What Is A Backlink?
A backlink is a link placed on another website that will lead any user who clicks on the link to your website. The goal of backlinks is to provide as many opportunities as possible for a potential lead to find a link to your website on the internet. At Oviond, our CEO and founder, Chris Irwin, likes to describe this as placing as many hooks in the water as possible, so that there is a great chance that one of them might snag a new client.
Something that is becoming increasingly popular with digital marketing is that two or more businesses enter into an agreement where they each promote each other’s website by placing a link on their own website. This is called Reciprocal marketing and is useful in increasing the reach of your website by positioning it to a new audience (the partner’s website). This form of marketing is often most successful when businesses that cater to a similar audience enter an agreement so that the backlinks they each promote to their audiences feel natural and appealing.
Google introduced backlinks as a way to skyrocket search rankings for websites that included more backlinks than others. The idea behind this method was that a higher page rank would be assigned to websites that had more backlinks linking to their website. This was the method used to be placed at the top of Google SERPS in the early 1990s, however there is a fatal flaw with this process.
If all a website needs to do is attain more backlinks to rank higher in Google search, regardless of the quality of the backlinks or the website pointing to their own, then this system is easily exploitable and that is what Google was noticing as we entered the 2010’s. This was particularly abused by websites looking to spam viewers with their content, and they were able to achieve this by generating thousands of poor-quality backlinks to attain a high page rank.
In 2012, Google released their Penguin update that changed the way backlinks work entirely so now not only did you have to attain many backlinks to rank higher in SERPs, but these backlinks also needed to be good quality backlinks based on on-page SEO factors and domain authority. Backlinks also needed to direct viewers to legitimate content, meaning that a website’s content should not surprise a viewer once they have followed a backlink.
The key difference in how backlinks were meant to be used after this update. Quality over quantity instead of the other way around as it was before 2012.
How To Use Backlinks
Backlinks aren’t as difficult to use as it may seem, and in fact, most of the success of backlinks actually comes down to the quality of content on your website that you have the link pointing to.
To summarize though, in order to optimize your website you need to make sure that the backlink is pointing to content on your website that is related to what the backlink was pointing to. This means that if the backlink has been placed in a blog about gardening, it shouldn’t be pointing to content on your website about software design, unless it has been introduced like that in the blog.
Your website also needs to contain good and unique content that is informative, not too long or too short, uses a combination of text and media, is fast loading and contains good internal linking between pages. With these points sorted, your website will be one step closer to attaining a good page rank and start to develop some website authority.
These are the same principles that you should be looking for in your backlinking partners, as websites that do not have a good page rank or website authority can actually hurt your SEO score if they are backlinking to your website.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get more backlinks for your website:
1. Identify Reciprocal Backlink Partners
Looking for the right websites to link to your own is a great way to start this process as it gives you a little more control in creating quality backlinking partnerships. Finding the right reciprocal partners usually involves searching for sites that create content that compliments your own naturally, and you can use a free domain authority checker tool such as this one from Ahrefs to see if the backlinks from this website would be of value to your own website.
Once you have identified some possible partners, you can then propose an arrangement where you each post a blog on each other’s website so that both websites can broaden their reach and tap into other audiences that they would not have had access to otherwise.
2. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is becoming increasingly popular in the digital marketing world as websites seek to generate as much of their own unique content as possible, and sometimes this is purely limited by the workloads of in-house content writers. To solve this issue, many websites make use of guest bloggers, often from other well-known blogs, to write a piece of content for them, often in return for a link to their own website.
This can also tie into reciprocal marketing as you could trade blogs with a partnering website in order to create variety in your content, and once again expand the reach of your website.
3. Identify Broken Links
Another way you can propose a backlink opportunity with partners is by searching through their blogs and other website content to look for existing external links that are no longer working. These links may be broken because they were entered incorrectly, the URL has changed, or no longer valid.
Once a broken link has been identified you can then contact the owner of the website and propose that they add a link to your own website in order to replace the broken link. Once again you will need to make sure that placing a link to your own website content fits naturally where this link will be placed.
4. Use Your Socials
Posting content on your own social media profiles that links back to your website is an easy way to create more backlinks.. What is great about this method is that you have full control over what is posted, how it is presented to an audience and how it links to your website.
You can easily do this by adding a link to your website in the bio of your social media profiles and reposting your blogs with the link to the specific page on your website.
5. Take Part In Interviews
Not only are interviews a great way to create a natural link to your own website, but they are incredibly useful for using a platform to create a persona for your brand by providing a face to your website.
Finding a website to do an interview for you can be a little difficult, but this is where trading blogs or interviews with partnering websites, and even using press releases may come in handy.
6. Use a Press Release Tool
Getting your website featured in a press release across various news agencies is incredible for the growth of your website as usually established news agencies boast a high domain authority, and being featured on their website can help with the trust level of your own website.
What makes using a press release tool so great is that you often have control over what is written about your website, and once it has been distributed to various news outlets, you will not only enjoy increased traffic driven from these sources but also tap into quality backlinks from multiple sites that have a strong domain authority.
Media is really hot right now and has overtaken text as the leading form of the content distributed online. Tapping into this by using infographics that can be shared and used on multiple different platforms is a great way to put multiple hooks in the water and create backlinks to your website.
The reason why infographics work so well is because they are a quick and visually appealing way of consuming information, and are easily shareable. Many websites or content viewers share infographics to their blog posts, presentations, social media etcetera, and this will effortlessly create tens to thousands of backlinks to your website if you create an informative and good-looking infographic.
Backlinks are a digital marketing tool that should be used by all website owners in order to maintain consistent traffic to your website and grow the reach of your domain.
With competition in SERPs as high as it is, backlinking will only become even more crucial for website owners in the future. Want to find our more juicy SEO tips? Check out our Oviond blog to get your fix.