Backlinks are one of the most important and powerful asset for propelling your site to the top. In our case, we are more interested in organic links. The very definition of the organic backlinks still remain vague, but they do provide the biggest value for the users, look natural in the context and have an anchor text that is integrated in a meaningful way.
Let’s review some ways on how to acquire such links and squeeze the most of juice out of them.
1. Be Involved in Link Roundups
Bloggers love publishing posts with links to the recent articles. These are fairly simple to create and share around. And it’s pretty easy to be listed in one of those as well. Being involved in this content is cool because you can get a lot of quality links fast which is really useful for SEO.
If you have an exceptional piece of content that you’ve made recently, you can create one of such great link roundup posts. In this case, I really love the citation from Jeff Jarvis: “If you can’t imagine anyone linking to what you’re about to write, don’t write it”.
To find such articles in a certain blog, you can use the SE Ranking backlink checker and make a good list for your blog post.
As soon as you publish the article, let people know about it and suggest them to mention your content. Send them a personal email and mention this blogger in your content.
I can say that this is an excellent way to help bloggers by including their posts on your site. They will definitively notice it and will come check your out. And this is the first step to build relationships with them.
2. Offer Your Product for Blogger Reviews
I would like to assure you that there are a lot of bloggers in every money-generating industry who can write a review about your product. As you know, a product review is a good way to let people know about it in details and it usually contains a link leading to your website.
That is not so difficult as might appear at first sight. Just carefully think over your offer, find bloggers in your niche, reach them out by offering something valuable in exchange and wait for their responses.
It is worth noting that asking bloggers for a review or a link via email is not ethical and violates Google policies. Don’t be direct about it. Be more creative!
3. Run Contests
Contests are great ways to attract relevant audience and engage them with your brand. A lot of companies are using this method and I strongly encourage you to do the same.
The purpose of this method is not to earn money, but give people something fun to do. Notice that contests have a high risk: it if the contest is lame or not well run it can actually damage your reputation.
4. Work With Influencers
Based on NeoReach, an influencer is “an individual with an online presence who has the potential to influence the opinions and behaviors of your target audience.” Because these bloggers have such a good follower base by making quality and interesting content, people start trusting them and respect their opinions.
Once you make a list of influential people in your niche, you can start working with them while creating a great content. A lot of companies in your niche have a special press section where they cover news somebody else has written about them. Take a look at these pages for important updates, and you can create your own story on your blog.
If you engage with influencers just for marketing, you can miss the chance to be customer-centric.Focusing on your customers and your business will be more profitable. The best way to do that is to encourage a community and engage bloggers in a two-way conversation. Let influencers know how their opinion shaped your business decisions.
5. Help People and Ask for Links in Exchange
It might sound weird, but the quality links are born from naturally built relationships between websites. Cooperation, support, friendship, partnership – everything makes sense. Here I am not talking about link exchange; it is an illegal way to build links that can get your website penalized.
There are a lot of other things you can do to improve your your website. For example:
- Translate a piece of content into a different language;
- Contribute a good content to a third-party blog;
- Make a banner or an infographic for another site;
- Fix some bugs or errors on a website;
- Debug a piece of programming code for someone’s project;
Just extend a helping hand and do the work that serves their interests.
Tip: Take full advantage of your network.
6. Use Q&A Websites
Asking and answering questions are considered to be one of the most effective ways to do better SEO and build quality links. Year after year Q&A websites go on gaining the popularity and become useful at helping people build a good link building strategy.
If you have something interesting and extraordinary, search for the burning issues and deliver the info. Quora and Reddit are one of the most popular websites that can include a number of such unanswered questions.
Why I like these websites is that you can find there some influencers and start building relationships with them. Moreover, you can learn more about your industry and find the right solution to your problem. Deeply held answers will increase your chances to link your content to other pages.
There are a lot of great ways to get links to your website, and I’ve included only those that work well for me. I hope you will find something useful out there and will begin to create a successful link building campaigns. Cheers!
I am in the industry long enough to have witnessed both the growth and decline in the popularity of “web directory” phenomenon.
Web directories emerged prior to search engines as the means to help people discover websites online. During Google times, web directories were used to build backlinks and extra visibility for a website. Then they became popular among link builders – from where the concept abuse started.
There is an argument that link building hasn’t killed web directories. What happened instead is that directories were no longer needed (search engines did the job) but is it really so? To me, it’s the same as to say that Wikipedia is not needed thanks for Google Knowledge Graph (yes, I realize the knowledge graph is being built based on Wikipedia, hence the sarcasm)
The difference between web directories and search engines is that high-quality web directories are heavily moderated. The purpose of today’s web directory is to provide the well-structured database of high-quality websites.
Hence good directories can still be useful:
- To build your site co-citation signals
- To put your site in the most relevant immediate contest
- To build more brand name mentions and awareness (to help build digital footprint)
Below I am listing selected directories that are still driving value to your website (if you are listed there) but more importantly, provide valuable user experience.
Requirements to be listed
Why is it here?
No “mirror” and non-original-content sites”, no sites with illegal content, no sites with mostly affiliate links
The fact that Google still trusts Dmoz enough to show “anchor text or listings from” it is pretty self-explanatory.
“Sites must serve as a resource for businesses or business professionals”. They actually have very strict guidelines listed here
Listing your site there actually drives traffic and brings trust. Note: I did find a few a bit forced “exact-match anchor text listings there” which I’d avoid if I were them
No sites with broken links, only family-friendly sites, sites with cross-browser support, no sites with pop-ups,
Each site has a separate page listing * some stats, helpful links as well as description and most useful pages from that domain. That could become a powerful brand name asset! They also offer free webmaster tools and have a separate “local” directory
“Our users expect relevant results with appropriate ratings”: sufficient content and contact info (for business websites) are required
I actually LOVED the site search feature ** showing different features of each website: It shows the site is very-well curated!
Cross-browser support, no sites with “under construction” pages
It’s hard not to mention Yahoo when talking about directories. They say it’s too expensive to justify it though.
No pharmacy, affiliate-only, redirected sites (The guidelines are rather vague: “it is difficult to name the exact websites we reject”)
Best results are labeled. Category pages have lots of content beyond links. They provide 100 / 300-word review for each site (So they write the copy themselves: Neat!)
No websites with illegal or pornographic content, no affiliate or MLM sites, no mirror and non-original sites
The site overall is very user-friendly. I liked the individual listing pages: They have “related articles” and the ability to comment and rate
I actually couldn’t find clear quality guidelines on their submission page (I can assume it’s located elsewhere)
Positions itself more as a “human-empowered” search engine (they claim to have a crawler of their own), has a great focus on community
*Dir Journal listing screenshot:
**JoeAnt search results:
I wasn’t able to find any arguments pro or against the below directories (or something worth noting in the “Why is it here?” column above), so I am just listing them because I know they have a very good reputation:
- Aviva directory: One of the oldest, best-known directories out there. They say it’s trusted and can even drive traffic.
- Alive Directory: Interestingly, it shows number of clicks on each link (A good sign it’s actually able of sending traffic)
- Skaffe: I like that they show Google Plus button and have “Address” and telephone. I wish they supported that more (most listings provide no telephone; I couldn’t find a zip code that would have any search results)
- Lots of local directories are listed here
- Web App Directories to Promote Your Startup by Justin McGill @jus10mcgill
- Major Search Engines and Directories at Search Engine Watch.
What are your thoughts about web directories nowadays? Please share your thoughts!