagues.
Mind that web 2.o method like placing links on forums or commenting on blogs doesn’t work as well as it was a couple of decades ago.
⚙️ Submissions in blog directories. Merely to give it a go, I registered in blogarama, one of the oldest directories on the Internet and placed my link there. Up to 50 new posts can be indexed in their free plan, but without do-follow links there. They can verify free links for about 90 days and then approve them, or you can upgrade the plan for $4.90 and make it work faster.
⚠️Searching for submission directories, filtering them, registering and listing there can take much of your time and effort. Besides, seeding links in all possible business directories doesn’t weigh much in Google.
However, why not pick a couple of best ones and place your link there. Thus, it could be far enough for this kind of tactic. In my opinion, no-follow links on some well-known blog directories are also link-worthy for beginners.
⚙️ Last but not least tip to place a backlink to your blog is to create a landing page for it with the help of bio tools like linktree, aboutme or URL shorteners like bitly.
⚠️The mentioned tools are free with high domain ratings. Another advantage is that they provide do-follow links, and you can represent your most readable content on a beautiful dashboard or share a short link with your readers.
At the same time, I’d recommend saving your time and only choosing some well-known social media sites, as everyone can place their links there, so they are not of great value as well.
Types of links. Which ones are good for blogs and why.
I remember myself at the starting point of my SEO path. For me, the hardest thing was to figure out the theory. Infographics, drawings, scribbles are the visuals I needed the most back in those days, and I still do.
So, I created this chart to explain in a nutshell what kind of links are there on the Internet. I hope it’s helpful to get a gist of the issue at a glance.
Linking one page to another one within the same domain is called internal linking.
Internal links help Google understand the structure of your blog and point your blog visitors most popular pages on it.
The proper internal linking can improve your SEO.
In the snap, you can see an example of internal linking on my blog. “SEO tools to rank a blog in 2021″ is the anchor text, which readers can see on the page. On the bottom left, there is an internal link to that post on my blog.
Moreover, anchor texts are considered as keywords by Google to rank in search results.
Unlike internal links, external ones interweave pages within different domains. Here’s another example on my blog linking to the social website Quora.
Quora is a high-quality external source. So, linking to it will transfer more weight to my blog, consequently the positive impact on its rankings in Google.
Besides, embedding high-quality websites with useful data on them adds value to visitor’s experience. It’s good for blog SEO, too. On the contrary, linking to doubtful sources would have a harmful effect on the blog visibility.
Finally, backlinks are part of external sources as well. But today backlink building is becoming so important in SEO, that this kind of linking has been grouped as a distinct category.
Well, backlinks are traffic coming from other websites. The higher domain ratings of those sites, the better your blog is ranking in search results.
Everything counts in link building: website authority, domain rating, traffic, relevance.
Earning backlinks from authoritative sources can be challenging, but the game is worth it.
Here’s my list of link building strategies for SEO beginners.
5 link building strategies I use to increase my blog visibility.
🔑1. Create solve-a-problem content.
When I started my blog, my first task was to solve a problem in my niche topic: help students prepare for an English exam.
To do that, I plunged into studying my target audience’s queries, official sources and competitor’s materials.
That was meticulous research work as once I carried out when preparing and defending my thesis.
Having created a better article, I asked my friend to place the link on social media in a target group. That post got many likes and shares. Three months later, social sharing helped the article get ranked number 5 on Google meeting niche queries.
🔗2. Make internal linking.
I continued writing niche-related content. My goal was to make a comprehensive and helpful guide covering the topic with useful links. Thus, I logically inserted internal links from other articles on my blog as well as the references from official sources like edu-or gov-sites. I didn’t use any promotional words or clickbait phrases.
Internal linking is important because it helps visitors navigate your website and get answers saving their time. Another thing is that no one knows which link may gain the audience’s votes and attract more backlinks as a whole.
Well, in a short time I made to earn a couple of natural backlinks in the non-English segment because I’m writing about an English exam for Russian-speaking students.
🎁3. Share freebies.
One more strategy for getting people to see your site is to create valuable and free materials, like infographics, printables and additional visuals.
I made downloadable printables, tests, and other interactives for some of my posts. Every click signals to Google to make this piece of content more visible to target audiences. Moreover, printables with my link inside enable word of mouth promotion of my blog.
These types of content have become extremely popular on social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook.
When you create an infographic, make sure you use specific keywords in your title so search engines can identify them. Your chances of being found will increase when someone does an online search for something related to what you’re writing about in your infographic.
💡4. Podcast ideation.
Monthly podcast listening is likely to reach 125 million in 2022, according to statistics. Such a podcast platform as Spotify becomes popular among young, educated podcast listeners open to exploring new and trendy audio programs.
There are two ways I found out to use podcasts as a site for my blog visibility:
- You can place sponsored links to a brand name.
- You can create your podcast and share some ideas, features related to your blog, product or service.
Creating something from scratch is time-consuming, but I’m sure it’s rewarding.
My podcast format, for now, is interviews with bloggers having various audience sizes, niches, voices and backgrounds.
For example, my first interviewee was an Instagram ESL blogger. She creates and sells online courses for Russian-speaking audiences through social media, having no websites. On the contrary, I’m looking forward to recording an interview with another blogger interacting with her audience only through her informational blog. This girl writes much about alternative ways to make money with the help of blogging.
I suppose this is almost the same with YouTube videos, which you create to make your website visible and clickable.
🎏 5. Relevance-based guest posting.
Guest blogging will allow you to access different networks and social media channels – reaching readers outside your realm. Not all blogs accept guest bloggers but pitching your value makes it possible to land features at reputable sites.
Along with authority metrics, relevance is one of the indicators for guest blogging, says Heather Cambell.
Contributing to industry blogs can be an excellent way to generate some interest in your product or service. As a bonus, these links have less potential for unwanted consequences than other types of link building, such as pay-per-click campaigns.
How to get started?
- Search for guest posting+your relevant niche.
- Research your target publication’s guidelines before submitting content via their contact form or email address;
- Ensure that you abide by those guidelines (including formatting requirements).
- Explain the value you can provide them within return for featuring your content (i.e. writing an overview of their product or service, sharing their content, etc.).
Example: Some thoughts dawned on me while blogging about foreign languages. I’m planning to reach out to some psychology and mental healthcare bloggers with suggestions on how to feel less stressed out when sitting an exam.
- Backlinks are fuel for blog traffic and rankings.
- Start off with small but planned and persistent steps.
- Types of links. What are they for.
- Strategies to increase your blog visibility:
- Solve-a-problem content.
- Internal linking.
- Freebies to download.
- Podcast ideation.
- Relevancy for guest posting.
In this article I’ve described link building methods that I use myself to increase my blog visibility on search engines.
Looking for broken links, analyzing competitor’s tactics, outreaching through HARO and sources of sharing information with the help of paid SEO tools as well can make the link building process far more easier and faster.
But does that matter more than quality links, or organic “votes”?
As Google algorithms will always be raising to the top the data that answer people’s problems and worries. To my mind, it’s an axiom.
💪Moreover, I believe that combining analytical skills, knowledge and understanding of paid tools, observing trends in the industry as well as forcasting fluidity of human priorities can provide the best solution ever.