Backlinks: How To Improve Your Website Rank In 2022
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You must establish more authority than your competitors in order to rank above them. By obtaining backlinks from authoritative websites, building up your brand awareness, and remaining active with your audience, you can accomplish this goal. The purpose of this article is to help you build high-quality links and improve your domain authority.
Google has confirmed the importance of links, so don’t take our word for it. The two most important factors they consider when ranking a website are the quality of the content and the backlinks. Generally speaking, you’ll find spammy websites linking to other spammy websites, and trustworthy sites linking to other trustworthy sites.
If you want your website to appear trustworthy, you need to find trustworthy websites and get a backlink from them.
Let’s take a look at it piece by piece.
Backlinks – what are they?
Backlinks, also known as external links or inbound links, are hyperlinks pointing to another website from another. Having a lot of backlinks is similar to having a good reputation.
As an example, if you were on a holiday in Rome, and you bumped into three unrelated people, and you asked them where the best pasta restaurant is, and they all answered “Luigi’s near Vatican City”. You would be confident that Luigi’s is the best place to enjoy some authentic Italian pasta. Backlinks have the same effect for search engines.
Earlier in the blog post, we discussed internal links, but we thought we would just recap them in this section. Internal links connect pages within the same website.
Many internal links pointing to a certain page on your site will indicate to Google that the page you’re pointing to is relevant. A similar concept can be applied to the use of backlinks. It is true that, as long as it is not done in a spammy manner, it can be very effective in the quest for higher search rankings and better SEO.
In Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, they emphasize the importance of E-A-T. It stands for Expert, Authoritative, and Trustworthy, and if you receive a low score on any of these, your rankings will reflect that. Websites that don’t meet these standards will be viewed as low-quality and as a result, search engines won’t be kind to them.
You should consider this acronym as the magic formula and the key to future-proofing your website. If you follow these guidelines, you will provide excellent value to your visitors, which is just what Google is looking for.
Links pointing to your website
The more popular and influential a website is, the greater the weight that links on the website carry. Wikipedia is a suitable example. There are literally thousands of different sites of all shapes and sizes directly linking to it. This demonstrates to search engines that they have a lot of expertise, are an authority, and are a trusted site.
You will need to receive backlinks from reliable websites in order to increase your website authority. Be sure to choose websites that demonstrate E-A-T qualities. There is no need to chase sites as large as Wikipedia, but they must provide useful information to searchers.
Nofollow or follow
Backlinks should be regarded as votes. With rel=nofollow, you can link directly to a resource while at the same time removing your “vote” for search engines. Nofollow links indicate to a search engine that the link should not be followed.
Although these links do not pass link equity, they can be useful when linking to a web page that is unreliable or has a low authority.
Consider writing an article about fire safety in the workplace and adding links to some of the resources you used. A signal telling Google that you do not trust a source website can be provided if one of the source websites was untrustworthy. Keep in mind that spammy sites link to spammy sites, so you need to make sure that Google doesn’t view you that way.
A natural balance between follow and nofollow backlinks is most beneficial for your website. Some of the benefits and examples are as follows:
Backlinks with Follow – These types of links pass on link equity, thereby increasing your page authority. An example of a follow backlink would be if you wrote an article on baking a sponge cake. You would allow another website to publish it on their site in exchange for credit. An HTML code linking directly back to your website would be created here.
Even though these types of links don’t benefit your page authority, they can still increase traffic to your website. Commenting on a blog post of someone else’s website is an example of a nofollow backlink. In addition to engaging, informative, and adding value, it is likely that other visitors will click through to your website.
One of the most popular places to gain backlinks is from website directories. Even though a nofollow backlink may seem like an easy win, they will not count towards your domain authority and are often thus nofollow links, so will not improve your website traffic a lot.
The backlink profile
Backlink profiles refer to the number, quality, diversity, and other characteristics of links directing towards your website. Your backlink profile will be evaluated by a search engine to understand the quality of your site. All websites should monitor their backlink profile because it is a major SEO factor.
