A Comprehensive Guide To Backlinks To Improve Your SEO

There are so many metrics Google and other search engines monitor for SEO, and today we’re narrowing in on backlinks. 

Backlinks are absolutely vital in improving your ranking. Unfortunately, it takes some effort to build your backlinks. But by the end of this blog post, you will have a deeper understanding of backlinks and how to build them to improve your website’s SEO. 

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What are Backlinks?

Backlinks – also known as “incoming links” – occur all over the internet and happen when one website mentions and links to another website.

This means when a website references, credits, or notes your website with a direct link, that creates a backlink for your website. 

For your website to benefit from a backlink, the anchor text needs to be a clickable hyperlink. For a backlinked photo, the image’s alt text acts as the anchor link text.

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks play a major part in your SEO. These links to your website tell Google and other search engines that your site has domain authority. Search engines prefer to recommend authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy websites. 

So having your website linked on various other websites, increases your website’s authority with search engines. And in return, this increases your SEO.

How do backlinks work?

A backlink works like a signal and tells Google and other search engines that your content or website is valuable. 

Unfortunately, not all backlinks are considered equal and have a scale of impact on your SEO. Google crawls the anchor text associated with the link to determine its worth. Backlinks placed higher on a page tend to have more weight or value. 

The biggest factor to determine a backlink’s worth is where that backlink is coming from or hosted. This factor is measured by ART: authority, which measures a site’s dominance or control; relevance, which measures the related relationship between the connected websites; and trust, as it relates to how trustworthy the website is and the rich content it provides.

If you want to increase your backlinks and therefore your ranking, you should work on increasing your authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy links.

How do you check your backlinks?

There are many free backlink tools you can use – like this one at SEMrush, this one at Moz, and this one by Neil Patel. By simply inputting your domain URL, these tools provide detailed reports and allow you to see any backlinks to your website. You can also see a list of links going to your website inside your Google Search Console.

It’s good practice to check your backlinks at least every quarter and note that number down to see how it grows over time. 

How many backlinks do I need?

When it comes to backlinks, quality over quantity is best. 10 amazing backlinks from authoritative, relevant, or trustworthy sites are better than 100 from spammy websites.

Because every industry is different and search volumes vary, there is no magic number of backlinks that will automatically get you on the first page of Google. 

Not having enough backlinks does stagger your SEO growth, and although having “too many” backlinks isn’t a thing, negative backlinks or links from spammy websites can hurt your SEO.

The truth is – to really help your ranking, you need to have more backlinks than your competitors and enough to compete against websites using keywords or search terms related to your business.

How do I get backlinks?

Before building your backlinks, you need to make sure your website is optimized. An unhealthy website can still hurt your rankings even with a good backlink strategy. 

Here are my favorite ways to create backlinks for my website:

1. Create Great Content

The easiest way to create backlinks is to just produce great content for your own website and audience. Over time, people will naturally refer to your educational content on their own website.

2. Guest Posting

Reach out to peers and ask if you can write a blog post for them. This helps them with content, helps you market your services or expertise, and creates a backlink to your website.

3. Features

Get your work or products featured in an online publication or directory. Doing this will be great PR for your business and of course, build another backlink!

4. Testimonials/Reviews

Reach out to products or services you have used and offer them a testimonial. Many times these companies will feature your review and link to your website.

5. Communities/Boards

Do you know those question and answer boards where people ask for advice? Take advantage of these boards by offering advice, and when it’s appropriate, link your own related content.

Okay, so now you know all about backlinks and how they benefit your SEO. Focus your time on creating great content and quality backlinks with other authoritative, related, and trustworthy websites. 

And while you’re growing your backlinks to improve your ranking, don’t neglect the other ways that help skyrocket your SEO. Sign up below to receive the SEO Planner and gain SEO success in 7 steps.

  1. I still find backlinks hard and confusing but this has helped me understand how to build backlinks more!

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category: SEO


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