What Is A Backlink?
A backlink is a link from another website to your website. You want your link portfolio to be diversified. Google and search engines use SEO backlinks as a method for figuring out which website is has the best information.
Google’s secret algorithm is still dependent on backlinks although they are trending away from relying on backlinks. The company is moving toward making their little robots that crawl the internet much smarter so that higher quality content is preferred by the search engine results as well as answering your questions as fast and complete as possible. Backlinks help search engines and searchers figure out how to answer questions in the shortest amount of time.
How Do I Identify My Backlinks?
Before starting, do a website audit of your current SEO backlinks. It is good to have a diversified backlink portfolio just like you would with stocks and investments. You want a variety of anchor text (the text that is linked) and external websites with trusted reputations. It is also important to have deep links. Ahrefs.com is a detailed resource where you can obtain your backlink profile information. There is limited free information but you can get a good idea of where to start.
Quality vs. Quantity
Interesting study for law firm backlinks that 54% of websites that ranked 2nd in the search results had more backlinks than the number 1 competitor. This suggests that both quality and quantity are important. You want to have more than your competitors but if you’re close, then quality can boost you above competitors that have slightly more backlinks. Remember: backlinks are only 1 ranking factor. Here's a complete list of ranking factors. High amounts of backlinks really do not effect the search engine which means you can concentrate on fewer quality backlinks. Try getting at least 20 high value backlinks to start then continue with at least 5 per month.
What Makes Quality SEO Backlinks?
- Competitors do not have them
- Hard to obtain
- High domain authority website or well established and trusted online reputation
- A lot of traffic to that website
- Provides quality resources that adds value to the consumer experience
- Differentiated from competitors’ content
- Interesting or niche content
- Industry related or town related Ex: If you want to rank in San Francisco, a local Chicago newspaper will not be as helpful
How Do I Obtain Backlinks?
- Contact influential industry bloggers
- Contact influential local area bloggers
- In person networking events: small business, entrepreneurs, chambers, etc.
- Join a webinar panel for your industry and ask people to link to your site
- Be a guest on a local radio show and ask people to link to your site
- Sponsor an event or donate to a charity (don’t expect backlink for your donation)
- Contact local newspaper
- Call a local PR Firm
- Use PR websites like HARO.com
- Fill out your local chamber website listing
- Other local resources such as online community boards, forums, schools, and more – be creative!
- Create an excellent FAQ (frequently asked questions) section with separate pages – bloggers are always looking to link to excellent factual information with pictures
- Network with small businesses and exchange backlinks – can be lower quality because it is a 2 way exchange. Higher quality links usually only flow into your website.