Are you trying to improve your website traffic? Are you looking to improve your exposure in the SERP’s for your existing SEO campaign? Or perhaps you just want to supercharge your websites SEO.
Regardless of the outcome, you’ll probably come across the concept of backlinks in your quest for this growth.
Backlinks are one of the most widely mis-understood and most powerful elements to growing your website traffic in search engines, and in this guide we are going to explore in detail, what are backlinks, how backlinks work, how to get backlinks, and ultimately, how they play with your other SEO efforts to grow your total results.
What is link building?
Link building and partnering with high quality and authoritative sites is one way to reach a wider audience and increase traffic and legitimacy to your site.
Google accepts that content and backlinks are an important ranking factor for its algorithm. Therefore, you should try to improve your content and make it informative, unique and well researched while trying to increase backlinks naturally.
Building backlinks is the process of creating reference hyperlinks in the HTML code back to your website
It is an integral process for your online marketing strategy. Backlinking can help you to increase your website’s SERPs ranking and make your brand visible online to your target audience.
Ready for taking your SEO process to the next level?
Topics covered included in this ultimate guide are:
- Introduction to backlinks
- What is Link Building?
- Types of Backlinks
- Good and Bad Backlinks
- Qualities of a Good Backlinks
- Types of Content that Naturally Attracts Backlinks
- Google’s Rules About Backlinks
- Top Strategies for Link building
The A to Z of Backlinking: An introduction to backlinks and their effect on your traffic
Working on your website’s traffic?
Well, backlinks are one of the most effective methods to rank well on Google.
But how will you improve your traffic?
Let me explain to you, if someone searches about a query, they are likely to click on the first three websites on Google’s first page result. In fact, the top three ranking websites get over 62% of total traffic for that search term!
Therefore, ranking well on Google SERPs is very important to improve your website’s traffic.
Backlinks are like votes for a website. A website with plenty of backlinks from authoritative sites is seen as a relevant, high quality and rank-worthy website.
Google is regularly improving the quality of its search results with Algorithm updates. It gives a higher ranking to the sites which provide high quality and detailed content.
Let us understand backlinks and strategies to build backlinks.
- an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.
“the more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the more popular it will be”
How do Backlinks work?
A search engine like Google looks at these links as a vote for another website.
Google’s algorithm will detect that the quality of sites linking back to your website is of high quality and informative to users and hence improves its SERPs ranking.
There are over 100 different factors that google looks at when determining what a quality website is. This can include everything from the backlink profile of that website itself, its organic traffic, its rankings, how far removed it is from the ‘Seed sites’, and many more!
But wait, what is Link Building?
What is Link Building?
Link building is a process of either building or earning other websites to link to your page.
This has a direct impact on improving the SERPs. While Google is always updating and changing its algorithm,one thing remained constant over years:
Types of backlinks
There are dozens of different types of backlinks, and not all are created equal. One backlink from a top level news site could be worth thousands of links from spammy link networks. This isn’t to say that you should only get links from news sites, as all backlinks types have their part to play in the delicate balancing act of SEO, depending on what your outcome is.
- Editorial backlinks
Editorial backlinks attract more natural backlinks to your site.
Ask yourself one question, when researching any topic, what are the important things you look for?
For me, I look for information. I mean, serious and detailed information. And a website with this kind of information helps me a lot to understand the topic. Now I will add a backlink to that website in my content.
Therefore, if you want to get editorial links, you should produce content that is full of helpful information. Moreover, create infographics with data that is based on original research.
In the ideal world, you’d get A LOT of editorial backlinks naturally coming to your site when you build great content or are a leader in your industry, however sadly this isn’t the case.
- Guest Blogging Backlinks
Guest Blogging is one of the more popular ways to acquire backlinks.
Sharing your knowledge and passion on certain topics as a guest blogger in exchange of a link back to your page is a cost effective way of promoting your site and building backlinks.
- Acknowledgment Backlinks
This is another type of SEO boosting backlinks.
Websites often publish these backlinks when a brand makes a donation or sponsors an industry event.
