Much has been written about backlinking and its effect on search rankings. There’s a bunch of misinformation out there about whether they are still useful, some claiming that Google no longer uses them to rank websites. However, this is incorrect and could cost your website valuable customers and/or visitors. Backlinks are still important. But don’t worry, at A Dream Creation we’re here to set the record straight. Let’s take a look at the best way to build backlinks for your business and website.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks simply refer to any link on another website which, when clicked, leads a visitor to your content. This often involves the use of anchor text – keywords within a webpage which open a website when clicked. Up until fairly recently, they were an essential metric of how useful a website is. The more people visit your content from third-party websites, the higher Google would rate your site for relevancy, and therefore push your site up the search rankings.
Google is forever altering its algorithms, and while they have changed the way backlinks are evaluated, it’s still critical that you use backlinks to help grow your website and business. The takeaway is that backlinks will remain important for the foreseeable future.
What did Google Change?
At the time of this writing (it’s 2017, and so a big hello to visitors from the future), Google has become very picky about how it counts backlinks. In fact, if backlinking is carried out incorrectly, it can even harm your search ranking. Essentially, Google now weeds out the bad from the good. The bottom line with SEO is that, even if you disagree with the changes, it pays to be good.
- Coming from a variety of different websites
- Links which come from reputable and trusted existing sites
- Sites which are relevant to your topic
- Coming from disreputable sites
- Coming from a single or small number of sites
- Links leading to your website from sites which are not relevant to your content
Strategies for Building Good Backlinks
There are a number of tactics for building strong links to your site but try and avoid cheating the system. Even if you find a loophole, as Google’s algorithms improve they are sure to close it and perhaps blacklist your site at some point. This would be disastrous for your business.
Try the following to generate high quality backlinks:
- Build Excellent Content: This sounds like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised at how often people overlook it. Google’s search rankings are geared to reward trustworthy, informative, and engaging content. More than this, if your content isn’t high quality, then why would others link to it? Great content should be the foundation of your entire online presence.
- Network: Whatever your niche is, it’s critical that you engage with others in your field of interest. Networking doesn’t have to be aimless, self-satisfying, or unproductive. Use your social media accounts to reach out to other businesses and individuals in your field. Talk with competitors and colleagues, exchange ideas. This approach will allow you to learn from and encourage those businesses to link to your website.
- Link Exchange: Be careful with this one, because in the wrong hands your ranking could be penalised. As an offshoot of networking, ask someone to exchange links with you. This is a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” situation. But at all times remember what makes a high quality link. Ensure that it’s a reputable, relevant site.
- Blogging: Blog articles are the number one way to generate backlinks outside of social media. Guest blogging is a great way to enhance the ranking of your site. Invite a few bloggers to guest post on your blog. They’ll link to their own related projects. Digital SEO Guide has a great tutorial on generating backlinks using guest blogging. You can then guest post on their site and do the same. Not only do you get some interesting content from a fresh perspective, but you also gain access to a whole new audience.
- Stay Vigilant: Keep tabs on where your backlinks are coming from. A great way to do this is to use Google Analytics to check backlinks. This will help you to see what is working and what is not. It will also allow you to identify any spam websites linking to your content which may be detrimental. In this case, you can contact the webmaster of said links and request that they are taken down. If this fails, try Google’s procedure for disavowing backlinks.
Building Better Websites
We hope this guide to backlinks has been helpful. Please do leave us your experiences with backlinks in the comments below, we’d love to hear about how you have implemented them. If you want to know more about improving your website’s search rankings, feel free to peruse our blog, and then go above and beyond your competitors by contacting one of our trained website developers today.