Before we delve into the nitty gritty of improving your backlink profile, we’ll get the ball rolling with the basics: what is a backlink and why are they important?
A backlink is an incoming link to a webpage, and they play a big part in search engine optimisation (SEO) so are pretty important when it comes to improving your rankings. When a webpage links to any other page, it’s classed as a backlink. There are a few variations of backlinks, some will give your rankings a boost and others will harm them. Understanding what backlinks are, as well as the basics of SEO and relevant terms, will help you put your backlink profile and website in a much better place.
Back to Basics
No-Follow Link: A no-follow tag is included so that when a website links to another website, it does not pass link juice, meaning it does not add to the page’s backlink profile and does not contribute to the ranking of a page.
Do-Follow Link: These links do pass link juice and can play a part in the ranking of a web page.
Anchor Text: Any text that is used for hyperlinks; most often used to build rankings around certain keywords.
Internal Links: When linking from one page to another within the same domain.
Low-Quality Links: These are the links that will harm your backlink profile and can affect your rankings negatively. They usually come from spammy sites, automated sites and harvested sites.
Linking Root Domains: The number of websites that link to your website from a unique domain – meaning that even if a website links to your site more than once, it will still only be one linked root domain.
Why does my website need backlinks?
There may have been a time where backlinks were the most valuable metric for ranking a webpage, but over time and algorithm changes, we now know there are numerous other factors that are taken into consideration, but that doesn’t mean backlinks are no longer important. Good, quality backlinks will help to drive your webpages up those rankings.
They are especially important if you have a new site as search engine bots use backlinks from existing webpages to discover new ones. Once discovered, they can then crawl your site resulting in faster indexing.
Backlinks can also provide you with referral traffic. A person who clicks a link from a blog post is more likely to be interested in the topic at hand and will therefore spend more time on that webpage, resulting in a lower bounce rate.
It’s worth noting that while some backlinks can be harmful to your site, quality and contextual links will boost your rankings substantially and also increase your own domain authority. It’s imperative that you focus some time and energy on ensuring you have a good backlink profile as part of your SEO strategy.
How to get quality backlinks
With backlinks, the best thing you can do is to be authentic. Don’t pay some dodgy company to spam article sites and blogs as this will only do you more harm than good; it’s best to use genuine methods that may take some time but will be more beneficial in the long run.
This is where you get to test those communication skills! A great way to build your backlink profile is by building relationships and reaching out to other websites. You might already have an existing relationship that might be a good fit – propose a backlink for backlink strategy. Just remember, it has to be a relevant link with associated anchor text.
Another way to get a backlink is by guest blogging on another website. This will create awareness for your brand as well as the opportunity to link back to multiple web pages. Obviously, this involves a bit more work and you’ll need a copywriter on your team, but it can be a highly effective way of gaining more traffic to your site. Again, relevance is key here. The topic and website must correlate with your site in some way.
It’s most likely that you’ll be losing out on some backlinks due to some being broken or lost. You’ll need to hunt down all the broken links that point to 404 pages or lost links as they are harmful to your SEO and the user experience. If the page has been moved to a new URL, you’ll need to redirect the links to the new one, or if it has been deleted entirely, make use of that homepage, but try not to do this too often as variety is key. Reach out to the author and get them fixed.
‘Ensure that all of your backlinks aren’t just pointing to the homepage with your brand name for anchor text, try to mix it up a bit with keyword anchor text linking to different pages on your site’
Joshua Barber, Digital Specialist
Influencer marketing is a great way to increase the number of credible backlinks to your site, but only if they are relevant and have good authority. Outreach bloggers and influencers to create content that can link back to your products and/or services. Make sure you do research beforehand to ensure you choose relevant influencers to work with.
Build on your internal links
A vital part of passing that link juice is through running a successful blog that links back to previous posts and pages on your website. You should already have a content marketing strategy in place as content is not only a useful tool for SEO, but it also helps to create a proactive user experience. Regular content is important so make sure you are posting at least 2 blogs a month, preferably one a week.
If you’re in need of more advice or copywriting support, our team of content specialists and SEO experts can conduct an SEO audit on your site and find out what areas need improvement. We can also provide guidance on blogging retainers. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 369 5874.