In plain terms, a backlink is a link your website earns from another website. Why is this important? Backlinks can have a serious impact on how Google ranks your website, which is they are considered uber-useful when it comes to boosting a site’s SEO ranking.
For most search engines, backlinks are THE supreme ranking actor. You not only need to get sites to link to your site but get more organic traffic in the process
Backlinks need to be natural – you must never resort to superficial ways of creating backlinks for your website and, as such, the quality of those links is far more important than the quantity. For instance, if you have an online business selling sports apparel and accessories, you’d want to get backlinks from websites that distribute sports apparel or review them, or both. In this case, the backlinks you gain are completely relevant, natural and highly valuable. In a way, backlinks are authority websites that are vouching for your website’s credibility and Google takes this into account as one of the criteria for ranking a website high.
Understanding the True Importance of Getting High-quality Backlinks
Since getting relevant, high quality organic traffic is directly related to the quality of backlinks your site has, the more authoritative and high ranking sites link to you, the better search engine rankings and traffic you will get.
Keeping an eye on your Google rankings is really important – when Google crawls the web as people input their search, it particularly looks for your site’s backlinks to better understand how your pages are connected and what quality or value they may offer to the user. There are indeed many ranking factors that search engines take into account, but backlinks are the most crucial SEO metric that comes to mind.
So we have now come to terms with the fact that one of the best ways to up your ranking on Google is by getting high-quality backlinks. The next order of business is to determine how to best find authoritative sites that would want to link up with your site. However, before we venture any further, it’s important to understand some differences between a backlinks and a referring domain, followed by key elements that form the basis of backlinks.
How Are Backlinks Different from Referring Domains?
We already know that a backlink is a link from another website that points to your site. A referring domain is where those backlinks are coming from. Why do you we need to understand this difference?
Here’s the thing: if you manage to earn a lot of backlinks and not as many referring domains, your backlink profile is considered weak. So let’s say, you bag 20 referring domains and well over a 100 backlinks; Google is not going to be too happy about this and will most likely penalize your site for having shady backlinks. This directly has a negative impact on your page ranking.
Google penalizes a high backlink and low referring domain combo because a high number of backlinks coming only from a few sites almost always points to some kind of paid linking method like a private blog network. Unfortunately, pretty much all search engines are now de-indexing blog networks and if your website ends up being connected to a de-indexed network, your ranking will take a nosedive. Stay away from paid blog networks or any other paid linking schemes for that matter!
What’s the best way to balance this offset in a way that Google prefers? Read on.
Key Elements of Good Backlinking
In your bid to boost rankings, it is important to earn backlinks from not only credible, but highly relevant and authoritative sites that add true value to your site. Here are some of the most common elements through which you effectively gauge the efficiency of your backlink profile:
As mentioned earlier, you need to focus more on quality and quantity. The days of earning a bulk of backlinks while overlooking quality are long gone. Owing to Google’s algorithm changes, you need to focus more on finding backlinks from relevant, high-quality and authoritative sites. And, when you submit links to other sites, see to it that those sites are the most authoritative ones in your respective niche.
Consistent Link Velocity
Link velocity refers to gaining a good quantity of backlinks, but slowly and steadily. For example, gaining too many in a short time will signal red flags on search engines as they might think you’re trying to sidestep their search algorithms in order to rank higher.
You need to add good-quality backlinks consistently and if there is a drop in this consistency, it can cause problems with your site. Keep monitoring your site for consistent link building velocity and see what issues are holding you back. If you’re not sure how to do this properly, get in touch with the highly sought-after digital marketing experts at AOK Marketing, who would be happy to show you the ropes and guarantee high quality backlinks as well as top search engine rankings.
Quality and Relevance
We’re going to reiterate this: backlinks must be earned from quality websites that are directly related to your niche only. The more links you have coming from relevant sites, the better you’ll rank on search engines.
Refer to the example above about an online sports apparel retailer getting backlinks from sports distributor sites or sports gear review sites.
Bringing the above example into play, if you’re an online sports gear retailer, it doesn’t mean you should aim to get quality backlinks from review or distributor/publisher sites only. Get them from a variety of sources such as directories, forums, articles, press releases etc. The focus needs to be on getting backlinks from diverse and relevant niche sources. When you earn backlinks this way, search engines rank you higher on the basis of credibility.
