When it comes to SEO, conversations always spin around backlinks. So, what are backlinks, why are they important for SEO, and how do you get backlinks to your website? We decided not to test your patience and answer these questions right now.
Read on to learn how building a strong backlink profile can help you boost your online business and increase conversions.
What are Backlinks?
This one is easy. Backlinks are links on other websites that lead back to your site. You can also encounter them as “incoming links” or “inbound links,” so don’t worry, they’re all the same thing.
No matter what, SEO and backlinks stick together like best friends. On their own, they’re weak. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to advance your site’s SEO without having quality backlinks.
Why are Backlinks Important?
You might wonder how this tiny detail can play such a significant role in SEO and even make or break your whole business. In fact, backlinks have never been a minor thing.
In the early times of search engines, Google’s ranking algorithm mostly relied on your site’s backlink profile. However, after a lot of companies started using black hat SEO techniques to manipulate search engine algorithms, they became much more sophisticated.
Now, spammy backlinks can hurt your online business as much as quality ones can benefit it. Even though you have to pay attention to a lot of aspects to rank high, SEO backlinks are still a driving force behind getting on page ONE of Google search results.
Consider SEO as your branding strategy, it doesn’t work overnight, but it does appreciate your efforts over time.
Backlinks are vital references that help you advance your brand awareness. Earning Google’s trust is like proving your new employer you’re qualified for the job — the more people (in our case websites) are vouching for you, the better chances you have.
How to Measure Backlink Quality?
Now that you know what backlinks are and which ones can improve your ranking, you also have to learn how to check backlink quality.
Thanks to all the SEO tools, you don’t really need to do much. Just choose one of them (e.g., we use Ahrefs), open your backlink profile, and filter them by these criteria:
- Domain Authority (DA) – to know how likely the linking domain is to rank high. Tip: you’d want to get more backlinks from websites with DA 40+ (only go for the sites with lower DA if they’re directly related to your niche.)
- Page Authority (PA) – to learn how likely the linking page is to rank high. Tip: aim at getting backlinks from pages with PA 30+.
- Spam Score – to know how spammy the linking website is (should be a score of 3 or less.)
If you keep on filling your backlink profile with trustworthy and quality backlinks, you are very likely to reap SEO reward. Not sure where to start? Check out our Affordable SEO Management Services to learn how we can help jumpstart your online business.
What Is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score with the highest mark of 100. It was developed by MOZ to predict how well a website will perform in SERPs (search engine result pages.)
DA score is defined by several factors, including the total amount of backlinks and linking root domains. You can use the MOZ DA Checker to find out the Domain Authority of any website or Page Authority of a separate page to measure how strong it is.
DISCLAIMER: Domain Authority only predicts how well a website will rank, it doesn’t affect the SERPs, and it’s not a Google metric.
I think you got the point: the more websites with a high DA link to your site, the better your chances are to improve your own DA and potentially rank better in SERPs.
Different Types of Backlinks
Before you start working on accumulating backlinks to your website, it’s essential to know which ones can help you and which ones can hurt you.
Firstly, there are two main types of backlinks in SEO:
- Follow backlinks contribute to your site’s domain and page authorities as well as strengthen its position in search engines.
- Nofollow backlinks do not affect your site’s strength directly; however, they still help visitors find your website.
Now, it’s time for the most critical part about backlinks.
REMEMBER: NOT ALL BACKLINKS WILL BE GOOD FOR YOU!
As we mentioned earlier, search engines’ algorithms are quite complex now. If you want to earn Google’s trust, you need to strive for maintaining a ‘natural’ backlink profile (a.k.a. a mix of follow and nofollow backlinks.)
Plus, the more backlinks from trustworthy websites with high DA your site gets, the sooner you can climb up the SERPs ladder.
However, you still have to avoid backlinks that can harm your website’s online reputation.
Should you buy backlinks? If you don’t want to get into Google’s blacklist, avoid this technique by all costs. If someone is selling you backlinks, they’re most likely doing it to others too.
