Backlinks are one of the most important tools you can use to help improve your SEO. They help you to build credibility, increase awareness of your site and rank as an authority in your industry. But with Google’s algorithms changing all the time, it can sometimes seem as if they’re trying to make it impossible for you to rank. But the opposite is really true.
Google isn’t the world’s biggest and most effective search engine for no reason. It’s because they put considerable, continued effort into making the engine efficient so that people keep using it to find relevant, quality content and information. The shifting algorithms are designed to help people find good quality, accurate, relevant information, rather than pages and pages full of spam and pointless keyword-stuffed content.
After all, if you’re looking for a particular product in your local area, you want to be able to find it without hassle, or if you want to find out what’s happening with a current news item, you’d like to find it just as easily. It works the other way around, too. You want the right customers to find you, right? Getting thousands of page visits is no good if those visits don’t include at least a good percentage of potential buyers, so it’s in your best interests to be properly optimized.
Part of that is making sure that backlinks - links to your website and content that are found on external sites or news sources - are legitimate, relevant and useful to your potential customers or readers. Just bear one thing in mind - building quality backlinks is not an overnight job, and it will take time and effort to do properly. That said, it will be worth it when you start seeing results. Here’s our quick how to build backlinks guide.
1 - Foundation
To build quality backlinks, you need a strong foundation, and that means housekeeping. If your website is difficult to navigate, full of irrelevant of poorly created content, and not adequately SEO-ready, no amount of effort is going to help you gain or earn high-quality backlinks. Get your own house in order first, and get your website, blog and social media up to scratch.
2 - Add value
Nobody will link back to your site if it doesn’t in some way add value to the conversation. Don’t just pump out content for content’s sake, and don’t think that volume is the same as quality. Well-researched and well-written content will be much more likely to rank and gain backlinks. And be consistent with creating valuable content - spend the time to make it link-worthy so that people will link back to it naturally.
3 - Target your audience
Get your keywords and content research right, so that your blog, website etcetera are crafted to reach and engage the right audience. Again, we stress, step away from keyword stuffing - it’s not worth it and it makes your content look amateurish. Make sure you’re building your keywords in naturally and organically, and provide content that’s relevant to the people you’re looking to attract.
4 - Link back
A few years ago, there was an unfortunate trend where bloggers and content creators would link back to each other’s content, regardless of relevance, to boost backlinks and fool the algorithm. Google put a stop to that, but that doesn’t mean that linking to good content doesn’t work. In fact, it can be even more effective now. When you link your own content to good quality, relevant and interesting content on someone else’s site, you improve your chances of creating backlinks to your own site.
5 - Guest blog
Like with point 4, this one was abused for a while, with rampant guest blogging used to force backlink ranking. Nowadays, you can still get great backlink mileage out of guest blogging, as long as you are providing good quality content, especially on recognized authority sites. That doesn’t mean you have to focus only on those sites, but make sure there is, as always, relevance and quality - no matter whose blog or site you’re guest posting on.
What techniques have you used to build effective backlinks? Let us know in the comments.
Want to build high-quality backlinks and optimize your site or blog? Get in touch, we know how.