Small businesses with limited resources constantly struggle to rank higher on Google. Learn how small businesses can rank higher, generate organic traffic, and leads without spending a dime by building the right backlinks.
Is there a link between social shares and a site’s ranking?
Most people would want to say yes! In actuality, there is no correlation between increased site ranking and content sharing (even extensive sharing).
Let’s break it down – if a piece of content is so good that it is being shared by the community, but no backlinks are being made, there is absolutely no way Google bots will know how good the content is.
No matter what anyone says, including Google, backlinks are still the best way to rank. Google has, incidentally, stated on numerous occasions that it does not use social shares to rank content.
The only way to get around this is to produce content for your linkers, who are people who are interested in linking to high-quality content (read my earlier blog on creating content for the right audience).
Find a Linker
So how do you find linkers who are willing to link to your content from their site? I recommend the following 3 steps to find the linkers willing to backlink:
Google search comes first.
The first step is to conduct a straightforward Google search, as boring as it may sound. Today, your first instinct is to search Google for any information you need. Google presents you with the information it deems to be most relevant to your search query.
Put your content through the same procedure now. What would be the question or search term that your content would respond to? Enter the same query into Google’s search bar; the outcomes on SERP are your linker. Why? Because those sites, according to Google, are the most popular and respected.
Let me explain the above point. Which broad keyword would your content answer?
Say, if you are an online eyewear retailer targeting the Indian eyewear market. What search query will your potential customer be putting in the search bar? It would be instinctive to rate content on search queries like this.
- Buy eyeglasses online
- Buy cheap eyeglasses.
- Where can I buy eyeglasses?
Why don’t I suggest this? Because it will also highlight your direct competition (besides you), who might outrank you in SEO. Plus, these will not be willing Linkers; you are their competition.
The best way forward is to use a broad keyword that your users might use to search for content related to your site. So, for the above example, a better strategy is to use broad informational keywords like “how to take care of eyeglasses.”
When you use broad informational keywords, content from blogs and websites about eyeglass maintenance that are not your competitors will appear. These are your Linkers.
Another example: if the business is about online SEO courses, one would be doing himself a great disservice if he attempted to outrank his rivals in the search results for “SEO courses online” or “SEO training.” Such a strategy will result in an online slug match between your business and your competition.
A better strategy is to try to create content and rank for keywords like “SEO techniques,” “SEO tools,” or “SEO backlink tips.” This is where you will find your linker.
Now that you understand the process, do an information-based, broad keyword search for your content. Go through the top 20 sites very diligently. Make a note once you find a quality site that is the right fit for your content.
Once you’ve finished with one keyword, do the same process with another keyword, and so on and so forth till you have a list of 10-15 possible linkers.
What if your work is in a highly specialized, niche, or boring field? Let’s say cleaning supplies, marble buffing, or bathtub repair. Simple: Try creating content that is somewhat similar to your line of work but not the same.
You can also try adding their content to your site. This means you end up having a solid list of Linkers. Once finished, use the above technique to locate more linkers.
So, for the very technical examples, I would create content like “clean your house like a pro” or “DIY bathtub repair.”
Find Linkers Among the “Best” in the Industry
If you’re a nutritionist looking for backlinks for your website, try searching for the top blogs and websites on healthy eating. The results that come are your Linkers.
To summarise, look for a blog that compiles a list of the “best” blogs in your sector. Instead of discussing a specific topic, this blog or blogs will list the best blogs, and those blogs will act as your linkers.
To find your Linkers, I recommend the following search queries:
- (Keyword) blogs to follow.
- Best (keyword) blogs.
- Best (keyword) blogs to follow in (year).
Who’s Linking to Targeted Linkers?
Finding out who is linking to your targeted Linkers is another powerful yet straightforward strategy. You can identify Linkers who have linked their content to your targeted content. You can include these Linkers on the list of potential Linkers.
Following the above technique will allow you to connect with Linkers from your industry.
In the next blog, I’ll cover how to choose a topic that Linker from your industry will be willing to share with their audience. In other words, how do you create a proven topic list? Stay tuned.