For today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “L” is for Links
How to get others to link to your website.
Lots and lots of linky, linky, links.
We all love links from other’s websites. Feel the love! Links to our website are gold SEO.
I’m not an expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), though I give a good impression of it on my SEO Pinterest board. What I have learned is about on-page optimization and off-page or off-site optimization.
“In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.”
“In search engine optimization, off-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are off-site in that they are not controlled by you or the coding on your page. Examples of off-page optimization include things such as link popularity and page rank.”
On-page optimization can wait for another day. You should be aware by now of the importance of keywords. I’ve mentioned in my blog on images, the use of meta tags (ALT text) with images. Today I’d like to talk about off-page optimization, specifically links.
How can you get someone to link to your website? (also known as a backlink)
In no particular order:
Is this guy wearing pants?
- Write a guest post on a credible site. Why credible? The higher the host’s ranking, the more weight they carry with search engines. Link your website in the post content rather than at the footer. Or both.
- Get influencers in your niche to promote your content.
- Develop a strong social media presence. But don’t flood Twitter, etc., with posts containing your URL. Most social media platforms have turned off the “follow” feature. Otherwise, Twitter, etc., would be one big URL universe. More than it is.
- Ask people in your industry to link to you. Scary, I know, but most industries are willing to share a little of the link juice.
- Offer freebies, run sweepstakes. If you see a link to a free Whizbang thingy, don’t you want to click on it and enter? Bam! You’ve just given the website owner a free backlink. The freebie does not have to be expensive, or even physical. Offer bonus knowledge, a .pdf, a book excerpt. You know your industry best. What information is your customer always demanding? Put together a quick FAQ booklet to download and offer it to them for free.
- Link to some of your older, related posts within your current post. See how I linked to my post on images above? Oops, I did it again.
- Comment on other’s blogs. People do read and click on them.
- Answer question in your niche on Quora. Answer a question that pops up a lot. Make yourself the Quora Master for your niche.
What do most of these steps involve?
Engagement. The number one method of getting people to link to you is for them to want to. You have to connect with people, and not just by wailing, “Buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” Connect, engage, ask questions, answer questions, communicate. Be a real person. It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, but marketing is a big part of your business. As much as I’d love to write all day, I recognize the importance of reaching out, which is why I’m part of the AtoZChallenge. Not only to share what I know about writing (which I love doing), but I get to read other’s posts and step into their world for a few minutes.
Bonus section! One day only!
Another link related, easily-solved problem is the messed up permalinks I see on so many blogs. It’s as if the blog owner is trying to turn away Google’s eyes. (I’m talking to you, Jenny Trout) <–that, my friends, is called a backlink!
What’s a permalink? It’s the URL search engines use to find your site. It’s what you type in your internet browser’s search bar. For example, if you’re looking for my site’s specific page on Images, you’d type:
That’s a permalink. And you have control over it. As I’m typing this blog, its permalink is:
How is 1064 going to get me on Google’s front page if you’re searching for information on links? So, excuse me a moment while I go up to the permalink box, click on Edit, and change my permalink to:
Whew! All done. Why did I add links, backlinks and permalinks? Links because my SEO plug-in, Yoast (more about Yoast on the 29th), demands the focus keyword in the title should also be in the permalink (and in the first paragraph, and at least one header. Yoast is a nag.) Backlinks and permalinks were included for anyone doing a Google search. See, it’s all connected.
Any other tips on links and SEO, Cheryl?
You are a curious bunch. Let’s see what I have:
If you want to check who’s backlinking to your site, go to backlinkwatch.com and enter your URL. It may take a few minutes, but backlinkwatch will generate a list of websites in which you were mentioned, or where you commented, as well as the number of backlinks from the site. I was surprised that a comment I made in January of this year resulted in 189 backlinks to my site. (I hope it also resulted in a few book sales).
For a free, downloadable, WordPress SEO checklist (which I will use henceforth), go to www.theworkathomewife.com.
That’s it for now.
Saturday’s #AtoZChallenge* will focus on the letter “M”.
#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.
Blessings until then,
If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the #AtoZChallenge, or any future blog posts, please use the entry form to the right.
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*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.