A backlink is one of the most commonly used terms in Search Engine Optimization. When we start a new website or want to improve the ranking of our website on Google, we struggle with the concept of backlinks. In this post, I hope to offer you an understanding of what are backlinks, why are they so important, how can you create backlinks for your website, and what are the best practices for backlinks.
Let’s get started.
What Are Backlinks And Why Are They Important?
A backlink, in a nutshell, is an incoming link to your website. They are links on other websites which direct users to your website. The idea of backlink is similar to having References in a research paper. Higher the number of references you have; higher is the credibility of your research paper (or website, in our case). These links are crucial because they tell search engines that your website matters. Google considers backlinks as a vote of confidence; so getting new links is like generating new votes in a never-ending competition on the Internet. Quality backlinks provide Google a mechanism to trust a website, build credibility, and even authority.
The number of backlinks you have is directly proportional to your website’s rank on Google Search. That being said, it’s not always the case. More is always not better. Google’s algorithm has become highly sophisticated and can easily distinguish between natural links & forced ones that break the guidelines. Link velocity (the speed at which links are built) should not be ignored and can quickly trip algorithm filters.
You should always attempt to get backlinks from relevant websites operating in your industry.
7 Approaches, Which Help You To Build Good Quality Backlinks:
- Business Listing: If you have a local business or you want to promote your website for an area specific search, you should begin with Business Listings. Find out business directories and list your business on them. This sends Google a signal that your business is operational in a location and it will push your website to a higher ranking.
For e.g. If you have opened a bar in Manhattan and you have created business listings for it than there are chances that you might be visible on Google search when someone searches for “Bars in Manhattan”.
- Forum Posting: This is a trusted and easy way to create backlinks. Message boards, discussion groups, discussion boards, discussion forums, bulletin boards etc. are generally classified as forums. You should look for forums in your industry and build connections with other forum members.
Note: these forums have moderators who can ban you for spamming. The key to not getting banned is to add value to the forum. Post-relevant answers, help the community, and earn a backlink.
- PR Websites: Another great way to get quality backlinks to your website is by using press releases. If properly done, you can get a lot of quality backlinks from press release sites because they are supplying content to a lot of smaller sites, which can easily get picked up by news sites. This means more exposure and more quality backlinks for you.
When trying to get the best from your press releases, make sure you have a newsworthy and attractive title. This will make more people interested in your press release. You should also make sure you have a link to your website in the body of your content because this will fight against people scraping your content without giving credit.
- Guest Posting: Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to drive and grow traffic to your website. Owners of blogs offer to write content for other similar blogs in their industry as guest bloggers. In exchange, they receive a link to their own blog and an opportunity to promote their own name and blog in their chosen industry. This activity can be exhausting and you need to put in the same amount of work you would put in an article that is intended for your own website or blog. However, when done right, you can reap far greater benefits. It may be time and resource consuming, but guest posting has proven to be a very vital part of every content marketing strategy. Pairing it with SEO will exponentially increase its efficiency.
- Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking is a way to bookmark our favorite web pages online so we can read them whenever we’re back online. For backlinks, you go and create a bookmark to your own website. This way, you create a bookmark for the community and earn yourself a backlink.
- PDF and PPT Submission Websites: Another great way to get quality backlinks to your site is by submitting your articles or presentation to a document & presentation sharing website. You can do this by compiling your blog posts as .pdf files and uploading them to file sharing sites (thereby leaving a backlink to your website).
Some popular file-sharing sites are Slideshare, Calameo, Scribd and Box.
- Comment Posting: Many people question whether or not blog commenting can be used to build backlinks. If you are among the lot, you must know that they make a big difference from an SEO point of view. Make sure you don’t spam someone’s blog trying to get backlinks, also writing a valuable comment or feedback is always appreciated. It is important to know: ‘Nofollow’ comments are useless for building backlinks. Do-follow comments are always the best.
Best Practices To Build Backlinks:
- Write quality content: You can easily earn backlinks if you have great content on your website. Great content increases shareability, which in turn will get people to want to link you. This strategy also works for improving your organic SEO growth, increasing visitor engagement, and building overall traffic, so don’t ignore this step.
- Focus on relevance: If you have a website which is focused on fitness then you should not build backlinks on a website that deals in healthcare. Google prefers relevant link and unrelated links look like spam.
- Use descriptive anchor text: Anchor texts are important as they help improve your ranking for certain keywords. It is a good practice not to use anchor texts like Click here, Read more, etc. and use anchor texts which give context to your link.
To get the maximum out of your link building campaign, you should not focus on just one approach. You should build a good backlink profile for your website. Get backlinks from a variety of websites and keep doing it. Backlinking is not about how aggressively you are doing, it’s about how consistently you are doing it.