Creating internal and outbound links within your website’s content, and attaining backlinks to your website from outside sources are some of the most essential processes in SEO optimisation. The term “backlink” is so ubiquitous in the SEO field that they should just officially add it to the Oxford English Dictionary. So, what’s all the hype about? Why are backlinks so important to SEO? We’ll explore the answers to those questions and more in this article.
What are backlinks?
Think of the term “backlinks” as a short way of saying “link back to…” Meaning, it’s a link that links back to a website, which ideally should be your website. First, let’s take a look at some of the different types of links that can be found in a web source (e.g. blogs, landing pages, click funnels, social media, directories, etc.).
First, there are the internal links, which link back to a web page within your own website. Let’s say, your landing page has the phrase, “Check out our blog!” You would then insert a link to the blog page in an anchor text, which in this case is “blog”. That’s very important to keep in mind. Make sure your anchor text is relevant to the web page you’re linking to.
There are also outbound links that direct to a website outside of yours. This is commonly seen in online news publications where journalists are trained to link out to sources in their articles. External links may not seem that important to SEO, but linking to a website with a high domain authority could possibly help your SEO efforts. It also gives your content a more authoritative reputation, because readers and visitors will see that you back up your statements with high-quality sources.
Now, the all-important, elusive backlink itself is the link from an external web source that links back to your website. Preferably, the website that is linking back to you has a high Domain Authority.
How do we get backlinks?
1. Outdated and Broken Links
Look for websites relevant to your content, field, industry, business, or market. Comb through their website, particularly blog articles, and look for outdated or broken links. Let’s say you’re a restaurant in Melbourne and you find an article by a well-known publication that ranks high in the SERPs. This article is a “top 10” list of restaurants, but you notice that one of the restaurants listed had permanently closed down recently. You can contact the owner of the website, or the person who manages and updates it, and pitch to them why your restaurant deserves to replace the outdated listing.
2. Write Guest Articles
One of the most common ways to get backlinks to your website is to publish a guest article on a blog or other online publication. You don’t want to be blatant about promoting your website or brand (unless the website owner is cool with that), but a couple or a few backlinks within your guest articles content and in your author’s bio would be ideal. Writing guest articles will also boost your reputation as an authoritative source on the subject at hand.
3. Build Internal Links
This is the easiest type of backlink you can attain, because you’re simply creating links to web pages found within your website. These will help search engine crawlers identify and catalog the various web pages in your site. It will also help search engine bots find pages that are relevant to search queries.
4. Promote Your Content Outside of Your Website
Promote your content, whether it’s a new blog post or a funnel page, in your social media platforms. If you have other websites, be sure to include backlinks to your business’s website there as well. Promote your content on other people’s website or whenever you contribute guest articles. You can also include backlinks in comments on forums like Reddit, platforms like Quora and YouTube, or in social media posts. However, don’t do this often and make sure your backlinks and comments are relevant to the subject you’re commenting to. You don’t want to spam, otherwise your reputation will take a nosedive and you’ll simply annoy people.
5. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers Through HARO
Help some of the top journalists and bloggers in the world (many of whom write for major publications) discover your business. Instead of sending press releases to reporters and news organizations individually, you can just sign up for HARO and let the reporters find you.
Do you have to pay for backlinks?
You shouldn’t have to pay for backlinks, but some major publications and bloggers could charge you a fee. If a little-known blogger with an obscure website that has a low (or no) Domain Authority asks for money, don’t do it. They are not worth the time and energy.
Reach out to bloggers who are experts or leaders in their field or industry. If you’re sneaker retailer or street fashion boutique, then your goal should be to get a backlink from websites like HYPEBEAST or Highsnobiety. Find the top bloggers in the platform that is relevant to your industry or niche, and contact them directly. Most publications list their contributors’ social media profiles and/or email address.
As mentioned earlier, journalists always cite their sources, whether through backlinks or by identifying them by name. If an article cites your brand, but didn’t include a backlink, you should contact the author of the article and politely ask them to provide a backlink.