Backlinking Success: Case Study
Palo Alto Best Plumbers, a local plumbing firm wanted to increase its search engine rankings and used press release distribution to build high quality backlinks. A really well written and strategically distributed press release can aid in SEO efforts by having new sites link back to the website.
The press release put the spotlight on the plumber’s newly introduced commercial service. The headline was “Palo Alto Best Plumbers Introduces Commercial Plumbing Services in Palo Alto”. The phrase “commercial plumbing services in the Palo Alto area” was converted into an anchor text link which contained the URL for the company’s website. After just three days, the site had earned 227 backlinks, 168 backlinks on sites that allowed images and 1 site that fed into Google News.
The website’s standing was therefore improved drastically in search engines. If you want to build backlinks from credible and high-authority sources to boost your search ranking, contact us for a FREE consultation today.
5 Clever Ways to Building High Quality Backlinks
1. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Keeping an eye on your competitors’ marketing strategies is important for getting more organic traffic on your site. Spy on their social media accounts and see what kind of link-building tactics they are incorporating.
You can start by setting yourself up for alerts every time a competitor publishes new content on their site. Follow them on social media and subscribe to their email newsletters. You can also set up a Google alert like this: “site:competitor.com”. So if you’re up against Mashable, you’ll set up a Google alert for this keyword: “site:mashable.com”.
It’s also important to know what backlinks your competitors are earning and when. This way can replicate some of their backlinks and understand better so as to what methods they are currently employing to promote their web pages. For example, if they’re successfully acquiring links through guest blogging, try to rival their performance by becoming a great guest blogger on the very same websites.
2. Promote Your Own Content
Your content has to be promoted consistently if you want to get credible backlinks. Get into email outreaching to promote your top articles. Contact websites or bloggers that post weekly roundups. Use Google search to key in a query like “keyword + roundup”. From the advanced search tools choose “see results only from the past week”. You can also search from monthly roundups by the way.
Next, contact the relevant webmasters and introduce them to your website. Along with your message, send a link to one of your best guides. If they like what they see, they might link back to you the next time they post their weekly/monthly roundup. The thing is these publishers or bloggers are always on the lookout for great content, so they would want you to contact them. Under any circumstances, should you ever ask a webmaster for a link directly, remember that.
3. Take Advantage of Broken Link-building
The “broken link building method” works ideally to create one-way backlinks.
Contact a webmaster to report broken links to their website. All the while, recommend other sites to replace those broken links. I think you’ve guessed it: mention a link to your website as well. You are actually doing them a favour by reporting broken links, so the chances of getting a backlink to your site are rather high.
When reporting broken links to webmasters, be friendly and formal as you introduce yourself. Tell them the resources they are linking to are no longer available. Provide the exact location of the links and give them alternatives to replace those broken links. Include your own link as well and you’re done.
4. Write Testimonials
An easy way of earning high-quality backlinks is to write testimonials for sites you currently like to use. Spend just a few minutes and earn a link from the homepage of a high authority website. As long as you are a user on that website, there’s a high likelihood of getting a backlink in return for a testimonial.
Mention the tools you are using and discuss the possibility of featuring your testimonial on that site.
5. Give an Interview
Online interviews have been hot for a while now. But did you know they are a great way to earn backlinks to your site? Once you’re seen as an industry leader, you be getting many interview invitations. However, that’s most likely not the case right now so you need to start by looking for websites that are conducting interviews. Let them know that you’re interested in participating and that you have knowledge you want to share.
The Future: Can We Do Without Backlinking?
The way Google’s algorithm currently works, we do not see backlinking getting sidelined out of the equation anytime soon. And it’s not just Google but all top search engines that regard quality backlinking as a way to gauge a site’s credibility and authority before ranking it highly on its scale.
Bagging quality backlinks can be quite the task but you can find link-building opportunities by following this guide and employing the services of a seasoned digital marketing agency that specializes in sprucing up websites so that they rank highly on top search engines like Google.
Always remember to retain and track your backlinks, because building them isn’t the only challenge you’ll be meeting with.
The AOK Advantage
AOK Marketing has been serving businesses in the digital space for nearly two decades. Our expansive list of services includes optimizing your website for SEO, coupled with backlink-building strategies that position you as a niche leader.
Reach out to us today at 1.888.566.2577 for a FREE consultation to get started.