If you want your business to regularly appear high up on Google search results pages for keywords relevant to you, you need to know all about how to find quality backlinks.
Backlinks are, quite simply, a name for when another website includes a link somewhere on their site which leads to your own. This might not seem like a huge deal, however having a great portfolio of websites linking to your own is a crucial part of SEO, and one of the key things you need to know how to achieve if you want to get your business on that hallowed first page of Google.
Why are backlinks good for SEO?
A strong backlink profile is used by Google as a factor in determining where your site and your content will appear in their search results. Google seeks to have the best quality and most relevant information on the first page of results for any given search term, and among the hundreds of factors that are weighed up by Google’s algorithm, the number of websites that link to your own is considered a strong indicator of quality.
Good vs bad backlinks
Not all links are created equal. If, for example, your website has backlinks from notable sites with good reputations—think educational sites, university pages, news sources and popular online magazines—Google takes this as a sign of quality in your site.
Also Read: Does Good Web Design Matter?
On the other hand, if you have no other websites linking to you or you have only low quality sites referring their reader to you —think online casinos, adult sites, outdated, clunky webpages and spam sites—your site will be dragged down by association, and your ranking in Google’s results page will be affected. Think of it as your website’s social circle: we’re judged on the company we keep.
Can I just pay websites to link to me?
Nope. Google considers this poor form (and rightly so). Any website that is caught soliciting links from another site in exchange for money will be penalised, often seeing both sites take an enormous hit to their SEO score and their overall ranking in Google’s results pages. This, obviously, can be very bad for business indeed. This cash-for-links method of link-building is big no-no.
So how do I build backlinks the right way?
We’re glad you asked! How are a few tips and tricks on building an excellent backlink profile…
Improve your public relations
This one is less of a quick fix and more of a long-term SEO strategy. By being active on social media, treating your customers well, and showing a real, honest personality through your content, you’ll build the reputation of your brand. An audience who is engaged with your content is far more likely to share it and link to you!
Also Read: The Many Benefits of Local SEO.
By attending events and networking, you will meet people who share your interest and passions, and by leveraging these relationships further down the line you can write guest blogs for their websites, work together on new content, or appear on their podcasts or in their videos. All of this is great for establishing new backlinks for your website from credible sources.
Write brilliant content
If you want people to link to your content, it has to be good. Very good, in fact. When writing a new piece of content, first analyse the competition, i.e. everything ranking on Google so far for a similar key-phrase or title. Then endeavour to write a more comprehensive, readable, engaging article.
To ensure your article is better than your competitors, consider factors including: number and quality of images, word count, title, and metadata. Aim to have more images, a higher word count, and a more attention-grabbing title and meta data!
Make an infographic
Although they’re not quite as in-demand as they once were, infographics are a great way to extend the reach of your brand. By creating a shiny new infographic on a given subject related to your business, you allow people online to share your work, both on social media and their own websites. And sharing leads to backlinks!
In terms of topic, make your infographics about something fun, punchy, interesting and memorable. If you run a company that makes cardboard boxes, the general public won’t be interested in an infographic about the various textures of cardboard.
But they would be interested in knowing the process by which sustainably planted forest is cut down, turned into paper sheets, manufactured into cardboard and shipped across the world, while the original trees are replanted for the process to start over. Think outside the box!
Perform… an experiment
No, this doesn’t mean you need to take out the Bunsen burners and welding goggles just yet. Conducting your own independent research into your business’s niche is a great way to get attention from customers and news outlets alike. If your business was a new dating app, for example, you might survey your members, or even just analyse the stats of their behaviour on your site to look out for any interesting trends.
Also Read: WooCommerce SEO: How To Optimise Your Store.
From there, you could approach news outlets with your findings, i.e. ‘happiest singles in the country live in X’, and let the journalists do the rest—while ensuring they provide a backlink to your site, naturally.
Write and comment on other sites
When leaving comments and testimonials on other sites, you will often be asked to leave your own website address along with your name and email address. On many sites, doing so then displays your information along with your comment, creating a nice little backlink. Try to be sincere when you do this, however—don’t comment mindlessly on anything you come across simply to get a backlink! Warmth and integrity are key.
Link to other sites
Every website owner is happy to find a new backlink has appeared in their profile. To improve your own, it’s a smart idea to link to other sites from whom you would like to have a backlink. After you’ve done this you can approach said website notifying them that you loved their content and have shared a link to it on your site.
Sharing other people’s content in this manner builds a healthy working relationship, and increases the odds of them linking to your own content in the future.
Looking to improve your off-page SEO?
The above six pointers should be plenty to get you started! You get out what you put into backlink building: it’s a long game to play, but the rewards are practically unlimited if you manage to get your website to the top of the search pile. So stick at it.
If you’d like any help with your digital marketing—including your SEO and link building strategies—get in touch with Suki Marketing today, and let’s have a chat about how we can help your business perform better than ever.