Do you really believe you can get by without backlinks? Truthfully, we could all use a little support when it comes to getting noticed favorably by search engines.
Backlinks help build your relevance and credibility, and get you placed higher in search engine rankings. Backlinks essentially function as a good review of your website, only the “review” is coming from other websites, who have linked back to your site.
Spotting Bad Backlinks:
Every so often, you must assess what you already have going on, to see if it could be hurting you. Contrary to what some will say, not all backlinks are good for your site.
From there, check out the anchor text associated with the inbound links. While it’s not entirely likely that all of your links will be sporting the most top-notch anchor text, you don’t want poor, no-good anchor text (the infamous “click here”, for instance). Disavow anything that could be detrimental.
Furthermore, having a lot of backlinks can be just as bad as having some backlinks with unnatural or poor anchor text. Google is looking to rank sites that have organic backlinks. Anything that looks like spam is going to hurt you, and having a ton of backlinks might reek of that.
If this seems a little vague to you, start browsing. Look at the link, and forget for a moment that you know where it’s taking you. Do you want to click it, or does it seem remotely risky? If it seems risky to you, it will to others, and Google notices this.
Building High Quality Backlinks:
Once we know where we stand, we want to move on to getting the best possible backlinks. The first and most important principle is to go for quality over quantity.
It helps to get your site linked from trustworthy sources. For instance, if your link pops up in a piece from Entrepreneur or a prestigious university, you know there’s some quality authority there. If you’re unsure, use a tool that assesses domain authority.
The most effective backlink will also include a keyword you’re using in the anchor text. Again, it can be tricky to make this happen, but it’s extremely valuable. Just be wary of overusing keywords.
Finally, you want the other site to bear something in common with yours – is it relevant to what you’re doing? Ideally, you want your backlinks to come from a site that possibly shares an audience with you.
You don’t have to be a 100% match, but it should make sense. If your website is all about your dance company, backlinks from sites about hobby farms won’t have the same impact.
In the end, nabbing the best backlinks comes down to content. Are you posting content that other sites want to link to? If your competition is getting the backlinks you want, start keeping an eye on them. Take advantage of infographics, guest posts, and other strategies for getting linked. With the right amount of attention, backlinking can be an extremely important part of raising your ranking.