Link building is one of the cornerstones of a successful search engine optimization campaign. Links are considered votes of confidence and search engines love them because they provide a way to evaluate a site’s relative importance. That’s what makes them an essential part of a strong SEO strategy. But if you are clueless about building backlinks, a leading SEO Agency in London could help you understand the process.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Think of them as thumbprints you leave on the Internet that tell search engines who you are and where they can find you.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why do backlinks matter?” The short answer: they are a good way to improve your search engine ranking (commonly referred to as “organic traffic”). Since each link counts as a vote of confidence in the quality of your content, the more votes you have, the higher Google will rank you.
There are 4 types of links in SEO:
- External and internal backlinks: An external backlink or “outbound” points to another website, while an internal backlink or “inbound” points from one page on your site to another page within your site.
- Do-follow and no-follow links: A do-follow link is a standard HTML tag given to a link by most web platforms, whereas a no-follow link uses an attribute that tells search engines not to pass any value (aka “juice”) through the link when determining its value for SEO purposes.
Backlinks are the lifeblood of your link profile and your rankings. Knowing how to build them effectively is one of the most important SEO practices for any online business. Here’s how you can do that.
Learn the difference between good backlinks vs. bad backlinks
Surprise, surprise! Not all backlinks are created equally. Some can help you gain rank while others can bring you down a few pegs in the SERPs.
Good backlinks are from high-quality, relevant websites. One of the best ways to get good backlinks is by guest blogging or writing for other reputable sites in your industry. People who find your content on these other websites will be more likely to click and visit yours, as well. Good links also come from being active within your niche and sharing quality content on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Bad backlinks, however, come from low-quality and irrelevant websites that don’t have much credibility with Google. This form of link building often comes across as spammy, which causes Google to penalize you instead of rewarding you with a top-ranking position.
As you have probably gathered, Google’s algorithms are based on the principle of authority. The more that other sites link back to yours and the more authoritative those other sites are themselves, the higher your rank will be.
That being said, backlinking is not just about getting as many links as possible (though that can help), rather it is about making sure those links are from high-quality sources.
Luckily, the most effective way to do that is by building your authority in the industry. The more credible your presence is, the higher chance of you getting more backlinks.
Create fresh content
Fresh content is new information that is both relevant and up-to-date with the industry that you are working in. When you upload fresh content,
- The search engines rank you higher because they want to show users the most recent piece of information on a given subject.
- Your site gains more credibility because it shows the search engines that you care about remaining up to date and providing valuable information for site visitors. This helps boost your rankings as well as drive more traffic back to your site.
Creating blog posts or articles on specific topics related to your industry is perhaps the best way to keep your site’s content fresh. However, there are many other ways to update and improve how you display information on your site, such as:
- Adding new images or changing graphics
- Updating existing pages with more current information
- Providing updated and more detailed descriptions under products
Link to proper anchor texts
Anchor texts in backlinks are an important part of how search engines determine the quality and relevance of your content. The anchor text is the clickable text that a reader can click on to pull up another source.
In order to make a good anchor text, you want it to be keyword-rich and relevant to your website. You also want it to be concise; this is not the place for creativity!
The simplest example is, if you have a site about backlinking, an effective anchor text would be “backlinking.” People who search “backlinking” will see that word in the anchor text and perceive it as a result related to their topic of interest. As a bonus, Google will also see that word as related and may rank you higher when people search for “backlinking,” thanks to its own algorithms.
In essence, you need both human beings’ opinions and Google’s algorithms working together to generate high-quality backlinks for your site!
Publish guest posts
Many blogs, websites and publications allow guest authors to write posts for them — and you can use this as a way to get backlinks to your site. For example, The Huffington Post will place one link in the author bio of any guest post they publish, so if you are able to get your content up on their site, you will be able to gain a backlink that helps your rankings.
There are plenty of other advantages to writing guest posts, as well:
- Your content will reach new audiences who visit the blog or publication that publishes it.
- Your content could get found in search engines when users look for specific topics related to it.
- You can share your expertise and knowledge with people who might not otherwise find it.
- By creating useful resources on another site’s blog/domain, you can make your own blog a better resource and therefore more attractive for future links from other pages (this is what Google calls “earning” your links).
- You can get your name out there because after all, guest blogging is an effective way of building brand awareness.
Get active in blog comments and forums
One of the most effective ways of building backlinks is to get active in blog comments and forums. Here’s how to do it right:
Become an active participant in your industry’s community by commenting on blog posts and participating in relevant forums. The more people you interact with, the more likely they are to recognize your expertise.
Make sure that each comment you leave contains valuable information that others can learn from — don’t comment just for the sake of commenting.
Also, keep it brief; the last thing anyone wants is a long-winded post from someone who doesn’t own that platform (and appears to be shamelessly self-promoting).
Additionally, when linking back to your content, don’t include it unless it is absolutely relevant. And even then, make sure not to include too many links. If people think you are spamming them, they definitely won’t click that link!
Finally, don’t forget about the importance of using an appropriate username when entering these communities — it will help establish your credibility as an expert on a subject matter and develop brand awareness while allowing readers access to additional information about your brand.
Link building is the highway that leads you to a position of No. 1 on Google. However, many people fail over and over because they don’t understand how links work. That’s when you should reach out to the experts!