You know that external links are one of the biggest, maybe the single biggest, component of SEO, right? If not, here’s a quick primer for you:
- An external link is any link that targets a page on a different domain. If another site links to yours, that’s considered an external link to your site (also called a backlink). You can (and should) also send external links to other sites.
- Every time a site links to yours, Google’s algorithm considers it something like a vote – that other site says you’re popular and legitimate, which means Google can consider putting you higher in the SERPs.
- Not all backlinks have equal value, though – because of new regulations against spam links and because Google and its competitors measure the value of a link based on the perceived value – meaning the popularity or PageRank – of the site it comes from, some links are inherently more valuable than others.
- Links from popular sites are also valuable because they’ll get you a lot of organic traffic (customers arriving at your site because they clicked on the link).
A whole lot of SEO is chasing backlinks (or creating them artificially), and every SEO marketer in the world has her or his own ideas about how to do it. We can’t give away all the details of our successful model at SERP Ability, but we can give you a few basic pointers to help you get started without our help.
How to Get External Links:
- Create great content.
- Other sites are more likely to “vote” for you if you have amazing content (well-written, legitimate, interesting, etc.).
- Keep the rest of your SEO house in order.
- Make sure your SEO is always at the top of its game – getting a few links is great, but having every other SEO factor taken care of will make it even more likely that more people find your content – and some of those people will be webmasters who may want to link to your site.
- Consider the benefits of blogging, particularly guest blogging.
- We’ve written about each of these in detail before, but here’s the quick version: a blog is your best bet at attracting site visitors on the merit of your content alone, and will also make your site look legit to anyone who may want to link to it.
- Guest posts on others’ blogs give you an automatic opportunity to link back to your site – which is one of the major reasons guest blogging is so popular.
- Link out to others.
- This is one way of getting other webmasters’ attention – and also makes you look a little more legitimate to Googlebot.
- Ask other sites directly if they’ll link to you.
- This is actually one of the many approaches we use here at SERP Ability – but it is admittedly a bit harder when you don’t have a lot of contacts in the SEO world behind you.
- Sites in similar areas of interest that are not direct competitors are the most likely to do this. For example, you might ask a foodie blogger to review your restaurant and link to your restaurant site.
Keep these tips and tricks in mind for now, and continue reading our blog – we’ll keep you posted on any new developments in this or any other important area of SEO.