What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks by definition are just incoming links. So when another website makes a hyperlink to your website, they’re creating a backlink for you. The best backlinks are the ones that come from large and/or popular websites that also fit your niche. A relevant link from say another photographer or other local business will usually trump a link from something unrelated like a casino or plumber. The opposite holds true also, when you create a link on your website to someone else, you’re giving them a backlink.
So, let’s look at an example comparison. Which website would you rather have a backlink from?
If you can’t answer for sure, that’s ok because two points from my above advice directly conflict with each other.
- VibrantLens is more relevant to your own website as a photographer but has low Domain Authority.
- CNN has an extremely high Domain Authority but isn’t really relevant to you at all.
So, who wins? Me? I’ll take that link from CNN all day long. Yes, relevance is important but not as important as getting a freaking backlink from a website with a 95 Domain Authority website. CNN will also bring you a truckload of visitors assuming they’re linking to you for a good reason.
How to utilize your favorite fans to build your backlink profile.
What is an influencer? No, it’s not just some big-assed Kardashian on social media. I mean, if you do know one of them, utilize the hell out of that person but most of us don’t have that luxery. Let’s think smaller. Anyone who constantly sings your praises and suggests you is one of your influencers. Maybe they don’t have the reach of a celebrity but even if they reach a few hundred people per scream, it adds up.
How do you utilize your biggest fans? Easy.
- Feature them on your website. This is something we do all the time. It really is a win for everyone. You get a real live person screaming your praises, they get recognition for being awesome, and you get all the traffic and love they bring.
- Offer them free (or heavily discounted) product and/or services in return for an honest review on it. While I don’t personally work for free (just due to the nature of my business), I can tell you that a customer screaming your praises will lead to more business than your own ads will ever bring.
- When you create new content, simply ask them to share it with their friends and family. Got a new blog post, use your network of influencers to spread the word. How does this help you create backlinks? Easy. All those social media links help and Google will see the traffic increase to those pages and give you a rank jump accordingly.
Some random tips, tricks, and warnings about Backlinks.
- Backlinks will not get you a shred of business if your own website sucks. Sure, you’ll get more traffic but if your viewers don’t like what they see, they won’t spend the money to buy whatever you’re selling.
- Getting backlinks on your most popular pages and posts will be the most beneficial. I’d rather have a backlink point to my homepage as opposed to some random photo session I blogged about 3 years ago.
- Don’t over-do it. Getting a few hundred backlinks per week will throw up an insane amount of red flags with the Google bots.
- Don’t buy backlinks. Any service that promises you backlinks for no-work and a payment will lead to minimal gains and more likely, big penalties. Or worse, it’s rare, but you may even catch a forever-ban from Google. They really hate it when you try to manipulate your search rankings so yeah, don’t do that.
- Always ask your vendors, partners, local businesses, and maybe even customers for a link to your website from there’s. It’s mutually beneficial to both of you. If they don’t understand, just send them to this page.
- Always always always link (and notify) any vendors that you mention in your blog or pages. Why? Chances are they’ll either share and/or link to you in return. Everyone loves seeing their name/product on other websites. It’s basically peer validation for them!
- Do not use any type of automated plugins or apps to get free backlinks. For the same reason you don’t buy them, you’re not getting quality.
- As with all business interactions, don’t just beg, but provide value. Which sounds better? “I’d love to offer your readers a 20% off coupon to my upcoming kitten boudoir workshop!” or “So hey, can you link to my website because it would totally help me make more money and help my SEO!” Yeah. provide value.