Beginner’s Guide to Backlinks from a Link Building Expert
Guide to Backlinks from a Link Building Expert
Studies show that 33% of traffic goes to the site that holds the #1 spot in the search. Few people click past page one.
To get found in searches, you need to understand how SEO works, and rank in the Google search results. Backlinks are one of the leading known ranking factors. Without these votes of confidence, your website will be virtually invisible.
But what are backlinks? How do you get them? And what kind of advice would a link building expert give you as you start this endeavor?
Read on to find out.
What Is a Backlink?
A backlink is a link from another person’s website to your website. As a link, people can click it to visit your site. Or search engine bots can follow it to learn more about the relationship between your site and the site linking to you.
Search engines like Google use what they find as one of many factors in the algorithm that determines when your website appears organically (naturally) in searches.
Why Do You Need Backlinks?
Backlinks serve several very important purposes. They…
- Guide referral traffic back to your website
- Are often a vote of confidence in your website
- Help search engines index your pages faster
- Build your brand presence across the Internet
And because of all of this, they can improve your visibility in search engines by increasing your:
- Website’s authority
- Site ranking
- Chances of appearing in search results for keywords you target
A link building expert calls the benefits that your site gets from backlinks, “link juice”. Links are like the fuel driving your website to those top search result positions.
But not all links give you link juice.
What Types of Links Are There?
Most of the time when you link to someone’s website, you’re saying, “Hey, here’s a link you’ll find useful”. You wouldn’t link to a site you don’t trust.
Search engines see a backlink as a vote of confidence. But not all websites that link to other sites want that link to be an endorsement of the other site.
Because of this, the “no follow” tag was developed that goes into the HTML code that websites are built upon.
No Follow Links
A no follow link still links to your site. So it’s still good for referral traffic. But it doesn’t give you link juice. You could try to create links all day on places like:
- Other user-editable sites
These would all be no follow links. Most websites that you can add a link to without the website owner’s direct permission will be no follow.
Do Follow Links
Do follow links are the default. If someone doesn’t put a no follow tag in the code, it’s automatically “do follow”.
When link building, be sure you’re acquiring do follow links.
You can get the Chrome No Follow Plugin to clearly see when links are no follow or do follow. Or you can search the HTML code for no follow tags by viewing the source.
Does It Matter Where Backlinks Come From?
One of the first things a trustworthy link building expert will tell you is that it matters where you get your do follow links from.
While the actual Google algorithm is unknown to anyone but Google, these experts know that you get little to no link juice from poor quality links.
In other words, 10 super-high-quality links could give you more link juice than 1000 low-quality links.
Those 10 super-high-quality links won’t be easy to acquire even for a link building expert. But they will drive the success of your site.
Let’s look at some of the things you need to know to build high-quality links.
How to Start Building Quality Backlinks
The first important thing to consider is the authority of the website that you will ask to link to yours. Brand new websites with little authority won’t provide you with much link juice.
In fact, a link building expert will be the first to tell you that having too many low authority sites linking to yours is a red flag to search engines. It suggests that you may be buying links, which Google says is “against the rules”.
Or you might be link-farming. That was an older SEO strategy that involved creating hundreds of bogus websites just for the purpose of linking them to your site.
The good news is that you won’t usually have enough low authority sites linking to you naturally. But if you have been involved in link-farming strategies, you may need to disavow the links to regain your standing in searches.
The links should also be relevant to your website and the page they’re linking to. If you’re a dog groomer and you get a link from someone who sells backhoes, Google isn’t likely to see this as relevant.
Let’s look at some ways to improve relevance.
Use relevant anchor text for the link. This might be a keyword phrase or your brand name. But don’t over-optimize. If all of your anchor text is for the same phrase, that doesn’t look natural.
Acquire links from websites that are clearly relevant to your site. For example, a pet groomer might link to a pet shampoo company.
This is domain relevance. But page relevance is more important.
You may be a dog groomer who gets a link from Forbes, a business news site. It’s not clearly relevant at the domain level. But if the page is about dog grooming, pet care, etc., you have a winner.
Your goal is to make backlinks look as natural as possible. They should always further the customer experience. If you have a backlink that looks natural in its context, then you likely have a relevant link.
Creating and promoting linkable content is a great way to build very natural backlinks. By including interesting studies, stats, tools, and videos in your content, you can get some people to link to your site on their own.
This is a long-term link building strategy, so it’s important that you complement it with active link building such as those provided by a link building expert.
One Final Bit of Link Building Expert Advice
A lot of people will tell you to just create great content on your site and the links will come to you. This just doesn’t work. You need a solid strategy in place to get more high authority, relevant do follow links.
As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats just like you. But as all of us entrepreneurs learn sooner or later, the business journey runs smoother when we’ve got a network of people around us we can trust.
Having trouble getting found? Not sure how to get the high quality backlinks we’ve discussed? Send me a message or post a comment below and I can help you out.
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