Backlinks in SEO: Don’t build them, Earn them

When I talk about SEO Strategy I hear always a concern among site owners and some marketers about backlinks topic. It seems they are browsing on the Internet pages that inevitably give them a sort of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on the backlinks. They blame not having them and the reason why their website is not ranking. They have 5 pages written like a template and they feel they need backlink to get more traffic.

What I usually tell them is “Don’t build backlinks, but earn them”. But, what does it means? It is simple: Who visit your website has to find useful, simple, easy and engaging information. If they find it, you will have a chance that:

  1. Your content is shared on Social Media Channels because it is very interesting;
  2. A Blogger or a content writer will cite you when they write something similar because you made your point. In this case, you also need to be an expert on the topic because you can share your experience, where who just write for the sake of creating content doesn’t have;

If your content is not good, if the information is just what other people write about it, you will have very low chance to get selected. Think about it.

How can you earn backlinks? What do you need to do?

[Provide Good Content]

  1. Provides good quality content on your niche or niches you are expert. If you don’t have a niche or you are not an expert, you can become one. Focus on one area that you feel you are interested and do research. Read other articles, read theory and do practice and start writing your opinion on that. You probably followed an advice and you found that actually, you can add more info on it. You found that some advice on the internet is not all applicable to any circumstances. Forget about traffic and backlink. Focus on the bloody content.
  2. Once you started to research about your topic, you surely find also gaps in what is the information available online. This is a good chance to write your contribution because nobody wrote about it. One common mistake is that people check if there is traffic volume for that particular topic upon a google search. In this case, you are working on long tail keyword research so the volume is very low but you will bring good traffic. This means good bounce rate, time on site, pages visited.
  3. Publish your content on a regular basis. If you can publish one article per week is fine. If you can do more even better. Keep writing good content. Show you are a good source and your (motor) engine is running.
  4. If you used some ideas or framework already written on the Internet, don’t forget to cite the sources. Don’t take credit of something you didn’t invent. So, add links to the source, so your readers are aware of that. For example, I would like to invite you to read Neil Patel Blog that wrote a very good article on how to create backlinks so you can have extra material and take it as an example of good content.

[Engaging in the conversation]

  1. Go online and interact with other peers. If the topic of your website is something professional or work-related, you can engage on Linkedin. Find similar topics and give your contribution. Don’t try to sell your content putting a link on your LinkedIn post. Instead, engage in conversation. Establish your presence first, so other peers will know you. Then, you can start sharing your content but here the importance is to generate engagement and conversation. When you reply or make a comment, others want to know who you are. It is psychology. Here they will see your website and what you write.
  2. If you find a website that publishes good content and you feel that one post can be positively criticized, you can contribute with your knowledge adding it in their comment section. This is not because you may put your URL in the comment section, rather you have the chance to show you are an expert on this matter. You added a contribution to the post enriching it.

[What avoid doing if you want to get backlinks]

  1. Don’t go to any website who sells backlink. Don’t buy backlinks!
  2. Don’t go to any platform such as 5 Euro service one (if you know what I mean), that sells “10,000 HQ quality backlinks” or similar services for 5 bucks. These are all bullshit and you may risk the opposite effect, meaning being penalized.
  3. Don’t contact random webmasters asking them to do backlink exchanges. You just waste time. Invest the time in writing better content.

In general, cure also all the aspects of the on-page SEO optimization, such as page speed, the usability of the website, good images and all that may create the better user experience. This means that if one user lands on your website and they stay there for some time, navigating to other pages, you tell Google that your website is good in content and other people are interested. This set the basis for improving the traffic towards your website. In fact, if you have got 10 visitors in a time range and your bounce rate is 80%, it means that 8 visitors out of 10 left your website without moving to another page. This means that you didn’t provide much interesting content. Your visitors were not engaged by you.

If you follow my advice above, after a couple of months you will start seeing backlinks popping up in your Google Analytics dashboard or any other SEO tool.

As usual, I hope you could get something helpful from this post. If you have anything to add, please feel free to do it and I will try to reply back.

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