When another website sets up a hyperlink that directs users to your own, that’s called a backlink—and in case you didn’t already know, they’re very important to developing your site’s SEO.
Google and other search engines see backlinks as votes of confidence in your website. They run on the (fair) assumption that if a website makes the effort to cite your pages as resources, then your pages must carry some authority.
Backlink building (or link building) is easier said than done. Moz and BuzzSumo took a deep dive into one million different pieces of content and discovered that a staggering 75% of them were missing external links. Though with over 1.8 billion live websites (not web pages—whole sites!) on the ‘net as of June 2021, perhaps this is to be expected.
To help you succeed where others have failed, we’ve prepared this article on earning backlinks in 2021. If you’re a marketer or business owner in need of an SEO boost, this one’s for you.
The first and most important rule of digital marketing is to create high-quality content that aims to make a genuine impact. Scraping by with half-baked content, poor site design, or unintuitive UX will do you more harm than good.
Remember that every other website out there is also looking to create useful content. This means that any backlinks they deem worthy to include in their sites need to reflect well on them: like how you’d never recommend a movie you hated to a friend.
Quality is also an important factor in determining your page’s rank in search. After all, no sane company with the goal of connecting people to information would prioritize sending users over to bad information.
Per Google, quality content is accurate, original, well-cited, and presented professionally. Reading between the lines, it’s clear that the average site developer has everything to gain from creating content that’s packed with value and easy to read—link building is just the tip of the iceberg.
Some of the best, most useful content on the internet fails to earn links—and that’s okay. The truth is that some pieces of content do better as sales tools, encouraging leads to consider your offerings or take the step toward conversion.
However, since earning backlinks is still an important step in developing your digital reputation, you have to work strategically.
As you work on your content strategy, we encourage you to design and deploy pages that are specifically designed to rank. This is known as link baiting in the industry, and it’s a strong addition to your site planning.
There are many different ways to link bait successfully, but we’ve found that the best examples choose topics that are highly relevant to their industry (not just their customers, but other businesses in and around their orbit too). They also use custom-made visuals and write exhaustively on their chosen topics.
Set some space aside in your content plan for purposeful, deliberate link building content.
Relevant and reliable statistics are pure gold when it comes to earning backlinks. Because credibility matters so much to content, including well-researched figures in your writing encourages people to cite your pages.
Ahrefs published a case study on precisely this: their expansive article on SEO statistics earned backlinks from 32 different website—and ranked #1 for the search term SEO stats. This is both a good example of link baiting (Ahrefs wrote an article with a very specific purpose) and the power of statistics in drawing citations.
No matter what industry you belong to, there are bound to be a number of interesting topics and statistics you could deploy in your writing. We suggest you start by looking inward: what facts and statistics would you find compelling in your line of business?
Finally, remember there are advantages to working out of a specific geography. If you’re a business running its digital marketing in the UAE, you have the opportunity to be the first to research and report statistics within your locale. It would be a big win to earn backlinks from local websites—you don’t always have to aim for international attention.
There’s a poorly-kept secret among digital marketers and SEO specialists: a good number of backlinks are earned through networking.
When a writer or marketer publishes content they want to rank, it’s common for them to send emails out to their partners, industry media outlets, bloggers, and other website owners who have content strategies of their own.
There are two reasons why another website would link to content they hear about in an email. First, the content could be so well-written and insightful that they can’t help but use it to improve their own writing credibility. The second is that they see an opportunity for a quid pro quo: they cite your link and send over articles of their own in the hopes that you pick them up.
In either case, sending out your content to people in your network can lead to more backlinks down the line. Worst case, it keeps you top-of-mind among possible partners and builds your prominence in your industry.
Our last tip goes a step beyond the previous: you can earn backlinks by creating content for relevant sites in your orbit.
Guest posting or guest blogging is a popular practice among SEO practitioners: marketers or site owners write content for other people’s websites, and in return they get to link back to their own sites. These links can happen organically in the writing or show up in your author’s profile at the end of the article.
However you opt to work them into your writing, we have to stress the importance of writing quality content when you guest post. Not only is it the polite thing to do (you wouldn’t leave a mess when visiting someone’s home), but it also guarantees that readers associate your name and brand with expertise and quality.
We’ll be honest: link building is difficult work. It’s tiring enough to plan, research, write and design excellent content without having to worry about making sure people award you with backlinks.
Most marketers and businesses lack the time to spend doing PR work and writing content specifically meant to pull in backlinks.
In these cases, our experts at Igloo are prepared to step in and lend a hand. As an award-winning digital marketing agency in the UAE, we excel at giving local businesses a clear advantage when pulling in new business.
If you are looking for a leading digital marketing agency in Dubai, get in touch at Igloo. Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your marketing to the next level.
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