Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where do I get my Backlinks?

Backlinking for SEO is still one of the most popular methods for obtaining higher positions in SERP’s. What in the heck did I just say? SERP’s or search engine results pages, are simply the pages returned after a person types a search term or phrase into a text box and clicks search. The position that websites have on those pages is determined by a multitude of differing factors. The way the site is built, the relevance of the content to the user’s search query, the length of the URL, the content contained in meta tags and of course, backlinks among other factors. Backlinks are simply links on other websites that lead to yours. Just having a lot of sites linking to your website however is not enough to get a higher page rank. The sites linking to yours must be reputable or in some way important in the eyes of the search engine.

Ranking higher on these pages is less of a science and more of an art form. Backlinking is one of the best ways to get your site to appear as popular in the eyes of search engines and hence, get you more exposure. Once charged with the task of obtaining backlinks however, you may quickly realize that it isn’t as easy as installing links on your own site. You cannot just whip out an anchor tag and plop in a URL. Getting other entities to link to your site is the equivalent of getting them to put promotional fliers on their receptionist’s desk or to hang posters in their storefront windows. Some people may cringe when asked to do it. Or, they may be happy to do it but getting them to actually walk over and hang the sign as well as keep it up for an extended period of time is tricky.

  • Start with who you know

    The best place to start on finding other websites to link to yours is to look at who you are already affiliated with. If you have been in business for a while and have a good reputation, chances are you will not have to look far for customers, suppliers, industry trade groups, business associations and other entities that know you and your business. The first and probably best tactic to be employed for obtaining a backlink is to simply ask. Contacting entities, businesses and/or applicable customers and asking for them to link to your site may bear more fruit than you think. Of course it may take some concerted effort and perhaps more than one phone call or email to get them or their IT department on the ball. These are some of the best places to look for backlink opportunities because these groups already have a relationship with your company and putting a link on their site to yours is probably not the most valuable or difficult-to-do favor you have asked them for.

  • Link other web properties

    If you are looking into SEO in the first place, I’ll bet you are also hard at work developing a web presence. Claiming profiles for your company on social networks, business listing websites and other web properties is a great way to get more exposure for your business. Linking these profiles and listings to your main website will also count toward your backlink tally. While you may not be able to add dozens of backlinks with this tactic, every little bit helps. Just claiming profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and its various products as well as Yahoo and Bing gives you tons of opportunity to link to your site from other accounts that will count as votes for you or your company’s main website.

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