When you start doing SEO of your small business there are few terms which you will hear a lot. Such as, inbound links, outbound links, follow links and no follow links. We often overlook the importance of backlinks in SEO. For that matter, we need to know what are backlinks and how they play their role in improving the page rank in Google.
What are backlinks?
Links which point one domain to another. If the website is receiving a link from another website that’s called inbound linking. And if the website is linking out to another website that’s called outbound linking. Also, if you are linking internally or linking one page of your website to another that’s called internal linking.
Why backlinks in SEO important?
Backlink is a vote of trust from a website. A website with more of backlinks ranks higher in Google SERPs. Scenario of Backlinks in SEO has changed a lot from 2000s as the game is of quality links and not of bad ones. This means, a website with more of a quality links ranks higher.
How backlinks are still relevant today?
Concept of backlinks is still relevant in recent times. How? SEO related studies believe that a website with quality and strong links is still ranking high in Google positions.
Segregation has improved as we mentioned earlier. Google is smart enough and knows which links are valid and of quality. Now focus has shifted towards quality.
Here, you need to know what’s a good link and what’s a bad link as they influence your website ranking.
– It comes from a relevant website with high domain authority and Google trust score. And it doesn’t contain ‘nofollow’ attribute in its properties.
– Results from link exchange, it’s paid and comes from low quality website (low quality websites which have low domain authority, page authority and trust scores). A link which comes a website with little to no authentic or original content. Such links have sole purpose of Google’s ranking manipulations.
What are follow and nofollow backlinks in SEO?
By default, all of the links are ‘follow’ links. What does this mean? It means when search engine crawlers find a link pointing towards a website, they get a direction and it’s counted as a vote of trust from one domain for another.
Follow links have one problem, they may contain ad links which may lead reader to untrusted content.
Search engines have a solution for this problem. In order to prevent ads, you can use ‘nofollow’ attribute for a link. However, nofollow attribute is being used for many reasons by bloggers/websites.
Smart ways of backlinking in SEO
Guest blogging /posting
You may be writing for some website for free but do you know that you can seek benefit out of it?
When you guest post, you get a chance to talk to new audience and you can drive them to your own website. It gives exposure and builds a brands’ reputation. It not only increases subscribers /reader but a great strategic way of inbound marketing.
Submitting a guest post basically gives you free backlinks. Some websites also let you promote your social pages and community pages.
As a blogger, your target should always be a high quality original content. A blog with valuable information or something which could be shared in itself drives audience. Whatever we say, word of mouth is the strongest of all marketing strategies. A quality blog can produce sufficient backlinks.
In this marketing strategy, you ask or reach out to bloggers and influencers for participation. Everyone submit answers and then you prepare a roundup based on the expert opinion submitted by bloggers.
The roundups are insightful because bloggers share their experiences and tips. Hence such content earns value and gets free backlinks.
Some roundups are based on user favorite products and tips on what should they buy and what not. Most of the times, users/bloggers are willing to share the link on their own blogs simply because it has an expert advice.
Broken links are useful
We often encounter broken links but you know what they could be used for attracting backlinks. Many website owners are often negligent of the broken links and if someone brings them into notice, that’s a nice gesture.
Just write an email and highlight broken links (obviously related to your blog/website). Find out broken links through any free useful SEO tool. SEMRush is a great tool for extraction of broken links. When a blogger finds out, he will appreciate and once you get a response, pitch them your backlinks. You can suggest that your content could be a great for filling in the broken link gap.
Testimonials and reviews
A White hat SEO technique where you can start off by preparing a list of products and services for review. Check out related niche websites if they have a page or section where they post product reviews and testimonials, if yes then write one.
Websites love reviews and testimonials for showing off to their clients. Take out some time, write reviews and submit them. And in many cases, you don’t ask for the backlink but you get it as this adds authenticity in testimonials / reviews.
A long vertical image with icons and content representing a whole blog idea. They gain huge traction for small and large businesses. Many companies hire web designer for designing infographics.
One good point about infographics is that they are ‘evergreen’ and can be shared for maximum number of times. But how this is related for backlinks idea? After preparing detailed infographics, ask bloggers in your niche for posting. Since they are related and detailed bloggers, they will post with the backlink credits.
Email / influencer outreach
We receive dozens of emails every day and mostly trash. However, email outreach is effective if not done in robotic manner. A template sent out to hundreds of prospects.
What’s the process?
-Write a great blog post
-List down websites/blogs covering the same topic
-Prepare contacts of those bloggers/websites
-Draft customize emails, let them know about your work and give reason why it’s better than theirs
Connect with the bloggers in your niche. Read their blogs and see what topics interest them. Communicate with them and write custom emails and not one-that-fits-all. This will bring responses and backlinks.
Here's a small useful SEO tip that is, do send a ‘follow-up’ email.
An excellent way to bring your blog in limelight. Commenting on other blogs build relations with other bloggers. If you start commenting and show interest in their blogs, the relation will be long lasting.
There was a time when commenting was generating direct traffic and backlinks were posted. Now the trend has shifted. Make sure your comments are thoughtful and gives value. And if you are new to a website/blog, don’t start posting link based comments right away.
Participation in communities
Keep yourself active on communities such as Quora, Yahoo Answers, Reddit, LinkedIn etc. Mentioned communities are the most popular ones for getting backlinks in SEO.
Try to add value in your comments/answers in these communities. When feel necessary only then post your blog link. This will bring web traffic which will retain. That means, it will keep coming back.
Free valuable digital products
And not just valuable blogs, you can give out freebies like ebooks, tutorials, templates, videos etc for backlinks in SEO. When you offer free digital products, chances of receiving free backlinks increases.
Blogs if found something free, they refer to such websites / blogs.