Building high-quality links to your financial website is a tough job. It takes time, commitment and strategic thinking.
One thing that you really mustn’t do, however, is spam the comment sections on other websites’ blogs (putting links back to your website in them). Not only is this generally a waste of time – since website owners are likely to delete your comments – but it can also land you in trouble if Google deems your backlinks to look “unnatural”.
The good news is, you do not need to resort to such tactics to build up your backlinks and raise your SEO profile. Quite simply, if you can turn your financial website into a source of great content, then you tend to find that the backlinks largely build themselves!
In this post, our SEO team at CreativeAdviser shares how to develop a strong link-building strategy for your SEO efforts. We hope this content is useful to you. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own SEO strategy via a free, online consultation.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are, simply, links to your website that are found on other websites.
For instance, suppose someone reads a blog on your website that they really like. Perhaps it contains some useful research that they want to link back to, when writing their own blog. When they do this, the link in their blog post becomes a “backlink”.
A backlink to your website is often seen as a “positive signal” to Google. After all, it suggests that other website owners are finding value in your content. As such, Google may wish to push your content higher up in its search results so other people can find it more easily.
Not only do backlinks provide this positive SEO signal, but they can also be a useful source of traffic. For instance, if a link on a blog has a lot of visitors who click on the link to your website, then you may find that backlinks can generate a lot of referrals.
Backlinks tend to come in one of t wo main forms – “no follow” and “do follow“. The former tells Google to ascribe “SEO authority” to the link in question. The latter, however, tells Google not to give any SEO credit to the link destination.
There are various reasons why a website publisher might opt for one type of backlink over another. Perhaps he/she wants to link to an external website but not necessarily endorse the content, for instance. In which case, a “no follow” link may be most appropriate.
Generally speaking, it is good to have a mixture of the two types pointing to your website (since it looks most “natural”).
Ways to build your backlink profile
There is no single strategy to get more backlinks to your website. However, there are lots of ideas that you can try.
The best, single thing you can do, of course, is write excellent content for your blog. Make sure the quality is excellent and not easily found elsewhere online. Original research is brilliant for this reason – it shows original thought leadership that others will want to link to.
Another great idea is to link to other people’s content within your own blog posts. The website owners are likely to take notice when you do this. The law of reciprocation then often kicks in – i.e. they are more likely to link to you, if you have have already linked to them.
Guest posting can also work wonders for your backlink strategy. Here, you approach other website owners and ask if you can contribute a guest piece to their blog. At the end of your article, you ask whether you can include a link back to your own blog/website.
Another popular strategy is to curate and publish helpful resource lists. For instance, perhaps you could gather together some of the best popular books you have read about financial planning – compiling them into a useful reference list on your blog. Others are bound to find a resource like this useful, perhaps bookmarking it or linking back to it when they write their own blog on a similar subject.
In a similar vein, client case studies can also be a powerful publishing tool. If you tell the story of a client which illustrates a complex area of IHT planning, for instance, then others may also wish to use the example in their own work – linking back to your article.
Book reviews can be another powerful way to generate backlinks. Many people are keen to find a useful summary of a book rather than trawl through the entire work themselves, prior to writing about it in a blog. By summarising it, you can give them what they need.
Free tools are another great idea. For instance, could you create a comparison calculator of sorts which other website publishers may want to refer to in their own content? Or, perhaps you can create a useful infographic illustrating a complex financial planning concept in a simple way.
Another great idea is to use a “broker link finding tool” to identify broken links on other website’s. By reaching out to the website owner and offering your own content as an alternative, this potentially does you both a favour!
A final idea to consider is giving away “sneak peaks” of a project (e.g. an online course in pension planning) or a free trial to a service that you offer. If someone takes you up on the offer and finds it useful, then they may be inclined to link to it on their website or social channels.