To a business owner, SEO (search engine optimization) jargon often sounds like a bunch of gibberish. What are backlinks, anyway? And why are they so important for SEO?
The landscape of SEO is always changing but link building managed to stay relevant through the years.
In this article, we will shed light on the importance of backlinks, and give you seven tips for making your website more SEO-friendly.
What Are Backlinks?
It’s pretty simple: backlinks, or inbound links, are links which are directed towards your website.
They are the building blocks of good off-page SEO and incredibly important for your website’s ranking.
Focus on High-quality Backlinks
Quality trumps quantity.
If you want to rise through search engine rankings, focus on earning high-quality backlinks.
Think of each backlink as a recommendation letter for your website.
If you have quality backlinks coming from reliable sources, your website will be considered trustworthy and reliable in Google’s eyes.
While spamming low-quality backlinks can give your site a temporary SEO boost, it is a black-hat SEO tactic that will eventually get your site banned from search engines completely.
Google’s bots are getting smarter about recognizing spammy backlinks every single day.
These tactics are no longer worth the risk if you want to build a website (and business) that lasts.
3 Reasons Why Backlinks Are Important
1. Higher search engine rankings
Google is focused on giving it’s users the best experience possible and the most relevant content possible.
When Google considers your website trustworthy and useful, it will give it a higher ranking.
2. Increased organic search traffic
When your website starts ranking higher, you will get more organic search traffic coming your way.
Did you know that 33% of all search traffic goes to the first result? The second one only gets 18% and the third one gets just a little over 11%.
The numbers get even bleaker from there.
By the time you get to the 10th result (the last result on the first page of Google), your website only gets 2.4% of traffic.
And if your website is not even on the first page?
You can forget about generating serious traffic entirely.
Without organic search traffic, you will have to spend an extraordinary amount of money on paid advertising to get found by potential customers.
Earning high-quality backlinks and raising your website’s search engine ranking is much more cost-effective.
3. Faster indexing
A website with a higher number of backlinks will get discovered by search engine bots quicker.
This is especially important if you are trying to launch a new website.
New websites have very little SEO juice due to their low domain age, so every little bit helps!
7 Ways To Create Backlinks
1. Create stand-out content
The first (and the most obvious) way to earn backlinks is creating stand-out content that other users will want to link to.
Long-form blog content, like ultimate guides and in-depth how-to posts, works great for this purpose.
2. Make “the ask”
Don’t count on your blog readers to share and link to your newest article on their own.
Ask them to do so with a strong call to action near the end of your blog post or social media post.
3. Reach out to influencers
You do not have to wait for people to find your content on their own.
If you have created content that might be of interest to an influencer, email them and share that piece of content with them.
Just make sure the content you are referring to is relevant to them and try to personalize your message to avoid looking spammy.
4. Guest posting
You can create content on other websites, by writing guest posts, to earn backlinks with lots of SEO juice.
Pick a few high-ranking websites in your niche, check the guest posting guidelines, and start pitching your ideas!
5. Comment on other blogs
Blog commenting is a popular link-building tactic that has been around for ages.
Just leave a comment with your website link and you are good to go!
6. Submit your content to web directories
You can submit your content to web directories to earn backlinks.
This includes free business listing pages like Yelp and general link-building directories like Jasmine Directory.
You can also use paid directories like Best of the Web.
7. Consider broken link building
A great way to build more links to your website is checking other websites for broken links.
When you find a broken link in your niche, let the owner of the website know, and offer your own content as a replacement.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this manually!
Instead, you can use a Google Chrome extension called Check My Links to check a website for broken links.
How Handmade SEO Can Help
Creating high-quality backlinks is an important part of any SEO strategy.
If you’d like to know how your website is doing in terms of SEO, consider taking our free Digital Marketing Assessment.
It includes a free SEO audit to help you understand why you have not gotten that top spot in Google’s search results – and how you can do better.
Did we mention it’s completely free?