For this, you should do the research of your competitors, through different SEO tools and recognize where they earned their backlinks which can help you to make strategies to own your acknowledgment backlinks.
- Free Tools Backlinks
You can make tools to get high-quality sites linked to your websites. You can make different tools such as loan or bank rate calculators, competitor analysis, SEO analysis, etc.
How can a free tool help you?
Let us say if you have made a free tool which is simple yet effective. Then there will be many sites writing on the same niche that will link back to your tools as references, providing you with organic backlinks
- Comment Backlinks
Whenever you add a comment to a specific blog post or, or to a different community forum, you can add a link to it.
But let me tell you how to use them without getting a negative ranking.
If you post high-quality and relevant comments on high-quality content, then you can easily put the link without any kind of negative impact.
These links aren’t generally very powerful, however they can drive traffic if you are in a highly engaged niche.
- Backlink Derived from Press Release
When your brand is newsworthy you can get backlinks from the press release.
To get these types of backlinks you can reach your local press and check your site’s eligibility. There are many pitfalls to avoid when it comes to using press releases however, and if you’re not educated on what you are doing you can very quickly tank your results with anchor text optimization issues.
- Buying backlinks
You can get this type of backlinks by purchasing backlinks from other websites. You can give money to other websites, and they will add a backlink to you.
This type of link is not encouraged as it is technically ‘advertising’ and these style of links should be marked as ‘no-follow’ which don’t pass the full power.
- Directory & Citation Backlinks
Adding your website links to the web directory business directory is also a way of earning backlinks. These are useful when it comes to building out your NAP, which is important for local maps SEO, as well as for de-optimizing your anchor text (More on that advanced topic in another blog)
- Social Profiles
Every time you build a facebook page, a twitter page, or one of the over 300 other niched social networks that there are online, you website will earn a backlink. The purpose of these links isn’t to pass power, but rather to pass trust, another incredibly powerful ranking factor.
What are Good and Bad Backlinks?
Not every link is good for your websites. After the 2011 Penguin update, Google changed the way it ranks our website based on links forever.
Before this, every kind of link would help our websites to improve their SEO. But now they are very cautious about which kind of links a website is getting.
If those links are spammy or irrelevant to Google, though, that will not earn you a better rank.
Instead, any links which seem unnatural or spamming to Google will be taken as a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines and can have a negative impact on your ranking.
Since Penguin 4 algorithm in 2016, Google said that they won’t penalise sites with bad links, but will just ignore them. Like everything Google says, we believe this should be taken with a grain of salt.
But how to understand which is good or bad?
There are different kinds of bad backlinks, here are examples of some:
- Reciprocal Linking:
Suppose you and your partner pages are doing cross-linking, this may seem like a good method. But this can have a negative impact on your website’s ranking.
Therefore, avoid backlinks from the same websites.
- Directory Link:
Adding links to your websites to the web Directory is a good way to add backlinks.
But if you are adding backlinks to web directories which are totally irrelevant then this can have a negative impact.
Always think about the relevance. Always add links within those directories that are attached to your industry or niche.
Relevancy isn’t determined by the country a directory is in from our research, but rather the quality of the linking website itself in its SEO Metrics beneath the surface. If in doubt, ask an SEO expert or stick with our list of high quality citations.
- Forum or blog post comment:
Adding links to each and every kind of blog or forum comment can have a
negative impact on your website’s ranking.
Instead of this, you should add a valuable and full detailed comment in a discussion or blog and then add a relevant link.
- Buying Links:
Google directly says that buying links is directly against its protocol. Therefore, don’t buy links.
Instead of buying links, invest in creating high-quality content, and promoting those in a natural way to attract natural backlinks.
Remember, one editorial backlink is better than 1000 low backlinks.
One of the best ways to avoid this backlinking problem, and enjoy correct backlinking is by creating correct content.
What are the qualities of a good backlink?
Now that we have discussed bad backlinks.
You might be confused about good backlinks, what are those and how are you going to identify them?
No issue, we are here to help you.
Not all backlinks are equal, search engines find some backlinks more valuable than others.
