If you’re just starting out on your ranking journey – or even if you’ve been at it for some time, you’re probably already aware of how important backlinks are. The reality is, they’re one of the most important parts of getting the search engine ranking you want, and it’s almost impossible to do it without them.
One thing you might not be aware of – you don’t have to pay for good backlinks. If you’ve been convinced that you can only succeed with an expensive third party SEO team – that simply isn’t the case. In fact – many small businesses just like yours succeed with an organic strategy that doesn’t need to break the bank. In this article, we’re going to look at how you can do this yourself and start getting great backlinks for free.
One quick note on quality
Firstly, you should probably be aware that you need to get lots of backlinks to be successful. However, sometimes, quality is more important than quality. You can’t simply spam your way to the top like you once could. Search engines like Google place more importance on quality, relevant links from the right places than it does on simply worthless anchors chucked up anywhere. That’s why even though you’ll still want plenty of volume – you should make sure they’re high quality links as often as possible.
If you’ve seen those backlinking “gigs” on Fiverr that offer tens of thousands of links overnight for only $5, you might have been tempted. These sorts of schemes should be avoided at all costs. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is – and these sorts of spammy strategies often provide you with tons of worthless links that could even harm your ranking and see you penalized. The best backlinking strategies are organic and grow your backlink portfolio over time. The best part is – getting great backlinks doesn’t need to cost you anything.
Now, let’s take a look at how to get great backlinks for free…
This is one of the best ways to get high quality, free backlinks. You should be aware by now that creating high-quality content is a foundation of a successful online business or blog. You might have been able to get away with poor quality in the past – but you can’t anymore. So if you’re creating great content, what’s next? Syndicate it.
The best thing about content syndication is that it helps your great content work for you. It’s all very well posting great posts to your blog, but what if nobody else knows about them? Go out and find a few relevant authorities in your niche and offer them some of your content for free (in return for a backlink). There are even some networks that’ll help automate this process (although nothing beats those hand-picked relationships you found for yourself).
Not only will content syndication get you highly relevant backlinks on authority websites in your niche (Google loves these kind of links) – it should also get you relevant and residual traffic from people clicking on the link directly. It’s a win-win situation. As we’ll look at in a bit with social media links, the better your content is – the more people will “share” it – doing lots of the marketing legwork for you.
You can find out more about content syndication here.
Providing quality testimonials for other relevant sites are actually an untapped source of great backlinks. People will appreciate it if you’ve got something positive to say about them or there business, and they’ll often be happy to put a link next to your review. The other great thing about these links is that the “testimonials” section is normally (understandably) quite prominently placed on any website. That means you’re getting a great link that could get your direct traffic as well.
Simply reach out to a few authorities in your niche (or beyond) with services or products that you’ve got something great to say about. You might be surprised by how many are willing to give you a link in return. Not only do these sites want your positive comments – a link to who said it actually makes the testimonial seem more legitimate and less likely to be made up.
You can find out more info on the power of testimonials at this site.
Un-anchored Site Mentions
Did you know that there might be a lot of people talking about your business or brand who haven’t included a link? It’s understandable, as backlinking as SEO isn’t normally on the mind of most normal internet users – but it’s actually a potentially great source of backlinks.
Do a search for site mentions, and try reaching out to the people who wrote the comment or mentioned your site. Explain to them why you appreciate their comment, but also let them know how much you’d appreciate them quickly and easily editing their comment to include an anchor link to your site. It’s easily done, and you might find more people are willing to help you than you thought. Especially if they already like your business. You could offer them a slightly discount or special offer as a thank-you.
Social media is one of the best new ways to get tons of backlinks for free. While some of these backlinks may be no-follow, that isn’t always the case. If you can build a successful and engaging social media strategy, your followers could also help spread your message virally and doing a lot of your marketing work for you by “sharing” your content. The more you can get people to share, the more backlinks you could get for free – that’s why you need to take social media seriously and post great content on it.
Don’t treat your social media followers as an afterthought and they should reward you. Post relevant, engaging content, contests and special offers and you should see your following grow. This, in turn, should help you get more backlinks for free.
This one is a bit more old-school, but it’s still super effective today. There should be a few relevant forums in your niche that you can start posting on today. While you will be able to mention your site occasionally in your actual posts, try to offer relevant advice and not be too spammy. However, one of the best places to get tons of backlinks is in your signature. That way people (and search engines) see your link every time you post, but it isn’t in an intrusive way.
Try finding a few highly-respected forums in your industry and start posting on them regularly.
Hopefully you’ve seen that backlinking shouldn’t be difficult, or expensive. These backlinking techniques are only the start, but they should be enough to get you on your way to ranking success.
About the author
Peter Ellington has years of experience writing about backlinking and other internet marketing issues. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with those new to the industry, and he also knows how important the right business education can be for those just starting out. That’s why he also works for a Singaporean tuition agency, SmileTutor service.