Is it worth learning how to build backlinks? There is always a decent amount of buzz surrounding Google’s algorithm updates and what they mean for SEO. Fortunately, there are still several techniques that have never gone out of style. Backlinks are a great example of this. Yet many website owners still do not understand how to build backlinks and why they are important.
Furthermore, backlink success requires the understanding that not all backlinks are created equal.
What Is a Backlink?
Within the text of blogs, articles, and more written content, users will often note hyperlinks. They can click this link and view related information about what they are reading.
The website that owns that linked page benefits from having it posted elsewhere. As Google crawls the web and assesses the quality and trustworthiness of a site, they take special note of backlinks.
Google will view that link to a site as a vote for the site’s credibility. If other websites think this is a good resource, it increases the chance that Google will agree. The more backlinks a site has, the more trust it builds. This results in a higher rank in search results.
Additionally, getting linked within someone else’s story, blog, or report drives traffic. But not just any kind of traffic – quality, organic traffic. The best way to get authentic visits that benefit a site and its reputation is through organic backlinking.
Since everyone knows that backlinks are very helpful for SEO, some past tactics have been used in an attempt to game the system. Paying for backlinks and joining suspect directories are not how to build backlinks in this day and age.
Google knows the difference between a paid backlink and an organic backlink. They do not reward black hat SEO techniques, so organic is the only way to go.
An organic backlink may occur as follows. An entrepreneur publishes a high-quality article on their site. It is properly structured, contains good SEO, and valuable information. While it is not the highest ranking for the chosen keywords, it offers information that the higher-ups have not included. It also contains some exclusive, expert insight on the topic.
Someone else who is writing a blog comes across the entrepreneur’s article. The information is highly relevant to their piece and affirms a point they want to make in their blog. They link the article within the text of their blog, where further reading or confirmation that what they are saying is true would be most helpful.
As a result, more people read the entrepreneur’s article. Also, Google notes that the article has an organic backlink on a blog. The algorithm places the article a bit higher in search results since visitors and other sites find it useful.
How to Build Backlinks
Organic backlinks are coveted by nearly everyone who wants to enhance their online presence. Here are a few ways to get authentic backlinks that can have a positive impact on search rank.
Post quality content.
As illustrated above, quality content that others take note of is non-negotiable. Where integrity and results are concerned, there is no method on how to build backlinks that is more reliable. Always strive to be an authority through content, and backlinks will happen. This also requires consistent posting that addresses topics from multiple angles.
Offer content in authority formats.
There is a greater likelihood that a site will want to cite works that are available in a more authoritative and factual format. White papers and long-form articles are good for this. Blogs are generally seen as a more informal, opinion-laced format.
Longform articles and eBooks get backlinks because they are often the most comprehensive works available on niche topics.
Look closely at adjacent or relevant industries and topics. Many people reach out to other influencers and businesses and offer to guest post. Others accept these offers because it means they are off the hook in creating content for a week or so. Meanwhile, the guest poster gets a good backlink.
Use internal links.
Quality content will contain links to other sites, but also may include a link to another page on their site. For instance, a cooking blog posts a recipe for a cake. The frosting recipe was previously featured in another post on the same site, so it is linked in the recipe.
Internal linking is still good SEO because it keeps people on the site longer. That is another quality indication Google takes note of.
Offer deals and partnerships.
People will talk about a product or service if they get something in return. This does not have to be the old “free product in exchange for a review” trick, which can be abused. Instead, companies reach out to people who would be legitimately interested in what they are offering and get their feedback.
Existing loyal customers are often rewarded with special discounts and early access to new products. If they post about it, this is another backlink opportunity.
Concentrate on negative mentions.
How does a business or site that has been spoken of unfavorably turn that experience into an organic backlink? Backlinks can and do help in situations where a reputation needs rehabilitating. This is accomplished with customer service. Brands reach out to negative reviewers and offer them ways to correct or improve the experience. The customer chooses to speak about how their situation was rectified.
Ask clients, customers, and suppliers.
A web design firm creates a site for an insurance company. They ask the insurance company if they could include a link for their design services at the bottom of a page. The insurance company agrees, and this is a good backlink. Other manufacturers, big clients, and loyal customers shout out businesses they work with all of the time.
Businesses who do not want to fiddle with middling SEO strategies need to focus on backlinking. While other tactics have been rendered obsolete, organic backlinking remains one of the most effective and natural ways to drive traffic and keep it there.
While learning how to build backlinks may open one’s eyes to how many methods there are, quality content is still the best method. Offer something more comprehensive, more interesting and expertly crafted than the competition, and backlinks will follow.