Why are backlinks so important?
#1 Reason: Because Google says so!
The main reason why backlinks are so important are being Google says so.
Google’s goal is to provide the most useful search results for its users and to determine which pages are more useful, Google’s algorithm looks at backlinks.
I note that in the past the only signal Google looked at was backlinks, it did not matter what the standard of the backlinks were.
But this led to people going for quantity over quality.
Google has since updated its algorithm to penalize low quality backlinks. These are links from:
- Low-ranking or disreputable websites,
- Websites that are unrelated to your niche
- Links to a source designed specifically to manipulate your Google rankings.
Quality backlinks on the other hand still send a strong signal to Google search crawler that your website is informative and also worth showing to more people.
So how do you build backlinks for free?
Building such quality backlinks will mean your content will be ranked higher on Google as it is considered more useful than pages with fewer backlinks.
This leads to higher organic ranking and more traffic.
And don’t we all want more traffic to our websites!
#2 Reason: Research shows that quality backlinks help you rank higher
There are some who believe that the Penguin algorithm update means that backlinks no longer matter to Google.
However, research still shows that quality backlinks do matter.
Matthew Barby, head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot, did extensive research on the value of backlinks, anchor text and a couple of other on-page elements across over 1 million pages.
Here is a summary of his most important findings:
On average 23% of all links on the first search results page in Google point to the number #1 result.
The number #1 result on Google gets on average over 186 external backlinks coming from unique domains than the number #5 position.
The number #1 result has on average 5.42% external backlinks with matching anchor text.
If you are interested in Matthew Barby’s full findings, you can read about it here.
How to build backlinks for free and increase traffic in 3 simple steps
So now that you know the importance of quality backlinks, let’s have a look at ways you can build them for free to increase your traffic.
#1 Method: Create an awesome blog post and offer it to other blogs
This involves doing some research into the types of blog posts being written in your niche.
You want to look for posts that could use a link to your awesome blog post. Perhaps it’s a blog post that mentions affiliate marketing but does not explain what it is.
You can reach out to the blog owner and suggest a link to your comprehensive guide which explains what affiliate marketing is.
I have received a few requests, and where I feel that my readers will stand to gain from the information provided in the link I will agree to the backlink.
Some have also proactively offered me a quality backlink in return where relevant. That is always a nice touch.
The key is to be professional, make sure you have high quality content to share and clearly articulate how the blog owner will benefit by including a link to your website.
#2 Method: Create top-quality content to attract backlinks
This is a method that people like Neil Patel follow. They create crazy awesome and all-encompassing guides on a particular subject.
These posts can be anything from 5,000 to 10,000 words long and people naturally link to this content because it is seen as the authority in the niche.
If you have invested time and effort into creating top quality content, make sure you share it on all your social media channels. This way it will get in front of more people and increase the likelihood that someone will link to it.
#3: Do guest postings
Doing guest posting is by far the easiest and most efficient way to get backlinks. What you can do is look for some top quality websites in your niche and create awesome content for the website.
And in return you get backlinks.
Make sure you take the time to understand the audience of the blog you are wanting to write for and create high quality content that reflects positively on your brand and blog.
Do you want to Guest Post for Escape The Rat Race?
If you think you have a great topic that will benefit the Escape The Rat Race audience, then YOU are the person I am looking for.
Guest writer guidelines
Before you start to pen your amazing blog post or brainstorm amazing headlines, here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure your proposed post is aligned with my blog’s purpose:
- Have I read some recent blog posts to get an understanding of Escape The Rat Race’s style?
- Is this post’s primary purpose to promote my blog, affiliate product etc.? If your post sounds like an ad, it will be rejected.
- Do I have a cool headline or angle idea that I can describe clearly in a couple of sentences?
- Would my post be at least 850 words when complete?
- Have I researched? Please be prepared to include links to authoritative sources.
- Have I proofread my email (and later my post)?
- Do I have a 150×150 px profile picture and a two-sentence bio to send? What do I want to link to, either in the post or in this bio, or both? You get two back links to your blog but strictly no affiliate links please.
How To Apply
We all know the importance of quality content so I’m looking posts will teach and give value to my audience.
Make sure you have a good read of my guest writer guidelines above before you get started.
Here is what to include in your email:
- 3 to 5 headlines that you think Escape The Rat Race readers would love. Please do spend time on this bit, you don’t have to write out your guest post. Let’s start the conversation with great headline ideas.
- A few sentences describing what your proposed post is going to be about.
- Include a link to your blog. I would love to see what you’ve written so far.
When you’re ready, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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