Table Of Contents
- What are Backlinks?
- Importance of Backlinks
- Things to Keep in Mind While You Backlink
- Backlinks You Should Avoid
- What are High-Quality Backlinks?
- How to Get Backlinks?
- Key Takeaways
A backlink is one of the significant factors to consider in search engine ranking. Building backlinks as you optimize your website for SEO is crucial to getting relevant traffic.
According to Linkdoctor, 80% of SEO professionals agree that link-building is an effective marketing strategy. The more backlinks you have for the site from authoritative domains, the higher your reputation. Backlinks help you dominate the search engine ranking pages.
This article will explain every detail about backlinks and how to get quality backlinks.
What are Backlinks?
A backlink is a link coming from another site to yours. You can place the link in a text, as a button, or on an image. As long as the link source is a site other than yours, it is considered a backlink. Backlinks play a crucial role in SEO as they are one of the primary ranking factors for every search engine. The more authoritative the link, the higher the rank in the SERP for the keywords you have chosen during keyword research.
Importance of Backlinks
While there are hundreds of ranking factors, backlinks count as one of the most important ones. Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of backlinks for your website.
1. Improves organic ranking
As soon as the search engine starts seeing the site as an authority, it will rank the website higher in the SERP. Don’t forget, Google tends to prioritize sites that users usually visit because they are relevant to the topics they are looking for. This means that when your site has multiple backlinks, Google will consider it valuable and credible around a specific topic.
Note: Quality backlinks will take time to show results. Hence, don’t try to use deceptive means to secure more backlinks. They might get you the traffic you are looking to gain, but eventually, you will realize that the pages have been ranked lower.
2. Boosts referral traffic
Backlinks can boost your referral traffic. If a visitor can get through the backlink, Google Analytics can track the click as your site’s referral visit. Usually, referral traffic is more relevant and targeted. Thus, it results in a lower bounce rate than other kinds of traffic.
3. Raises brand awareness
If a website links to your article or website, it is a sign that the website owner believes that their readers have much to gain from your article or website. If you get quality backlinks, it also means that reliable and trustworthy websites are recommending your brand or site to their dedicated readers.
If their readers land on your site, use the ‘related content’ widget at the end of your blog to link them to other relevant content. Thus, they can read more content on your site and spend more time. Google considers this while ranking a site.
4. Shows your business as an authority
As more and more websites link back to your site, they will position your brand as an authority on a specific topic, subject, service, etc. Keep in mind that Google uses backlinks to understand what the site is all about. Thus, the more backlinks your site receives, the easier it is for Google to learn more about your business.
5. Backlinks can attract more backlinks
This is another advantage that you might be unaware of. If you already have a few quality backlinks from popular and authoritative websites, other similar websites will find you credible and organically add backlinks to you. It is a chain reaction that you want.
Things to Keep in Mind While You Backlink
Not all backlinks have been created equal. You should link your site to websites and relevant brands that will drive the right traffic to your website.
Here are a few things that you need to consider.
1. Anchor text
When you are backlinking, anchor text is crucial. If you have the correct link, ensure that you use the right anchor text for the external and internal sites throughout your content. Be careful to avoid junk anchor texts, such as ‘click here,’ ‘read more,’ ‘there,’ etc. Of course, these anchor texts are not entirely harmful. At times, they are just suitable in a sentence. They are also capable of driving conversations.
Also, make sure you don’t use the same anchor text too often. If you link to the same web page repeatedly, it can cause your search engine ranking to drop. So, you just have to ensure that you are not using the same keyword every time. When you force links into the content, it looks terrible and can harm your ranking, like keyword stuffing.
2. No-follow or do-follow links
There are no-follow and do-follow links. In simple words, do-follow links will make your SEO powerful, but no-follow links won’t. Individuals can use the no-follow links on a site. However, the search engine crawlers might ignore them. Thus, these links don’t count as backlinks for page rankings.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you don’t need these links at all. So, you should use no-follow links,
- While avoiding spam comments
- While promoting an affiliate link
- When you are referring to a site of low quality to make a point
- When a brand has paid you to share their link
You should always use do-follow links if you are linking a popular brand for a purpose.
3. Link building growth rate
It might be tempting to build quality links as fast as possible, but it can drive you closer to earning a Google penalty. The link-building process should be steady but incremental. Make sure that you don’t use all the high-quality backlinks at once. Instead, it is better to distribute them over time. This will help in ensuring consistency, which will yield adequate results.
4. Backlink diversity
Your goal behind a link-building strategy is to create a backlink profile that will appear natural. If you think exerting your effort will secure backlinks for your homepage, you are wrong.
