Why are backlinks important?
A backlink is a link from one website to another—a “link back” to a site. Search engines like Google use backlinks as a ranking signal because when one website links to another, it means they believe the content is noteworthy.
It’s all part of building Google authority
Remember that old thing about the more times your name appears in the online space, the more likely you’ll show up in search? While that has certainly evolved, the basic premise remains true. High-quality backlinks help increase your site’s ranking and visibility in search engine results.
How do backlinks work?
Backlinks play an important role in search engine algorithm, SEO, and your overall strategy for growing your website’s traffic. Think of backlinks as conversations between websites. Let’s say that Olivia is a landscape designer who writes about winter gardening in her popular blog. Michael is a master gardener who owns a nursery and has a blog with a large following. He links to Olivia’s article on his blog.
Because both of these blogs have large followings and authority, others will link back to these articles. This is how backlinks are built. These are the third-party links that you want—not the one-on-one links where you and I trade links.
There are two types of backlinks
- A Nofollow tag tells search engines to ignore a link. They don’t pass any value from one site to another. These links will not improve your search rank or visibility.
- Dofollow links are what we all want. They come from respected sites, hold the most value and will improve your search engine (Google) rankings. A link from The New York Times has significantly more value than a link from your small community paper.
Building backlinks to your site takes time and effort. If someone promises to help you show up on page one of Google, be suspicious. It doesn’t just happen.
Here are five ways to start building quality backlinks for your website
1. Add links back to your site from your social media profiles.
2. Do a Google search for a post that’s already ranking well and then improve and expand it.
3. Create list posts, “how-to” posts, “why” posts, infographics, or posts with embedded videos. These formats usually get more backlinks than standard posts.
4. Write guides or how-to articles–comprehensive posts containing several thousand words.
5. Look for guest posts on other blogs and websites. Opportunities are numerous. Every company providing products and services has a website. They generally have a blog because they need content, and they’re happy to have guest posts. They generally require at least 1,500 words and have stringent requirements. To find these opportunities, Google your industry, then something like “guest post opportunities” or “write guest posts”, etc. This is a project, not a one-off. It’s time-consuming and takes a commitment. There’s a big difference between a 1,500-2,000-word and a 500-word article, but it’s worth the effort.
Questions? Ask me about improving your Google ranking!