If you want your WordPress site to rank well in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), you need to build up a portfolio of high quality links, both to your home page and your individual posts, from a variety of different sources on the web.
Google judges the ‘authority’ of a given web page, in part, by the number of other web pages that link to it. More links means greater perceived authority, which translates to higher rankings.
Common strategies for creating backlinks to your WordPress blog
The best kind of backlinks will always be those that come naturally, because people like your content and want to share it on their own site. But it doesn’t hurt to give yourself a bit of a ‘leg up’, and actively seek out places on the web where you can create some publicity and SEO juice for your blog. These are some common techniques for creating backlinks to your WordPress site:
- Guest posting on other high profile blogs in your niche – usually gives you the opportunity to link back to your own site in your author bio.
- Commenting on blog posts and leaving a link, either in the content or your bio.
- Commenting on forums that are related to the topic of your blog, and leaving a link back to your own site.
- Submitting your best blog articles to social bookmarking sites.
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Beware the evil wrath of the ‘nofollow’ attribute
By default, many blogs and forums use the ‘nofollow’ attribute in their comment section, which effectively kills the SEO value of any outbound links. If you comment on another blog and leave a link back to your own site, Google won’t count this link toward your overall ranking value if the ‘nofollow’ attribute has been included.
So building up a whole lot of backlinks from sites that use ‘nofollow’ isn’t going to do much for your SEO. Before you invest the time in a guest post, blog comment or article submission, check to see whether the website in question is using the ‘nofollow’ attribute.
You can check this manually be looking at the source code of the web page. You’re looking for links that include the text rel=”nofollow”. Alternatively, there are plenty of SEO extensions for Chrome and Firefox that will automatically alert you to websites that use these links.
How to find relevant websites for your backlinking campaign
According to most SEO theorists, Google gives more ranking weight to backlinks from relevant websites, ie. sites that cover the same topic as your own. So if you write a blog about Formula One motor racing, getting a whole lot of backlinks from blogs about bansai gardening isn’t your ideal strategy. Your backlinks will be worth more if they come from other motorsport-related sites.
Search Ninja is a handy little tool that lets you narrow down a Google search specifically to blogs, forums and directories. Instead of just searching Google for ‘Formula One Motor Racing’ and sifting through the enormous number of results, Search Ninja makes it easier to locate the relevant web communities which offer backlinking potential.
Are you using any kind of backlinking strategy on your own WordPress site? Leave a comment and tell us what works for you.