If you’re reading this blog, you’re very likely a blogger who’s looking for two things: traffic in the form of blog visitors, and cold hard cash. But marrying both of these things up is very often not as simple as it may sound. One pain-free way of monetizing traffic is to use Google Adsense and other advertising solutions, but what use are they if you can’t bring in those visitors in the first place? It’s no good running ads if nobody clicks on them! So how do you bring in more traffic? Well, that’s a huge question, so let’s focus on just one way you can achieve extra traffic via natural search results: backlinks and linkbuilding.
What Are Backlinks?
Quite simply, backlinks happen when another website links back to yours. When Google is indexing your website, it checks how many other sites have linked back to you – and how exactly they’ve linked back to you. The actual words that link to your site are known as anchor text. For example, if you blog about golf shoes, you’d want as many other sites as possible to link the two words ‘golf shoes’ directly to your site. Google will then recognise that your blog is an authority on this topic (over time, of course, these things don’t happen overnight). Backlinks are now recognised as one of the very best ways to boost your rankings in natural search, and really improve the search engine optimization efforts of your blog.
Why Can Backlinks Be Your Best Friend?
If you’re really serious about making money with your blog, you need to be strategic – and that includes generating the most number of backlinks. You can go a few different routes: aim for backlinks to your top level domain, or do some keyword research to locate a low competition word and target a post at that. The aim is to bring in as many organic visitors as possible, and then have them click on your ads. By backlinking via a low competition search term, you’ll need fewer backlinks to get your site up the rankings – so if your blog is in a high competition niche, it may be worth backlinking a specific post.
How To Generate Backlinks To Your Blog
OK, so you now know what backlinks are and why you want them – what next? Well, this is the tricky bit. Many companies will provide a backlink service (i.e X thousand for X dollars), but do be careful with these: it’s an easy way to end up on spam websites and being blacklisted by Google. Instead, consider creating your own backlinks by contacting other blog owners and doing guest posts, or by commenting on relevant blogs. Some links are ‘dofollow’ whilst others are ‘nofollow’. The latter won’t help directly with your rankings, but it’s still good to have them so that your link spread looks natural when Google assesses your blog. Unfortunately there is no easy way of knowing which blogs are follow and which are not, so you may need to look up some methods to help you (checking the source code is the first place to start). Other means of generating backlinks include social news sites such as Digg or Reddit, but these are not always follow links either – so don’t rely on them solely for your backlink generation.
Whilst your wise to avoid really cheap backlinks services, there are some that are very effective and can take the hard work out of the task – just remember the golden rule: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’ve not done any backlink work whatsoever, you could find it hugely beneficial to give it a try. Even if you just swap one or two posts with a fellow blogger, your rankings will certainly improve – provided your niche isn’t too crowded. And even then, you could target a ‘long tail’ keyword instead (that’s a phrase that’s longer but still has good search volume) and make the most of the huge amount of traffic that organic search via Google can bring to your blog. With a bit of time and effort, you can put in place a backlink profile that will keep your blog bustling with traffic for years to come – just be prepared to put the time in!
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Jenny Cole
Jenny is a full time writer and researcher who specialises mainly in marketing and personal finance.