The Other 80%

Most folks focus on creating great sites, but don’t do anything about the Other 80% — what it REALLY takes for your site to rank inside Google – Backlinks.

What are they? Well, in a nutshell, links “back” to your site from other websites. Sounds easy, but turns out, there are a LOT of different variables involved.

Anchor Text

This is the first, most common mistake people make when they either ask for a link or place a link on another website. Usually people make a link on either their domain name or company name. Examples:

Smith Photography

As far as Google is concerned, the first link sucks. Well, they’ll track it and they’ll scan through to your website, but its not going to do anything for your ranking for the word “photography” even though you can read it in the domain name. The second example is ok if your goal is simply to get your business name in Google — this is fine for people who have already heard your business name and want to type it in to find the site. But what about people that have never heard about you before?

Using Various Anchor Text Phrases

When you do your Keyword Research you’ll discover a few keyword phrases to use for backlinks. Its good to change them up and use different phrases so you’re not using the same anchor text on all sites. Also, if you can make half of them link directly to your homepage and half to specific content pages, that’s a plus.

Where to Get/Put Links

Obviously, anywhere and everywhere you can. If you have friends, family, business partners, happy customers, industry associations, etc that will let you place a link on their site (to yours), then go for it! Your own personal circle of influence is the fastest way to start.

Next up is a few third party sites that allow you to place content on their sites with backlinks to yours. Hubpages, Squidoo and Ezine are the three most popular. Write good content and make sure your links are on your keyword phrases, NOT your domain name!