If you’ve been following the last few articles relating to SEO you should now be ready for the final stage to help your website appear in search engine results.
By getting links from other relevant websites pointing back to yours, creating backlinks.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are any link from another website that points directly back to your website.
For example you could write a guest article for a VA community website and include a short bio at the end with a link back to your site. Or you could be involved in an online small business community and have a link to your website contained within your signature.
Why are they important?
Each link you get from another relevant website pointing to yours acts as a vote in the eyes of Google. The more votes you have, the more authoritative your website is perceived to be, the higher your site will appear in search engine results.
Backlinks are also is a great way of getting more direct traffic through to your site.
What does links from ‘relevant’ websites mean?
Some websites are going to give you more SEO juice than others. For example, writing a guest blog for another VA’s website that receives a low volume of traffic to it each day, isn’t going to have much sway when it comes to determining search engine ranking.
On the other hand, writing a guest article for a larger VA community website that gets thousands of hits each day and has links pointing to it from other sites, will benefit you since that website is seen to be an authority within the same industry.
Essentially Google’s bots scan linked websites to see if they are related i.e. within the same industry / field / niche to help determine an individual website’s position in search results.
Is it easy to get links?
Yes and no.
Yes, because there are a number of ways to get links pointing to your website, including some shady ways such as paying for links. But I’d strongly recommend avoiding them, as some of the companies offering those services use methods that can actually have a detrimental effect on your websites ranking, as opposed to a positive one.
And no, because going it alone takes more time but the results are genuine and will ultimately bring you better success.
Where can you get links from?
1. Virtual Assistant & Business communities
Most online communities and forums allow you to have a personal / business profile. Often this can include your website URL. Make sure you add it and then participate regularly in that community.
For that reason it’s more advantageous to select only two or three communities to hang out – otherwise the pressure of staying on top of them all, and actively participating, becomes more like a dreaded task that could fade over time and be of no benefit.
So pick a couple, create a full profile and get involved.
There are literally hundreds of business and virtual assistant directories out there. So do some research to find out the ones more relevant to you.
Find country-based VA directories to join. Find niche business directories and add your details.
If it’s relevant to your industry and it’s getting a lot of its own traffic, the link will prove beneficial to you over time.
3. Article syndication
This is a great way to get quality links from other websites pointing to your own, build your authority within a specific niche and drive traffic to your website.
Basic rules for submitting your articles to these sites are:
- Keep word count to around 500 – 600
- Do not submit duplicated content – no articles that have appeared on your own blog, as a guest blog article or on other syndicate sites
- Complete your ‘About the Author’ section – this is key. This is the section that allows you to enter your website URL to get that all important backlink.
There are countless sites you could submit articles too, but the main ones (as far as my research can tell) are:
4. Guest blogging
Get one of your articles published on an authoritative relevant website which includes a short bio and link to your website, your SEO juice will shoot up a few notches.
But when writing a guest article, make it great. Don’t rush it. You’ll still get the link to your site yes, but if you want to be asked to write another article, or if you want other sites to approach you to write an article for their blog, then it needs to be great.
To find websites to submit a guest article too, use Google e.g. search for “small business guest blog post” (remember to include the quotes), or think about your niche when searching e.g “social media guest blog post”.
And of course there’s good old VA Pro Magazine! We’re happy to accept guest article submissions, so just email us with your article idea and we’ll schedule it in.
5. Your own blog
Don’t forget about your own blog. Whilst it’s not adding links per se, it is creating content that has the possibility of being shared by others. Each time it’s shared it could be seen by someone who links to it from an article they’re writing, then bam – you’ve got yourself another link.
6. Blog commenting
A while back I wrote an article on the benefits of commenting on articles and blogs which is worth a read, in it one of the reasons why it could prove beneficial to you is to drive traffic to your own website.
Commenting allows you to either include your own website URL as part of your profile, or (and more likely), it gives you an opening to include a link to your website within your response.
If you can add value to the original article by linking back to something on your own blog that perhaps goes into greater detail, or offers another view point, then do it and gain another link in the process.
Each and every one of these steps will help increase your websites authority and in turn will help heighten where your website appears in search engine results.
And if you haven’t read the previous SEO articles you may want to take a look over parts one and two – how to choose the best keywords and placing your keywords – so your website is fully optimised before moving on to this link building stage.