At this point, we’ve learned about what backlinks are and how they help websites develop. We’ve learned about what makes a whitehat backlink and a blackhat backlink. So we know where to get the links we want and how to differentiate the good ones from the bad ones. The next step to executing the perfect backlink is to find out what pages and words you should be looking to link.
Where to Start?
This is where you get into the process known as keyword research, a crucial step in SEO as a whole. This can be done using a range of tools such as Semrush, Moz, Ahrefs, etc. I prefer to use Ahrefs to study the sites I’m acquiring information for a backlink and seeing what keywords or terms already rank on a page. It’s important to study the keywords that are already coming up organically on your website in order to monitor whether they are relevant to your brand. Starting here will be your path of least resistance and sometimes only a blog or 2 can move these words onto page 1. You ideally need to have your highest ranking keywords be a mix of hyper niche words in your field and general terms that give you maximum impressions.
How Do I Maximize Already Existing Keyword Rankings?
You’d like to have momentum going for the first group of words you are trying to rank, if a word is starting to gain traction you’d like to keep generating traffic towards that word as a way to refer people to your site or blog. The way you keep a keyword going up in ranking is by creating backlinks for that specific keyphrase. This is done by using that keyword or variations of that word as anchor text, read the blog Aaron wrote on anchor text to learn more about how to highlight the words you want to rank. Once the keyword you highlighted is used as anchor text it will likely raise the metrics of that word. Not only will you see an increase in the highlighted terms’ ranking, but similar terms to the one highlighted will begin popping up as search terms for your site, which overall increases your SEO.
From a content creation standpoint, answering a few subquestions about this topic or adding some FAQs to your service page can go a long way and not take much effort from someone who lives and breathes your business.
How can I begin ranking for new keywords?
A good way to expand the keywords you want your site to begin ranking for is to write blogs or create content focusing on those terms you want to rank for. You can create FAQs, city pages, video/podcasts, showroom locator, etc. to name a few content ideas for your website that can be counted as valuable information for keywords, allowing you to rank for them. You need to make sure that your content is credible and useful as you want users to stay on the page (limiting the bounce rate) and for them to link your page on other websites as a resource. Google is an intelligent search engine, it will recognize if the key terms you are trying to rank for deserve to be on your site.
Should I be Tracking my Keywords Regularly?
It is necessary to keep tracking the progress of your links to make sure they are rising up the ranks of Google and not losing traction. If your content is going dry and your target audience begins to start clicking on other links, you will begin dropping in rankings for that term. It is important to update your website to stay relevant with any current events or recent developments so that your content doesn’t become outdated, hindering it useless. Your highest ranking blogs can make or break your site traffic, so be sure to treat them like the valuable asset that they are.
Hi, my name is David Sheptovitsky and I am a new hire at Mad Mango Marketing. I am a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree from their Advertising Management program, and a minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. During my time at school I learned a lot of the analytical and interpersonal skills needed for the marketing and advertising industry, however, there was never really a mention of any kind of SEO. This might be because it’s a very modern tool for advertising, which will see it enter the world of academia in the coming years. Since it wasn’t discussed in school, I came to Mad Mango Marketing with nothing but the willingness to learn. And in SEO there is no shortage of valuable information necessary to perfecting the skill.
Firstly, before I began doing anything I had to learn what a backlink was. In the simplest way a backlink is a link from another site directing the user to your site. The value was easy to understand from an advertising standpoint as you’d obviously be gaining more traffic to your site by generating clicks from this link on another site. But something that surprised me was the value that having this backlink had in the search engines your site was appearing on. As you can probably guess from the title of the blog, our preferred search engine is Google which also happens to be over 90% of the world's search engine as well. Within Google I learned that there is a factor that values backlinks as a way to raise your authority on the search page. Meaning the more relevant backlinks you receive the higher up you appear when someone searches for something in your industry. And there is no wonder why someone selling a product or service would want their authority on Google to be as high as possible.
Whitehat vs Blackhat
Now that I discovered what a backlink was I needed to learn if there were backlinks that were damaging as opposed to the clearly beneficial ones. This is where I was introduced to whitehat vs blackhat backlinks. Whitehat backlinks are links that are earned through offering a piece of content or knowledge to the site you are trying to collaborate with. This is the way that Google intends people to work together as it promotes equal opportunities. What Google doesn’t want you to do is attain backlinks through blackhat backlink building. This is a process where you do things to receive backlinks that aren’t earned. This could be in the form of paying for backlinks or spamming as a way of getting your link posted. Google recognizes this and will in return punish your website, which ultimately causes damage to your websites SEO.
Tools for Connecting & Ways to Collaborate
My initial role at Mad Mango was mainly focused around building backlinks. To do this I had numerous tools that allowed me to connect with websites in order to successfully build a backlink. Firstly, I had the option of reaching people through the platforms I was most familiar with. Apps I grew up with such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and more recently TikTok. It’s easy to navigate social media because it’s there for the purpose of connecting, so why not take advantage of this to boost your website's rank? One tool that I became aware of once I began working at Mad Mango was Google Alerts and how you can use it to stay up to date with new blogs and articles in your website’s niche. Through this I reached out to the writers or blog owners and found a way to collaborate on a piece of content similar to the one they just released. Another tool I used to build backlinks, and by far my favorite, was HARO (Help A Reporter Out). And as the name suggests, it is a tool that allows writers to reach out to experts in certain fields in search of professional input in exchange for a mention (backlink) in their article. I use this as a way to offer up the expertise that our clients possesses in certain areas whether its roofing, haircare, sleep, etc. There are hundreds of different requests daily and the writers are very responsive making it a pleasant experience altogether.
To conclude, backlink building is a very important part of a company's success in the modern SEO space. A brand’s website could be enough to sway a consumer into working with you or moving on to somewhere else, and making sure people see your website is equally important. There are proper strategies for developing backlinks as well as methods you should avoid. Although it takes time and effort to get a quality whitehat backlink, it’s worth it in the end when you see your website doing the best it can.