SEO Basics: About Link Building and Backlinks
If you ask SEO experts, most of them will agree — backlinks play the biggest role in search engine ranking. Backlinks are difficult to manipulate, and therefore an excellent index for search engines to find out how popular a website actually is. The more links leading to a website, the more important it is for search engines.
Here is what backlinks are all about and how to specifically build good backlinks.
Five indicators for good backlinks
- Relevance: The relevance of a backlink is determined on the one hand by the content of the linked page and on the other hand by the content of the anchor text. These anchor texts help search engines figure out what the link is relevant to and what it should be found for.
- Local popularity: Unless you are a giant corporation, most of your website visitors come from a specific region. And that’s how you want your links to be — links from the same country and on the same topic are more credible to Google than purchased links from another country that have absolutely nothing to do with your industry.
- Trustworthy pages: It is assumed that up to 60% of all pages on the Internet are spam. To fish out the relevant content, search engines measure the backlinks to trusted sites. Sites like universities, government websites, and NGOs are especially trusted sites. Links from such sites increase the so-called trust rank of your website.
- Topicality: The more up-to-date your backlinks are, the better. However, it is quite natural that even popular websites get fewer links after a while. For search engines this is a sign that the site does not offer up-to-date content. It is therefore necessary that you regularly put new content on your website. Many use a blog for this since it is quite easy to update.
- Social media: Although search engines evaluate links from social media platforms differently than links from websites, they are still included in the ranking. So it pays to link to your website on social media.
How do you build good backlinks?
First, you should check how many links you currently have. Make a note of number of backlinks and set a goal. E.g., “I want to have 100 new backlinks this year.” After all, good backlinks take time.
- Backlinks from friends and business partners
The first and easiest way to get backlinks is to ask friends or business partners to backlink you. However, you should be careful to consider only trustworthy sites. You should also not link to each other too often. Google notices that quite quickly and then there are penalties.
For example, an enthusiastic customer writes a blogpost about your company and links to your website. In return, you put a testimonial on your website, which links to the customer.
- Backlinks from Local Listings
Google loves websites that are regionally focused. As mentioned above, such links give your business credibility and improve your search engine ranking. Check to see if your business is already featured in popular directories and business listings.
- Find mentions not yet linked
Chances are, your business and products are already featured in articles or press releases without linking to your website. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for mentions of your business.
Create notifications on Google Alerts. Every time your business is mentioned on the web, you will receive an email notification.
- Blog regularly
Every time you post something new on your website, search engines notice. Google’s job is to provide visitors with the latest and greatest information. If you write quality articles regularly, Google will send you lots of traffic. A well-written blog post will also encourage many readers to backlink with a reading recommendation.
When you write a blog article, you should also link to other relevant articles in your industry. Preferably to websites with high authority. If you’re lucky, these sites will link back to your website.
Look for other quality websites in your industry to publish a guest post on. You should know the website well so you can write for the readers. Include useful links in your guest post that lead to your website. Team up with another blog and write guest posts for each other. You will both benefit from a new audience.