Everybody wants back links these days. Back links are important because they are a major way that Google can tell that your website is important and worthy of a high ranking within their search results pages.
Some back links are good. Some back links are bad.
Good back links generally come from other websites that talk about the same topics as your own website, have some exposure of their own, and provide quality content.
Bad back links generally come from off-topic websites, free for all directories, spam websites, adult websites, etc.
How do you get them?
Back links are all about getting other websites to link back to you, so the most basic way is to call, email, or tweet the owner of the website you think would be a good back link to your website. Another great way is to contribute content to a website like St. Louis video producer, Video Solutions, Inc., did with SproutVideo’s video marketing blog. Companies like Clicked Studios that handle SEO at the professional level use a variety of tools to scale and accelerate this process dramatically when compared to doing it by hand yourself.
The competitiveness of your niche will determine how aggressive and how many people you’ll need to reach out to see results in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) from your back link building efforts.
If you wanted to rank for a keyword like “insurance quotes”, you might need to get back links from several hundreds or thousands of other web sites. This process could take anywhere from one to two years if your website is brand new (or you get lucky with an early viral hit).
If you wanted to rank for a keyword targeting a very small town like, “dog walker in caseyveille, il” you might only need a handful of back links and could be ranking in a couple months or less. You can get a good feel for what your competition looks like by using tools like ahrefs.com and Moz.com.
In general, realize that any lucrative keyword phrase out there sending thousands of quality people to your website will take hard work and dedication to build enough quality back links to make your website rank well.
A prerequisite to all of this is that you have some good content to share. If you have junk content, it makes it very hard to get people to link back to you.
Certain types of content share better than others. Some common attributes are highly visual, educational, controversial, funny. Overall, you have to deliver some sort of value with your content.
A Real World Example
Over the past year, infographics have been all the rage so Clicked Studios ended up creating this infographic. You can click it to see it full size in a separate window.
In the infographic, a few key stats are explained and visualized. This makes the content easy to consume, but also conveys important information that business owners need to know these days.
After we published the infographic, we promoted the hell out of it to to magazines, blogs, and web sites to get exposure, which ultimately led to back links.
There is also another strategy I rely on for SEO campaigns that don’t need big name websites linking back to them. i.e., regional / local business SEO campaigns. Basically we have a database of various blogs pertaining to various niches. Each month we can have articles written for these blogs that pertain to our niche topic. The articles go live on the blogs we have access to and Google sees the new links popping up and starts boosting the websites authority so it ranks better. We’ve used this strategy with clients to dominate local and regional search results pages.
What kind of results can I expect?
The results depend mostly on what keyword phrase you’ve targeted, your ranking position on the major search engines, and how many searches per month that keyword phrase receives.
Here’s an example of a website’s traffic growth using an SEO strategy focused on ranking for multiple cities and keyword term combinations within Missouri.
This second example shows a website that was optimized to serve an international market for its specialized product.
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