Many freely available tools are available to analyze your backlink profile, but Ahrefs Backlink Checker is one of the most popular tools across the web. A free version and a paid version are offered. The free version displays a website’s links, as well as its domain authority score.
Backlink profiles and their importance
People immediately began manipulating search engines’ algorithms when links became a determining factor for SEO. It was and still is possible to gain artificial backlinks to improve search engine rankings. While this is a simple solution, it breaches Google’s Terms of Service and can result in significant penalties, including deindexing, which is essentially the end of the game.
Build a healthy backlink profile and futureproof your business by not cutting corners.
Search engines view your website differently based on your backlink profile. They will reward you if you have built up your page authority fairly and have high-quality, natural backlinks, they will reward you.
Backlinks to editorials
How significant are editorial backlinks? The links to your website are generatedr websites that want to link to you. If you provide publishing websites with high-quality content that they want to post on their sites, you can gain high-quality backlinks.
Don’t think that if you write a few sentences about driving laws and then send them to an online motoring magazine that they will publish it. Instead, you will receive a backlink from them. It must be the most informative and valuable resource they have ever read about a particular topic.
Our favourite kind of link is one that requires you to create a high-quality piece of content and doesn’t require any major effort from you. This can also tie into your social media and create even more authority.
Write about what you know, write about what interests you, and have fun! You will be able to retain readers’ attention for longer if you’re having fun when you compose.
Backlinks relevant to the topic
Stay relevant to your niche when creating a backlink profile. You’d care more about getting a backlink from a motoring magazine if you sell used cars than a wedding photography website, for instance.
In addition to a greater likelihood of finding customers on websites relevant to your business, search engines can be confused by a wide variety of backlinks covering alternative topics within your content writing. Stay on topic!
Be careful not to spam
Google does not like manipulation, so it punishes spammy websites harshly. Anchor text is one element that SEOs get wrong.
Search engines love anchor text because it provides searchers with information about a page. In any case, too many backlinks with the same anchor text will indicate to search engines that you’re manipulating your website’s search engine ranking. Be careful and make sure your content is high quality.
To help you better understand this concept, imagine meeting up with five different friends, at different times of the same day, and asking them what they did that day. Each one would respond as follows:
After eating a bowl of Shreddies, I walked my dog Todd on the beach. After I got back, I made myself a sirloin steak and asparagus.”
Wouldn’t that be weird and suspicious? The same holds true for Google. The anchor text of the target page can be used to describe the content of the page and help search engines understand what the page is about. The more the same description appears, the more suspicious it appearsrs and may be considered spam.
Website traffic from qualified sources
The primary purpose of a healthy backlink profile is to optimize search engine results. However, it is also critical to focus on acquiring links that will drive qualified traffic to your website and social media helps with this by not directly giving backlinks but enforcing brand authority.
Create links from puppy training or dog grooming forums if you’re selling dog collars online. Your content and products will be of interest to an audience on these types of websites.
Techniques to avoid
There are still some link building methods that are very popular today, but involve unnatural, sneaky techniques that search engines are cracking down on.
We recommend avoiding buying links or participating in link exchange programmes, where you add multiple backlinks to your website in exchange for backlinks from other websites. You can receive a penalty for doing this, even if it seems like nothing is wrong.
It’s advisable not to manipulate the ranking of a website. Let your website grow naturally by building links.
The top 3 things to avoid when building links
- Search engines may not be able to identify the exact links that a website purchases, but their robots can detect certain signs. In order to achieve high search engine rankings, buying backlinks will lead to a severe penalty.
- Do you receive emails or messages on social media that read something like “I’ll link your website to mine if you link mine”. Pay attention, as this is a bit of a gray area. Linking to a partner website, a supplier that you use, or even a customer is perfectly acceptable. Google does not like links from unaffiliated websites that are exchanged excessively on a mass scale. Such practices will be penalized by Google.