You have to prioritize the web pages and content that offer the most value to the audience. After that, focus on strategies that will earn you backlinks, especially for those pages.
Remember, all traffic is not good traffic. You want the people to come to your website to know why they have arrived there and get the content that will solve the issues they are facing. With backlink diversity, you can also spread SEO power across many pages on the site instead of just focusing on one place.
5. Your competitors
To be honest, an essential aspect of link building is staying above your competitors. You can conduct some research to achieve that goal. If you observe your competitor’s backlink, you will be able to see the domains that link to their site. You can then target the same domains for your site if relevant to you.
Several tools will aid you in this purpose. Such tools provide you with a list of the domains that you are analyzing, their rank and authority, and the total number of referring pages to the domain.
Note that even popular blogs might be wrong at times. If you come across high-potential links to take from the referring domain analysis of your competitors, do your research to ensure they cater to your quality standards.
Backlinks You Should Avoid
You need to make sure that your website is linked by relevant websites and brands that will help drive traffic to your site. Here are a few types of backlinks you should avoid when you do that.
Poor reputation or quality
You have to be aware of the sites you are securing backlinks from. If the content is linked from a shady website, it will do more harm than good. It is not always possible to control the brands that link to the site. However, you can check the ones reaching out to you for backlinking.
Websites filled with links
The site you link to should be valuable and relevant to the user. Moreover, it should drive high-quality traffic to the site. In case you are linked to a web page that contains several links without any proper strategy, you are sure to get lost in the mix or secure traffic that will not convert.
Links from sites that don’t have actual relevance to the brand will not be of much help. Focus on websites and brands that will align with the message you want to give out or the industry you belong to. To fight bad backlinks, you will have to be proactive and look for the right ones.
What are High-Quality Backlinks?
If you are taking backlinks as a vote of confidence, evaluate the vote’s credibility first! There are ways to game the system by using private blog networks, link farms, or comment spam, encouraging black-hat SEO. But they don’t work anymore. As a matter of fact, excessive unnatural backlinks can push you down the ranking pages.
So, quality matters when it comes to backlinks. One of the most challenging parts of SEO is to secure high-quality backlinks. Hence, you have to look for links that are,
- Relevant: The referring page must be tackling a similar niche or topic. If the homepage of a technology company gets a backlink from a blog on ‘how to play chess,’ it will not earn many quality or relevant backlinks.
- Authoritative: A site with an authoritative backlink profile can generate a lot of traffic and rank well in the SERPs. Additionally, .edu and .gov sites might carry more weight, as might industry-leading sites.
- Natural: These links aren’t sponsored. Also, the anchor text isn’t spammy or branded. You will find the referring page having a realistic number of links.
- Unique: You will get an edge when the site refers you but not your competitors. These backlinks are good to have for your site.
How to Get Backlinks?
You can build backlinks with the help of smart techniques. If you are in a niche that people hardly take an interest in, it might be a little challenging for you. However, backlinking will become easier for you with the tactics below. So, let’s get on with it.
1. Replicate your competitors’ best backlinks
SEO is just like a poker game where Google serves as the dealer. In this case, the only difference is that everyone will display their cards while they play. The cards are the backlinks, and every player in your industry has access to them. You can easily get a list of your competitor’s backlinks and then replicate the best ones.
The first step to this process is to choose your competitors. These will be the sites in the top 5 ranking for the main keyword. If they have a better ranking than you, it only implies that the site has a better linking profile. Thus, they are going to have higher-quality backlinks. Once you identify your competitors, just analyze their backlinks. You can use your preferred SEO tool to replicate your competitor’s best links.
After adding the main competitor to the SEO tool, use its metrics to decide the links you would like to replicate. However, remember not to replicate all competitor backlinks. This is because every site comes with bad backlinks. You have to replicate the links with good authority. The more complex it is to get a backlink from a site, the more valuable it is.
To check the domain value, you can look at Moz Domain Authority. If the metrics are suitable enough, check if the sites are linking out to third-party sites. If the site uses do-follow links, this will be useful for your SEO campaign.
When you find a site using good metrics, you need to ensure that it is relevant to you. Find out how each competitor’s backlink came about. For instance, if it is a guest post, you can request to be a part of it. But if it is a review posted by a blogger, get in touch with the writer and suggest a good deal in return for a similar review.
