When you're trying to rise to the top of search engine rankings, backlinks are an extremely important part of this. Posts that link to another website contain a backlink.
Getting people to add backlinks for your website can not only direct more traffic to you but also help you rise on Google search engine rankings.
Use backlinks for SEO to get your site noticed by more people.
What Are Backlinks for SEO?
What are SEO backlinks? In simple terms, backlinks are when one website contains a link to another one. They are what are called incoming or inbound links.
Google and other search engines count backlinks to your site much like votes. They assume that if others are adding backlinks to your site, then your site must be a good one.
Then they will up the rankings for your site in organic searches. That's great news for many people who are trying to boost the visitor numbers to their sites and get more organic traffic.
You may have heard the term 'backlinking SEO' thrown around - so what is backlinking SEO exactly? It's when you intentionally try to get more backlinks to your site so that you will rise in search rankings.
This can be hugely helpful to you, and we'll explain why in the next section.
Why Try To Get Backlinks?
So, what's the point of getting more backlinks to your website? Well, they have the potential to make your website far more successful, for one thing. They are vitally important and even formed the foundation of Google's very first search algorithm PageRank. Although algorithms have changed dramatically since then, it still shows the importance that Google places on backlinks.
Each time someone adds a backlink to your site, they are essentially telling Google that your content is credible and valuable. You need to be credible in order for Google to feature you on the first page of search results as Google doesn't want to promote pages which are spammy or contain unreliable information.
Most people don't click through to the second page of Google search results. To get more organic traffic to your website, you need to get placed on the first page. Google has said that backlinks are one of the 3 most important SEO factors for increasing your search ranking. More site visitors = more potential customers = more revenue.
What Types of Backlinks Are Best?
New links are treated by search engines as much more valuable than repetitive ones. That means that while it's good for a site to link back to yours many times, this is worth less as time goes on, as Google places less weight on it. To put it simply: it's far better to get one link from 100 websites rather than 100 backlinks from one website.
Another factor in what types of backlinks are better is the relevance of the site linking to you. The more related your website topics are, the better for your ranking. This makes sense if you think about it - if the website is about kitchen remodelling and you write about kitchen appliances, readers are highly likely to be interested in your site. If you write about cricket... not so much!
Do Follow vs No Follow
Not all backlinks are created equal. There's the concern of do follow and no follow backlinks. No follow backlinks to your website essentially tell search engines to ignore them in terms of ranking.
They don't add any value to your site in terms of SEO. You'll only get the value of any site visitors who come through clicking the link.
Do follow backlinks are the type you need to try to attain. These affect search engine rankings and hold a lot of value for your website. However, they need to come from trusted sites as if you get a do follow backlink from a suspicious site, you may find that you get penalized or even de-indexed for this.
Not sure how to know if a link is do follow or no follow? You can use a tool like a do follow link checker to find out. On this, you can simply add the URLs you'd like to check and it will let you know if your backlinks on these are do follow or no follow.
Relevant Anchor Text
Anchor text is the part of the text on a page that holds the backlink. For example, the backlink could be added where your brand name is mentioned, added as a naked URL, or be added onto the relevant piece of information the linked webpage explains.
For example, the bold part of the following could be backlinks to your kitchen appliance site:
- 'the website Kitchen Appliances offer many...'
- 'at www.kitchenappliances.net, they offer...'
- 'if you're looking for a new kitchen appliance, you need to...'
If the anchor text for a link is unrelated, this is not useful for SEO. Search engines basically ignore any backlinks that have irrelevant anchor text. For example, linking to your kitchen appliance site like this 'there are many kinds of tyres you can purchase for your car'.
The text in bold as the anchor link to your kitchen appliance site makes no sense and is seen as spammy.
Anchor Text Contains Keywords
Not only does the anchor text need to be relevant, but it's even better if it contains your target keyword.
This can result in much higher search engine rankings as Google can easily recognise that this anchor text is relevant to the linked website.
Now that you understand the importance of backlinks and the different types, it's time to talk about building backlinks. What techniques should you include in your link building strategy to increase search engine ranking and organic traffic? Don't worry, we've got plenty of tricks up our sleeve that we'll share with you below.
