The web is a crowded place. Businesses from every sector compete in the same space for attention. And in the end, it’s not those who have the best products who are successful, but those who command the most attention — popularity is essential for business.
Backlinks are hyperlinks that lead to your website from other sites. These links are an important factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. The more your website is used as a source of reference, the more authority your website garners.
And while creating research-backed content will help strengthen your website’s reputation, engaging in purposeful link building is what puts your products or content in front of the right people. Read on for more details.
Things to consider
Before building backlinks, you’ll need to know how they work. Backlinks are the internet’s version of a vote of confidence. Being linked by other sites is like a “thumbs up” for your site, and search engines take note of that.
But you need to be careful. Search engines know that people will try to take advantage of that by creating spammy links that are unnatural. Because of this, they have built-in systems that weed out spammy links and the sites they link to.
A rule of thumb is that quality sites link to other quality sites, and spammy sites link to other spammy sites. So the quality of the link, i.e. who is linking to your site, matters a lot.
Search engines like Google and Bing also check the text that the links are anchored to (called “anchor text”), as well as the situation surrounding the link. Some situations constitute fishy and spammy behavior. For example, if your content is about dogs and an article about stock investments links to your site, search engines may view that link as spam.
Also, several links to your site from different sources but with the same exact anchor text classify as spammy behavior and may get your site flagged.
Buying links and engaging in link exchange services is also a no-no. Sites that are caught offering link purchase services are usually penalized by Google. But link purchasing should not be confused with link building or businesses which offer link building services.
Link building is a set of strategies that are aimed to improve your site’s authority and popularity. It uses practices that do not violate search engine’s rules and regulation or constitute spam.
There are reputable businesses that specialize in link building services where they expertly design and implement strategies that work to increase your site’s authority and popularity. However, if you’d rather do it yourself, here are some tips to get you going:
Focus on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T): Google’s search quality evaluator guide says that a lack of expertise, authoritativeness, or trustworthiness is an indication of low quality pages.
So, to be seen as a quality source, your page must be expert (you should know what you’re talking about), authoritative (respected as a source of accurate information), and trustworthy (only providing verifiable facts).
Write great content: Good content cannot be overemphasized. Search engines check the quality of a web page’s main content. High quality content goes a long way to improving your ranking.
Reach out to high authority sites: Now, you aren’t asking for favors or an exchange of links. Instead, you’re asking them to check out your site, and if your site is interesting enough or has information that is useful to these authority sites, then they could link to your site.
One reason why this is effective is that links count as votes, and the more authoritative a site is, the more “weight” their vote carries. This indirectly means that these authority sites you reach out to must be topically similar to your site.
Promote your content: Your content may be great, expert and true, but if nobody knows about it then all your efforts are a waste. You can use social media, search engine marketing, and even content marketing to promote your content.