In Part 1 of this series we optimized your blog to rank well for search results of certain keywords that we inserted into your blog. This is called on-page optimization. Onpage optimization affects your ranking in only very minor ways. However, you do not want to skip it. Every little bit helps when you are competing for search engine rankings!
Now, we are moving to off-page search engine optimization. These are factors that are not inserted into your blog but affect your search engine rankings greatly. There are many off-page factors. I will cover the major ones in this article.
The first and most obvious one is the number of links to your blog. These are links that point back to your blog from other locations/web sites on the web.
As a general rule of thumb, the more links to your blog, the more the search engines think you are an authority in that particular niche and hence the higher they rank you. However, take care to observe the quality of the links.
For example, keeping to our theme of technological gadgets, a thousand links from totally irrelevant sites like online dating sites, when you have a tech blog, would not help at all because your blog is a technological product blog. In contrast, a single link from a highly authoritative site about technological gadgets will get the search engines crawling about your blog like S.W.A.T. storming a meth lab.
Anyway, the most cost effective way of getting high quality links from authoritative sites is simply to ask for them. If your blog contains high quality content that is original and will provide valuable information, chances are the webmaster of the site you want to get a backlink from will link to your blog to get the information you are providing.
How should you ask these web masters of authority to link to your blog? A word of caution here. Only apply this technique if your blog is really content rich and offers high quality information. No webmaster will link to you if all you are offering are reprints of articles not written by you. They want original content, written by you! That said, the most viable option would be to send an email directly to the webmaster and request a link back. Here’s how.
First, look for the top sites in your niche. Simply search the major search engines for the term that your are targeting. In this case, do a search for “technological gadgets”. The first few results will likely be commercial sites. Ignore those because we are looking only for community-based sites and other blogs that are more accessible to a complete newcomer like you. Besides, the major commercial sites likely will not link to your small blog anyway. When I searched I found Gizmodo.com. It would be a good option for our example.
A word of caution – stay away from Link Farms or Reciprocal Linking sites. You do not want hundreds of links overnight. This will be seen as spam and you know what happens, right? La-La Land for your blog!
If you were actually editing a technological gadgets site, you would compose an email to the webmaster of Gizmodo.com (whose email address you can find on the site).
Start by stating how you came across their site, i.e., “looking for gadget information, I came across your site”. Do NOT say “looking for link partners.”!
Tell them how you think their site provides valuable info. Basically, try to say something really nice about their site. Take some time and look over their site and maybe make a comment on a particular article or feature that you like and you think your readers might like it too.
Then, suggest that such-and-such content on your own blog will be a good fit to their site. Ask that you be allowed to put a link on your blog to their site and ask subtly if they might be able to do the same to forge a mutually beneficial relationship between their site and your blog.
This is very important – all your emails, no matter to whom they are being sent, should have a link to your blog in the signature of the email! This means that everyone and anyone getting an email from you will see your blog address and this can mean even more traffic. This also gives web masters an easy link to click to check out your blog to see if it is worth linking to. Make it easy for them!
In your email message you can even suggest what your link should say if they decide to add you. “Your Source for TechnoGadgets”- is an example you can suggest to them.
Along the way, you will find many web masters who will not even respond to your email. Forget about them and move on if they have not responded to your email within one week. You can set up a folder in your email program to store your link requests so you can go back and see who has responded and who has ignored you. But, really, if they do not contact you within a week, forget them. There are enough quality sites who will link to you.
Keep doing this for the first 30 search results that pop up and, before long, you should have quite a few good sites linking to you. You can repeat this process on a monthly basis to build your back-links slowly.
In Part 3 of this series, we will explore more advanced off-page factors and ways to improve upon them!
Yours for success in life.
P.S. – Please forward this article to someone who can use it.