The QuickStart SEO Backlink Guide
What are backlinks?
To start out our SEO Backlink Guide, we’ll explain what a backlink is. A backlink is a link between two websites. They’re also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links.” There are two types of backlinks you should be aware of. Nofollow and Ddofollow. These are pretty simple to understand. Nofollow basically tells Google’s crawler not to follow the link, therefore it doesn’t transfer page rank between the pages. They’re the lonely, unwanted types of links. Dofollow on the other hand are the proverbial AllStars of backlinks. They do transfer page rank. Backlinko has an excellent article that goes into these differences in more detail.
Why are backlinks important?
Utilising your backlinking opportunities to build a strong backlink profile is essential to improve your websites’ ranking power. Quality backlinks are great for SEO because they are essentially a vote of confidence from one site to another. They act as a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If lots of sites link to the same page or website, then search engines will view that content as being work linking to, thus worth putting on a SERP.
The other important thing to remember about backlinks is the impact it has on your website’s domain authority.
How do you get backlinks?
Actually getting your chosen backlink is simple, just ask. Literally, just ask the website owner. They’re just people. Contact them, tell them you would like them to link to your site, which page and why. What’s the worst that can happen?
Just remember you want to sell to them why they should link to your site. If they say no, try and get a reason, find out what you can do to earn that link. Be polite, be respectful. The main thing to remember when building your backlink profile is that links are earned. Stay tuned and we’ll give you the full lowdown on the whole process very soon.
Using competitor backlink analysis to find new domains to ink through is a sound starting point for any backlink strategy. Especially for new and up-and-coming websites. Run a backlink audit on your competitors’ sites using some good software like the new ROAR DIY SEO Platform to see which sites they’re linking to which would also be relevant to you.
There is an added benefit to this method. Backlinks are also weighted by their uniqueness. If you can identify backlinks that your competitors don’t have, that gives you an additional edge. Conversely, a more aggressive strategy is to identify links that are unique to your competitors, and obtaining them as well, levels the playing field.
Building a good SEO backlink strategy
There are few methods you can employ to get more backlinks and get that sweet sweet ranking juice flowing through your web pages. A lot of these however come back to just having great content.
When you’re building your backlink profile, try to think of the process of obtaining a backlink as a transaction. What will you give that linking page in exchange for its ranking power? 99 times out of 100 the answer is great content.
NEVER pay for a link. EVER. We cannot stress this enough. Aside from it being a waste of money because most sites which you would pay to link to will likely have a high spam score, which you absolutely do not want, but because Google penalises sites that are paying for links. This is easy to do since Google knows which sites cost to link to and therefore can very easily see if you have a link on this site. So just… don’t!
Some other methods are resource pages, newsjacking, sponsorship, unlinked mentions and getting involved in the local community. We’ll go into each of these in more detail at another time.
Managing your backlinks
Backlink analysis and continuous management of your backlinks are almost as important as backlink acquisition. You need to be able to monitor your link quality. Make sure you’re not linking to a domain with a high spam or toxicity score, or a domain authority lower than yours. You also need to make sure that the link actually works. If the referring domain just leads to a 401 page then not only does this mean a poor experience for the user, but also you won’t actually get any ranking power through the link.
Don’t forget that backlinks aren’t concrete, if you have a link from a spammy or toxic site you can remove your association to it by using a disavow list to demonstrate to the search engines that you are not and do not want to be tied to that site.
Your link management should monitor the type of link, when it was discovered, what the referring domain is, its anchor text and whether it is a follow or no-follow. This is where a good backlink checker is essential.
Enjoy our backlink SEO Guide but need help with your backlink building? Try our SEO DIY Software to start building your backlink profile today.