So, you have worked hard building your website, create content regularly and some time has passed to allow your site to mature, but you are getting very little traffic. Didn’t you read that you just need the right keywords and some time to pass? What is the problem?
The problem is, that unless other sites with high domain authority link back to your site, Google (and other search engines), will not trust your site. So what is backlinking in SEO and how do you get backlinks? In this post, I will share what your options are but first let’s look at:
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a score assigned to your website regarding how trustworthy the content is. Google rank the most authoritative sites with the highest quality content ahead of lesser websites, so in order for you to be able to rank, you need to build your own website authority.
The ranking of domains was developed by Moz, an SEO software company. Websites are graded from 1 to 100 for Domain Authority, 100 being the best. With a new site you start at 1 and build from there.
The higher the score, the higher your posts will rank on Google which accounts for why new sites get very little traffic. The good news is that there are actions you can take to increase your Domain Authority (or DA).
The bad news is that it can go down as well at up! Check out how to use the Domain Authority Checker tool – it’s free and you can search multiple website domains in one go!
Thanks to Sitechecker for this infographic!
How can I improve my Domain Authority?
Moz monitors 40 metrics to decide the DA of your site but the key ones you can actively do something about are:
- Acquiring backlinks to your website from high DA websites – this adds credibility to your site
- Create compelling content – you want visitors to your site to linger for as long as possible and ideally engage too. Always end posts with a question to encourage comments
- By guest blogging – in addition to increased DA for your own website, you will get referral traffic from the sites that feature your posts
- Include links to relevant, high DA blogs in your own content
- Do a round-up of quotes from top bloggers in your niche
- Find competitor broken backlinks and offer to replace them with your link. I have written a separate post on this subject as there is too much to go into here and it deserves a deeper. Don’t miss it.
How can I persuade someone that they should share my link?
First of all, do a Google search for terms that you are trying to rank for and read the top posts that appear. Can you see some that could be improved with more in-depth coverage of the topic, infographics and images? Or better still, all the above? Great!
Then, put the results of these into Ubersuggest – it will show you the Domain Authority (they call it Domain Score but it is the same thing) along with the rough number of visits the site has got along with the social shares.
Even better, it shows the pages that linked back to the posts! You can download this for use later. If you have never come acrosss Ubersuggest, check out my post What Is The Ubersuggest Tool. (I am not an affiliate for Ubersuggest, I just find it has lots of great features.)
In addition to the Domain Authority you will see how many backlinks they have along with how difficult is it likely to be to rank for this keyword. Fear not if this is a high number, as this strategy will help enable you to rank.
Check out how to use Ubersuggest for this purpose by clicking the image below:
The next thing to do is write a post better than the one that appeared towards of the top results. This is called the ‘sky scraper’ technique. The sky scraper technique was identified as a winning strategy by Brian Dean of Backlinco.
When he says better, he generally means longer, includes every possible element of the subject, expands on aspects not covered in the original post, includes info graphics, links to quality sources of information and a includes a video (it doesn’t have to be yours, just make sure it’s good, on-topic and adds value).
Relevance is absolutely key with any post so when looking at keywords and deciding on your content, ask yourself if they match up – will the user who has clicked through to your content find the answer to their question / search term? If the answer is ‘no’, take the time to re-think and make sure that it does.
Having done all this, go to your list of websites that that linked to the posts that came up in your search earlier, contact them and offer them the opportunity to link to your content or share on Social Media. You can also go to those who linked to similar content. Don’t forget to share with your own social media following too.
To learn more about the sky scraper technique get it from Brian Dean’s original post on the subject. This post is a prefect example of what he is talking about. He has put a huge amount of work into it – most people would not take the time which is why this strategy is a winner.
Link out to top bloggers
When you are writing a post for your blog, make a point of finding another, really good, related post and put a link in. Then reach out to the relevant blogger, tell them you love their blog and have linked to the specific post.
Do not ask for anything in return – they might choose to share or they might not. In any case, you will naturally find that more comes back to you than you give and it helps you to develop relationships with some really good bloggers out there.
Neil Patel has a really good selection of ourtreach templates to help you to set the right tone when contacting these people. (You never get a second chance to make a first impression!)
Do a round-up of quotes for top bloggers in your niche
If you have asked a top blogger for a quote and they have given you one to incorporate in a post, it is very likely that they will link to you or at the very least give you a share on social media. I was so impressed by this example, 23+ Successful Bloggers Share Their Top Tips To Beginners by Enrique Ambrocio. Enrique’s story is amazing and with posts like this, he is on his way to increasing his website’s DA.
How do I get started with guest blogging?
Guest blogging is a really great way to get backlinks. You will get to know other people in the industry and by genuinely offering value, you will ultimately drive more traffic to your blog.
One of the most important things to look for in a blog that you want to write for is relevance. What blogs have you taken inspiration from? Again, you can search Google for keywords that are particularly relevant to your niche. Look at those that appear at the top of the search and have a look to see if they accept guest posts.
If they do accept guest posts it should be in the ‘about us’ or ‘contact us’ details. You should be able to get their email address from there or if not, you can put the domain address into hunter.io – a great tool for finding email contacts.
You are ideally aiming to contact the website owner, but some larger sites will have an editor or content manager which would do just fine.
Websites doing this well in the search are most likely to have a reasonable domain authority and a good amount of traffic but do check for yourself again at Ubersuggest.
In addition to DA, look for the top ranking pages for that domain. This can be really useful – the site owner will know what they rank the best for so more content on a similar theme is could be well-received.
To give you a head start in your search for suitable website to pitch to, check out this article that shares a list of 150+ Sites To Guest Post On In 2020. They have even gone to the trouble of linking you directly to the guidelines for submissions of each page which makes it much easier.
How do I get guest blogging opportunities?
Start off by simply introducing yourself in an email. Say that you enjoy their blog and would like the opportunity to contribute. Include links to a some of your very best posts and advise that you would be happy to come up with some post ideas that could suit them.
If you are accepted be sure to follow their guidelines, also read lots of their current posts and you will get an idea for the format and the style and be sure to check, double-check and then get someone else to check your spelling and grammar before sending off.
By including interesting stats, perhaps some infographics and really good, engaging images – people like to share stats and infographics so you are much more likely to get extra backlinks and social shares.
To create your post, you can use Google Docs and even use the Outline Tool so that you can submit a draft to make sure that your post is going to be along the right lines before submitting the finished article.
It would be lovely if we could just do the keyword research, write engaging posts and get ranked, but the reality is that we need to put in equal (if not even more) effort into increasing our website DA. On the plus side, there are so many useful blog posts telling us how to do it!
Have you had success with any of the strategies above? Or do you know some others? I would love to hear about it in the comments.