If you are looking to optimize the natural referencing of your website, you have surely discovered the concept of “backlinks”. It is a key element in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that the algorithm of a search engine like Google uses to assess the popularity of your site.
However, this is a concept that is often vague and difficult to grasp for novices. For good reason, they are difficult to obtain, if we are talking about quality backlinks in any case! Because, for Google, quantity is not enough: it wants your backlinks to come from relevant and sufficiently influential sites.
So, how to get more backlinks – of quality – to optimize the natural referencing of your site? This is what the experts of our SEO agency in Reunion share with you.
A “backlink”, or in French “incoming link”, is a link from a third party site directed to your domain name. Each time a domain different from yours includes a link to your site on these pages, it is a backlink.
You can associate the definitions of outgoing links and internal links. The first are, unlike backlinks, links from your domain to a third party site.
The second are links on your site that point to other pages on your site. We are talking about internal linking, an equally strategic concept in SEO.
Backlinks have two functions, important both for natural referencing and for your business.
First of all, they are used to drive traffic to your website. If a third-party site shares a link to your site, you are likely to attract their audience. This traffic referral can therefore feed your notoriety and your growth (a reason enough to bet on quality inbound links).
In addition, backlinks are also, as we mentioned in the introduction, a fundamental element for optimizing the natural referencing (SEO) of your website. Search engines take into account the presence of these incoming links to index your web pages. The more backlinks you have pointing to a page, the more authoritative it will be. Then the Google algorithm will make it appear prominently on those search results pages.
All the more so, the higher the quality of the backlinks, the better the natural referencing of your website. They are, in a way, recommendations that search engines rely on to rank each web page.
The construction of these external links (or link building ) must then be based on a clear and effective netlinking strategy. It directly contributes to improving the position of your website on the Google results pages.
If in the past “hunting for incoming links” was a must, it is now an SEO practice to banish. For Google, quantity is worth nothing if it does not go hand in hand with quality; it is this which takes precedence.
Do you still need to know how to identify a quality backlink? Here are some criteria to rely on:
- The source web page deals with the same theme as the targeted page;
- The backlink comes from a page with a PageRank higher than 3 (PageRank is one of the Google algorithms which notes the popularity of a page according to the quality of the links it receives);
- The link anchor text on the source page describes the content of the targeted page
Keep in mind that Google is not fooled: it penalizes practices that it deems misleading. Therefore, you will avoid multiplying backlinks over a very short period: it is preferable that this be smoothed over time. You also prefer to have backlinks from different sources, rather than from a single source: this will be much more effective.
Finally, pay attention to the purchase of backlinks which, in addition to being expensive, can be in vain. “Artificial” links have the opposite effect of what you are looking for, namely optimizing natural referencing. You risk losing places rather than gaining them.
1. Publish blog posts with relevant content
Keeping a blog, even on an online store, is one of the most effective ways to optimize natural referencing. Writing quality articles, whose issues are of interest to your target, allows your website to naturally gain authority.
In addition, the more qualitative your articles are, the more they will be likely to be shared and distributed on other sources. It is therefore in your best interest to take care of your content strategy to obtain more backlinks and optimize your natural referencing.
2. Incorporate outbound links into your articles
We have just mentioned it: your blog is an asset for your website and for obtaining more backlinks. Unless you hire a web editor, however, this takes time. Nor can you address all the issues that interest your readers.
You can also include outbound links in your articles that point to other blogs with related topics. It is relevant for your readers, who can continue to document themselves, but also for you who maintain a virtuous circle. You will perhaps encourage other blogs to take the same approach in your favor.
3. Write guest posts
To get more quality backlinks, you don’t have to wait for a third-party site to mention you. You can take the lead by writing guest posts. This is also called “Guest posting”.
These are content that you write yourself (or have a web editor write) and submit to third-party sites of your choice. If they accept, you ask to insert a link to your site in order to positively influence its natural referencing.
Many online media are open to this practice if the article is likely to appeal to their readership. We therefore advise you to take their editorial line into account to maximize your chances of success.
4. Create useful resource lists
Depending on your sector of activity or the theme you deal with, you can create lists of useful resources for your audience. For example, a travel agency might include a list of links to a country’s embassies or common services to its readers. If you are a trainer or coach, you can include a list of books or websites that deal with your area of expertise.
This type of content must represent added value for the target audience. Thus, other websites or blogs will be inclined to share it: this allows them to save time while enhancing their own platform. For you, these are all opportunities for additional backlinks to optimize your natural referencing.
5. Write case studies about your customers
To get more backlinks, you can value your know-how and your customer achievements. All you have to do is share relevant case studies that will interest your target. For example, you can write content on major, original or particularly puzzling projects.
This is used to generate traffic, potentially qualified and conducive to conversion, as well as SEO. It also adds value to your customers (if they give you the green light first) and is just as good for your business. The goal is to encourage other sites to share your content. Thus, you can already count on the contribution of your client, as well as on third-party sites to which you serve as inspiration.
6. Develop free and useful tools for your target
Developing free tools, if they are useful to your target, is a gold mine for your business. First of all, these are lead magnets that allow you to collect information about your prospects. You can thus sell more simply thanks to a free tool.
It’s also a useful resource for SEO, as the guides, templates, and tools are shareable. In fact, if they are well constructed, they can be easily distributed on third-party sites. By ensuring that you are cited as the original source, you increase your number of backlinks.
7. Share documented and engaging infographics
Among the easily shareable content, and potential sources of backlinks, there are also infographics. These documented visual aids with an attractive design are highly acclaimed by Internet users. They allow them to obtain key information, without giving it considerable reading time, in particular thanks to the use of graphic elements.
However, creating an infographic requires expertise and time. This is why we are generally more inclined to share an existing medium than to create one. If you have the resources, you can take advantage of it. The choice of theme and the quality of the information are essential. As the objective is to obtain quality backlinks, it is in your interest that the sites which refer to you are relevant.
8. Use companies with complementary activities to yours
To obtain backlinks and improve natural referencing, you can count on companies whose activities are complementary to yours. For example, a ski manufacturer could partner with a manufacturer of technical clothing for winter sports. You need to find synergies that make sense for you, but also for your respective customers.
The goal is to find “partners” who agree to integrate external links into their sites so that you can do the same. It is a “give and take” netlinking strategy that benefits all the players concerned, without requiring any pecuniary investment.
9. Collaborate with influential bloggers
Finally, you can use influencer marketing to increase your number of inbound links. We are not talking here about social networks (whose backlinks are not taken into account by Google), but about influencer blogs. Fashion, travel, decoration, automotive, events. Whatever your sector of activity, it’s a safe bet that you will find at least one blogger who can contribute to the optimization of your natural referencing.
Note, however, that influence marketing is not (always) synonymous with free. On the contrary: the more influence the blogger with whom you collaborate has, the more it is likely to cost you. It is therefore relevant to integrate this approach into your overall marketing strategy, and not just into your SEO strategy. The blog article can be part of the services to be carried out within the framework of your collaboration.