2. Reclaim unlinked mentions
You will often find that an article’s author has not linked back to your site when they have referred to your product, service, or brand. The easiest way to get backlinks is to reclaim unlinked brand mentions. Also, it is the fastest way to create high-quality backlinks. For this, keep an eye on the sites or articles mentioning your brand. You can use Google Alert for this purpose. Use online tools for a better insight into aspects such as the site’s domain authority or the number of shares.
3. Become a source for other publishers
If you use unique data and expertise, you can become a source for other journalists and bloggers. Whenever an article quotes you, you earn a backlink. But, a high-authority backlink isn’t the only benefit you can derive from this tactic. As you become a trusted source, it increases your brand awareness. Thus, you earn referral traffic to the website.
You can use tools that will enable you to connect to expert sources with journalists or bloggers looking to contribute. Usually, these tools will send you queries from writers from the industry. Just choose one that resonates with your business and respond through email, including your credentials.
One of the most important things, in this case, is speed since these writers generally get many submissions. If you are one of the first to respond, you have a better chance of getting noticed and chosen for the final piece. If you are selected, you will receive an email from the blogger or journalist informing you that the article is live. It will take around 4-5 weeks for the article to be published after sending your response. Even when you don’t receive a follow-up from the writer, keep track of the publication to determine if the quote makes it to the article.
Guest blogging is one of the best tactics to be seen on the Internet. With this, you can tap into an established audience while interacting with other people from the same niche. You can use this strategy to get social media followers, drive traffic, or build quality backlinks.
Guest blogging was active even before Google used the backlink as a ranking factor.
A word of caution. When you are guest posting, make sure you write relevant and good-quality articles. It should be as good as the content on the website you are writing for. Remember, not all guest bloggers are successful in this strategy, but you will see a good outcome if you take this seriously.
5. Get in touch with journalists
Journalists and bloggers tend to be flooded with emails that pitch promotional information. But most don’t add value to the readers. This is why several outreach emails go in vain. So, you have to make sure that your pitch stands out. It can be a good tactic if you are considering how to generate backlinks for your site.
Firstly, you will have to decide on a set of relevant – and preferably newsworthy – topics. Consider topics that are trending. Moreover, your company or website should be credible to talk about it. Then you can approach the journalists and offer your comments in a news article. They will link to you due to this. At times, they link profile pages on your website, too.
When you reach out to journalists, you can also attach a video introducing you and your company. When the introduction is complete, you can explain how your content will deliver value to their reader and suggest what they can consider linking to. It will lend a human element to the article.
Try to add a human element to the video, like the decision-maker’s face, name, and voice. This helps journalists relate to your company when they think it. These small changes will help you to stand out.
6. Leverage public relations
Using public relations is a good tactic if you are considering how to get backlinks for your website. If people do not know who you are, they will not link to your site. The best way to build a relationship and establish yourself as an expert in the industry is if you are active on social media.
When posting on social media, make sure that you maintain your personality. Do not sound bland or bored. Instead, put a little of yourself into every post or caption. When you are active on social media, you can interact with various people. It will allow you to get in touch with others from the same industry.his gives you a higher chance of becoming a guest blogger. If the opportunity comes to you, make sure you don’t pass it on.
Guest blogging might turn into a backlink, and if you can establish yourself as an expert, you will be able to do the same if people ask you for a quote on a specific topic.
7. Leverage advanced search operators
You can also leverage advanced search operators to get backlinks for your site. If you use quotes, the words need to be in the search results. For instance, if you are looking for dog training, it should include tips, statistics, news, and resources.
These keywords tend to carry link intent. You can also use intext to show the results included in the text. Many sites use links within the page for identifying resources.
8. Develop free tools
To earn backlinks, you can develop free tools, such as template generators or calculators. In fact, they can help in generating new leads, too.
Here’s what you have to do to get started with the process.
- Start with keyword research and check what comes up for ‘tools,’ ‘templates,’ or ‘generator’ in the industry.
- You have to look for the tools in the top 10 search results for the keywords.
- Figure out which generator or tool receives the maximum number of backlinks.
- Create something similar but much better, such as a better customizable option or better design.
9. Use images to earn mentions and links
The most common visual asset you will come across in SEO is infographics. With this, it is possible to earn backlinks. If you haven’t tried it before, you can start experimenting now.
When you are creating infographics, here are a few visuals you can consider,
- One-page templates
- Graphs and charts containing original data
- Free photo galleries for people to use
- Diagrams for explaining complex concepts
10. Use the broken link building method
With this link-building strategy, you will have to reach out to the site with a broken outbound link and ask them to replace it with a link to one of your web pages. But, make sure that the page you are asking them to link to is a good resource on the topic they had been linking to. It should make sense to switch the broken link with yours.
