Great content, engaging videos and quality images – these are the holy trinity of a good website experience. However, pushing your website above the competition also requires a sound technical knowledge. SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps your business gain visibility through a concerted and multi-approach strategy that utilizes each element of the website. Backlinks management is one of the core duties of a complete SEO strategy.
What are Backlinks?
A simple definition for ‘backlink’ is a hyperlink that connects one web page to another. In SEO parlance, backlinks usually refer to linking between separate websites. A backlink in many ways can be compared to a citation, commonly found in books and academic papers. It adds legitimacy to the content that is being delivered on the website it is linked to.
Why are Backlinks Important?
We all know that search engines are the conduit for a majority of businesses and branding campaigns on the internet. Whether you have an e-commerce website or a travel blog, your digital branding can only be effective if the search engines recognize your site as a valid, relevant result. In an increasingly competitive landscape, getting a higher search engine rank is paramount. This is the basis of SEO – a set of tools and techniques to prime your content so it gets represented in a search engine results page.
Search engines like Google and Bing will take into consideration multiple factors to determine your website’s relevance to a search term. Backlinks are one of these crucial elements and this is why maintaining healthy, quality backlinks is very important. Google’s PageRank system identifies a link from one page to another as a vote or recommendation from the source page to the linked page. This is a reflection of the page’s higher probability to satisfy the search engine user (read: potential customers and visitors) query.
Authority sites are a very good source of quality backlinks. If you run a page on travel and one of your blogs has backlinks from globally or nationally known travel sites, your page will experience a hike in rank. When you are managing backlinks, make sure your anchor text is also relevant and catering to the writing style of the website.
How Do I Build Backlinks?
There are many smart ways you can build relevant backlinks with a strong context. It is difficult not to love an infographic. All the detail packed in an attractive graphical representation makes it a good place to seed some backlinks. Always make sure that your infographic is shareable. Getting guest articles on your website will also boost its visibility. It associates your brand with a larger platform and helps create very relevant backlinks.
Knowing what your competitors are up to is also key to improving your own backlink game. If your competitors are doing well then they must be getting some processes right – study their backlinks and without replicating, you can always apply a similar process to your own website. Maintain internal links within your website too as they improve the user experience.
A great way to add relevant backlinks is by writing well-drafted and detailed testimonials for websites that you visit for different purposes. You can earn your backlink from the website and give your page a relevant association that Google (and Yahoo and Bing’s) algorithm will identify positively.
Some Recommended Backlink Tools
As SEO gets more complicated, it helps to have the latest tools and technology to keep your site optimized. Backlink checker tools are very useful for your SEO requirements. They reduce the workload by automatically tracking your site links in an efficient, scheduled and detailed manner. Linkbird, Majestic and Kerboo are some of the trusted backlink tools you can use depending on the nature of your site and requirements. These tools have many distinctive features which can cater to your customized needs. SEOJet put together a good list of some of the best backlink checkers available.
Look out for Link Spam
You may come across companies that promise increased search results by improving your backlinks drastically. However, these could be unscrupulous services which are using the loopholes in the PageRank rule to insert high-volume, low-quality backlinks. This is a technique that will backfire on your website in the long run as search engine algorithms are continuously evolving to combat linkspam.
2018 SEO Trends
SEO is very dynamic and every year a new generation of tools and techniques appear. There are many trends, new and renewed, that SEO practitioners are advocating. Apart from making sure that your backlinks are sharp and relevant, here are some other things that you need to keep an eye on.
Search engines are continuously adding new features and tinkering with existing ones and this can have a repercussion in the backend algorithm. When you are doing SEO, always stay up to date with the additional information on a SERP or search engine results page. There might be a new opportunity for you to capitalize on. Google is getting smarter and with technologies like Latent Semantic Indexing, their algorithm is reading relevant content better. So you need to revitalize and update your content regularly to stay in the good books of the world’s largest search engine.
Mobile and Voice
The stats say it all. Mobile searches are growing at a very fast rate and if your website is not primed for the small mobile screen, then you are missing out on a lot. Voice search is still new territory but that is exactly the reason that makes it exciting. Voice searches are increasing and businesses are starting to make strategies that are specific to it. Stay ahead of the curve and incorporate more conversational tones in your content.
SEO can get a little intimidating but if you keep the basics right and make strategy relevant to your industry it will reward you. Backlinks are a very important part of the strategy because they give your content much-needed context and relevance and are one of the main factors for good page rank. Leverage the latest tools and stay up to date because SEO is a continuous learning process.