If you’ve been blogging for a while now, you know that backlinks are an important part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 93% of online activity starts with a search engine. Showing up on page 1 of Google has many benefits. In this article we will discuss backlinks and why they are so important in the SEO world.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of increasing free, organic and referral traffic to your website. With a good SEO campaign, your site can rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). Backlinks are an integral part of SEO as it indicates reputation and trust directed to a particular website.
What is a Backlink?
Backlinks are essentially when other websites have a link back to your website. A website that is not your own will include a hyperlink to your website. When this link is clicked from the other site, it redirects the user to a page on your website.
Links from external sites are known as Inbound links (IBL’s) or incoming links, which are also backlinks.
Why are Backlinks Important?
Your website is considered trustworthy and relevant in Google’s eye if it has many backlinks coming from reliable sources. When it comes to backlinks, the quality of a backlink is more important than the quantity of backlinks.
High-quality backlinks are those that are coming from the authority websites that rank higher than your own website on Google SERPs. The backlinks should also be on websites that are relevant to your content. What this means is that websites linking back to you should be within your niche and should be authentic.
Benefits of Getting Backlinks
Backlinks will help make your site visible and thus profitable. Here are some benefits of getting backlinks.
#1 Improved Ranking
Another major benefit of creating backlinks is to get more organic traffic. When another website gives a backlink to your website, it passes link juice to your page which helps your website rank higher on Google SERPs. When a particular page is referenced on multiple sites, your authority on that particular topic will be ranked higher which results in higher traffic to that page.
#2 Faster Indexing
Another major advantage of backlinks in SEO is faster indexing. Websites with more backlinks are discovered faster by Google’s search engine bots. Therefore, your pages get indexed more quickly in Google compared to others.
Indexing is when a website is recognized and added to Google SERPs. Overtime, who knows how long, the more backlinks you get, the higher your pages will rank on Google SERPs. I’ve had pages indexed within 1 day thanks to my backlink campaign strategy.
#3 Referral Traffic
Referral traffic is when visitors from one website click through to learn more on your website. This is another added benefit of SEO link building. And who doesn’t LOVE free referral traffic?
Types of Backlinks
When a website links to another website naturally without putting the “nofollow” tag, it is considered as a dofollow backlink. Dofollow backlinks pass link juice to a website which helps with ranking on Google.
dofollow backlinks are crawled by Google’s bots and redirects to the page the link juice has been given to. dofollow links are considered really important in Search Engine Optimization.
To search if a link is dofollow or nofollow, in the Chrome web browser, right click on a link and click “Inspect.” Chrome will display the URL html code and any link attributes.
Here is an example of a dofollow backlink:
<a href=”https://schimiggy.com”>Schimiggy Reviews</a>
The second type of backlinks is the nofollow backlink. These backlinks contain the nofollow tag and are not ranked by Google.
When Google crawlers crawl a web page, they ignore links with the nofollow tags and will not follow the link to that page.
In March 1, 2020, Google will begin treating nofollow attributes as “hints”, meaning they can CHOOSE to crawl them.
Here is an example of what a nofollow tag will look like:
<a href=”https://schimiggy.com” rel=”nofollow”>Schimiggy Reviews</a>
A no-follow link is still a backlink, but it just won’t get ranked by Google. To make a link nofollow, just add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link.
When building backlinks for SEO, you should prioritize dofollow links. But don’t discount nofollow links entirely, as there is still some power available from these links. They can supply some free traffic if nothing else.
Sponsored and UGC Backlinks
In September 2019, Google introduced two more tags: sponsored and UGC.
Paid links must either use the nofollow or sponsored attribute (either alone or in combination). Using only “ugc” on paid links could presumably lead to a penalty.
You can use the new attributes in combination with each other. For example, rel=”nofollow ugc sponsored” is valid.
And lastly, Publishers don’t have to do anything with these changes. Google offers no incentive for changing, or punishment for not changing.
How Do I Create Backlinks?
Now that you know what backlinks are and why they are so important in SEO, you are probably asking how to create backlinks? There are various techniques that you can implement as part of your SEO strategy.
Remember that you should work on getting Authority backlinks, as quality is better than quantity. Here are some ways we recommend you build backlinks:
#1 Online and Local Directory Submission
Listing your website in local or online directories will give you a strong backlink, although, it will most likely be a nofollow backlink. Directories like Yelp, Manta, Yellow Pages, Google My Business (GMB) and Four Square make it easier for customers to find your website, read reviews, and determine if you are the right provider for them.
Be sure to use the correct name, address, and phone number consistently across all online directory listings to avoid potential confusion.
#2 Blog Comments
Another way to garner backlinks for your website is to visit authoritative websites, read their blogs, and comment on them expressing your appreciation for their quality content or asking a thoughtful question. Of course, in commenting on the post, you’d leave a link to your website.
These are likely going to be nofollow backlinks. However, they can help you build a relationship with other authoritative websites and businesses in your industry. Ensure you’re only commenting on appropriate and relevant posts for your industry. Otherwise, linking in your comment may come off as spam and the site will automatically remove your comment (cue Askimets).
#3 Guest Posts
This is my favorite strategy I use to get authoritative backlinks. Guests posts are when you offer free content for another website, usually in their blog section, to receive backlinks for the submission. Focus on writing content for blogs and websites in your niche.
Guest posting is the most time-consuming compared to the other techniques we mentioned but they are also the most valuable way to build high-quality backlinks. To find guest blogging opportunities, you will need to use search operators to find out which sites accept guest posts and follow their guidelines for guest posting.
#4 Create Winning Content
The most important way to get high-quality backlink is to create high-quality content that can be referenced. Content is king in SEO. If your content is good, people with related content will naturally link back to your article and cite your work.
#5 Request to Add Links to a Webpage
Find content on the world wide web that can benefit from being linked to your website. If a webpage has broken links OR no links at all, e-mail the website owner to add your link. This is a form of cold calling and works 20% of the time.
Another backlink attribute used for search engine optimization is the anchor text. The right anchor text indicates to Google that you are an authority on this topic because you’re referenced on sites with this text.
So if you are trying to rank for “dog shampoos” you will want external links to your target page to use “dog shampoo” in their anchor text.
A great way to check your backlink profile is to use search operators or simply use the following tools: AHRefs or SEMRush. These tools will give you a pretty good picture of your backlink profile, compare yourself against competitors, weekly updates and offer areas for improvement.
How to Not Get Backlinks
NEVER Buy Backlinks
Buying backlinks is not the right way to create backlinks. Your source should be organic, natural and take time to establish. Some websites will offer a backlink service in the guise of content submitted to websites, and in ways, Google may never find out, but I would only use this strategically and if you cannot get your own backlink organically.
NEVER Exchange Links
People will swap links. Google’s search bots will recognize when this happens and you could be penalized for link exchanging.
If Google recognizes that your link was bought or exchanged, Google will create link classifications of following and no-follow on your website and its backlinks. Thus you won’t show up on Google SERPs at all.
As you build your reputation on Google, it will become easier to get backlinks. Other websites will link back to your winning content and your organic traffic will grow.
Now you know how websites get to the first page of Google SERPs. Use this article as a resource to building an online reputation for your blog via backlinks.
If you have any questions or need help working on backlinks, feel free to contact me for more information or collaborations.