— August 2, 2019
SEO is an important part of your business. No matter what your niche is, it will be hard to grow if people can’t find your site on search engines or through organic backlinks on other websites. What exactly are backlinks and why are organic ones important?
A backlink is any hyperlink that links from one webpage to another. An organic backlink is a link that is put on a page without the intention of influencing search engines. For example, if the link is sponsored, has tracking parameters, or redirects through monetization, Google’s algorithms will determine that your link isn’t organic.
Your goal should be to get as many organic links as possible because they are one of the factors that will make your website rank higher when someone searches for relevant keywords in a search engine.
So, where do you start?
Identify Your Competitors
There are many people who avoid visiting their competitors’ websites and reading the content those competitors publish. This is a mistake. Your competitors are targeting the same market as you, so it is likely that they are attracting similar people. You can get lots of inspiration by researching how they do things.
The first step in getting your own backlinks is to find out which of your competitors are getting the most backlinks. To get that information you will need to create a list of their websites. If you don’t know who your competitors are there is an easy way to find out. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Do a Google search with keywords you expect your customer would use when looking for a website that is in your niche. The tops results should belong to competitors who are nailing SEO optimization.
Now that you have a list of websites, it is time to run each of them through a backlink checker. Backlink checkers are useful web crawlers that will find backlinks for you. They will also give you information on how much traffic each of those backlinks generates and lots of other useful information. You will then have a much shorter list of competitors that should contain only those that have the most traffic and biggest number of backlinks.
Analyze Your Competitors Backlinks
Okay, you have determined which competitors are getting lots of backlinks. It is now time to find out what kinds of websites are putting up all those links to your competitors. This is where a good backlink tracker will be useful again. It will let you open each of the webpages that have a link to the competitor you are researching.
If your competitor has loads of backlinks, there will be thousands of websites in results. Don’t worry, you don’t have to research all of those websites in detail. Open a bunch of tabs and give each of them a quick glance. There will be a bunch of unrelated websites, but there should also be a few groups of websites in a similar niche. Those are the groups you are interested in.
When you do this for all the competitors you are researching, you will find out what sort of websites are likely to mention your business. Most likely there will be several different groups of such websites. For example, if you are selling gardening supplies, you might find websites of florists, chili pepper bloggers, agriculturists, and so forth, on that list. The next step to get your own backlinks is to find out what kind of content each group shares.
What Do They Share?
Even if you know who is interested in putting links to your type of business, that doesn’t mean they will link just anything you publish. You should now open the links that link to your competitors and check what type of content is being linked. Once again, you will get various results. There might be links to their webshops, blog posts, homepages, about sections, etc.
Once you find out what kind of content each of the groups is likely to share you should compare your website to those of your competitors. Find out what is different and if you lack something they have on their websites that can make you more successful.
If you find your website is lacking you should focus on fixing one part of the website at a time. Choose one type of content, based on the group you want to attract first. For example, if you noticed that florists are attracted to your competitor’s blog, and they are the group you want to attract the most, focus on improving your blog.
If your website is of the same quality or better than your competitors’, then it means that your problems are elsewhere and you should move to the next step immediately. Otherwise, work on improving your website before moving forward.
Reach Out To Others
Your website is now top notch but you are still not getting backlinks. This is can be expected if you haven’t worked on your SEO previously. After all, it is hard to find a business online if they are ranked low in searches. Most of the people don’t look past first 10 results in Google search. Instead, you will have to find those willing to link your site.
Thanks to the research you did in the previous steps, you have already found some. It is time to start getting in touch with them. Send emails and ask if they are interested in collaborating with you. The type of collaboration will depend on what kind of content they share, what their business does, and how that relates to your line of work.
This is where you will have to get creative to motivate them to visit your website, to publish a guest post written by you, or to let them publish a guest post on your website. There are various ways of approaching this step in the process of getting backlinks, and you will have to feel out what will work best for your site.
Consider Hiring SEO Professionals
Generating organic backlinks can be time-consuming and not everyone has time to do it on their own. Even if you do have time, there is a possibility that you would rather invest that time somewhere else. If that is the case, you should consider hiring companies who specialize in partnering with website owners.
Whatever you decide to do, you can’t ignore SEO. Good SEO will drive new customers to your website and improve the growth of your business. If you hire professional help do research on the company and their track record of SEO wins. This way you will get to know people who are interested in your business and get more opportunities for growth and collaboration.