Whether you own a non-profit organization, e-commerce business, or simply an informational blog, search engine optimization (SEO) will play a vital role in the success of your website. There are several elements involved in SEO, but one key element many people need help with is backlinking. The Ultimate Guide to Generating Backlinks, Part 1 explains the different options for backlinking, how to search for blogs that allow guest posts, and determining what sites are worthwhile based on Google PageRank.
1. Options for Creating Backlinks
There are many different ways to create backlinks to your website and some methods are more valuable than others are. Below are a handful of approaches you can take when planning a backlinking strategy.
- Guest Blog Posts
- Vanity Websites
- Website Directories
- Social Media Websites
- Link Exchanges
A. Guest Blog Posts:
This option is pretty simple and self-explanatory. Connect with the owner of a blog website and propose a topic. Be sure that the topic you are offering is relevant to the theme of the site and will benefit the audience. I speak from experience when I say connect with the website owner before writing the blog post. Understand that all blogs have different writing guidelines that may not be viewable on the site. Start by showing that you are human and build a professional relationship.
B. Vanity Websites:
A vanity website is a site used to support your primary website. It can focus on specific keywords or keyword phrases as well as themes. For e-commerce merchants and entrepreneurs, vanity websites often include blogs. By creating vanity websites and increasing their PageRanks (PR), you will have your very own arsenal of sites to backlink to your primary website.
C, D, and E. Website Directories, Social Media Websites, and Link Exchanges:
While these types of backlinks are good options for new websites with a PageRank of N/A or zero—or even for site owners with little free time—these types of backlinks do not have much value. It would take about 100 backlinks from these types of sites to equal one quality guest blogging backlink from a reputable website.
2. Search for Blogs and Connect with Site Owners
There are many methods to search for blogs including using forums such as MyBlogGuest.com and BlogEngage.com. You can also connect with bloggers through blogging communities like Bloggers.com and BlogCatalog.com.
If you are searching for niche blogs where you can submit a guest post, you can try Googling phrases such as “submit guest post” or “contribute guest article” along with niche topics. For instance, I often search for “submit guest post” online business as well as “submit guest post” credit card processing.
Another great way of finding bloggers and blog websites where you can submit guest posts is by searching for blog posts relevant to your industry. Perhaps the author of the article is a guest blogger and their site is one where you would like to publish a guest post. You can also check out those commenting on the post. There is a high probability that their industry is also relevant to your industry and they have a site where you would like to publish a guest post.
Social networking is another great tool for connecting with blog owners. On several occasions, I have tweeted at a new follower and offered a guest blog post or even a blog post exchange. Be creative with your methods of connecting with blog website owners.
3. Determine What Sites Are Good for Backlinking
Now that you have found a site where you would like to publish a guest blog post, you need to determine if it is a good site for backlinking. The method I most often us is the FireFox add-on WebRank Toolbar 4.4. It allows me to check Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, and Compete Rank, pages indexed in Google and Bing, and backlinks according to Google, Bing, and Alexa all at once for the website I am visiting.
The best part about the WebRank Toolbar is that clicking on any one of these statistics will provide me with more information. The worst part is that the add-on developers have not fully worked out all of the bugs—meaning sometimes it does not provide any statistics.
Luckily, there are websites you can use to input a URL and check the website’s statistics. The website I use is PRChecker.info. This site works like a charm even though it only provides me with the Google PageRank.
What Is Google PageRank?
The most important statistic you need to evaluate when determining what sites are good for backlinking is the Google PR. PageRanks range from N/A to 10, with 10 being the best of the best. With that said, you should steer clear from websites with a PR of N/A or PR0. A PR1 typically means the website has done very little to increase its PageRank.
You may be asking yourself why PageRank is so important. Well, consider this: In the world of the Internet, a backlink is equivalent to a gold star of approval, a two-thumbs-up, or a vote of confidence. Which do you think has more credibility? A vote from a well-known, trustworthy person or a vote from an unknown person who, for all you know, is a liar, cheater, and fraudster? If you picked the trustworthy person, then you are on the right track.
The moral of the story is that a backlink from a website with a higher PageRank has more value than a backlink from a site with a PR0 or no PR at all.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
There is much more to backlinking than finding a great website that will allow you to submit a guest blog post. Stay tuned for The Ultimate Guide to Generating Backlinks, Part 2 where I will show you how to write amazing anchor text and top-quality content. In the meantime, what are some unique ways you have connected with blog owners? How do you approach a blog owner for the first time? Join in on the conversation and share your thoughts with me below.