Backlinks are a vital aspect of search engine optimization and SEO strategies. They are considered a baseline of how popular your website is to users. You need to invest in on-page and off-page SEO to boost organic traffic and get noticed by search engines.
On-page optimization generates content that enables users and search engines to understand what your website entails. Off-page optimization is the process of showing search engines that your content is valuable to third parties.
And the most important value proposition is a backlink. Now, what are backlinks? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about backlinks.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links on websites besides yours that link to a web page on your website. In short, when one website links to another, a backlink is created. Backlinks are also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links” since they depict another website’s traffic visiting your website. The quantity and quality of your backlinks help your website rank higher in Google’s or Bing’s search engines.
There are two main types of backlinks (Nofollow and Dofollow), but one is more relevant than the other. A Nofollow tag informs search engines to disregard your link. They don’t convey value from one specific site to another. Thus, they won’t help improve your visibility or search ranking.
Everyone wants a Dofollow link as they can help improve your search engine rankings. But some Dofollow links are considered toxic or harmful as they come from suspicious websites or are gotten by violating the search engine terms of service. This can make Google de-index or penalize your website. Note that quality, not quantity makes all the difference in ranking.
Backlinks: Why are They Important?
Backlinks are essential and help businesses with three crucial things:
Backlinks are valuable for SEO because they portray a vote of confidence from one particular site to another. As such, backlinks to your site tell search engines that others attest to your content.
If several sites link to a similar website or web page, search engines will deduce that the content is worth linking to and thus also worth showing on a SERP. As such, getting these backlinks can positively impact a website’s search visibility or ranking position. With this, your site is seen as one having high-quality content. Backlinks help websites get higher rankings on Google as people will see your business and click on your website.
Backlinks are there to refer people to valuable resources, which is why they’re clickable. You get referral traffic anytime someone clicks a link to your website.
Backlinks are not only crucial for achieving higher rankings in online search engines, but they are also essential for building relationships. If a backlink links to your site and someone clicks on it, the person can become your customer. Any lead that answers a call-to-action (CTA) or joins your newsletter on your site could result in a sale.
Building relevant backlinks to your brand can give your business recognition and authority within your industry. Search engines check new content by often visiting web pages they are familiar with to find new links. Thus, they may see your content quickly if you earn backlinks from famous pages.
Brands who understand how to use backlinks well won’t link to dodgy sites or poor-quality content.
What Makes a Good Backlink?
A good backlink is a relevant outbound link to an authoritative and trusted site. A trustworthy website has many strong backlinks pointing to it. Google regards these backlinks as a means of confirming that your website contains quality, helpful content.
The following makes a good backlink:
A Specific Anchor Text
Hyperlinking to a web page with a specific, clear anchor text is a big win for search engines and users. Concise anchor texts offer users the idea of where the link will lead them if they click on it.
An Authoritative Website
An authoritative website offers reliable, well-sourced, and frequently updated content. Most readers like consulting the Environmental Protection Agency website (epa.gov) to get authentic information even though they might have read several online articles or blogs.
Some quality backlinks may not come from an authoritative site like the EPA, but consider the same traits when searching authoritative websites.
Relevance to On-Page Content
Backlinks shouldn’t be there to consume space and serve as an SEO benchmark – they need to enhance the reader’s experience and give supplemental information. Consider it from the reader’s angle — backlinks don’t add value if they’re bringing readers to unrelated websites.
Google aims to offer users rich, helpful content that answers queries. Distracting and irrelevant content hinders that. Google values relevant backlinks more than a backlink from an unrelated, random site.
How to Check Backlinks?
You can check a web page or website backlinks using Google Search Console. Here’s how:
Google Search Console provides data on your website’s overall performance and organic traffic. Simply register for a free account and confirm that you own the web page. Once you sign in, you’ll find ”Links” on the sidebar. Click on it.
The figure under the “External links” depicts the total figure of quality backlinks to the web page. You will get three reports — the top linked pages, top linked sites, and top linking test.
Start with the top linked pages if you’re using Search Console for the first time. Click any URL to find the web page that links to a particular page. Then click on any web page to discover if any of its web pages link to that website.
How to Get More Backlinks?
Do you want to increase the number of backlinks to your site? Backlinks play a crucial role in improving search engine rankings. Your backlinks are Google’s top search ranking factors. Getting more high-quality backlinks makes your chances of ranking higher become stronger.
You can get more backlinks in three ways: create, earn, and build them.
This is a situation whereby you manually add links to your website from other websites. Examples are leaving blog comments, submitting to business directories, and replying to forum threads.
You can earn backlinks anytime people find your content through search engines such as social media, Google, or word of mouth and decide to link to your website. In short, earned backlinks are organic. If you want to increase your possibility of earning more backlinks, you can create valuable content that visitors would love to link to.
You can build backlinks if you contact other website owners, webmasters, or editors and tell them to link to your web page. If you want this to be effective, you must have a unique selling point. That’s where the link-building strategy comes into play.
Here are some practical ones:
The Skyscraper Method
Regarding content creation, you can create a skyscraper piece of content to get more backlinks. These are super detailed extensive guides on existing topics and could be up to 10,000 words or more. Skyscraper content aims to write posts that cover all aspects of the topic in detail and make it stand out from the rest.
Start by searching for your niche-specific topic on Google. For instance, if you’re writing about SEO, look closely at the results since these web pages earned many backlinks and made it to Google’s first page. Next, create a content piece that’s 10X better than what you saw from each web page.
Once you finish creating your skyscraper content, move to the most vital part – promotion. Promoting your skyscraper content is critical because it can put you ahead of your competitors. You can promote your content in different ways.
First, contact all the companies, people, tools, influencers, as well as sources you included in your content. Let them understand that you found their platform valuable, and if they love your piece, they will share it with their audience.
Broken Link Building
You can look at your competitor’s broken links while checking their website. Another easy and quick way of earning backlinks is by using the broken link-building strategy. Links that no longer exist or work on a site are broken links. They can arise due to an improper URL, the source website removing the links, or the destination site may have moved to another domain or closed.
No matter the cause, this offers a beautiful opportunity for you to get backlinks. Look for broken links, reach out to the site webmaster to replace the link, and pitch your website as a replacement. It’s as simple as that!
Form Partnerships Through Outbound Links
Find backlink opportunities by checking your outbound links. You can ally by sending out an outreach email once you link to a high authority site and send a lot of traffic.
You can use an existing relationship to focus more securely on your brand. Also, do co-promotional activities such as webinars or give your partners some feature content to add to their site. This comes with the added advantage of exposing you to their audience.
Tell them you’re seeking a partnership opportunity and maybe work on a content collaboration such as a case study. If they like what you’re bringing to the table, you can earn new quality backlinks together with traffic.
Create High-Quality Link-Worthy Content
Creating excellent content is one of the most fundamental ways of getting more backlinks. Aim to create a content piece that industry experts and other bloggers can use and link to your website.
Even though this might be a time-intensive approach, it’s worth the effort if you get it right. You can produce content like list posts, guides, as well as how-to-articles. For example, if you’re running a fashion blog, creating a how-to article on how to run a fashion business with only $200 is an option.
Hire a Digital Marketing Agency
Made it through this post and still have questions about how effective SEO will benefit your business? Are competitors getting traffic that should be yours?