If you want your site to rank high on search engines, you need to take backlinks more seriously than ever before!
The era of randomly building backlinks is long gone as Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving to ensure that the highest-quality content shows up in response to user queries. The simple truth is that all backlinks are created unequal. This is why it is now clear that the only way to win the game of building backlinks is with quality over quantity.
With that being said, in this guide, we’ll bring you up to speed on the essentials of backlinks and everything you need to know so that your SEO results will skyrocket in 2020!
But please remember to not just stop there! Be sure to check out more SEO practices to further improve your search results.
What are backlinks?
Also known as inbound links, incoming links, or one-way links, backlinks are links from an external website that link back to a page on your website.
You can think of it as a vote of confidence from the site that’s linking out. Meaning the site gives credibility to a page on your site by indicating to search engines that the content on it is valuable. It relays trust and authority and when search engines see a larger site linking to yours, they rank you higher.
Types of backlinks
There are 2 primary types of backlinks with both having a different influence on the rankings of your website on search engines. Here is a brief explanation of them:
Dofollow links are HTML attributes that tell crawlers to pass authority and SEO rank to the target sites. These backlinks directly influence your backlink profile because they send a signal to search engines to transfer authority to your website. The links usually have the “rel=dofollow” in the HTML code.
Nofollow links are simply the direct opposite of dofollow links (used to combat SEO spam). They tell crawlers not to pass authority and SEO ranks to target sites. Humans can still interact with the link but algorithms can identify the distinctions and follow the instructions. The links usually have the tag “rel=nofollow” in the HTML code.
Why are backlinks important?
So why are backlinks important and what advantages do they bring to your site? Let’s take a look at a few major reasons!
Referral traffic refers to people clicking on a link while reading a post because they seek to find more information. Backlinks help drive steady referral traffic on autopilot, and the best part is that this type of traffic is highly targeted (lower bounce rates).
As previously mentioned, getting links from popular websites can help build the authority of your brand. Not only is the link viewed as a vote of confidence by search engines, but more importantly, it is viewed as a vote of confidence by users. The authority of that website will rub off on you simply by association.
Backlinks can significantly help improve your site’s ranking on search engines. Because when Google sees a more authoritative website linking to your website, it suggests that your site’s content is valuable! Therefore placing more weight on it by increasing its rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
What makes a good backlink?
It is important to remember that not all backlinks are created equally. There are good backlinks and bad backlinks. Good backlinks will help improve your ranking on search engines while bad backlinks can hurt your rankings. Even get your website penalized!
That being said, your goal should be to be able to construct good backlinks and you can do that by taking the following into consideration:
Authority of the site
The quality of a link can be determined by a domain’s authority. The idea here is that the more authority a site has, the more authority it can pass to your site. So a backlink from a site like entrepreneur.com will have a much bigger impact on your site than a link from a relatively unknown blogger. Google knows that getting links from authoritative sites can be very hard, so when it spots such a backlink, it puts a lot of weight on it.
Relevancy of the site
When it comes to building quality links, a site’s relevance also matters. When Google sees a website link to another, it assumes that they are related and ranks such sites higher. If your site is related to health and you link to a site that’s related to cars, it is obvious that they are not related and you may get penalized for this by search engines. In general, you want to get links from authority sites that are closely related to your site.
We explained this earlier in the guide that a dofollow link is an instruction to search engines to pass authority to another site. Thankfully, most links on the web are dofollow links, but you will generally want to stay away from some sources like blog comments, paid advertisements and press releases as they are usually nofollow links.
If you want quality backlinks, you need links from a domain that hasn’t linked to you before. Well, can you link to a site more than once? Yes, you can but the more often you link to such sites, the less powerful the impact will be.
Link anchor text
Anchor text simply refers to the clickable text section of a link, and it is one of Google’s top-ranking signals. Google wants the target keyword to be included in the link’s anchor text, but make sure it is not spammy so you don’t get penalized for it.
How to build backlinks
There are many ways to get backlinks and all do require some level of hard work and persistence. Here are some of the most effective ways of building backlinks:
Guest posting has always been one of the best ways to build backlinks. When you guest post on other sites, you get to appear as an authority and provide value to their audiences. Furthering your influence and reach.
It’s always, however, always best to do your research on the requirements for guest posting by sites in your niche. Some sites have a “write for us” page while others only accept proposals to co-author a piece.
Niche edits involve the insertion of your links into quality, aged blog posts or pages that have already been indexed by Google. They are just as powerful as guest posting! As it can help you benefit from traffic that’s already being driven to the page.
You can acquire a niche edit by reaching out to selected bloggers in your industry and requesting for your link to be added to it.
Round-up posts are one of the most popular types of posts because they provide insightful information shared by experts in an industry. You can create your own round-up posts by sending out an email to a number of experts and asking them one question. A single question increases the chance of getting a response. When you’ve published the post, notify them of it and most of them will end up linking back to you.
Another excellent way to build backlinks is to share your links on industry forums. To avoid being penalized for spamming, only include links to your site when you respond to questions other users ask. Don’t just go about inserting your link into every comment. As this could easily pass for spamming. Only respond when it makes sense.
You can also build links on social media, but you need to first create full and consistent profiles on all the major social media networks. These can include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.
Once you’ve set up the profiles, consistently share your links on the sites at least once or twice a week.
While building backlinks is important, creating high-quality content is more important because that’s what gets shared!
It’s okay to learn all the tactics of link building but if you don’t have quality content on your site, you may find yourself having to start from scratch again, and you don’t want that.
By putting everything in this guide into practice, you can start building links right away to improve search ranking, leads, and sales!