Everything You Need to Know About Backlinks
It can take a lot of different elements to be successful at crafting a superb SEO strategy. Every different aspect is, in its own way, mandatory in increasing your ranking to as high a point possible on internet search results pages.
The trouble is that the various differing, but crucial elements of SEO often get brushed away. No matter how great your content or placing of keywords is, that doesn’t guarantee reaching the top of online search results; even more so if you’re using keywords which attract especially high traffic levels.
And one of the most important of these oft-ignored elements is, in fact, backlinks.
The trouble with backlinks, most notably, is that they can be hard to use in a secure manner; thus you may see them as too challenging or unpredictable to use. But they are undoubtedly one of the most powerful ways to get new readers onto your site’s page.
So if you haven’t started using backlinks yet within your company’s SEO strategy, then now would be a perfect time. Here are some tips from Trent & Hanover on backlinks and keeping them secure.
What is a backlink?
The defining quality of a backlink is very straightforward. Quite simply, a backlink is any link which pushes or leads back to your website. They can be found on various companies’ websites, posts made using social media, in online directories, and so on. In short, any link is considered a backlink if it leads the user to your site’s page.
Don’t confuse backlinks with website references. Keep in mind that any article, directory, social media posts or sites which mention your business’s name but fail to include a backlink won’t make any difference to your SEO.
Equally, however, a backlink itself will still count towards SEO even if it isn’t linked to any explicit mentions of your site. By using anchor text, you can include a link to your content and this will make a definite difference to how you are listed on search results.
SEO and backlinks – how do backlinks contribute to it?
There are several means by which your SEO strategy can be improved by backlinks. One is that they result in more readers ending up back at your website. All search engines, including Google, will definitely take notice if your site becomes flooded with lots of traffic. This is only increased further if they are able to see users engaging properly with your site’s content.
Additionally, a phenomenon called ‘link juice’ is affected positively by backlinks. In essence, ‘link juice’ is a representation of a specific link’s influence level.
It’s like a liquid which each website possesses in its storage, and naturally, there is only a certain amount of this ‘link juice’ that can be shared amongst different websites. When a link is posted to your content by another site, they are sharing this ‘juice’ with your company. You’ll receive more if other sites have more link juice available to spread around and share.
Naturally, the more authoritative a site is considered, the more likely it is to possess a higher quantity of this ‘link juice’. In turn, a website which obtains more link juice from sites with a high level of authority will expand in influence and increase its Google ranking.
Any backlink given to a site is looked upon by all search engines (including Google) as a stamp of approval; and of course, if your content is very high in quality too, you’ll only receive greater levels of approval from other websites. Once Google and other search engines see how strong the content is that you’re giving to your followers and/or audience – especially when it’s relevant and/or valuable – this will naturally lead to them sharing it with their own users more.
Because backlinks are not directly in your control, they can be hard to pin down. They’re a mandatory element in improving SEO and getting more traffic to your site, but not the easiest thing to secure; this is why you must ensure other sites start linking back to your content, thus getting more backlinks to your site’s home page. Here are a few different methods by which this can be achieved.
Make your content valuable
You need to provide your target audience with valuable and high-quality content; this will definitely increase your number of backlinks. Other sites will naturally and organically want to link to any content which does things such as including new research, supports your claims or provides fresh information.
Remember that they are always new ways to provide this kind of content; constantly be on the lookout for them. You’ll establish a degree of trust and authority around your business within your chosen industry, your content will be shared by others, and this leads naturally to your company becoming a respected source of real, quality info.
Which in turn results in other sites linking to your content – and lo and behold, your number of backlinks naturally increases.
Use social media appropriately
It’s not merely other content which can include backlinks; there is also the option of simply posting to social media.
For example, whenever you or anyone else profile shares your content using social media platforms, this ends up counting as a backlink to your site’s page. Of course, it’s not a good idea to merely include links to your content on social media alone.
Social media links definitely make a difference, even though they aren’t figured in as heavily as other types of content generally. The most obvious example of this is that a huge amount of the ‘link juice’ we discussed earlier will be contributed if any posts you make go viral on social media sites. Do this time and again, and it’ll naturally improve how authoritative your website is considered to be.
Get involved in guest blogging
A superb way to really share your content and any expertise you have with a fresh audience is to make use of guest blogging. It also is an easy way to secure really good links back to your own site.
The key is to include either your links or a bio with a link inside a guest post, then place them on the correct blogs; this will provide you with a top quality backlink and also increase your site’s traffic.
But remember to be strategic about all of this. While each blog you work with must share a target audience, it shouldn’t be competitive. You’ll need to really work on creating a strong pitch for your business if you want to grow your backlinks using the strategy of guest blogging.
You always want others to share your content when you’re growing your backlinks; however, given how many blog posts are out there in general, how do you really stand out amongst everyone else?
One option is to try creating an infographic.
This option does demand a lot of skill and invested time to create correctly; moreover, some businesses won’t include them as part of a content strategy which leads to them being less available online. The way it is more generally done is for companies to peruse the content of others for useable infographics. When used more widely, your infographic can be used to develop a great many backlinks (from just a single piece of content!).
Ask for them
Remember that you can’t add backlinks by yourself; you need to grow your number of them through means such as talking to relevant websites and asking them to link to your content.
Remember that if your content gives value to specific blog posts, websites, etc, then you can even email them asking to include links back to your website; but, it’s worth thinking about how you can provide benefit to them, too. They won’t share your content if they can’t see the value for themselves; so talk to them, tell them why you’re worth linking to.
Just how many backlinks do you need?
The value of your links is more important than the number you possess; getting to the top of the search results list isn’t reached due to some specific figure. Like all SEO based factors, it is the search engine crawlers who will determine the value of your content in the end.
But you do need the best backlinks you can get. Each backlink will receive a different level of value from search engines; this is why it’s better to have a few top quality ones than a great deal of poorer ones. Never use black-hat techniques in an attempt to even the curve or jump ahead with more backlinks.
Remember that every search engine (especially Google) are constantly improving their algorithms to ensure the quality of the content they provide is as good as possible. Don’t try to get around this algorithm; if they change it, you’ll only lose all the work you’ve done when this happens. What you instead need to do is keep on providing more value to your target audience.
Also, you can’t secure a backlink just once and never need to think of it in the future; you’ll need to revisit your backlinks to make sure they remain relevant just as you do with keywords. Continually growing the web of links to your site is crucial. Think about all the myriad ways to provide more and more links to a specific page on each occasion you’re uploading new blog posts, articles, pages, etc.
Increasing the number of backlinks is a natural process. However, you still need to keep on pushing this process to new levels; encouraging more backlinks to your site and web page is a useful strategy, but keeping on creating top quality, valuable content for your audience is only going to cause an increase all by itself, so keep up with this, too.
Backlinks aren’t the simplest thing to come by; but if you really need to improve your ranking on search engines, they are absolutely worth the effort. Please feel free to use this guide in helping yourself to begin including backlinks in your SEO strategy.