Google’s algorithm is no fool, it identifies paid links, and you can be banned before you know it. That’s why we recommend following the Google Webmaster Guidelines to avoid penalties.
Do you want your website to receive organic backlinks? Write unique, high-quality, and SEO-friendly content that draws attention.
Links from spammy websites
Have you ever looked through your spam inbox and tried to count all the nonsense in there? Whether you did it or not, we know for sure you wouldn’t have enjoyed it.
When it comes to backlinks, morale doesn’t change. Everyone hates spam, and so does Google.
It means that you don’t want spammy websites to link back to your site. Never. Unless you want Google to think you’re involved in black hat SEO schemes.
Having backlinks from irrelevant websites is even worse than not having them at all.
Why? Think about it.
You’re a typical cat lover. You want to buy your favorite pet a new toy. Reminder: you love cats A LOT.
So, firstly, you want to read some articles about the best cat toys on the market and which ones your pet would enjoy the most. You go to a website that sells exactly what you’re looking for. Then you start reading various blog posts (naturally, eh?)
What do you expect to see there? Logically, everything that relates to cats and toys (like this website has, for example.) But what if you noticed that hyperlinks lead you to some sites with the info you have no idea about or not interested at all (e.g., hadron colliders.)
If I were in your place, I’d get annoyed and leave that website straight away. Google’s algorithms flag backlinks from irrelevant websites. So, try avoiding getting backlinks from sites that have nothing to do with your business.
Fill your website with quality content that targets your desired audience. Then you’ll notice your backlink profile growing without getting your online business penalized by Google.
How do You Get Backlinks to Your Website?
Okay, knowing the theory of backlinks is good, but knowing how to start building a strong backlink profile is much better. So, we decided to share the most useful backlink building strategies and tips from various digital marketing experts.
Want to learn how to build backlinks to your website like a pro? Here are the best ways to do it right.
Top 17 Link Building Strategies/Techniques
1. Writing high-quality content
2. Finding a unique spin on resource page link building
3. Broken link building
5. Take advantage of HARO (Help A Reporter Out)
6. Creating infographics
7. Providing testimonials
8. Leveraging PR skills and techniques
9. Resource page link building
10. Relationship guest posting
11. Interviewing experts
12. Using Reverse Image Search
13. Social outreach
14. Link reclamation
15. Building your own free stock image library
16. Creating statistics articles
17. Video link building
12 Link Building Tips to Keep in Mind
1. Try reverse guest posting
2. Invest in Technical SEO
3. Keep your link building relevant
4. Maintain a proper backlink strategy
5. Contact and build relationships with marketing/SEO agencies
6. Do your research
7. Use already warm relationships to build links
8. Automate the outreach
9. Test the water before pitching your guest posts
10. Try to get a backlink in the main content rather than in the footer
11. Try Authority Sculpting
12. Create a list of partners who can help you out
Backlink Building FAQs
If you’re not ready to opt for paid tools, we recommend trying a free SEMrush backlink checker. All you need to do is enter your domain name → click ‘Domain Analytics’ → then go to ‘Overview. Now that you have a complete overview of your website, press “Backlinks” under the “Overview” menu to see your full backlink profile.
Once you’ve built a strong profile of quality backlinks, you can expect more traffic coming to your website. However, remember that only one backlink won’t bring you much traffic (unless it is from a website with a very high DA). That’s why you should try getting lots of high-quality backlinks to start seeing your traffic grow.
Building a strong backlink profile for your website takes a lot of time and effort. However, if you continually invest in it, your online business will be on a proven path to reach that #1 SERP result.
Even though it’s not rocket science, SEO link building comes with a few main challenges. Firstly, you need to pay attention to the type of backlinks you’re aiming for so as not to harm your brand and avoid search engine bans. Secondly, you should know how to check backlink quality to ensure you’re getting the most out of them.
Now, you can use the advanced link building strategies and tips we mentioned earlier to start getting high-quality backlinks and improving your website’s position in search engine page results.
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P.S. Have you noticed which link-building strategy we used the most when creating this blog post? Share your guesses below!