If you’re new to it, backlinking can be an absolute minefield to navigate. Implementing the right resources in the right places is no mean feat. And executing a plan ineffectively can actually lead to detrimental effects on your organic presence.
Before you execute a backlink strategy, it is important to know exactly what they are and how they operate. With this in mind, we have decided to create a quick backlink guide, so that you can nail the basics before putting anything in place.
What is Backlinking?
Simply put, backlinking is the practice of attaining links from other sites back to your website, with a view to boosting your SEO strategy and improving your organic presence.
Backlinking is a digital marketing practice that should form part of any efficient overarching SEO strategy. By securing links on relevant external sites, you are essentially informing Google (and other search consoles) of your expertise on a given subject. Think of it like the internet’s version of word-of-mouth.
But how do search engines know about your relevance to a given subject? Firstly, it will take the source site’s domain authority into account. Secondly, the website’s specialism/areas of expertise will be considered. And thirdly, the link’s anchor text will be taken into consideration.
Anchor text refers to actual words that the link derives from. In an ideal world, you want these to be in the form of a target keyword (or synonym) associated with your landing page. Selecting these words should derive from your keyword strategy. Or, if you’re looking to put your cunning/clairvoyance to use and get ahead of the curve, you could consider using online marketing forecasts to catch the trend before too many others jump on the bandwagon.
Where To Place Your Backlinks
As mentioned, backlinks should ideally derive from source websites relevant to the anchor text and destination page in question.
Trying to bolster your authority as a world-wondering travel expert? Perhaps seek out a popular travel blog that will help you on your journey towards a position of authority regarding a particular region.
However, a link from the same blog won’t do much good to someone operating within a totally different field, such as a healthcare specialist. After all, would you seek healthcare tips from a travel enthusiast with no medical background?
Relevance is crucial, but so too is reputation. And no backlink guide would be complete without a reference to the importance of domain authority.
Domain authority is a 0 – 100 score that indicates the reliability of a given website. In simple terms the higher the score, the more highly regarded the website. And generally speaking, any site with a DA score of 40+ can be deemed authoritative in their field.
How can you find this score out? Some SEO platforms, such as Moz, offer a (partially) free domain authority score checker, allowing you to check whether your backlink is coming from a top dog or an underdog.
With both relevance and reputation in mind, backlinking is very much a quality over quantity SEO consideration. It is important to bear this in mind when outlining your strategy.
How Do You Get Backlinks?
Now we get to the meat of the matter. You have a better idea of what backlinks are and how they work, but how exactly do you get them? Unfortunately, attaining backlinks is the most time-consuming part of the backlinking process.
Here are a few popular means of gaining backlinks, with each method bearing an inevitable combination of pros and cons. These include:
Alternatively, you can get help from an SEO marketing agency like ourselves that has a network of backlink sources in place. Backlinking agencies will typically have access to a range of sites that are specialists within specific fields, helping you get high quality backlinks as and when you need them.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
The quick answer: an effective backlinking strategy will give you better, faster SEO results.
All well-rounded SEO strategies will incorporate some element of backlinking into them. This is because it is an efficient means of boosting your authority on a given subject in the eyes of the search engine bots.
Studies have shown that in order to truly dominate on the SERPs (search engine results pages) backlinking becomes a necessity rather than an SEO luxury. SEO platform SEMRush found in a study of 28,000 domains that 92.3% of those ranking in the top 100 places on Google for a period of 13 months had at least backlink to their domain. Moreover, Backlinko found that pages ranking in first place on Google had 3.8x the number of backlinks found on the pages ranking 2nd to 10th.
So, from getting a foothold in those initial ranking spots to climbing up to the top of the pile, these statistics go to show that if you want to hit the peak of the organic rankings, you absolutely need to be incorporating backlinks into your strategy.