If you’re anything like me, you love to write, but perhaps the SEO side of things seem a bit more technical and mysterious. Marketer and SEO expert Nicki Sciberras shares some tips about getting more eyes on your website through using backlinks.
Nicki shared some great advice for getting started with SEO on the podcast back in Dec 2021, and I’m thrilled that she agreed to be my first guest poster on the blog!
Guest post by SEO expert Nicki Sciberras
WHAT ARE BACKLINKS IN SEO?
Scoring traffic to your website using SEO could be easier than you think; you just need to know the right steps to get there. I’m going to share with you one of the fastest ways to boost your rankings in search engines like Google, so you reach those top positions and grow your audience, sales and revenue in no time.
One of the best ways to boost your position in search engines is backlinking.
‘What are backlinks in SEO and how do I get them?’ you may ask.
Before I get into the nitty gritty let me give you a quick lesson on SEO in totality.
There are three pillars to master when it comes to implementing SEO and yes, one of those is backlinking.
Pillars of SEO
SEO is made up of three primary components. Each component must work together to optimise your ranking in search engines like Google.
How your site is built and functions (crawlability, speed and responsiveness)
The words, images, graphics, videos and content on your pages and posts and how they’re optimised
Backlinks from other sites to your website which increase your domain authority and help Google to boost your ranking.
Today we will focus on building links. It’s a super simple way to signal to Google that you have a trustworthy authoritative site that they should rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If other reputable sites trust you, then search engines like Google do too. Let me explain.
Starting from the top, I am going to get you all over backlinks so you can start ranking for your chosen keywords.
What are backlinks and how do I get them?
What are backlinks in SEO you ask? A backlink is a link from another website to your website. It signals to Google that your trustworthy. These links along with the citations of your site help you increase your domain authority (and are the only way to grow it). Increasing your domain authority helps boost your page rank for your chosen keywords and the higher the authority of your website, the better chance you have of ranking above your competitors for the same keywords.
What is domain authority?
Domain Authority (also known as Page Rank) is a score between 1 and 100 and was developed by SEO extraordinaire MOZ. Your score is determined by the quality and number of links to your site. The more links pointing to your site, particularly of higher quality (from sites with a higher domain authority), the higher your domain authority.
A brand-new site would have a Domain Authority of 1 or 2 given it has little to no backlinks
Websites like Facebook where almost all websites link back to it, have a Domain Authority close to 100. Again, numerous companies link to Facebook because they trust them which proves to Google that Facebook themselves are trustworthy and should be ranked higher.
Keyword analysis and domain authority
When selecting keywords to target in your copy, your selections need to be considered together with analysing the domain authority of competitor sites that rank in the current top positions for those keywords. Why? Because if all things are equal, sites with a higher domain authority will generally rank higher than those with lower scores for the same keywords.
Not all sites have been optimised well for SEO which means there is potential for you to outrank a higher authority site. It is just a little harder and you’ll need to be more strategic about your approach. With good keyword research and implementation, and well written copy, you’ll give yourself a better chance.
Remember, the higher the authority of the site linking to your site, the more authority will pass to you. A link from a high authority site is worth more than hundreds of links from low authority sites. A great place to score a high-quality link from is a news or media site.
As demonstrated, your domain authority and page rank are two measures of how trustworthy your site is to Google and determinants of where you rank. The more links from higher authority sites linking to you, the more trustworthy Google deems you to be and the more highly ranked your site will be.
Backlinking is extremely important when it comes to ranking in search engines. There is no point doing keyword research and getting your website technically sound if you aren’t going to get backlinks.
- Links within your own site are called internal links.
- Links from your sites to other sites are called external links.
I can assume your next question may be, how do I get backlinks?
Well, I’ve got you covered there too.
Before I get into it, I just wanted to take a minute to stress that you should aim to build backlinks naturally otherwise you will get penalised by search engines like Google. Also, be sure to spread the link juice across your webpages, not just your homepage when asking people to link to your website.
There are numerous tactics for getting backlinks. Here are six free and simple strategies that you can implement today without any paid SEO tools whatsoever.
5 free ways to get backlinks
Family and Friends
- Do you have family or friends with a website or blog? Ask them to link to your website via a supplier list or guest blog on your business.
- Do you work with complementary businesses that would be open to linking to you? For example, if you’re a copywriter, you could ask an SEO expert, a photographer or graphic designer to link to you as a partner.
- If you sell other people’s products or services, you could ask them to link to you as a reseller or stockist.
- There are numerous industry related directories that are worth getting added to. Avoid free directories without a strong verification process.
- Look for reputable, well known directories and review sites eg. TripAdvisor or Yelp.
- To run a search, Google ‘your industry + directories’ or ‘SEO friendly directories for _______ industry’.
- One last thing: make sure your contact details including your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are the same across all directories.
- Writing testimonials for other brands, ask them to add it to their site and create a link to your site. This is really simple and super effective.
- Write an article for another website in your industry or niche and ask them to publish it on their website and link back to your website. This is the exact tactic I am using right now.
Remember: it’s critical to implement a backlink strategy to ensure all the hard you put into creating a technical sound site, finding good keywords and writing good content doesn’t go to waste. Which backlink tactic will you be starting with?
Want to leverage SEO or Facebook Ads to generate low-cost leads and sales? Here are a few resources I put together to help you:
It’s a SEO checklist that will help you get ranking in the top positions of search engines like Google.
It’s a practical workbook on the six actions you must take to achieve Facebook Ads success.
About the author
Nicki Sciberras worked in corporate advertising for 15 years, and now runs a full service marketing agency specialising in high converting tactics like SEO, Google and Facebook Ads.
Thanks so much Nicki for being my first guest poster! Such a useful post too. Do go and check out all the goodness on Nicki’s site and grab some of her free resources!