Gain authority and credibility with search engines by asking relevant, popular and complementary sites to show you some link love.
To get your website appearing in search engine results, you need search engines to know it exists, and that lots of people from across the web think it offers something brilliant.
By creating inbound links (links pointing to the pages of your site from other websites), you gain authority and credibility, helping search engines decide that, whatever the keyword, your site is the place to be.
Before you start
You need a website (preferably Moonfruit) with a few pages of content and/or products
Brush up on the key websites in your industry for inspiration
Now let’s get started
You need to establish where you want incoming links (or backlinks) to go to on your site, and the keyword you want them to help influence (for advice on choosing keywords read our Choosing keywords for SEO guide).
It makes sense to have two or three options for each of the key pages on your website covering variations of your keyword. If all your inbound links are structured in exactly the same way, search engines may become suspicious of your site, see it as unnatural link building, and push it lower down the rankings.
The best links are those which come from websites closely related to your own, as this is where you’re able to show real expertise. Make a list of all the websites you think complement your own and are active in your industry. You’re highly unlikely to get a link from competitors, obvs, so think one step beyond that. For example, if you create handmade wedding invites, why not approach all the wedding venues in your area?
Ideally, you don’t want to be spending money placing links as advertising, so get in touch with the sites you identify and offer to create some content that would be of interest to their users. Take note of their style and tone, and create some ‘top tips’ or a ‘how to’ guide that could be placed on their blog, or even more prominently on their site.
You’ll also want to create a network of suppliers and customers and build a network of links that connect you all together. If you write a testimonial on a supplier website, you can ask for a link to be placed back to your own. Similarly, if you have a happy customer, ask if they’d be happy to write a review of your service on any websites or social media profiles they have, again, with a link back to you. Be aware, however, that reciprocal linking (a basic mutual link between two sites) will provide no benefit and is a technique to stay clear of.
As well as placing content externally, by providing a great reason for people to link to your site, you’ll generate lots of inbound links from around the web without having to lift a finger. Depending on your time and budget availability, there are different approaches you can take. If you’re able to offer an interesting and unique view on the news in your industry, you may consider a weekly blog post that will attract an audience, or you may want to invest in creating a free download that you can place on your site.
The number of people who share your content and create inbound links from social media sites has a high impact on your search performance. Add social sharing buttons to your Moonfruit site by clicking on the ‘Design’ tab then selecting ‘Page Master’. Click on the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Widget Library’. In the pop-up scroll through ‘All’ and select the social media options you prefer and then click ‘Use This’ to add it to your site.
Something else to try
The more popular the site your link comes from, the more authority it gives you in the eyes of search engines. It may be a long shot, but consider how you might be able to get a mention of your site on the BBC or a similarly popular destination – even if it’s hidden away in a niche section of their website, it still holds a lot of weight. Take a look at helpareporter.com and see who you can lend your expertise to.
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