By Oliver Brainerd
How to create and build backlinks from scratch. If you’re anything like me, you know several things about backlinks:
- They make your SEO work better
- You are pretty sure you’ve seen them before
- And you definitely know what a link is and which way is back
We all have gaps in our expertise, I think. If we didn’t, there would be nothing left to learn. Backlinks happen to be my blind spot. I know they’re one of the two kinds of links your website needs for strong SEO, and so I know what they aren’t. I know what they do on a fundamental level. They improve SEO. But I don’t know how they work technically.
These are one of the things I have left to learn about digital marketing. Improvement is what makes life spicy, though. So let’s learn about them together.
Starting with the most pertinent question: What are backlinks?
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. (Backlinko)
That ain’t so hard. When other websites link to your website, then it makes search engines like your website better. It’s like a vote of confidence from other people for your website. That appeals to the powers that be. It makes your website appear both busier and more authoritative, thus improving your SEO.
Backlinks to your website, otherwise known as inbound links, make your website far more alive in the ecosystem of the internet. Having plenty of high-quality backlinks to your website improves your SEO a lot. (MailChimp)
This introduces two more questions:
- What are high-quality backlinks?
- And how do you get them?
Read on! I know I’m learning a lot.
How to Build Backlinks from Scratch
After doing my research to this point, I have a question that feels like an obvious question: if backlinks are what you call it when people link to your website, then how do you get people to make links to your website? Aside from just waiting around until people happen to decide your website is a good source for some content they’re creating. That seems like the most straightforward way of getting backlinks.
Like so many questions in digital marketing, the answer to this one is: yes, and no.
Since you can’t forcibly hack into other websites and insert backlinks to your website, the only thing you can do is wait until they voluntarily create backlinks to your website.
At the same time, there are ways to incentivize other businesses to create backlinks to your website.
There are as many ways to do it as there are businesses, but the main thrust of the strategy goes like this:
- Build better content than anyone else in your industry.
When it’s a question of getting better backlinks, creating better content is how you do it. (99signals)
“Better” content pretty much always means:
- Evergreen, as appropriate (it needs to be as relevant next month as it is today).
- Relevant to your audience (don’t write a bunch of content about Revlon if you’re marketing for ComicCon [actually…]).
- Clever in execution and content (do you pour foundations for hotels? Have you ever heard of anyone doing a podcast on that? Think about it).
- Actionable (solve problems).
- Above all, clear. No note.
There’s been a lot of ink spilled over what makes “better” content. Take it from someone who’s looked: those five things are the common denominator between all of it. There’s more you can do with metadata, and there’s a certain finesse to creating, choosing, and managing imagery. But those are the fundamentals.
Excellence in content creation does two things:
- It makes your content easier for people to find.
- It makes people more likely to want to link back to it.
That’s the organic way to get high-quality backlinks. Make better content than anyone else. If you have a tight budget, it is way better to know how to build backlinks without paying for them. (ArcticMeta) There are tools out there addressing the issue, places where you can submit links to your content and make them more visible so your content is more likely to get backlinks.
Backlinks are of variable quality. The rule is simple: backlinks on more visible websites have higher SEO value than backlinks on less visible websites. Stands to reason. If Perry Ellis has a backlink to your site, and Oliver Wicks also has a backlink to your site, guess which one will be a higher quality backlink for you.
Backlink Strategy to Build Backlinks from Scratch
Build yourself a backlink strategy. You can do it if you try. Not everyone’s method is going to be identical, but here’s a scaffolding to start with:
- Make the best content ever. Better than that.
- Promote it everywhere you can through your own channels. The key here is strengthening your SEO so you appear in searches.
- Browse the websites of other companies in your industry. Consider reaching out to them and making them aware of your content.
You can get started there. There’s a certain momentum to this stuff. If you get a couple, you’ll probably get more. SEO works like that–it sort of snowballs.
If you are still trying to Build Backlinks from Scratch, let us know if you need some help. This is what we do. You can book a meeting with our team to find out how here.