Backlinks are also known as inbound links and they’re formed when a website connects to another, different website. Backlinks give your website credibility in the eyes of the search engines, boosting your SERP.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are also known as inbound links and they’re formed when a website connects to another, different website.
When a user of a website clicks on a backlink, that link takes the user to another site. Backlinks can be text or images. If the backlink is an image, the anchor link text will be in the form of an alt tag.
Why Are Backlinks so Important to SEO?
Backlinks are essential for SEO purposes – they’re a vote of confidence in your site in the eyes of Google and the other search engines. They’re a positive peer review from one website to another.
Basically, if another website is willing to vouch for the quality of your content by linking to it, then you must be reliable. And if lots of websites backlink to yours, that only increases your authority further, therefore the search engines deem your site worthy of being higher up the SERP.
Building backlinks can exponentially increase your site’s SERP and increase its search visibility.
Don’t discount nofollow links if that is all that is on offer. Whilst follow links have a higher weighting than nofollow links, nofollow links are never going to be bad for your branding credentials. Being mentioned on a website with a high DA will always work in your favour to drive traffic to your site.
Finally, quality always trumps quantity.
You could have 10 high quality backlinks, whereas your competitor could have 100 low quality spammy backlinks; regardless of the number of spammy links, Google will always favour your quality over their quantity in the SERP.
How Do You Get backlinks?
Acquiring backlinks is a key part of off-site SEO, and you get backlinks through link building.
Like everything, there is value attached to certain backlinks – some are worth more than others. Follow backlinks from high authority, popular and trustworthy sites are the most sought after backlinks to acquire.
Conversely, links from low authority, spammy, untrustworthy sites will more than likely harm your SERP.
Getting good quality backlinks can be hard going, but persevere and you’ll be rewarded. It isn’t impossible to do it yourself, in fact the majority of the time building backlinks is all about building relationships with actual people.
5 Ways to Get Backlinks
- Broken link building. Contact the website’s owner (be friendly) and report where one of their links is broken (give them the exact location). Recommend other links to replace that link (including your website). You’re doing them a favour, and increasing the chances of having your website backlinked to their high DA site.
- Infographics. A picture paints a thousand words and everyone loves an eye-catching visual. So build an infographic relevant to your business and when it’s ready to go position it prominently on your website. Reach out to people who have linked previously to similar infographics, or those who might be interested in linking to yours. Don’t push your agenda, if someone wants to backlink, they will.
- Guest post. One of the easiest ways to get a backlink is to guest blog on another website. Not only are you doing them a favour by creating fresh content from a different perspective that will be of interest to their audience, but you’ll be saving them the hassle of having to do it themselves.
- Build internally. Backlinks don’t always have to be external. Internal links are the lifeblood of your website, not only do they help users navigate your website, but they help Google figure out what you’re about too; all relevant for improving your SERP.
- Toot your trumpet. If you don’t toot your own trumpet, no one else will do it for you. If you’re creating awesome new content, share it far and wide. If it’s the best thing that has ever been created, you can guarantee that people will want to backlink to it. So make sure everything you’re pumping out is high quality and relevant, and that it’s being sent to bloggers, influencers, website owners, others in your industry, you mum, your nan, and basically anyone who can share it and link to it. Just remember, be polite.