Backlinks are an essential aspect affecting your content’s ability to rank on search engines and earn some free traffic to your business website. An effective backlink strategy is the foundation of any successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. So what is a backlink, and how does it affect your SEO marketing strategy?
If your company doesn’t have a solid SEO marketing strategy, you will be leaving a significant source of potential clients out of your marketing plan. This is because over 93% of all online activities start from the search engine. However, backlinks are more than just an SEO tool; they are the key feature that makes it easier to share ideas, content and make specific articles discoverable on the web.
Most people ask the question, why are backlinks essential? Check out this article to understand what a backlink is and why it’s important to your business.
What Is a Backlink?
Backlinks are responsible for making the web what it is today. Without links, online pages would be another document depository. Links help you find supporting and related content and act as a way for individuals to differentiate between average and low-quality content.
You can create a backlink when you link one website to the other. For example, Website X is linked to Website Y. This means that Website Y creates an external link redirecting their audiences to Website X for more information.
A backlink could be a link from email campaigns, blogs, and web copies. A backlink is essential because it signifies a vote of confidence from your website to the other website. Most search engines such as Google use these backlinks to find the best content and rank it on the result pages.
If too many websites link to one webpage, the search engine takes it as a sign that the website has valuable content worth linking. Thus, the search engine algorithm will surface the site on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) when users search for related content. Earning backlinks from other websites might positively impact your website’s search viability and ranking position.
Types of Backlinks
Backlinks are an essential part of any digital marketing. While there are often thousands of algorithm changes, Google only prioritized and determined two types of backlinks; no-follow and do-follow backlinks. However, website visitors don’t know the difference between the two.
The difference between do-follow and no-follow backlinks lies in their source codes. Check out below to understand the difference:
Do-follow is one of the most valuable and common types of backlinks. They are also the default link state. Do-follow links tell Google algorithms that the content behind the link is rank-worthy and essential to users.
In a source code, a do-follow backlink looks like this:
<a href=”https://johnsmithmarketing.com”>this link</a>
A no-follow backlink is less valuable and less common than a do-follow backlink. They often tell search engine algorithms to ignore the link. According to Google, websites should only use no-follow backlinks when you prefer Google not to crawl the linked page or associate with the content.
When used insource code, no-follow backlink is almost similar to do-follow backlink. The only difference is that you add a no-follow tag. Here is an example
<a href=”https://johnsmith.com” rel=“nofollow”>this link</a>
No-follow backlinks are often found in sites that allow you to upload your content and links. That’s because these websites may not want to be responsible for vouching for your links and content. Below are some websites and online spaces that use no-follow backlinks:
- Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
- Blog comments
- Q&A websites like Quora
- Content aggregation websites
- Press releases
- Conversation forums such as Reddit
Other high-authority websites such as Huffington Post and Wikipedia also use no-follow backlinks. This reduces the number of spam backlink requests they get. For healthy website ranking, the Google algorithm prefers websites that have both no-follow and do-follow links.
Benefits of Backlinks
Backlinks are an essential aspect of any successful digital marketing strategy. While link building is a challenging task, it brings a lot of benefits to your business. Some of these benefits include:
It Improves Your Google Ranking
Everyone wants their website to rank higher on search engines such as Google. And this is one of the most popular benefits of backlinks. When other people consistently link their websites to yours, Google will assume that your content is worth reading.
This way, the algorithm will rank your page higher, assuming that it’s more beneficial to users than pages without many backlinks. Additionally, search engine submission also boosts your website’s Google ranking. Even after backlinking your content, ensure you perform a search engine submission for maximum results.
Backlinks Direct Users to Your Website
When your page is linked to another website, it brings direct traffic to your site. Users will follow the link hoping to get more information about something.
These users may engage with your content and even purchase some of your services or products. Isn’t it great to see links from external websites generating traffic and sales for your business?
It Gives Your Business Bragging Rights
When talking to potential clients, you can tell them you were featured on certain well-known websites. Being mentioned on a well-known website will solidify your potential client’s confidence in your ability to deliver. These mentions will also impress users.
Backlinks Naturally Attract Other Backlinks
This is another subtle benefit of backlinks that most marketers don’t realize. If you have high-quality backlinks on popular and busy websites, a certain percentage of people who visit the site will also write about the discussed topic and link your site on their website. You won’t even have to ask them to do this.
Backlinks Help You Establish Your Business Online
When your website is linked to reputable sites and blogs in your industry, people will respect and remember your business. This is a long-term benefit that shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you’re looking to build your brand.
How to Build Backlinks
A successful SEO marketing strategy is not just about creating and posting content; it’s mainly reliant on developing connections. However, there is a right way to go about building backlinks.
When building backlinks, your main objective should be to create high-quality links that generate traffic. So how do you build backlinks for your website? Use the below steps:
Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
HARO is a website that provides backlink services to journalists. It connects journalists looking for quotes for their print and digital content to people who can provide them.
This service often emails clients three times every day with a list of relevant categorized inquiries. If you find something pertinent to your content, you can email the journalist your response. While this is a time-consuming process, it’s a great way to boost backlinks to your website.
Using Outdated Content
Brands are constantly changing their site’s domain. This means that most of their backlinked content is outdated, and the link is broken due to the domain changes.
This will give you a perfect chance to increase backlinks to your website. To do this, ensure you look for business websites within your industry that moved to a new URL, changed their names, or stopped offering some products or services. Look for website links that are broken and outdated.
You can use a backlink tool to check out sites that still link to some of this outdated content. Remember to focus mainly on the websites with the highest domain authority. Contact the website owners who have links to the obsolete content.
You can tell the website owners that there is an error on the links they have on their content and offer your blogs as a resource to replace the broken links. This strategy will take a lot of time and effort. However, you will not only be creating backlinks for your website, but you will also be generating relevant relationships with industry leaders.
Marketing buzzwords have become the new top-ranking industry keywords. This is where brands need to use influencer marketing. Listicles, authority resources, and blogs have the most well-reviewed and recognizable content.
They are all a significant source of backlinks because that’s their primary purpose. Landing on those blogs will help you increase your backlinking and boost your SEO marketing strategies. To find the relevant posts to your industry, type in the below phrases in the search engine with quotations:
- Additional resources
- Useful resources
- Further reading
- Helpful resources
Adding in the quotations will ensure that the relevant words are found in the search results. After typing in the phrases, tack in industry-relevant keywords. For example, you should search “additional resources human resource management software” to land on relevant results if you are in human resources.
Get Started on Building Backlinks for Your Brand
Anyone who has worked in SEO marketing knows the importance of including external and internal links in the content. Most business leaders often ask, “what is a backlink and why is it important?” Backlinks help your content be discovered by users, driving free traffic to your website.
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