Backlinks have come a long way from the early days when you could simply buy them by the bucketload for a few dollars - and thank goodness for that.
Today’s backlinks need to be from good quality, relevant sources in order to please the search engines and to stand any chance of improving your website rankings.
So, how can you improve your backlinks without hours of work?
Great backlinks without the hard graft
Most businesses shy away from getting backlinks simply because it takes so much time - and we’re all too busy these days to spend hours tracking down sites that might link to us, only to have our nicely worded, emailed request rejected or ignored.
We’ve come up with our top five suggestions for obtaining high quality, reliable and powerful backlinks. Yes, these are low-hanging fruit tactics that probably will only work once or twice, but hey, every link counts…
1. Activate the links you’ve already got
This is an easy one. Your website is probably mentioned on a whole range of other websites, but only as plain text. The link won’t be active. For example, you might be mentioned in passing in a blog, “Saw the new white Akira Studio jeep out on the trails today - got really muddy!”. All you need to do is ask the blog owner nicely if they will convert that text mention, “Akira Studio” into an active link like this, Akira Studio. Most people will usually oblige as they are happy to mention you in the first place.
How to do it: Simply type in your company name into Google inside quote marks, “Akira Studio”. Scroll down through the results to find interesting sites that mention you but don’t have that mention as an active link. Email the owner and ask for a live link. Do the same for your website address “www.akirastudio.com”. You can also use a paid for service like https://mention.com/en/ which will let you know when your company is, well, mentioned, and if you got a link or not.
2. Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO is a site where journalists post requests for quotes from companies and specialists in almost any market you can think of. The journalists are writing articles for anything from a small blog to major national newspapers. Often they just want a short paragraph, and will give a link in return for your contribution.
How to do it: Sign up at HARO and they’ll send you up to three emails a day listing the information requests that match your criteria. Respond to the ones that are in your field, and get that link! HARO does involve time reading emails, but don’t sweat it. Look at the emails when you have time to respond, not as they come in.
3. Get on a links page
Links pages are considered very old-fashioned these days, but there are still lots of them out there on high ranking, well-established websites. Get listed, and you'll have a link that's well worth having. Write a short description of your business (in the third person; “Akira Studio offers”, not “We offer”), and send it to any website with an appropriate links page.
How to do it: search in Google using the following:
“xxxx” + “resource page”
“xxxx” + “resources”
“xxxx” + “recommended sites”
“xxxx” + “links”
where “xxxx” is one of your key market areas or products (e.g. dog walking, graphic design, waffles). Send your text and website URL in an email to the site owner and ask them to add you to their Links page. Always write the entry for them - the easier you make it, the more likely they are to oblige.
4. Write a testimonial for someone else
Now this might sound a bit odd, but if you write a testimonial for another company that you genuinely like (don’t cheat on this), they might post it with a link. The same applies to case studies or portfolios - see our own https://www.akirastudio.com/akira-studio-portfolio for how this works.
How to do it: Check out your favourite company’s Testimonials page and see if they put a link beside a testimonial. If they do, write a testimonial, send it in via email (safer than auto submit systems) and see what happens. DON’T ask for a link - the company wants an unbiased testimonial, and the link is just a way of saying thank you.
Not all links have to come from external websites. In fact, you should always link between your own pages on your own website. So, if on your kitchen design page you mention taps and sinks, and you have a separate page on taps and sinks, make the words "sinks and taps" a live link to the taps and sinks page! This is highly effective because search engines like to be reassured that your website knows what is it talking about. It also help the search engines crawl and index your whole site more easily.
How to do it: turn relevant text into live links, thus: “Our kitchen design team use only the finest in-frame kitchen cabinets with solid wood kitchen doors.” If we at Akira Stdudio have written your webtext for you, you’ll find these kind of links scattered throughout your web copy already. If we haven’t, find relevant text and convert it into a live link. Don't overdo it, though, 6-8 links per page is plenty.