Search Engine Optimization is essential in digital marketing. But it can be complex for the uninitiated since it involves several elements. All in all, SEO is valuable for your website because it makes you more visible on search engine results which presents a perfect opportunity to attract more traffic and convert prospects into sales. SEO is also a good tool for building relationships with prospects, building brand awareness, and positioning your business as a trustworthy brand in your industry.
One of the most important elements of SEO is backlinking. Backlinks are signals other websites vouch for your webpage to the search engine. They help gain the much-needed organic traffic for your website.
In this guide, you will learn so much you need to know about backlinks, why they are essential for SEO, and how to analyze your competitor's backlinks and get them for your site.
What are backlinks?Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage from another. Major search engines such as Google consider backlinks fundamental votes for a webpage because webpages with a high number of backlinks achieve high organic search ranking. Let us look at the standard terms used in the world of backlinks that you need to know.
- Link juice- a link juice is an incoming link to your website's homepage. It improves the domain authority of your website and helps rank the article higher.
- Do-follow link- as a blogger, all the links you add to your articles are do-follow links.
- Internal links- these are links going from one page to another within the same website domain.
- Low-quality links- these are links coming from automated sites, harvested sites, and spam sites. These are likely to do more harm than good which is why you should be careful with them.
- Anchor text is the word/phrase you use to hyperlink, which helps rank for specific keywords.
What type of backlinks are high quality?The use of links in search engine algorithms is not new. As a fact, backlinks are the basis of the original algorithm of Google, known as PageRank. There have been many changes concerning backlinks over the last few years. Traditionally, low-quality links helped rank a site but not anymore. The world of backlinks has changed dynamically since Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm. But backlinks remain the key ranking signals for Google. In simple words, backlinks are votes from other websites, and the more you have, the higher you rank on the search engine. But not all backlinks are valuable. In fact, a single high-quality backlink could be more beneficial than getting a thousand low-quality backlinks. Here is what makes high-quality backlinks.
They come from authority websites.It is better to get a backlink from an educational website rather than a random guy's blog page. Basically, when an authority website links to your web page, they pass more domain authority to you. Google puts so much weight on such backlinks because they come from trustworthy sites.
Integrate your target keywordsAn anchor text is a hyperlinking text, and it matters a lot. There is a direct relationship between a keyword-rich anchor text and higher rankings for that specific keyword. But do not overdo with keyword-rich anchor texts because Google utilizes a filter known as Google Penguin, which filters out websites that employ black hat link-building techniques. This highlights sites that build backlinks with exact matching anchor texts.
The web page is topically related to your website.Google emphasizes getting backlinks that are related to your site regarding the subject matter. For instance, an article about marathons would link well with a website with topics on sports, fitness, running, etc.
It is a do-follow link.It is important to note that Google and other search engines ignore links with no-follow tags in search engine algorithms, so they are not valuable. They include links from sources such as press releases, paid advertisements, and social medial and blog comments. Ensure you utilize do-follow backlinks for a higher SEO ranking.
The link is from a new domain.When it comes to backlinks, it is valuable to get 10backlinks from 10 different websites than 100backlinks from the same website.
How are backlinks beneficial in SEO?
Improves organic search rankingThe most significant benefit of backlink building is that they boost organic search ranking. If your web page content is getting lots of backlinks from other sites, it will rank higher on the search engine results page. Therefore, focus on building backlinks to your homepage from authority websites.
Quick indexingNote that search engine bots learn of new webpages through backlinks from existing webpages. After discovering the new webpage, they can navigate through your site easily. So, it is hard for search engine bots to find your webpage, especially if it is new if you do not have backlinks.
More referral trafficBacklinks help your website get more referral traffic. Generally, someone reading a particular post may click your backlink to find out more about the subject matter they are reading. These kinds of clicks are voluntary, so the visitor is less likely to leave your site faster. As such, referral traffic has a very low bounce rate.
Backlink building best practices
- Create linkable content- write good quality articles.
- Utilize guest blogging, where you write a post for other people's blogs and link it to your website.
- Replicate your website competitor's backlinks by finding out how they have acquired them and building your own. This is especially helpful if your webpage is new and your competitor isn't.
- Broken link-building whereby you find out broken content to recreate it and pitch. Broken links are links to deleted or dead webpages, which lead to a poor user experience. So, find the broken link, recreate the content and reach out to the website to link to your new version.