What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links that are found on other websites than your own, but which deliver users to your website. They are an excellent tool for encouraging organic search, which is important for high SERP ranking.
Backlinks are simple yet highly effective tools that drive traffic to your site and significantly increase your brand awareness. However, getting the best out of them is not just about their presence – quality is essential.
Backlinks for SEO
The better your backlinks, the higher you will rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), ultimately improving your SEO. Search engines like Google and Bing use detailed algorithms to determine which websites are the best, and rank them in SERPs accordingly. The websites that link back to your site should be highly relevant and of good quality in order to boost your SEO.
Getting the Right Links
Quality backlinking is not about technical skill or proficiency – it is more concerned with high quality networking and strong B2B relationships.
Good content is a great way to improve the quantity and quality of your organic backlinks. Published content is an unrivalled opportunity to share reliable and compelling information that others want to use for reference.
You can encourage strong backlinking by writing strong articles, blog posts, and case studies. Keep your content up to date by posting and sharing regularly. Utilise social media often, and include backlinks on your posts. You can increase your backlinks by making your posts and content accessible and easy to share.
The Importance of High Quality Backlinks
Backlinks instil confidence in search engines like Google that your site is credible and trustworthy. With a greater sense of trust in your site, Google will rank your page higher on its SERPs when relevant words and phrases are searched.
Sites that rank high on Google’s SERPs do so because of their quality. This includes the user experience, site functionality, and topic relevance. If you have backlinks to your site included in high quality websites, your business is essentially supported by strong references.
“Quality backlinks are links that point to your website from another website with higher page authority than your current site. For SEO purposes, it makes no difference (and can actually hurt you) if the sites linking to you are all small, low-page-rank sites.” – Strategy New Media
Websites that aren’t trusted or relevant count as ‘bad’ sources for backlinks. Search engines look down on these sites and sometimes penalise these means of backlinking. It is best to remove bad links, even though it reduces your total.
External vs. Internal
External backlinks are included on websites other than your own. Internal backlinks are links featured on your own web pages that link to other pages on your website. These make it easier for visitors to navigate your website. You can link to other blogs or landing pages that visitors may have otherwise missed.
Infographics, videos, and photos are great ways to backlink that add some variation outside of the standard article/blog backlinking. Infographics in particular are educational and easy to share, making them excellent resources for backlinks.
Aside from the presence of your backlinks on other websites, their placement is quite important. If they buried in a footnote along with a large number of other links, the likelihood that a user will see and click on your link is low. If, however, your backlinks are included in the main body of blog text or in the body of a landing page, users will be more likely to engage.
‘If a link is in the main content area of a page, uses a font and colour that might make it stand out, and uses text that may make it something likely that someone might click upon it, then it could pass along a fair amount of PageRank’, says SEO by the Sea founder Bill Slawski. ‘On the other hand, if it combines features that make it less likely to be clicked upon, such as being in the footer of a page, in the same colour text as the rest of the text on that page, and the same font type, and uses anchor text that doesn’t interest people, it may not pass along a lot of PageRank.’
Consider where your backlink will end up when looking for referrals. Invest more in ones that will be prominently featured on webpages, as opposed to those that will be buried and not easily seen.
The Benefits of Good Backlinks
Backlinks drive high quality traffic to your website and improve your ranking on SERPs. In order to gain more good backlinks and drive more traffic, include backlinks to your partners and associates on your own site. Working together with similar sites means that the visitors who are sent to your site via backlinks will already be interested in your type of content, thus reducing your bounce rate. A reduced bounce rate will improve your popularity on search engines.
When your links are featured on high quality, authoritative business websites, customers and your target audience are more likely to trust your business. Essentially, the more quality backlinks you have, the more people will become aware of and familiar with your brand.
Backlinks offer an excellent opportunity to drive traffic, attract new customers, and develop mutually beneficial partnerships with similar businesses. Consider the above tips and tricks about backlinking, such as link placement, quality of links and quality of referral sites, and the use of both internal and external backlinks to grow your brand awareness and ultimately grow your business.