- Adding your website to every online directory possible – In the early days, it was possible to sit at your desk for weeks and do this. Since they are easy to obtain, they aren’t as significant as they once were. That being said, people still use online directories and you can receive additional traffic that you would not otherwise have received. No matter how you look at it, using directories to gain backlinks is considered manipulation, and if you have an entirely directory-based backlink profile, then your website will appear spammy.
The eight steps to success
We have covered a lot of methods to avoid in this section, but it is also worth mentioning the steps to successful link building. These are the 8 most critical points to consider when building your link profile:
- Using editorials, you’ll be able to write informative, high-quality content and earn backlinks from other websites.
- Avoid low-authority pages, they won’t help. Look for pages with a high domain authority.
- Increasing your link profile gradually is a wise idea. Creating 1,000 links in a few days will look spammy.
- Build links from websites that are relevant to you or your niche.
- Don’t overuse anchor text, but make sure it’s relevant to what your pages are about.
- Bringing qualified traffic to your website that is interested in your product or service.
- Build a mix of follow and nofollow links.
- Earn links naturally and don’t try to run before you can walk.
The importance of building high-quality backlinks
Links come in many forms, and it is imperative to get a diverse mix of high-quality links from a variety of sources. In this section, we will delve a bit deeper into the most effective methods for obtaining high-quality links.
Links to partners
Let’s start with a simple one – partners. Contact all your partners and see if they would be interested in placing your logo or domain name on their website. You can do this by creating a digital ‘partnership badge’ that you and your partner can display on your websites as a sign of your mutual relationship.
Links to blogs
You need to start a blog if you don’t have one already. A well-known fact is that Google engineers personally recommend blog posts as part of their link-building strategies. Bloggers are able to publish original content consistently and link to other web pages at the same time. Due to how specific they are to search queries, they have a very high conversion rate in search engine results.
You should be careful when commenting on other blogs, however. Even though you will receive a nofollow link back from that page, it is considered low-quality due to the way it can be obtained.
It is not easy to create a unique resource in this day and age. If you can create a unique, high-quality resource then you will be on to a winner.
The resource should be visually appealing, timely, relevant, and evoke strong emotions. You should also make it localized.
You want to share your resource with as many publishers as possible so that they link back to your website. Keep it specific and target websites with similar audiences to your own. So if your post is about social media, then target social media management websites.
Engagement with the community
Getting involved in the local community is a very effective way to gain valuable backlinks to your website. Community doesn’t necessarily mean the local under-11’s football team, it can mean a wide range of genres, clubs and educational programmes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Support a local club or organization. The logo of a club’s sponsor appears on their website along with a backlink.
Organise an event or workshop that engages the community. Have them write about it on their own blogs.
Donate to local charities and causes. Form partnerships with the charities.
Loyalty programmes can help your brand become more aware within a local community.
You can run a local competition and offer discounted entry to anyone who shares it on their own website with a link.
Join forces with like-minded local business owners to form an organization that helps your community.
These are all natural and authentic ways to gain backlinks to your website. Furthermore, it will portray a positive image of your business and support brand awareness.
Content should be rewritten
You should be able to see the statistics for your web pages in your back-end platform, so you know which ones are most popular and have the highest conversion rate.
Fresh and updated content is essential for these pages.
One day, you may discover that several websites in your niche all link to an outdated resource website. Here’s your chance to approach those websites and ask them to link to yours. Remember, they want to provide their customers with the highest quality experience, so they will only link to the highest quality relevant content. You are likely to receive a new backlink if yours is the most informative they have read.
Keep up to date
There are always trending topics, stories, and controversial opinions that will boost engagement on your website. Keep your content current and relevant to the world around you.
Take advantage of the fact that the human race is naturally nosy when you’re coming up with new content to publish.
Measuring the results
You should now have a better understanding of how significant links are and how to build a high-quality backlink profile. If you don’t measure the results and know what works and what doesn’t, what use is this knowledge? You will learn how to track your performance in this part of the blog post.
