In this chapter you will learn how you can create external links to your website.
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A little earlier I told you that inbound links or backlinks are links from other sites to your website.
I also told you that without them, it’s almost impossible for your site to rank high in Google.
Even if On-Page, all elements are optimized, without links, your site will only show up where the competition is very weak or non-existent.
But how can we get others to mention our site?
Well, the bad part is that you have to put in a lot of effort to get links. This is the most difficult part of all SEO optimization.
The good part is that you can use the same tactics we used at unosoft to get links from some of the biggest sites locally and even nationally.
1) Create link-baits, i.e. content types that are likely to attract links
On any marketing blog you enter, you’ll find at some point (even on our blog) one of the following axioms, let’s put it this way:
“Create quality content.”
“Content is king.”
“Without quality content, you don’t stand a chance!”
The problem is. it’s not enough to have quality content. An analysis by Buzzsumo of 1 million articles showed that 70% of articles don’t even have a link to them.
So if quality content isn’t enough to get links, what is?
Well, various studies show that there are a few types of content that are more likely to get links and shares.
Types of content that attract links
Of all content types, lists are constantly in the top most shared and link-read articles.
Although many people complain that the Internet is full of list articles, they remain among the most popular.
Which is easy to explain, given that:
Articles that answer basic questions in a particular field
One of the most commonly used questions we ask Google to win arguments with friends is: What is/What does it mean?
The key to earning links with this type of question is to provide the best possible answer.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the longest answer. Maybe you can offer the simplest, most easily understood solution. Maybe you can supplement the answer with pictures or videos etc.
Like lists, infographics are easy to scan. At a glance you get the gist of a 1000-word article.
What’s important here is to create content that’s actually useful. At unosoft for example, we created an infographic that was useful primarily to us, because we were always forgetting what the sizes were for different types of posts or ads on Facebook.
View the infographic in full here.
Own studies or interpretations of studies
If executed properly, such studies or interpretations can even make it into the press.
At unosoft, for example, we have created an interactive map of entrepreneurship in Romania where anyone can find out how many companies there are in each county, which are the most active sectors and the biggest employers.
Create useful guides and resources for readers
Longer content (e.g. guides) has many more shares and links. That’s because they are very useful for both readers and other bloggers.
For example, for someone writing SEO industry news, it’s very natural and handy to send a link to our SEO guide so readers can learn more about SEO if they’re interested.
2) Guest Blogging – write articles on other sites
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging is writing content on another blog (i.e. a guest post), where you leave a link to your website. But it’s not just the links that are the biggest gain here, it’s the exposure to a new audience, for free.
If you write an article on another well-known site, you can even attract several thousand visitors to your site. Just think how much it would cost you to attract those visitors with ads.
How to guest blog step by step
Step 1: Find guest blogging opportunities
You can find sites that accept guest posts by Googling:
- your keyword + “write for us”;
- your keyword + “become an author”;
- your keyword + “become contributor”;
- your keyword + “contribute”.
By using quotation marks, search engines will display only results that contain the exact words in quotation marks.
Step 2: Find a topic to write a guest post about
Here’s where you should keep in mind:
- blog specifics you want to write about: maybe you have a blog about food, and the blog you want to write about is also about food. But you wouldn’t want to write an article about “Benefits of pork” on a vegetarian blog;
- audience knowledge level – how in-depth/technical you write about a particular topic;
- what articles have been published – if 2-3 articles have been published recently on a very similar topic, there probably won’t be a need for another one;
- guest-blogging rules – maybe you are thinking of writing a very complex article, but their rules don’t allow articles longer than 1000 words;
- what topics are recommended in the site’s guest-blogging rules;
Step 3: Contact the blog administrator
Bloggers usually receive dozens of requests and offers for collaboration. If you want to get a response positive, tries to:
- be specific – who you are, what you want to do (contribute an article to the blog), how you want to do it (the topics you’ve been thinking about), why they would choose you (you’ll write unique and valuable content for the blog’s readers – here you can show them examples of articles you’ve written either on your site or on another blog).
- keep it short (don’t try to sound like a poet by writing a 2-page email – nobody has time for that).
