By Seph Cadiz
If you’re like every online Canadian business wanting to rank on page one of Google, you leverage every possible SEO advantage at your disposal. With backlinks being one of the most influential search-ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm; wielding a diverse backlink skill set and profile will give you a leg up over the competition.
The creative link-building tricks listed below offer strategies that are both effective and out-of-the-box.
Editor Note: These methods will only work for Google rank if the website does not use the “no follow” attribute with your link, so it’s a good idea to check first. The rel=”nofollow” HTML tag tells most search engines that the link should not be counted as a true backlink. While the “no follow” tag is intended for certain situations, many websites now use it routinely for all (or most) links to ensure they’re in compliance with Google’s terms. That said, “no follow” links are still beneficial, but not for the purpose of improving your Google search rank.
What is a backlink and why are they important?
Backlinks or inbound links (IBLs) are links to your website on other websites. They play a key role in how search engine algorithms rank websites; acting as a point-value system that grades the quality of each URL. The higher quality and quantity of backlinks a web page has, the higher it’s likely to rank online for targeted keywords. Without relevant inbound links, businesses have a hard time competing for their products and services online.
Despite what you may have read, there are many out-of-the-box link-building strategies that you can apply today.
Link-Building Tip #1: Write Testimonials
Sometimes you have to stroke a few egos to get ahead. Find products or services that you love, then reach out to companies and ask them if you can write a testimonial for their website. After completing your testimonial, ask the company to link back to your domain.
Of course, it’s better to write testimonials for products and services you approve of. The last thing you want is to have your name associated with a sketchy business.
Link-Building Tip #2: Use Reverse Image Search
Here’s a clever link-building trick that your competitor probably doesn’t know about: build backlinks with images.
Using a spreadsheet, create and track all of your visual content, like infographics, memes, and any piece of original photography. Record the file name, URL, and metadata.
Every week or month use a tool like Google Image Search or TinEye to run a reverse image search. All you have to do is type in your image url or image file name and let the tool fetch the results. If you spot a website using one of your images, you can reach out and request a backlink.
Today, a lot of webmasters create infographics and submit them to directories like, Daily Infographic. Another option is to check out the Infographic Database to see which sites are most relevant to your strategy.
Link-Building Tip #3: Find Editorial Roundups
Believe it or not, there are editors in your industry who look for content outside their website to “roundup” and share with their network. These editorial posts are often called, “Weekly Roundups”.
Let’s take BetaKit for example, a blog about startups and innovation in Canada. Every week, BetaKit consistently publishes a “Top Stories” blog post about the startup sector; including stories about categories within startup culture and innovation. Notice how they link to Techcrunch and other sources.
So how do you find the right editors for your weekly roundup outreach? You can find relevant weekly roundups in your industry by using search strings in Google.
Here a two examples of search strings:
“your keyword” + link roundup
“your keyword” + “best of”
From here, you can curate a list of link roundups for webmaster outreach. Before reaching out, make sure you review the roundup posting history to identify when the website routinely publishes this curated content.
After you identify a pattern, you’ll want to create a solid piece of relevant content to pitch for their roundup. This will make it easy for them to add your piece. Send them an email a day or two before their usual roundup.
Here’s a quick email outreach script that you can use:
Hi [site owner or website name],
I was online looking for posts in the [relevant industry name] industry when I stumbled upon your weekly roundup. Great stuff!
Earlier this week I wrote a piece that I think your audience will like: [your link here].
Thank you so much for your time and let me know if you have any questions.
Link-Building Tip #4: Take a Stand and Support a Cause
It may sound shameless, but it’s not. Cause Marketing is a great way to not only support a great cause, but also earn high-quality backlinks from .edu, .org, and other high-authority domains. If you don’t support a cause or a movement, find a local one – it’s a win-win-win. Keep in mind that you’re associating your name with them, however, and avoid anything too controversial.
Businesses that offer services to local causes and charities may be mentioned publicly, receive media coverage or interviews, and much more.
Link-Building Tip #5: Create a Job and Job Board
Earn high-value backlinks and create your own industry job and job board. Whether it be for an unpaid internship or a job posting for a new CEO, job boards are a clever way to get high-level, contextual backlinks.
Here’s an example of how Problogger created a job board to build backlinks. Problogger has over 70,000+ backlinks and its traffic has a lot to do with its success.
Backlinks are one of the top three most influential ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm. When you learn how to build a strong backlink profile, you’ll be able to improve keyword positions, website traffic, and overall conversions.
The five proven link-building tricks listed above offer new and clever ways to build backlinks for your website. If you have a creative trick that isn’t on our list, feel free to share it with us in our comments section below.
Seph Cadiz is a Toronto-based web designer and growth hacker, when he isn’t building online businesses, he’s uncovering the extra in the ordinary. Follow and connect with him on Twitter, he’s always open to working with new people.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Top Keyword Research and Competitive Intelligence Tools
15 Easy Ways to Let Search Engines Know Your Business is Canadian
The Top 8 Pages to Optimize on B2B Websites
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.