What are backlinks and why is link building important for your website?
20 Dec, 2021
By now, you’re probably aware of the necessity of having a good SEO strategy for your website. And this goes beyond keywords. They are indeed a fundamental part of any SEO strategy, but it’s not the only thing you need to take into account to optimize your website.
Have you spent enough time on link-building and finding the right backlinks? Backlinks are an essential part of the off-page SEO strategy that you should really take into consideration. So, if you’re not doing so already, it’s time to put these backlinks at the center of your SEO marketing strategy.
What is link building?
Link building is the practice of building hyperlinks from one website to another website with the goal of improving search engine visibility. A hyperlink, normally just called a link, is a way for users to navigate between pages on the Internet. Search engines crawl the web thanks to these links. They will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website and also the links between entire websites.
Backlinks are the biggest external link-building practice. When you get a backlink, it means that the owner of another website agrees to link your website to their own website. Normally, you achieve this by building relationships with other authorities and only placing these links when it’s relevant and valuable to the users. You do this by putting in the work to make your website link-worthy, whether that’s through a great product or aspect of your service, or via producing great content that is referenced by other websites.
Why is it important to work on a great link building strategy?
For Google link building is very important. So is that, that they are used as a ranking factor. Here we have some reasons why you should focus on building a great backlink network:
Links give you credibility. They act as third-party indicators of your domain’s authoritative strength. Google wants to provide users with the most valuable and relevant content possible, that is why a high domain authority is important. Domain authority (also known as site authority and website authority) is a metric that describes how “rankable” your site is. Since Google will take this into account to rank your site, you should also only link to authoritative sites. Quality links will increase in consequence your domain authority and, in the end, will make your website and business more credible.
Backlinks will get you an increase in web traffic. By targeting relevant audiences and niches you will improve traffic from external sources – and web traffic is a good indicator of your website’s health.
Links can improve relationships within your niche. If you really focus on building links within your niche, you’ll not only be creating relevant links, but also you’ll become connected more closely with authority players in your sector. This can open up opportunities for other avenues of collaboration too.
Backlinks Increase visibility and exposure. We have already pointed out that link building is incredible for ranking higher in search engines. Not only that, it can also support incredible lead generation. If you want to reach out to an audience in a new geographical location, link building will help you do this by raising awareness in that location. This can have a big positive impact on your business, and help to quickly establish you as a trusted brand.
Links lower bounce rates. The bounce rate is the number of people who visited one page of your site then left without looking around the rest of your site. Link building does not only include backlinks, but also other links within your own website that you connect specific keywords to the so-called internal or deep links. This allows Google, as well as your visitors, to easily navigate your site and they will stay longer on your website. If you make it easier for visitors to find the content they are looking for, they will stay longer on your site and reduce the bounce rate.
Backlinks attract more backlinks naturally. This is another benefit that many people don’t realize. If you’ve already got some quality backlinks on busy sites, a percentage of people on those sites will also write about and link to you – without you even asking.
Backlinks establish your brand in your online marketplace. If you get backlinks from top blogs and sites in your industry, people will remember and respect your brand. This is a long-term benefit that should not be ignored, especially when justifying your work to your boss or client.
Link building tips: how to get backlinks?
Sometimes, backlinks can arrive by chance. Someone can come across your website and think that his readers might love it and share it with them. However, even if it does sometimes happen, this is a really rare thing and it’s better to not just wait around for these kinds of backlinks to appear since they won’t have enough effect on your search engine rankings.
To get the right backlinks that will really help you grow your business, you need to commit time and hard work to the task. There won’t be success without any effort. You have to create content worth linking to. After that, you need to persuade the right experts, bloggers, influencers, or journalists in your sector to give you backlinks. This is the most powerful strategy you can follow. Moreover, apart from the effort invested, it’s free!
Follow this circle of steps in order to approach your link building strategy:
Find relevant websites in sectors related to your market that could give you backlinks
Understand what your competitors link building strategies are
Find quality backlink prospects that you can approach
Create compelling reasons for other sites to give you backlinks
Ask for backlinks, monitor results, and learn how you can ask better in the future
For some extra tips on how to get backlinks, don’t hesitate to visit this article.
How to distinguish good from bad backlinks?
Don’t let anyone tell you any backlink is a good backlink; it’s simply not true. Like in every aspect of SEO, there are good and bad practices (often called BlackHat) when it comes to link building and getting backlinks. In order to not be penalized by Google and get a higher ranking in search engines, it is recommended to get quality links that will generate a higher link juice.
Link juice (also called “link equity”) refers to the amount of authority or value that passes to the website the link connects to. The more link juice your page has, the better chance you have to rank higher for your target keywords. Therefore these quality backlinks will generate a higher link juice and help your website to rank higher on the search engine results page.
Here we’d like to give you some examples of good and bad backlinks to help you avoid the bad practices that you can be doing without realizing, and can harm your business.
Examples of Good Backlinks
A quality backlink comes from a relevant authoritative domain in your niche. If the website linking to your site has a high Domain Authority and has similar content, your backlink will be good for SEO and will give a higher link juice.
Generally, a site is viewed as trustworthy if it has lots of strong backlinks pointing to it. Google views these backlinks as one way to confirm that your site contains helpful, quality content.
Find below a list of examples of good backlinks that can help you pick out the truly qualitative ones:
Links from websites with a high domain authority
Links from websites with high traffic
Links from websites with high page ranks
Natural, non-spammy links that occur without solicitation
Links that include anchor text to your website that uses important keywords as the link text
Examples of Bad Backlinks
A bad backlink comes from unrelated and untrusted sources. Sites that have been penalized and those that are violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can have a negative impact on your SEO. Since Google focuses mostly on quality over quantity, they track and evaluate backlinks to flag potentially spammy practices.
These are examples of bad backlinks:
Links from your website to completely irrelevant websites (i.e. a fashion designer linking to a dentist)
Links from sites with explicit content
Links from sites associated with spam or unethical practices
Links from sites that are unrelated to your industry
Purchased, solicited, or unnatural links
Links from profile link building sites. They refer to websites where users can sign up and create a public profile, for the main purpose of dropping a link in that profile. The link will help funnel link juice from the profile creation site to yours.
Links to or from link farms or sites with useless content
For more information, follow Google’s policies and make sure you don’t go against them in order to not be penalized. You can click here to discover more in-depth what bad backlinks you shouldn’t aim for.
Need a bit of help?
Do you have problems getting started? You can use Backlink checker tools, like rankingCoach 360 for instance. If you want to build links, you should know the backlinks of your competitors to have an advantage. rankingCoach tells you the backlinks of your competitors, which can help you know where you should be aiming to add your backlink since you’re in the same sector. So put your link building strategy at the center and start getting some quality backlinks to boost your business to the top!