By Lewis Crutch
If you are looking to beef up your blog or website’s SEO, you have your work cut out. You really do. It’s no longer easy: press a few buttons here and there and you’d rank a few weeks or months later on autopilot. After Google Penguin, the SEO game has changed dramatically. You really can not be as careless and as sloppy with how you generate backlinks as before. In fact, if you are too eager or too indiscriminate regarding where your link shows up, not only will you not benefit from such link generation activities, you might actually end up being penalized by Google. This is the harsh reality many people have to live with.
If you are trying to get that free, highly desired, super targeted traffic from Google, you have to step your game up. You have to focus on earning backlinks instead of building them or generating them. These are completely different activities. There is a lot of trust involved, at least in the eyes of Google, when you earn backlinks. When you earn backlinks, Google assumes that these backlinks are voluntary, that they went through some sort of editorial control and that they are the results of the link source finding your web page or your resource highly credible or at least of a high enough quality to rank it decently in the SERPs.
In the good old days it was very easy to get backlinks, because all you needed to do was fill out a form, add yourself to an article directory site, publish garbage or create tons of blog posts and well, you’d be in business. Well, those days are over. You have to earn backlinks.
This is especially challenging if you are dealing with a particularly rare niche. By rare niche, I am talking about niches that really do not have too many websites that specialize in that particular niche. Many online entrepreneurs that target rare niches often have a very difficult time earning backlinks for their online properties.
The good news is that it does not have to be difficult. The good news is that, earning backlinks for rare niches is easier than you think. Follow the steps below so you can get backlinks for your online properties that target that rare niches.
Step #1: Find Online Questions that Deal with your Niche
I do not care how rare your niche is. Chances are high that somebody somewhere somehow is asking questions regarding your niche (after all, if they’re not then perhaps you should question whether or not your niche has enough potential leads in it). That is the main reason why people are using the internet in the first place. They have questions, they have a need for information and they post their concerns online. Either it is a straight up question, or it is a statement that can be construed or interpreted as a question. Regardless, people who are interested in your niche are posting their concerns online. People who are interested in what you have to offer are posting their concerns online. Your job is to find websites that feature these comments, so you can generate a backlink.
The secret to generating backlinks or earning backlinks for relatively rare niches is to not fixate so much on generating a direct backlink. In other words, where when you do something, there is an instant backlink generated. If that is how you approach earning backlinks, you are basically going to be disappointed. If you want to earn backlinks the contemporary way, you have to really let the internet behave according to its internal rules, so you can earn backlinks. This might take a bit longer, this might be a little bit more frustrating because you can not control the process. However, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs or disadvantages.
You have to understand, that if you earned backlinks in such a way that it helps build credibility for your online brand, you will benefit over the long haul. Sure, it takes a little bit longer, sure, it takes a little bit more effort, and it definitely takes a little bit more planning, but it is definitely worth it at the end. If there is any one thing that you should realize about modern SEO, it is that it is a long term game. Gone are the days of instant results.
If somebody comes up to you and says they can produce quick SEO results, you need to run away very quickly headed the opposite direction. Those people can only get you into trouble, or they are defrauding you. That is the bottom line.
So, the key here is to find websites that ask questions or comment regarding your particular niche.
Step # 2: Create a Resource Post
You need to create a very definitive resource post on your website. This resource post does not just answer a question or two, this resource post must be the definitive answer to a broad range of questions regarding your niche. This obviously will take a lot of time, this obviously will take a little bit of your resources. However, it is well worth your time and effort, because if you position your resource post properly, you can answer a broad range of questions with just one post. Talk about killing more than one bird with one stone. We are talking killing a whole flock instead of just knocking out two birds.
Using the pages you found in the previous step, come up with a whole range of FAQs for your niche that you can definitively answer.
Step # 3: Contact the Websites that Ask Questions Regarding your Resource, or Post an Answer
In many cases, a lot of the questions regarding your particular resource are already closed. Maybe it has been years since somebody asked the question. It is always a good idea to find the latest questions that are related to your resource post. Try to find open questions, post a definitive answer and post a link. It is very crucial that when you are posting the answer, that you have to post an answer that is authoritative. You can not just post a short sentence saying, “hey, check out my link‚” and then drop the link.
If you do that, you will not only get banned but all your posts on that particular question and answer website will be deleted. In other words, all the time and effort that you took to research questions so you can build a resource page and creating an account, will basically be flushed down the toilet. Resist the temptation for drive by spamming. If you are going to post an answer, make sure it looks like a credible answer. This means that it is fully developed and the link really is an afterthought.
If your niche is rare, you will often find small personal blogs with people throwing up their queries – These are also the sort of backlinks you want to obtain so don’t be shy in emailing these websites to introduce your resource.
What benefits do you Get?
If you follow the steps above, you actually get a lot of benefits. First and foremost, you get backlinks from people that are looking for the same answers that those questions address. If your answer is definitive and authoritative and credible, these people who are trying to answer these questions might link to you. Not all of them will link to you, but enough will.
Also, even if people do not link to you, as long as they mention your brand, your brand benefits, because more people find your brand credible, the more authoritative your brand becomes. It is only a matter of time until your brand establishes enough authority and weight in your niche for you to become an indispensable source in your particular niche.
Remember, in this day and age you have to always think of the long game, you have to always look at the long term strategy. Gone are the days of quick and easy results, gone are the days of simply filling out a form and walking away with a backlink. You have to focus on the long term. The key to long term sustainability was, is and always will be quality content and end-user value. That is the bottom line.
Lewis Crutch is the owner and main contributor to the blog at Marketing Bees that provides a range of free advice on an array of online marketing topics including SEO, social media marketing and content marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Marketing_Bees.