One of the best ways of gaining fantastic quality backlinks from trusted websites is guest blogging. By writing guest posts for a website, you can often insert a backlink to your website from your post or in your bio.
This situation is a win-win as the site you write guest posts for will get a great, well-researched blog post to upload and you get a great link as well as potentially more traffic to your site and increased brand awareness.
In most cases, you will even get a writer bio on the site which can help people get to know you and your work. This would usually also include a link to your website.
Claiming links is one of the easiest ways to increase the number of backlinks you have. Just search for websites which mention yours but don't link to it. Then contact the site owner and kindly request that they add a backlink to the mention of your website. This method for building backlinks is highly effective and can be an easy way to get more for your site.
Broken Link Building
Another aspect of backlinks is broken link building. Have you ever clicked on a link in an article or blog post, only to find that the link is broken? It's highly annoying for the user, which is why websites love it when you let them know about broken links on their site. Look for sites that are relevant to yours with broken backlinks, and offer up a link of your own that the website owner can replace it with. You get quality backlinks and they get working links!
What is a linkable asset? Well, it's something on your site that is worth linking to. Popular linkable assets are often research-based. That's because when other people are writing posts and articles, they need a way of backing up what they are saying and linking to research is a great way to do that. Do some research and post it - this may get you a number of backlinks which can improve your SEO.
One backlinking option is to create fantastic internal links on your website. This can help your users navigate easily around your website, thus providing a fantastic user experience. It can keep people on your site for longer and reduce your website's bounce rate as well. Just make sure that you pay attention to using the right type of anchor text when you do this.
Infographics are something else that other people love to link to. Infographics are great for capturing attention during a lengthy article and keeping readers engaged. So, not only will infographics help you engage your audience, but you will find that many other people want to link to them as well.
In fact, infographics are one of the most linked-to types of posts, only trailing behind 'why' and 'what posts' in terms of linking popularity.
If you offer a product or a service, getting bloggers to write reviews about these on their websites can be highly beneficial.
To get bloggers interested in doing this, simply offer them your product or service for free in return for a review. This can not only get you positive feedback online but also get backlinks for your site.
Social media only just made it onto this list because technically it does not affect search rankings. However, adding backlinks to your website onto your social media profiles can get more people going to your website.
The more people accessing the website, the better for SEO. Also, others may find out about your site through social media and then share the backlink in a blog post or article, which is useful!
Now that you've completed the link building process, it's important to keep analysing and improving your link building strategy. You can see how your site is going by checking your backlinks.
This is important because if you have backlinks coming from toxic sites, you need to ask for these to be removed ASAP. Otherwise, your site may be flagged as suspicious and drop in search rankings or even be removed from search results.
You need to know the following:
- Where your links are
- How to know if they are toxic
- How to contact site owners to remove links
Don't worry, with a good tool, all of this is super easy. A tool like SEMRush may be useful to you as it is a highly popular tool that helps many users to determine which links are toxic and get them removed.
Performing backlink research lets you analyse competitor sites to find out how you compare with their backlinks. You'll be able to see the backlink profile for a website with similar keywords to yours, which will include all of the domains linking to pages on their website.
This analysis can offer you some insight on how they have done their link building, and if you find anything they have done well you can try to emulate this. Knowing your competitors' link building strategies can be highly valuable for you in improving your own strategies.
If high-ranking sites are using techniques that you aren't, it's definitely worth trying these techniques.
Backlink auditing allows you to find all of the backlinks to your site. Many tools will then check these backlinks for you to determine which links to your site are toxic.
Then you can go about getting these backlinks removed. If you use SEMRUsh, you can even email to have these removed right from the tool.
You may also discover that you have some backlinks from credible sites that you never realised you had! It can help you to see if your link building techniques are working or not. Then you can adjust the strategy you're using as required.
If you're looking to increase the popularity of your website and improve your SEO, then link building is certainly one trick you can use to achieve this. Try some of the above methods and you could turn your site from a low ranking site to one that's high ranking with thousands of visitors.