SEO

What are backlinks & how to get them.

What are backlinks?

Let’s start at the beginning by asking what are backlinks?These are, quite simply, links back to your website. And since 2012 many small business owners have shied away from seeking out backlinks.

What happened in 2012?

This was when the ‘black hat SEO Wizards’ were starting to be flushed out; they had been trading on poor practice for quick wins, and unsuspecting website owners were all of a sudden being penalised for their SEO consultant’s bad practices. Link farms were shut down, no-follows were added to paid for links, websites disappeared off Google. Not only that but website pages were given an ‘authority’ ranking based on ‘trust’ factors. One of which being the quality of links pointing to them.

How important are backlinks?

Towards the end of 2016, an analysis was carried out on over 1 million Google search results with the number 1
observation being:

Backlinks remain an imperative Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor. Backlinko 

So, adding your website to a couple of directories is not going to cut it. It is time for website owners to get back into the realm of link building or finding an SEO consultant they can trust.

Link building has always been an important part of SEO. Businesses need to start reintroducing this practice if they want to get ahead in the Google game. Before we go into how to get high-quality backlinks, there are a few factors to consider when putting together a link building strategy:

Domain Authority (DA)

Not sure what Domain Authority is? We recommend taking a look at our ‘What Is Domain Authority’ blog before reading on. Then before pimping yourself out as a guest blogger to all, identify websites and publications that would have a similar audience to yourself. These avenues have to be where your content would not be out of place. Once you have a list use Moz free DA checker to see if this website is going to help or hinder your cause.

Anchor text.

This is a visible, clickable text in a hyperlink which leads a reader to an internal page on your website. For example >> ‘content marketing’ << this can be on a page internally or externally. You need to vary these anchor phrases as you can have ‘too much of a good thing’ here. Related keywords that link to these pages only serve to show Google other phrases that this content is relevant for as well as the assigned keyword.

Which pages you are going to link to.

Variety is the spice of life and while your home page needs to have the majority of links, you also need to give your internal pages some love too. When possible, link elsewhere to support your internal website pages such as your contact us, services/product or about page.

Make a note of where your links are and the URL used.

Then, if your URL changes in the future you know where to go to update this information and prevent dreaded 404 errors.

Who is going to keep an eye on backlinks?

While you are building links back, some will naturally appear that you would not have asked for. Some will be welcome, some not so much and you will need to deal with them accordingly! If you do see something dodgy read this post from Google about how to deal with them > https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2012/10/a-new-tool-to-disavow-links.html

 So now you know what we are talking about, here are four simple ways to get high-quality backlinks to your website:
1. Social media.

Not just in the updates but your profiles. Just because it asks for your site when you set up the accounts, doesn’t mean you have to put your home page. Align that link with the strategy for that account. On mediums such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube you can add more than one link for your website. So take advantage.

2. Monitor business mentions.

Sound simple? It is. By monitoring mentions of your brand, you can ask those with high DA if they would hyperlink that to a page on your website to give you full credit and a Google boost.

3. Write for others.

Guest blogging and being featured in online publications are great ways not only to give your brand a boost publicly but to get high-quality links back your website. We recommend having a content and PR plan to ensure that this is carried out correctly.

4. Make sure your business is on authoritative directories and that your data is up to date and correct.

For those directories that offer better placing when you get reviews, utilise them. Make sure you regularly ask for feedback from your customers and point them to different outlets each time. This will ensure that new fresh reviews are added to support your cause regularly across all platforms.

5. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post about raising your professional profile and PR.

Getting coverage on highly respected websites such as publications and their online counterparts can give you incredibly valuable back links. So much so, we’ll write a whole blog about it!

These are some of the more simple steps to start building links back to your website. Once you have done all of these jump on to our next blog for some more advanced techniques. In the meantime why not call our expert team for an informal chat on 01256 614921 on how we would help get your quality back-links to your website.

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