One term frequently tossed around when talking to any digital marketer who works on SEO is building backlinks. For anyone unfamiliar with the finer points of SEO and link building, backlinks may not mean much. But in regards to your business website’s presence in search engines, they’re very important.
This leads to more questions, such as what are they, why are they important, and how do you build them?
What Are Backlinks?
A backlink is when one website points or links to another one. So when one website references your website with clickable text or a clickable image, you have a backlink from their site.
It’s important to note that simply mentioning your website or your website’s URL isn’t a backlink. The other website’s mention must be clickable and send those who click to your site in order to be considered a backlink.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Now that we know what backlinks are, it’s a good idea to understand their importance in regards to SEO.
The Internet is often referred to the World Wide Web for a good reason. Websites connect to other websites that connect to even more websites and so on, forming a giant web of interconnectivity.
This is natural because websites love linking to others that they find interesting, useful, amusing, etc. On the contrary, a website that isn’t connected to the massive web of other sites doesn’t appear natural.
That means having other sites that link to your site, or having backlinks, makes your site appear natural, trustworthy, and one that people want to visit. That is the exact type of website that search engines like Google want to show in their search results.
How Do You Build Backlinks?
There are multiple ways to build backlinks to your site, but it’s extremely important to understand that not all backlinks are equal and not all link building is equal.
One way to assist in creating backlinks is to populate your website with high-quality, relevant content. By giving away this topnotch content, your readers are more likely to link to it from their website, share it on their social media, or email it to their friends or colleagues, who in turn might link to or share it.
Another bonus of having quality content is that you can reach out to other websites that might not yet have any connection to you but could be interested in sharing or referencing your excellent content.
You can even reach out and offer those other relevant websites content in the form of a blog post or an infographic that’s not published on your own site but that they can publish on their site. The goal here is to have them link back to your site as a source of that gifted content, thus creating a backlink.
There are even relevant websites such as local business directories that allow you to submit your business information to their index. Many of these allow you to link to your business’ website, giving you another back link.
Are There Link Building Strategies to Avoid?
The short answer is yes. As mentioned before, not all backlinks are the same, and not all link building is the same. By building links the wrong way, you can actually do more harm than good to your website.
What kind of harm?
Poorly executed link building can result in a loss of ranking in the search engines, and those who abuse link building can have their website deindexed, which means it won’t show up in the search results.
The key to building good links is to have the process managed manually by skilled professionals. Low-cost link building services that use automated software to blast your website with mass links don’t fit this concept.
Furthermore, an agency that employs SEOs who know how to build links for your website manually from safe and relevant sources shows they’re looking out for your website’s health, not their own bottom line.
For Google to trust your website enough to rank it highly in search results, they want to see that others trust your site as well. Backlinks are a sign of trust when they come from other high-quality and relevant websites.
However, getting other websites to point to yours isn’t always easy. Taking shortcuts can be quick and cheap, but the results can range from poor to harmful.
Instead, working with an agency with people who know what they’re doing and who do so manually instead of relying on spammy tactics is sure to net much better, safer long-term results.
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