Getting started with Backlinking
Backlinking is viewed as a bit of a dark art in digital marketing and that’s because it’s either misunderstood by the client or poorly executed by the developer.
Like almost everything in digital marketing, backlinking can be done the quick way or it can be done the right way. I’m personally in favour of the latter so without giving away too many of my trade secrets, I’d like to take you through the benefits of carrying out a successful backlinking campaign – and why you should avoid doing most of the heavy lifting yourself.
So what is backlinking?
Backlinking is the process of having as many external websites and digital touchpoints as possible linking directly to your own website. The goal is to boost your website’s own organic ranking without being penalised for being spammy. And therein lies the trap for the amateur backlinker!
This sounds pretty easy right?
Well yes and no.
Backlinking is exceptionally time-consuming if it is to be done right and it takes a good deal of communication between the client and their marketing consultant to work through the best methodology for a backlinking campaign. No two backlinking campaigns should ever be the same – not even remotely. That’s because each business and each industry is vastly different in the way they interact with third party entities (or external websites).
There’s a definite need for restraint when backlinking – especially if you are in a small or niche industry where everybody knows everybody elses’s business. Think about how some wholesalers are also retailers and how some retailers have favourable terms with distributors who don’t want to upset dealers who…well you get the idea. What you need to do first is fully understand the arena that you conduct business in and leverage all the available local backlinks without giving the game away. Moreover, you do NOT want to create a backlinking programme that drives consumers either away from your site or to your competition – yikes!
Is it just about creating links and that’s it?
Unfortunately it’s not that simple.
The initial reporting phase is usually enough to make anyone’s eyes glaze over but it’s impossible to make a start without running quality reports and making sound decisions on the data presented. The best backlinking can often include quite a considerable amount of wheeling and dealing in the background and a mountain of work that is both technical and tedious. Therefore it’s not unusual for some of this work to be handled by the client under the direction of their digital marketing consultant.
What sort of results can be expected from backlinking?
It can be difficult to measure the immediate results of a backlinking campaign because they usually need time to take hold and mature, but increases in traffic and engagement should be easy to spot with the right software and analytics. You should normally see an increase in organic traffic withing a couple of weeks and a lift in rankings within 30-60 days (not guaranteed). Keep in mind that organic traffic is free traffic and that makes backlinking vitally important for any business wishing to stay competitive online in the longer term.
Can you see your backlinks?
You certainly can. An example is shown below (I’ve removed the hyperlink section for client confidentiality).
My client’s site below had zero backlinks on the morning I started but I was able to take advantage of another domain with absolutely relevant content and feed that domain’s “link juice” through to the my client’s site. You will notice that all the historical data for backlinks is now, in a sense, owned by my client’s site. By the end of the day, their site had 513 relevant backlinks from 26 high ranking domains (sorry, that’s a trade secret).
NOTE: That start date below is not an error. The historical backlinks have been brought in from another domain.
How to get started with backlinking?
Firstly I do not recommend carrying out backlinking yourself unless you are confident with what you are doing. If you direct the wrong kind of links to your site you could end up with unwanted and spammy traffic, or you could receive a ranking penalty from Google which is obviously not ideal. My suggestion is to use the services of a professional SEO consultant like myself and then have them guide you through a backlinking campaign over an extended period of time.
Like to know more or get started?
Thanks for reading.