Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for any online business. Without it, your site will likely be much less visible. There are numerous methods for improving your SEO, but few are as effective as encouraging “backlinks.” These are links on other sites that are directed towards your content, and they can be a great way to prove your popularity to search engines.
Effective SEO can take many forms. You can use keywords strategically, adapt your content for mobile users, and optimize images (just to name a few). These are all valuable and useful tactics.
However, one SEO technique that many businesses under-utilize is backlinking.
Also called “link building,” this involves increasing the number of links across the web that point back to your site. Those links are often created by outside sources, although you can post links to your content directly in certain situations (such as on social media and in blog comments sections).
Backlinking is important, because search engines like Google typically rank content based on how relevant they think it is to each user’s query. If a site has a lot of backlinks from reliable sources, Google will often decide that it is more credible, and rank it higher as a result. In turn, this can help boost your overall visibility, and increase the number of visitors you receive.
You’ll also want to consider the difference between “dofollow” and “nofollow” links. Although nofollow links still point back to your content, they don’t affect your ranking. Dofollow links are taken into account by search engines, and can improve your SEO. Therefore, it’s vital to make sure your linking strategy focuses on generating dofollow links as much as possible.
There are numerous ways to build up the number of dofollow links leading to your site. Being highly active on social media is a particularly viable option. In fact, one study from cognitiveSEO found a strong correlation between search engine success and well-developed social channels.
So, how can you use social media to encourage more backlinks? Let’s explore some of the key tactics, each of which can be implemented across any or all of your target platforms.
Make Smart Use of Your Social Media Profiles
Many businesses are guilty of simply creating an account on a social media platform, and then never fully optimizing it. Your profiles contain numerous opportunities to feature links back to your website – it’s important to make the most of them.
For example, many social media platforms will include the option to connect a website to your profile. You can generally add a link in your bio as well, which can direct users towards your site or another important landing or product page.
You can also share the content you produce for your website across social channels. For example, if you’ve written a new blog post, post a Tweet containing a link to it and a featured image. This process will slowly and steadily build up the number of links that lead to your site, and can increase engagement levels at the same time.
Create Highly-Shareable Content
Another excellent way to get your website out there is by creating highly-shareable content. The more your content is shared, the more new audience members will become aware of your website. They may go on to recommend it to their friends, expanding your reach even further with little effort required on your end.
Social shares can lead to increased page views, more activity on your website, and new comments on your blog – all of which can indirectly increase your page rankings. These signs are a further indication of your website’s popularity, and as we mentioned earlier, that is something Google looks for.
Creating shareable content requires paying attention to your audience’s interests and needs. To do that, you can try following relevant hashtags on social media. Plus, you can use free online tools like AllTop to establish the current key trends within your industry.
Connect With Other Businesses to Create Guest Posts
Social media is also a very effective networking tool. You can find numerous other businesses on these platforms, some of which may be open to accepting guest posts. ”Guest posting” can be a powerful SEO tactic. This is because most blogs will include a short writer biography at the beginning or end of each post. You can use this section to add a link back to your site. You might even be able to include a few additional links throughout the body of each post.
However, it’s important to keep Google’s guest posting guidelines in mind. While it encourages the use of guest posts, Google will flag content that appears to contain “spammy’” links. To keep that from happening, remember to include links back to your own content only when relevant – in other words, don’t overdo it.
To get started with guest posting, you’ll first need to find the right blog and reach out to it on social media. Focus on the ones that are most relevant to your industry, as their audiences and yours will be more likely to overlap. It’s also smart to approach blogs that are of a similar size to your own site, in order to increase the likelihood of a successful pitch.
If the blog you reach out to likes your idea, you’ll then need to agree to a set of terms. This typically involves stylistic guidelines, and any legal matters such as ownership over the content. You may also want to establish upfront how many links you’ll be allowed to include. Then, all that’s left is to create some quality content.
Backlinking is one of the oldest and most important SEO tactics in your arsenal. If you want to encourage lots of sites to link back to yours, social media is your most powerful weapon. By reaching out to collaborate on guest posts, crafting shareable content, and making full use of your social profiles, you can be well on your way to improved search rankings.
Do you have any further questions about backlinking? Let us know in the comments section below!