Therefore, let us help you to find out the most powerful and good backlinks for your SEO.
What are the qualities to define good backlinks?
Good backlinks come from a relevant and high-quality website. You should remember this as a single backlink from an authoritative and relevant website is a lot more valuable than 1000s of backlinks from other irrelevant websites.
Now let me help you to decide on a good Backlink.
Here are some key qualities that you should use to check whether the backlinks are a good ad that comes from an authoritative website or not.
- Domain Authority
The domain authority is an important metric to check how reputable a website is. The higher a website’s domain authority is, the more valuable it will appear to a search engine, and hence a backlink from these websites will be powerful enough to increase your SEO.
Domain authority is a rank given to websites from zero to 100.
- Citation flow
A higher citation flow website is referred to as a website that gets a high number of backlinks.
Therefore, a backlink from a website with high citation flow can help you to increase your SERPs
- High trust flow
A website that gets a number of backlinks from quality websites gets a high trust flow.
And a website with high trust flow can a backlink from the high trust can help you to increase your SEO ranking miraculously.
- Spam Score
The spam score is a metric given to a website to see how many times our site is penalized by the search engine. it is scaled from zero to seven.
A spam score below five is considered safe but a website with a more spam score is not considered a good website.
- Do-follow links:
The following link is an important backlink for your website.
Do-follow backlinks are backlinks that transfer a little bit of SEO power to the backlink websites.
There is also a no-follow backlink.
What are the no-follow backlinks?
Nofollow backlinks are backlinks that do not pass their SEO value to the website getting the backlink.
The HTML code of a do-follow backlink looks like this.
HTML of the no-follow backlinks looks like this.
<a rel=”nofollow href=”https://domain/”>Keyword</a>
- Index status
The index status tells whether a search engine is getting whether a website is getting indexed on a search engine or not.
A website with high search results and a website with high index status is going to give you a higher site ranking.
- Contextual relevancy
Let me ask you a question – Is a backlink, in an article about the top 5 cat breeds relevant if you are a veterinary surgeon? Of course it is! But what if that article was listed on the Courier Mail website, not a pet site?
This is where the concept of conceptual relevance comes into play. It states that if a link is in a relevant piece of content to the website that it is linking to, then it carries with it a level of conceptual relevance (Different from topical relevance which is another blog topic).
Therefore, just because your site may have links from sites that aren’t in the same tight niche as you, they can still be highly beneficial if there is conceptual relevancy at play.
The Five types of Content
Now that we understand about good backlinks and bad backlinks and the basics of backlinks.
The next topic that can come into your mind is how to create and what kind of content can attract natural and editorial backlinks?
Practically every content which is of high quality and contains information can attract effective editorial backlinks.
Types of Contents that Attract Backlinks Naturally
Infographics are the popular types of link building content.
Infographic is a visual representation such as tables, graphs, data, etc. which presents information clearly.
When the other sites use these tables, they will get a backlink and they will give a backlink to your website.
How to create infographics?
- First of all, find a topic that is relevant to your niche.
- Now, gather some data to make sure that it comes from your original research.
- Now make it visually attractive. For this, you can use various free tools or hire a designer.
- Now, these infographics can help you to get a number of backlinks
- White papers
A white paper is a report that informs the reader about a complex issue or helps a reader to understand an issue and provide a solution to those issues.
These papers come from in-depth examinations or in-depth research of the topic and analyzing each and everything that affects the topic, then combining it into content.
How to create white papers?
- Find a topic that is relevant to your niche.
- Now, do research. And this research should go as deep as it can identify different types of problems that a search user can think of and then give different solutions or solution-oriented views to it.
- Now, make it beautiful with a tool such as graph charts, now edited and make the Content best.
- Data and Research
Including data and research in your content can help you to earn a website’s backlinks.
You should make sure that this data and research should come from your original research or from or from a researcher that is doing research authentically for your sites.
How to use data and research?
- Conduct a pre-market test and analysis.
- Use a high sample size and now draw a conclusion and produce a research report.
- Now use those research reports in your content strategically.
