With around 2 billion websites on the world wide web, it can be a challenge to make yours stand out. Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for boosting your ranking in Google’s results so that you can generate interest and engagement. Backlinks are one of the most important ways to boost your visibility and traffic. But what are backlinks, exactly? How can you incorporate them into your website in 2022 and integrate them with other recent SEO news?
Read on to answer these questions and to learn the most important advantages of using backlinks.
What Are Backlinks?
In order to understand backlinks, you need to first understand off-page SEO.
The goal of all search engine optimization is to make your webpage more appealing to Google crawlers. Also known as Google spiders, these bots scour the web and index pages. Assuming that they deem your page reputable, high-quality, and relevant to a search query, they’ll rank it higher so that people who have made that search query can see it.
On-page SEO refers to the ways that you alter your website to make it more appealing to crawlers. However, it’s also important that you manipulate other areas of the web to ensure that your webpage stands out over the competition. This process is called ‘off-page SEO.’
Off-page SEO consists of a lot of actions that make a page stand out. Backlinks are likely the single most important facet of these strategies.
Backlinking is the act of including links to different websites on your page. A backlink in a blog post would attach to a couple of words called an ‘anchor text.’ When people clicked on this hyperlink, they would be directed to another site that discussed the concept that the anchor text presented in more detail.
Backlinking as Voting
Google crawlers tend to think of backlinks as votes of confidence for the site being linked to. When a page has a lot of inbound links, they deem it more interesting, relevant, and reputable. Sites that have more of these votes will rank higher on search engines than those with fewer votes.
When you incorporate backlinks to other sites on your page, you’re essentially giving them the thumbs-up. If you show Google crawlers that you vote for reputable and high-quality websites, they’re going to think that you’re also high-quality and valuable. This established link is mutually beneficial for you and the page that you link to.
Finding Quality Backlinks
Of course, you can’t just go linking to other pages with no regard for their content quality or reputation. While a good backlink can work wonders for your rankings, a bad one can immediately destroy all of your SEO efforts.
The first principle of backlinking is to never link to a direct competitor.
This sounds like common sense, but a lot of people think that direct competitor links will generate interest in their posts. They think that a competitor’s blog post elaborates well on a concept that they’re discussing. Linking for intellectual reasons seems to make sense at first brush.
This has a lot of advantages… for your competitor. Some primary ones include:
- Giving them a vote of confidence that Google spiders can see
- Directing interested traffic to their website, services, and solutions
- Driving people away from your website and ensuring that they see your competitor immediately afterward, making you an afterthought
- Making consumers think that your competitor is smarter and more experienced than you (because they elaborated on a relevant idea that you did not)
- Ensuring that people are on a competitor page when they reach the end of the marketing funnel
Make sure that you identify competitors and remain vigilant about not linking to them.
Choose Related Services
Direct competitors are an SEO don’t, but it’s just as important that your backlink site is topically related to the content of your webpage. On a surface level, this is important to consumers. They’re looking for a specific service and want information on things related to that service.
On a deeper level, however, Google also wants to see that sites linking to each other are topically related. Google will put much more stock into sites about Chinese food or sushi recipes if you’re writing a blog post about different types of Asian cuisine. After all, that’s what you’re meant to be an expert in.
When you link to related sites, you also develop a connection with the services that they offer. People are more likely to see two related products that can be easily used in tandem with each other. They may buy both products and use them together, which generates revenue for both you and the business you’ve linked to.
Develop Domain Authority
Domain authority is the idea that sites with a better reputation can pass more authority onto your site via a link. This is why getting a backlink to your site from an Ivy League university is better than getting one from a random person’s blog. The same principle applies when choosing backlinks for your site.
You want to link to authoritative domains when inserting links into your content. This will make you appear more knowledgeable on the topic. You’ll seem more authoritative to Google spiders and will therefore move up in search engine rankings.
How to Use Backlinks in Blog Posts
Including backlinks in your blog posts is fairly straightforward. You use a website authority checker and determine whether or not the link is reputable. You then can simply copy it as a hyperlink and tie it to an anchor text.
The only hard part is selecting the right anchor text. Luckily, you can do this fairly easily. Keep the anchor text between 2-5 words since this is the length of most people’s search queries.
Make sure that the anchor text is a partial match for the targeted keyword in your blog post. An exact match may alert Google crawlers that you’re using paid link building, which you’ll get a penalty for.
Instead, include your keyword along with other words in the anchor text. For example, if your keyword is “spring rolls,” make your anchor text “delicious vegetable spring rolls.” This lets you incorporate your keyword without making you look spammy.
Also consider using branded anchor text in which you say the name of a highly reputable site that you’re linking to. It shows Google that you’re pointing in the direction of high-quality information and tools. You’ll look more reputable as a result.
Boosting Your Inbound Traffic
Of course, it isn’t enough to establish outbound connections with other web pages. You need other sites to drive inbound traffic to yours as well. There are a few ways that you can do this, the first being reviews and ratings.
When people review your services on other sites, it’s critical that you encourage them to link back to your services. These links serve as backlinks to your site and are therefore votes of confidence in your business. It’s even more effective if people are leaving reviews on credible rating websites since your connection will be to a well-known page.
However, guest posting is the most reliable way to get backlinks to your webpage. When you purchase a guest post package, you’ll be paired with a site that has agreed to use your page as a backlink. SEO content creators will insert your chosen link into the body of a quality blog post.
This will establish a connection between you and the publisher’s site and make you look more reputable. It also is an awesome way to drive inbound traffic, get more clicks, and further enhance your SEO strategy. Plus, it boosts your visibility to people who might be interested in your services- what’s not to love?
The Benefits of Backlinking Strategies
We have discussed many of the benefits of backlinking already. You establish authority, look awesome to Google crawlers, and give higher-quality information to your site visitors. However, there are still some more advantages that you should know about:
- Faster indexing (since bots can move to and from your website more effectively)
- Referral traffic (from people clicking on links to get more information about related topics)
- The possibility of forming professional connections with other sites
- More local traffic (assuming that you link to other local businesses near you)
- Higher-quality posts since you know what to elaborate on vs what to leave to others
- More visibility from web directories
The bottom line is that the backlinks that you incorporate into your content can make or break your SEO strategy. Choose wisely!
Get More Expert SEO News Today
While there are many facets of a solid off-page SEO strategy, backlinking is one of the most important. Now that you know how backlinks work and how they generate traffic and sales, it’s time to get more SEO news.
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