Tracking and analysing the number of total links to your website or page is the most effective way to gauge how effective your link building has been. Many online tools are available for this purpose. We particularly like Moz’s Link Explorer.
Such tools allow you to see if the number of backlinks leading to your website is as high as you planned. Using cross-references, you’ll understand what works and what doesn’t. As part of this process, you should ask yourself a few questions.
Did you create better content on the topic than anyone else?
A popular reason why link building efforts didn’t work as well as we thought they would was that the content was less valuable than other web pages.
Revisit the content, learn what others are doing well, and make it even better.
Could you have promoted your content more effectively?
Do not expect people to find your content and link to it immediately. Promote your work on social media, send emails and speak with your existing contacts to drum up some excitement. Use your most popular web pages to link to your updated content.
In order to compete in search engines, how many backlinks do you need?
With SERP analysis tools like Keyword Explorer from Moz, you can view a report that shows who are ranking for particular search terms and how many links you have. When creating a link building strategy, you can easily see in black and white how many links you require. This is in order to appear at the top of search engine results.
Did you receive high quality backlinks?
If you are able to get a handful of high-quality links, you will be in the driving seat, even if other pages have hundreds of links. A link from a high-authority site is more valuable than twenty links from directories, blog comments, or other low-quality sites.
Increasing domain authority
Over time, building high-quality links with the ‘follow’ tag will improve your domain authority, as explained in this section.
You can increase your page authority in other ways as well. We are all familiar with social media, the one industry that continues to grow and has become a part of our everyday lives. You can also use it to share valuable content and make your audience aware of what you do. As a result, they will be more likely to share those posts with their own networks.
Even though you can share links on social media, they are not considered backlinks, so they have no direct effect on your SEO score.
It is true that social media platforms have their uses:
- Visitors and traffic to a website can be directly increased by shares.
- Attract a whole new audience.
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Increase brand trust.
- Increase links from other websites.
Because of the high-quality content on your website, visitors may find you on social media and link back to your website.
Since search engines care about user experience, they want to display the websites they trust most. A website’s trust is largely determined by the number and quality of its backlinks.
Other factors that search engines consider include:
Helpfulness – Does a website provide an answer to your query?
Integrity – Are they honest and do what they say they will do?
Language – Can the message be clearly conveyed?
Value – Do they provide value to their customers?
Quality – Are the products or services better than others?
Reviews – What do people have to say about them?
The last point in this list is often overlooked, but it has a significant impact on a business’s reputation. Negative reviews can ruin a business in this era of total transparency and the ability to dig up dirt on anyone.
While we strive to provide excellent customer service or sell a product of the highest quality, sometimes things are beyond our control, and we face a backlash.
Here are a few things to consider when managing your online reputation:
Do not review your own business or ask your staff to do so.
- Don’t give incentives or rewards in exchange for positive reviews.
- Don’t pay an agency to leave positive reviews for your business.
- You shouldn’t leave reviews for customers.
- Don’t write negative reviews about your competitors.
- Do not ask customers to leave reviews while they are inside your building. When multiple reviews come from the same IP address, it can be assumed that a business is spamming.
- Before signing up for any review platform, be sure to read its terms and conditions.
Even though leaving a fake review might seem harmless, it is actually a major problem that’s taken on global proportions. In violation of government advertising guidelines, it is punishable by heavy fines if found guilty. Don’t give in to the temptation of fake reviews.
What is the most effective way to improve your online reputation? By providing exceptional customer service.
If you combine exceptional customer service with following search engine guidelines, you are creating a winning formula for domain authority and trust.
As a final note
Businesses build domain authority for their website by sharing high-quality content, earning reputable backlinks, and satisfying customers. If you can check all these boxes, you are on the right track.
Do you want to rank higher than your competitors? Our team is here to assist you with any questions you may have – contact us
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