Videos are another popular type of increasing backlinks.
You should create a video that has a full understanding of what a user wants to search.
Make it entertaining. Spend your time,effort, and budget to get the web’s video almost perfect.
Now use the video to promote in every social media network of yours to earn views and shares.
How to create content for local businesses:
These tips are all highly useful if you are a national business, and can service clients from anywhere in the country of the world. But how do you do this if you are a local business?
This is definitely where the game becomes a lot harder, because attracting a lot of interest from the other side of the nation feels good for a moment, until you realise that you can’t service this new demand.
This is where we recommend talking with an SEO company who has experience in the link building techniques that are required for a local business such as Local citations, social profiles, guest blogging etc.
There is nothing wrong with building content like this if you are a local business, and in fact it can help you to broaden your topical authority which is becoming increasingly important.
What is the importance of backlinks according to Google?
Google has confirmed that the links and content are the first two important factors of ranking.
In a video in a Q&A with Google, Googler Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior confirms that the links and content are the important ranking factor of Google.
While, another employee of Google, John Mueller responded to this query of website owners.
According to John Mueller, Google does not differentiate our website, according to the total number of links to that website.
Rather than a total number of links, it mainly focuses on the websites, by which you are getting backlinks.
A website of high domain authority is more important, a backlink from high domain authority and a relevant website are more important than a thousand irrelevant backlinks.
A Google algorithm understands the relevancy of the link.
Top strategies for link building
Now you understand everything about backlinks and how much it plays a role in your page ranking.
You might be wondering how to build backlinks or about popular strategies of link building.
This section of our guide is going to discuss this.
Different types of popular strategies
- Skyscraper technique
- Guest blogging
- Editorial Backlinking
- Content marketing
- Resource linking page
Skyscraper Technique is a technique where you have to improve a popular content and generate backlinks.
But how do you do so?
Find a relevant piece of content with a lot of backlinks then create something which is better than that content.
Now, inform those who are linking to that website to link to your superior content.
This tactic was made popular by Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko.
According to Brian Dean, this method is something like looking at the highest building and wondering if it’s the 8th tallest building.
No one will say this, no? They will say it’s the highest building.
It’s human nature to get attracted to the best.
Now how to create skyscraper content.
(If you want an example, this ultimate guide you are currently reading is an example of a SkyScraper style of content – they are LONG and take A LOT of work)
This everything begins with finding relevant content with a lot of backlinks.
You can use different tools for searching these
- Site checker
- Link Research Tools
Step two, make something way better.
Take it to the next level and make it epic.
You can use these aspects as suggested by Brian:
There are various tools that can be used such as SurferSEO and Page Optimizer Pro which will give you statistically accurate lengths of content that are ranking on the first page of Google.
While there is no perfect length, we have found that by producing content that is 10-15% longer than your competition, you’ll increase your odds of attracting links and outranking them
If the article is being written over two years ago, you should make updates to that by providing new information, images, updates, etc.
Include visuals to your content to make it more appealing to the users.
You can use various popular tools such as Canva, take screenshots or even create custom imagery which in itself could become a link magnet.
Now, don’t stop here!
Find the details and the queries that the user can look for and write them in your content. This way your content will become the ‘go to guide’ for the topic you are writing about.
Add data, tables, survey reports to your content to make it even more link worthy.
Now that you have made your content, how will the people know about it?
You should use email outreach for that.
Instead of messaging every blogger, you should reach out to those who have already linked to the target content now.
You can message those bloggers to let them know that you have produced an even more upto date and high quality piece of content than what they are already linking to.
Tactic 2: Guest blogging
Guest blogging is also known as guest posting.
It is the act of creating content for other companies’ websites. This is a popular method of creating backlinks.
You should seek bloggers who have a high domain authority and write articles related to their niche.
Guest Blogging offers a number of benefits to any business, this can increase your brand value and increase your SEO level.
How to choose a Guest blogger?
You should always take note that the blogger you are choosing should have:
- A high level of followers who are sharing and commenting on their posts
- They should have a strong base on the social media network
- They should have a high domain authority, website traffic, and IB vs OB link ratios
- They should have industrial expertise in your niche.
