We all know that more backlinks help us climb the ladder of search rankings, which is awesome. But what else can you get from links?
As it turns out, quite a lot. Backlinks should form a key part of your SEO campaign, but just in case you were worried that rankings are the only thing they’re good for, we’re going to take a look at what else you can get from links.
What are backlinks?
A backlink is an incoming link from one site to another. They are important for SEO reasons because they pass “link juice” around, which gives your website a vote of confidence in the eyes of Google. The more juice you receive, the higher you’ll rank.
Why is this so? If Google sees that lots of sites are linking out to yours, it automatically lends you more credibility. As a result, Google has a reason to rank you higher.
It sounds like pretty simple stuff. Let’s see what other benefits links have for your site.
- More referral traffic
“I’m already getting lots of traffic,” you might protest.The thing is that referral traffic generally has a low bounce rate. This is worth noting because the traffic that comes from ad campaigns, such as AdWords, tends to have a much higher bounce rate.
Why does referral traffic have a lower bounce rate? It’s because traffic is coming from trusted websites who are linking out to you. The visitors on those sites are already clearly interested in your niche and are clicking the link to find out more.
Moreover, the more traffic sources you have, the better things are, right? Totally.
- Links position you as an expert
People will find it hard to buy from you until they trust you and see you as the expert in your field. If they see your rival as the expert and not you, they’ll buy from your rival instead.It’s all about using content marketing to position yourself as the go-to voice that customers listen to and trust.
The problem is that positioning yourself as the expert is tough. Who’s going to listen to you if no one has heard of you?
This is where backlinks come in. If you can post on an influencer’s blog as a guest writer, you can link back to your own website while using your guest blog post to position yourself as an expert at the same time.
What does this mean?
More and more entrepreneurs and companies are using guest blogs to secure precious backlinks from authoritative sites that link back to their own site. As a bonus, the fact that they’re posting on an authoritative site means that a new audience will find them — and trust them.
How so? If the audience already trusts the website, they’ll trust the websites judgement when it comes to guest bloggers. If you can secure a guest blog on an influencer’s site, you’ll have a whole new audience who are ready to listen to what you’ve got to say. All of a sudden, you’re converting people independent of your SEO efforts.
- Links let you build new relationships
Link building should also be known as relationship building because that’s essentially what it is.See, when you try to secure links from websites, you can’t just say “Bro, gimme a link.” Instead, you have to take the time to build proper, lasting relationships with influencers. This means taking the time to engage with them, talking to them and even offering them free stuff. Don’t just ask “What can you do for me?”; think about what you can do for them.
When you make that initial contact with them, be personable and friendly. Start by engaging with their posts and work up to the initial first message or a cold email. Inject a bit of humour in there and don’t be too “salesy”.
The stronger your relationships are with influencers, the better the opportunities that subsequently arrive will be. If you can build a long-lasting relationship with an influencer, there’ll be many more chances to secure more links, more traffic and more sales.
- Promotional opportunities
Sure, links are good for ranking, but a good ranking isn’t a surefire way of boosting sales.In fact, the link itself is a great way to promote your brand and secure more sales there and then.
For example, if you sell an app and write a guest blog for a related website, you can include a link to your app (if the website allows this) right there in the article.
Let’s say you sell an app that helps people create logos for their brands. So you decide to write an article about the challenges of building a brand. In the article, you can include a section on logos and link it to your app. Bingo.
Here are some ways to earn more links:
- Write awesome content
No self-respecting blog is going to let you write for them, let alone link out to you if your content is poor. Anything you write for a blog must offer value to the community, and it must be share-worthy. Moreover, it needs to go some way to position you as an expert in your field.
- Reach out to influencers
Identify the influencers in your niche, and then work out a plan as to how you’re going to attract their attention.The easiest thing to do is to engage with their posts on social media before direct messaging them. Cold email is an option too, or you could just pitch directly to them with an idea for your blog.
- Identify backlink opportunities
More than anything else, you need to know where to find the best backlinks. The last thing you want are low-quality links that’ll get you punished in the SERPs.Invest in a tool that will spy on your competitors and who they’re getting their backlinks from. Then, reverse engineer what they’re doing and secure links from the same — or similar — sites.
As you can see, links are very important, and not just for SEO reasons. It’s key that you start seeing this as a chance to build relationships and use backlinks to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Once you’ve done this, your customers are yours to keep.