Give a Testimonial, Get a Backlink
While Google is constantly tweaking the algorithm it uses to rank websites, backlinks remain one of the most influential factors (AKA signals) in its formula. Websites that invest the necessary resources into creating authoritative, quality backlinks will reap the benefits of higher Google rankings. It’s just that simple. Today, we’re going to reveal a lesser-known technique to build links — one that involves writing and submitting testimonials in exchange for a link.
Many online businesses, especially those that offer business-to-business (B2B) services, display customer testimonials on their website. Of course, there’s a good reason for this: studies have shown that nearly 90% of Internet users are influenced by online reviews. Therefore, conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that including them on your business’s website will encourage people to buy your product or service. Along with these reviews and testimonials, however, you’ll often see the customer’s name along with his or her website.
Scenarios such as the one mentioned above are win-win for both the customer and the business. The business benefits from an actual testimonial, which often results in more sales, whereas the customer benefits from having his or her website displayed on the business’s testimonials page.
Attracting Testimonial Backlinks
If you’re interested in attracting links via the testimonial method, you’ll first need to reach out to companies with whom you do business. Writing phony/fake testimonials is discouraged and could actually backfire by lowering your site’s search ranking instead of boosting it. The bottom line is that you should only write truthful, accurate testimonials on products or services that you have personally tried.
- Start by creating a list of all the companies with whom you do business.
- Next, visit each of their websites to determine whether or not other customer testimonials are present. If a particular company doesn’t display testimonials, or if the testimonials don’t include the customer’s website address, it’s probably best to avoid them.
- Go through and narrow your list down to companies that display customer testimonials with website addresses.
- If you started with a list of 20, you may find that only 3 or 4 meet this criteria. This is perfectly fine, however, as your focus here should be on quality and not quantity.
- Once you’ve narrowed down your list of prospects to those which display testimonials and website addresses, send the owner an email, telling them what you thought about their product or service (Note: remember to keep it honest. If you didn’t like the product, let them know why, just be gracious in your wording and try to also mention something you did like).
- At the end of your email, tell the owner that you would be grateful if he or she could include a link to your official website within the testimonial. Most will gladly oblige, as long as they’ve posted previous testimonial links in the past.
Your testimonial probably won’t show up immediately. It may take days, weeks or even months before the company gets around to publishing it. In the meantime, continue your SEO efforts through other avenues.
What are your thoughts on writing and submitting testimonials in exchange for backlinks? Let us know in the comment section below!