Link building for your WordPress blog
Before beginning your off page SEO with WordPress, you want your on page SEO to be optimized for maximum success. So if you haven’t read and followed through with that section, make sure you do so first.
I can’t stress enough, that you need to begin with high quality content. Remember how I said your website’s content is the foundation of your online business? Without quality you won’t get social shares, you won’t get backlinks and you’ll get far less views. Those are all huge ranking factors. So start by creating content that is worth taking the time out of your day to read.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can start going over some important off page SEO with WordPress.
Building a social network
Social media is obviously huge and will continue to grow and play a big role in Google rankings. Create yourself an account with all the major networks and link them back to your site. These will be no-follow links which don’t provide any link juice but it still helps get your site out there. The more friends, followers and likes you can acquire, the better to help your business be seen.
One that I want to go over is ifttt.com. It stands for “If This, Then That”. You can create a free account and take advantage of all different types of “recipes” created and submitted by all different types of people. For example, you can use a recipe to automatically post a new WordPress article on Twitter as soon as you hit “publish” within your WordPress dashboard.
IFTTT recipes to consider:
- Save new email attachments to Google drive
- Automatically post your new Youtube videos to twitter
- Send a thank you to anyone who just followed you on twitter
- Automatically post your new Youtube videos to tumblr
- Send your WordPress posts to twitter
- Send your WordPress posts to tumblr
- Pin your WordPress posts to a pinterest board
- Automatically share a new WordPress post to a Facebook page
- Save starred emails to Evernote
In the section on WordPress plugins, I mentioned installing Social Pug. It displays social share icons on your pages and posts to make it simple for users to like or post your content on their twitter or Google+, etc. You might not need it, depending on what theme you are using. Go to the backend of one of your pages, scroll down to the bottom and under the “Main” tab, there might be an option to enable or disable social shares. If you have it, you’ll be able to set it page by page. If not, install this simple plugin.
Obtaining high quality backlinks
The days when quantity ruled quality and you could just reach out to link farms and purchase thousands of low quality backlinks to increase your rankings are over. Google wants to see links coming from quality domains and will punish a website for any “Black hat” SEO tactics such as link farming or keyword stuffing.
How do you know where to find quality websites anyways? For starters, create a free account with moz.com and download the chrome extension. Turn the extension on and it will show you the PA (Page Authority) and DA (Domain Authority) of every site you visit, posted at the top of the page. It will be a ranking from 0 – 100. You don’t need to shoot for a DA of 100 but the higher the better. I don’t complain if I receive a backlink from a site with a DA of 20.
Notice the PA and DA displayed at the top of the screenshot. This will be displayed on every page you visit as long as you are logged into your free moz account with the chrome extension turned on.
To turn on the extension click the three dots on the left and then click the “M”
There are also tools that can help you find out where your competitors are receiving backlinks from. Most of them give you a free trial and then want something from you.
These are valuable tools. Try and make the most of them without having to sign up for a paid account, but later on, it might be worth it. It can help you figure out what sort of competition you’re up against and where might be a useful place to reach out for backlinks. I primarily use Majestic.
There are a lot of different techniques when it comes to reaching out for backlinks. But again, if you don’t have content worth sharing, nobody is going to link to your site.
Effective ways to receive backlinks
1) Give testimonials
If you’re using any product or service that you enjoy, why not give them a testimonial? When you do, let them know that they can post it on their homepage or testimonial page and they will often include a link back to your site.
2) Website feedback sites
Some examples of sites are suggestionbox. suggestion.com and criticue.com. For more ideas just search Google for “website feedback sites”. You can submit your website with how you want it improved and a lot of these sites offer a nice backlink.
3) Submit your site to blog aggregators
These are sites that list quality blogs in different niches. You’ll have to submit your site, add an HTML code to your site for verification, and then wait for someone to approve your site. If there’s nothing but poorly written articles on your site, you won’t have much chance of being accepted. One example of a blog aggregator is altop.
4) Guest posting
Writing consistent articles is a lot of work and not everyone wants to or is able to keep up with it. You can try reaching out to other blog owners offering your guest posting services in exchange for a link to your website. Twitter search might help you find sites that are regularly posting gets posts.
5) Broken link building
This is a great one for seeking out and obtaining high quality, relevant backlinks by searching for 404s. To start with, seek out your competitors and enter their website address into the majestic.com search bar and click “Root Domain” on the right. It will display their TF (Trust Flow) and CF (Citation Flow) along with their number of backlinks. Click on the “Backlinks” tab near the top to get a full list of all the backlinks pointing to your competitor’s site. Look for the ones with the higher metrics (TF and CF) and click on them to get to their site. Remember, you want relevant content to yours otherwise you have a slim chance of receiving a backlink. Also, links from relevant content provide your site with more SEO link juice.
Now to find the broken links, you need to download the free Chrome extension “Check my links”. Once it’s installed, all you have to do is click on it in the top right of your browser and it will show you all valid links and invalid links, with the invalid links being highlighted with red. If those links are supposed to be reaching out to any content that is relevant to yours, you’re set to email the site owner. Let them know about the broken link and tell them you have a piece of content that they could replace it with if they’re interested.
6) The skyscraper technique
Brian Dean talks about this as being one of the most effective white hat link building techniques. You need to do a bit of research within your niche to find out what articles are already ranking highly in Google. Type in a search term that you’re hoping to rank for and look for articles on the first page that have a high number of social shares and backlinks. Lots of the time you can find articles that just need updating.
While you’re at it, you can expand upon yours by making your content more thorough. Then reach out to authors linking to the original content, perhaps compliment them on their work and mention the article they’re linking to. Then slip in there that it inspired you to write your own related piece of content. Ask them to check it out and say it might be worth a mention on their blog.
Backlinks are the bread and butter of off page SEO with WordPress or any other blogging platform. The more high quality links you can receive from relevant sites, the better your chances are for ranking highly in Google search.
Keep reading because next up is Facebook marketing, which is proven to have one of the highest ROIs in online marketing, but only if you know what you’re doing.