This strategy works well because it adds authority to webmasters and helps fix a problem on-site while improving the reader’s experience. However, the challenge is in actually finding the broken links.
Here are a few options you can consider.
- Check for sites with broken links and look for relevant resources on your site that you can suggest as a replacement.
- Search for a dead page that was previously used to get several links, recreate the article, provide something better and relevant, and reach out to sites initially linked to the article.
You will require a good SEO tool to identify the broken links no matter what you do. Keep your pitch email engaging and short. Make sure you sound helpful in the email instead of someone just trying to get the backlink.
11. Update old content
If you come across a research report or article that has not been updated for some time, check the number of links the piece contains. If several publications refer to the report or article, you might have found a gem.
Now, you can create a new and more relevant article. As soon as the content goes live, reach out to bloggers or journalists linked to the old content to inform them about the update.
At times, you can get outreach results within a few days or weeks in the form of social media shares or backlinks. Nevertheless, there are various other benefits that you can enjoy by building a relationship. For instance, you can collaborate with others for some other project, which will help in growing your traffic and brand.
12. Publish ultimate guides
One of the best pieces of content is the ultimate guide. It is an all-inclusive resource on a specific record. Such articles cover sufficient information so that readers don’t have to go anywhere else to learn about a topic. Ultimate guides draw inbound backlinks and attract journalists and bloggers to reference a certain concept.
For example, suppose someone is writing an article on ‘How to get started with content marketing,’ they can write about a few tactics and tips without explaining them in detail; instead, they can simply link that content to an article like ‘The Ultimate SEO Guide.’ According to experts, an ultimate guide does not have to explicitly be an ‘ultimate guide.’ It just has to go above and beyond in its perceived value.
13. Write testimonials for other websites
Writing reviews or testimonials for other sites might appear to be a little counterintuitive. However, doing this can be good for backlinking and, ultimately, your SEO strategy. Of course, it might feel like you are doing this to uplift other businesses and generate leads for them, but in reality, you are also improving your site’s ranking.
14. Link build with interviews
You can get more exposure and build your personal brand by building links. This, in turn, will help in getting quality backlinks to the site. So, how can you do that? Well, you can get interviewed by other bloggers. You will come across several bloggers publishing interviews of various other bloggers in their respective industries. The good thing about an interview is that publishers publishing the interviews get referral traffic. As a result, they see an instant spike in their various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
When you get interviewed by other bloggers, it
- Attracts high-quality and relevant backlinks
- Gets more exposure and traffic to the site
- Improves your personal brand
- Serves as word-of-mouth publicity over the Internet
These are only a few things interviews can provide. But how can you get interviewed by someone for building backlinks? Well, the best way is to reach out to that person.
- Backlinking is one of the most important aspects of SEO
- With a backlink, your site will look more credible and get better website traffic
- Choose the right link-building strategy for your site
- Study your competitors to create a solid link-building strategy
- Make sure to get only quality and relevant backlinks
While backlinking is not a mandatory element in your content marketing strategy, it is an aspect you should consider to improve your site’s ranking. Remember to network, look for sites that are similar to yours, implement competitor analysis and be smart and ethical in your backlinking activities.
Suppose you are new to SEO and have just started developing your site’s backlink profile. In that case, you can use strategies like researching your competitors and reaching out to the same sources, asking for URLs for mentions, and using tools to find brand mentions. You can reach out to some influencers in the same niche to request links and brand mentions.
Backlinking is the process of establishing relevant hyperlinks to a site from external sites. It is possible to augment the total number of high-quality links that point to a website with link building. This increases the possibility of the site ranking at the top of search engine results.
Buying backlinks can make or break your brand. However, you have to ensure that you are following the rules. It is better to avoid any poor-quality links. Do not break the rules if you don’t want to pay the penalty to Google. Make sure that the links are relevant and avoid spammy outbound links.
Purchasing backlinks is against the guidelines of Google Webmaster. It means you will be penalized by Google in case you get caught. If this happens, it will kill your rankings in the search engine.
You should know about eight different types of backlinks: editorial, guest blogging, free tool, relationship-based, acknowledged, comment, badge, and press release.
To create a backlink profile, you have to get authoritative links from high authority sites like Wikipedia. This is sure to provide your profile with some value. There is also an option to link authoritative sites within the website content or blog. But if the same text is linked across various websites, you might be penalized by Google.
Backlinks are created whenever a third party links to your site. Usually, a third-party site links to content to an outside source while elaborating on something or endorsing that website. So, if you want to rank higher, you should learn how to get backlinks.