How to build traffic and increase visitors to your website is one of the most common questions that people ask. There are many answers, but building backlinks is one of the most important.
Everyone looks at page one of search results at Google and Bing, but not everyone looks at page 2 and even fewer look at page 3 and 4. Anything you can do to appear nearer to, and preferably get onto, page 1 is essential.
Backlinks – links to your site from other websites – are one of the best ways to improve your search visibility. Sites with lots of backlinks rank higher at search engines and are more likely to appear on page one of the results.
Appearing higher in search results means that people are more likely to find your site through searching.
Backlinks build website traffic.
How do you get backlinks? One way is to guest post. Find a website that has a similar audience to your own, find a contact email on the site, and then simply ask if they would like a great article for their website.
Some sites will ignore you and some will reply with ‘No’, but others will be keen to accept guest posts because it is a free article that can draw in visitors. By publishing guest posts, the site owner will save the time and effort of writing a post themselves or paying someone to write them.
Somewhere in the guest post you can add a link back to your own website. It may only be in the author bio at the end, but as long as it is somewhere, it is useful. When the article is published on the site Google, Bing and other search engines will notice and give your site a little boost up the search result ranking.
Don’t over-do the backlinks or guest posting
It takes a lot of backlinks to boost a site up the search results towards page one and you must be careful how you do it. If it looks like you are trying to cheat the system, you could be penalised instead of being boosted.
- You must create great content – the better the article, the better the results
- You must post it on relevant websites in your niche – it should fit right in
- You must not fill it with spammy links – one link to your site is sufficient
- Limit guest posting – go for quality not quantity
Not all backlinks are equal
One of the best ways to increase your ranking at search engines like Google is to get backlinks from other websites. However, backlinks can also decrease your search ranking!
There are good backlinks and bad backlinks.
- The ranking of the site with the backlink is important. A high ranking site passes authority to your site when it links to you.
- Bad sites that link to you at best are ignored, but may even lower your ranking in search results.
- Spammy links may be ignored, but may lower your ranking in search results.
Let’s look at these in reverse order. What are spammy links? Hundreds of links in forums, blog comments, social networks, and so on. Less is more! In other words, a few shared links in carefully selected places work far better than lots of links shared everywhere. Don’t go crazy posting links everywhere.
What’s a bad site? One that has malware, pirate software or music or videos, sites known for hacking and other security issues, sites with lots of spam posts, and so on.
So what’s a good backlink? A site that is regarded as an authority in your niche, appears high in search results, and has huge traffic is the best place for backlinks. A tiny bit of their authority is transferred to you.
Unfortunately, It is not always possible to get a top ranking site to link to you. A new-ish site may not yet be ranked very highly and might not have a lot of traffic, but don’t dismiss it.
If a site is well designed, has great content, and is in your niche, a backlink is still useful. It won’t be quite as beneficial as a top site, but it will still give your site a boost.
Aim to get backlinks from top sites, but if you really can’t, a lower ranking, provided it is a good one, will help.
Is nofollow no good?
Google says it mostly respects nofollow links and does not follow them. ‘Mostly’ does not mean always and Google may on occasions, follow nofollow links. Don’t rely on it though.
Some traffic will come from people clicking the link to your site and so even if search engines don’t follow a link, some people will follow it. Your site will benefit from increased traffic. Getting more visitors is a signal to Google that your site should be ranked higher in searches.
Nofollow is nowhere near as good as a regular (dofollow) links, but it is still useful, so don’t dismiss it.