Tactic 3: Editorial Backlinking Strategies
Content creation is the best and important strategy for attracting natural backlinks. However it is also the most time consuming, and least predictable way to develop links for a local business.
If you choose to go down this path, you should focus on creating content that is relevant, highly informative, and provides in-depth research.
This content should include data and infographics, which is specifically taken by your brand on original market research.
This will help you to create content that other websites find link-worthy.
Once this is ready, then sign up to sites like HARO or Sourcebottle. Journalists regularly go to these sites asking for quotes from industry experts, and this is a great way to connect and get quoted in media of all sorts. Having your quality content will help you to come across as an authority, and are more likely to be chosen to be mentioned than other respondents.
Tactic 4: Content marketing
No matter how good an article you are creating, people won’t link you until they find you or discover you. This is where you need to get proactive.
As a rule of thumb, you should spend 3-4 times longer promoting a piece of content and doing outreach for links than you spend creating the content in the first place.
There are various methods of outreach such as email outreach, connecting on social media, and even direct mail (If the link is really worth it!)
Finding Resource Link Websites
You can look for pages that are specifically built for resource linking and then ask them to link to your website simple isn’t it?
Now, let us look at what is the resource page?
Resource page link building is a method where you ask authoritative web pages in your industry to link to your website
A resource page value is determined solely by the quantity and quality of the resources it links to.
Therefore, you should search for resource pages and reach out to them to suggest your resource articles.
How to find Resource Linking pages?
First of all, decide on the main keyword of the page you are trying to rank.
Then type this URL and search on the Google search box.
Keyword: resource Inurl: resources
This will produce a list of resource based sites for you to start working with.
Selecting Resource linking Pages
You need to get a backlink from a highly authoritative website and therefore you have to choose the best among them.
You can do this either manually or using popular tools such as AHREFs, SeoToolbar.
We recommend you use AHREFS for quick analysis.
Moreover, with the help of AHREFS’ batch Analysis tool, you can check around 200 websites together.
Now that you have a list of high domain authority websites, start by sending them an Email.
To refer to your website you can draft an email or something like this.
Hello, [your name]
Just came across your resource page. I think it’s very good at linking relevant pages.
We have created quality content about the same topic. This is the best content of the related keyword you can link to.
Best Tools for Backlink research
There are countless SEO tools, on the market, and we have written a full blog on the topic reviewing the best in depth which you can read about here.
Below is a quick list of some of the tools that we use on a daily basis to help with backlink research.
AHREFS is the most powerful keyword research. It is easy to use.
You will have to write the chosen domain and then you will get a lot of details about the backlinks.
With the help of this tool, you can find different backlinks about your competitor and your own backlinks, and other backlinks tools.
With this, you can find new backlinks, lost backlinks, and even broken backlinks. You can also find anchor backlinks.
You can also search for internal backlinks also.
It is a paid SEO tool but it is worth every penny you spend not.
SEMrush is one of the best backlink checkers. It gives you in-depth research about backlinks used to search for your backlink.
You have to log in to your SemRush, select backlink analytics, type the name of the domain you want to search.
After that, you will get a lot of information about the domain and its backlinks, simply dig about the details which you want to.
You can also use SemRush as a free version, or as a paid version
LinkMiner is designed by Mangools.
To use this you will need a Mangools account. It offers you various SEO tools.
With this, the help of this tool you can find. Keep track of your own backlinks, as well as find out the Backlinks of your competitors.
Ubersuggests suggests Is a tool from Neil Patel. It is a great free website keyword research tool as well as backlink functionality.
Simply write for the domain you want to search for and then you will get a list of the backlinks of that website.
You can upgrade this by using a paid version for more detailed information.
Backlinks and Content are important for Google ranking. Therefore pay close attention to them.
Remember this, fewer backlinks from authoritative websites are a thousand times better than several spammy backlinks.
I hope this article has given you an idea about backlinks and how to build links.
If you have any query, you can comment and let us know.