Step 4: Once you’ve written and had your article published
- respond to comments – many bloggers are very active in the comments section – you may be able to find your next guest blogging opportunity;
- promote the article via social media;
- send the administrator a thank you email leaving the door open for future collaborations;
- contact influencers interested in your topic;
- keep an eye on your social media traffic: for example, if you suddenly notice that you have a lot of likes on your post, an influencer with a lot of followers may have shared it.
3) PR – Public Relations
The press could play a much bigger role in promoting your business. Occasionally sending a press release to journalists that you either have to pay to get published or no one takes notice of is not very useful.
Here, the most important thing is to understand how the press works and what a journalist’s needs are.
Regardless of the field they write about, a journalist is usually asked to do one thing: bring traffic to the site. Or sell physical newspapers/magazines etc.
So basically, they’re always looking for interesting topics to write about.
And it’s your job to give them that topic.
That means (1) you have to understand what topic to offer them, what to write about, and (2) know how to dress it up. If you want them to write about you without paying for it, the story doesn’t have to be directly about you. And when you send the proposal to the journalist, it shouldn’t be along the lines of “Hey, we want you to write about us” but “Look at the interesting thing we’ve done, here’s why it’s interesting and why we think your readers would be curious too.”
How do you approach a journalist
To keep things on track, I’ll give you an example of one such approach I used when promoting the entrepreneurship map in Romania.
The email sent to journalists focused very much on the topic and why it would be interesting for their readers. Also, the release itself was not formallike those sent by large corporations, full of blah blah and no substance.
It was written more as an article ready to publish on the site. This also made it more interesting for them.
The structure we usually use for releases and which I recommend is this:
Title – gist of the story;
Two, three sentences that highlight important parts of the communiqué;
First paragraph – Discusses the broader mission of the organization;
Second paragraph – Discusses the specifics of the project;
Third paragraph – Goes into more detail about the project;
Fourth paragraph – Discusses the wider context of the project;
Fifth paragraph – Background of the organization, a quote from the project coordinator, etc.
Here you can see the press release used for the Romanian Interactive Entrepreneurship Map campaign.
4) Use influencers to give your brand credibility and reach a new target audience.
I think it’s very true that we’re approaching content saturation.
Everybody creates content, whether we’re talking about pictures or videos on Facebook or blog posts. For example, every month 59.3 million articles are published worldwide, and that’s just on WordPress-based sites! Almost 60,000,000 articles per month!
Add to that the hundreds of millions of photos, videos and text statuses, and you can see why it’s so hard to get the attention of potential customers.
When you factor in the fact that we have competition from all sides, the best way to short-circuit gaining the attention and trust of customers is to associate with people or brands that have already succeeded.
In recent years, vloggers and bloggers have become more known and appreciated in Romania and I think we are in a moment of maturation of these industries or marketing strategies, as you want to call them. Partnerships with those who already have a community around them can result in very creative and highly effective campaigns.
The good thing is that you can use this strategy no matter how big your company is.
If you’re a small business just starting out, I recommend reaching out to people with a smaller community or following. Chances are real that you’ll be among the only ones who approach them so it won’t cost you much to promote.
Over time, if your business grows, you can approach more and more people
Instead of conclusions
This was the beginner’s guide to SEO. We hope we’ve managed to help you better understand what this concept means, how it can help you and how to take the first steps to optimise your website. If you want to learn SEO at a more advanced level, we recommend the SEO course that teaches you from A to Z and step by step how to get to the first page of Google.
And as promised, you can find a checklist here to help you make sure you haven’t missed any unoptimized elements.
Download the checklist here.
This is not a definitive guide. Although we cover all the essentials, each of them, whether we’re talking about on-page or off-page SEO, can be delved into individually.
We also recommend subscribing to the unosoft newsletter to receive future articles on this topic and others that can help you grow your business.
Chapter 1 – What is SEO – Chapter 2 – Optimization steps after creating a site – Chapter 3 – How to submit a site to search engines – Chapter 4 – How to optimize internal links – Chapter 5 – How to increase site speed – Chapter 6 – Keyword research – Chapter 7 – How to optimize title, keywords, URL and images – Chapter 8 – Off-Page optimization (Link building)
No time now? Download the PDF guide and read it at your convenience.