SEO (search engine optimization) is a strategy that relies on content, keywords, meta tags, and backlinks. And while we tend to rely on keywords and content, we forget about backlinks.
What are backlinks?
Also known as “inbound” or ‘incoming’ links, backlinks are links created when two websites are linked together.
Think of them as a vote of confidence or referral to the search engine, vouching for your content.
For example, Rob is a blogger and he writes an interesting article about marketing. Lily, who writes for a popular digital magazine, shares a link to Rob’s blog when sharing her perspective. This creates a backlink to Rob’s blog.
Backlinks and SEO
Backlinks help search engines:
- Discover new content on the internet and enhance web results
- Determine the relevance and rank of a web page
Search engines rely on spiders and bots to extract and index the web page content. They scan the page for the keywords and relevant links pointing to that page from other websites to rank the quality of the content.
When it all began, search engines were simple. They relied mainly on keywords to understand and rank the relevance of the content. But as people started exploiting ‘keyword stuffing’, Search Engine algorithms had no option but to evolve. Which led Larry Page, one of the founders of Google, to invent the PageRank Algorithm.
“PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”
So what it means is – if Lily’s magazine is popular, more websites will link back to her (and eventually Rob’s) article, increasing their authority, ensuring the search engines of the content quality, and in turn improving their ranking on SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Over the years, the PageRank algorithm has evolved and can now separate low-quality links from good-quality ones.
In essence, quality backlinks are links that come from websites that have high authority, are recognized as reputable sources, and are highly relevant to your website’s topic.
Although no one knows the exact algorithm used by Google or any other search engine, the general consensus is – backlinks play a big role in determining your SERP.
This is why link building is now a hot marketing strategy. Combine it with efficient On-page SEO optimization, good UI/UX and great content and you’ll never have to worry about organic traffic.
Types of backlinks
Backlinks can be broadly categorized into two types:
- No-follow backlinks – They tell search engines to ignore the link. While they may not pass the link juice, they do make navigating your site easier.
- Do-follow backlinks – The kind of links everyone wants. When coming from reputable sites, they increase your visibility and rank considerably.
Other than the types of backlinks, where you place them is just as important. Backlinks placed in context with the content work better for SEO because they are directly related to topics and keywords on the page.
How to get backlinks?
Building backlinks is easier said than done. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t just about numbers. A website with 1000 backlinks can easily outrank a website with 1,00,000 links.
Here are a few simple ways to build quality backlinks for your website:
- Set up a Google alert for your brand name to make sure every mention includes a link.
- Build a library of well-written articles, press releases, blog posts, and infographics.
- Keep your content library updated and guest blog on reputed sites.
- Create long and informative ‘how to’, ‘ultimate guide’ posts. These kinds of posts usually get more backlinks than standard posts.
- Link back your social media posts to relevant content on your site.
- Engage, interview influencers, to make them aware of potential points they may want to link to.
If you are a KatLinks user, in the Backlinks Opportunities section you can find a list of curated websites where you can easily get foundational backlinks to get you started.
Competitive backlink research
While creating your backlink campaign, it is essential to study competitor websites that are ranking well. You can use a backlink tool to analyze their backlink profiles and target those domains as a part of your link strategy.
KatLinks Backlinks Gap features can easily help you discover the backlinks your competitors have, but you don’t. That, along with the Backlink Planner, can help you step up your backlink profile.
Backlink factors to consider for SEO
- Total referring domains: The better the quality of the website linking back to your page, the better.
- Total referring IPs: IP address of websites backlinking to your page. The wider the distribution, the better the SEO.
- Total backlinks: They aren’t the same as referring domains because you can have several backlinks from a single domain.
- Total do-follow backlinks: More high-quality do-follow backlinks can help you rank higher.
- Anchor text usage: Relevant anchor text help improve the topical relevancy of your backlinks.
The web is bigger than you can imagine. Keeping track, monitoring, and analyzing all the data linking to and from your website is easier said than done.
Enter a Backlink Manager – A platform that helps you monitor and analyze the data, suggest insights to create an effective link build strategy, in turn saving you time and energy. It can streamline the link-building process, helping your content rank faster.
Remember that going for easy tricks or black hat techniques may give you instant results but will also hamper your search visibility in the long run. Instead, put in time and effort in building honest “thumbs-up” for your business and see your ranking get better.