When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) there are two main factors that come into play, on-page and off-page factors. If you are wondering what the difference is between the two or need a refresher then check out Becoming a search engine optimization expert.
Alright, all caught up? Good. So we know the main aspect of off-page SEO are backlinks. Backlinks are crucial for your SEO strategy if you want to improve your ranking and drive more traffic to your website. But before you invest in link building it’s important you have a clear understanding of backlinks; what they are, why they are important and the proper way to obtain them.
What is a backlink?
Basically, a backlink (also known as an inbound link) is an incoming link from one website to another site. The backlink may appear as a URL or it may be a word or phrase that has the link embedded. These links appear as clickable text and are distinguishable from a regular text as they are usually underlined, highlighted and/or in bold type. Search engines use these backlinks to help determine where a website should rank in the search engine results page.
For example, say you have a sports website all about hockey. If TSN publishes an article online and in the article there is a link to your site, that’s considered a backlink. This would help to drive more traffic to your site and boost your ranking as TSN is considered an authoritative and established site.
Why are backlinks important?
Backlinks are important to SEO because they tell search engines that your website is important and is an authority on a particular subject. The more inbound links you have linking to your site from high-quality and authoritative websites, the higher your site will rank in the search results. And if you don’t know already, the higher your website ranks the more traffic you will have to come to it.
The proper way to obtain backlinks.
The best way to obtain backlinks is by creating remarkable content that stands out and is of great value to your user. If you can create content that is remarkable then people will talk about it, link to it, and share it. This way you get links and they basically do all the work for you.
There are many strategies out there that claim to earn you backlinks and boost your rankings, but it’s important to keep in mind that the easier it is to get a link, the less influence it will most likely have. Think quality over quantity, as 5 high-quality links from authoritative websites will have a lot more influence than 500 links from less-established sites.
Backlinks are a key component in SEO and can help to drive traffic to your website and boost your search engine rankings. When creating your backlink strategy the key is to create engaging and valuable content that is targeted to your user. If you ever feel you are getting off track ask yourself this question from Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines, “Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” If your answer is ever along the lines of “No” then you may need to take a step back and reassess your strategy.
Do you have any tips on what strategies work best when trying to earn inbound links from authoritative and established sites? Share them below!