Are you starting a blog or website? Then, you must have already read 100s of articles on the best SEO practices and, indeed, feel like losing your mind after absorbing too much information.
SEO is not something that you can easily decode. There are over 200 factors that impact SEO, and search engine algorithms are changing on the go.
But there are some SEO factors that never change and always deliver the best results, like SEO backlinks.
Backlinking is the oldest yet sharpest SEO strategy. According to a survey, websites that rank in the first spot on Google have 3.8X more backlinks than websites in 2nd or 10th position.
So, SEO backlinks can help you grow your new website on search engines. In fact, you can enter into SERP with diverse and high-quality backlinks.
Lets a walk through this guide to better understand SEO backlinks and how to generate high-authority backlinks.
What are SEO Backlinks?
In simple terms, SEO backlinking means adding a link for another website to your content. This is also known as external linking or outbound linking.
When your website link is added to another website using specific keywords called anchor text, it indicates to search engines that your content is high-quality and authoritative.
The more websites link your web pages, the better your SEO ranking and brand authority will get.
Backlinks are a simple way for Google or Bing to understand the authority and quality of a website. It is considered that websites getting more mentioned online are more reputable.
Let’s take an example.
Here is an example of one company’s links published on the Global Wire News website.
There are multiple company links published in the news article. These links help to flow SEO juices and search engine crawlers between both sites. Plus, a reader can click on these links to switch to another website.
The 5 Main Types of Backlinks
Before investing in SEO backlinking, remember all backlinks are not the same. There are several different types of backlinks available with different meanings and functions. So, let’s first understand different types of backlinks before creating one.
1. Nofollow links
Nofollow links don’t pass trust (PageRank). It is like you’re backlinking to a website but not vouching for it.
With nofollow links, you are telling search engines that you don’t trust the website you are linking to. You can use the rel=”nofollow” attribute to inform Google that they should not pass the link.
Since nofollow links do not pass through PageRank, they do not help with search engine ranking. But, Google changed its policy for nofollow links in 2019.
Now, Google considers nofollow links as some sort of hint to trust the website. So, getting some nofollow links on other leading websites today is not at all bad.
2. Follow links
As the name suggests, the dofollow links pass the PageRank. Therefore, search engines will consider dofollow links while ranking and show trust in websites with more follow links.
3. Sponsored link
Often, websites pay influencers or affiliate websites to publish reviews or articles on their products and services.
In that case, you can use sponsored link attribution to tell search engines that money or other products are exchanged for a particular link. This can prevent your website from negatively impacting affiliate links.
Here’s how sponsored links appear:
When I searched for a particular company on Google, the first link that appeared was sponsored by a non-branded company. Google has highlighted this link to inform users that something valuable is exchanged to display this link.
4. UGC links
Since user-generated content has been becoming popular these days, thus, in 2019, Google introduced UGC attribution.
These links come from forms and blog comments. UGC links are generated by users, not webmasters.
5. Toxic links
Toxic backlinks can come from low-quality or suspicious websites. These links can be unmarked sponsored or no follow links. Also, links coming from low-quality websites and form directories are toxic links.
4 Reasons Why SEO Backlinks Matter
You must have heard several SEO experts emphasizing backlinking for better search ranking. But, have you ever wondered why exactly backlinking is so important in SEO?
Then, let’s understand how SEO backlinks can help your website on search engines:
1. Gain domain authority
Google considers links from third-party websites as a vote. Every backlink tells Google that your content is credible, useful, and relevant.
Website domain authority is determined based on the number of high-quality links attached to your website. So, the higher your number of quality backlinks, the better domain authority you can get.
Website authority also depends upon where the link is published on the page. Besides this, there are several factors that determine the quality of backlinks, such as:
- Anchor text
- The nesting level of the donor website page
- Link attributes
- Link color, etc.
All these factors determine your link juices. It means the value transferred from one website to another. Thus, it is important to use active links properly to drive maximum value. For this purpose, you can also hire expert backlinking service providers.
2. Higher ranking
The PageRank algorithm was introduced in 1998. Since then, Google has been using links as votes to determine the credibility and authority of content.
Over time, SEO and Google algorithm has changed a lot. But, high-quality backlinks have not changed much. They are still considered the number one search engine ranking factor.
So, backlinks can help index your website on the search engine. You can get a higher search engine position when Google considers your website content credible and relevant.
3. Create brand awareness
Backlinks can help you expose your website to the relevant audience. You can generate backlinks from websites where your targeted audience is more available.
For example, you can use account-based marketing to know your most potential accounts. Then, based on your account information, you can generate backlinks from websites where most of your potential clients are present.
Suppose your targeted audience is B2B. In that case, LinkedIn is the best place to reach your audience.
4. Generate referrals traffic
Backlinks aren’t the only way to establish your domain authority. They also help to send relevant leads your way.
Publishing your links on high-traffic websites with the same target audience base can boost your referral traffic rate.
This makes it easier to convert leads coming from authoritative sources. Also, Google uses social signal SEO when someone lands on your website from another trusted source.
It’s convenient to track the referral traffic from a backlink through Google Analytics 4 (GA4). For further and deeper analysis, you can export GA4 to Google Sheets and evaluate the performance.
5 Traits of Good SEO Backlinks
Backlinking can churn delicious SEO juices. But what if your fruit is bitter?
What we meant is, what if your backlink is of poor quality?
In that case, this SEO juice will not improve your website’s health. Instead, it will tamper with your website ranking and authority.
Thus, ensure your backlinks have the following features to pass Google’s quality test:
Ensure the content on the referring page with your backlink is relevant to your website page.
It can be a section of an article, a separate paragraph from the main text, or an entire page devoted to a similar topic or niche.
For example, if your SMM portal homepage receives a backlink from a blog post about “How to Cook Pasta,” it is irrelevant. Why?
Because somebody who searches for how to cook pasta will never be interested in SMM marketing. Moreover, it will rank your web pages on the wrong keywords.
2. Indexed donor page
If the referring page isn’t indexed, Google can’t crawl it quickly or evaluate your backlink. Make sure the donor website’s page is at the top of the search results for its brand keyword.
3. Targeted traffic location
People, location matters when it comes to search engine rankings. Most search engines now use location as the primary factor to show results. Plus, Google is now heavily promoting local businesses.
Thus, if your company works in the US market, target websites for backlinks that have significant traffic coming from the US. To check that, you can use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, etc.
Though, many people are using VPN services to surf the web, which hides their geographical location online. But, still, location matters when you are checking the quality of backlinks because people use VPNs, not bots.
4. Balanced link building
Are you getting all dofollow links from high domain authority websites? Then, stop now!
Google might consider your website spammy. Plus, one style of link can only generate leads from a certain source.
Thus, add flavors to your backlinks. Target some dofollow and nofollow links in your industry. Also, get links from low DA, PR sites, or other websites that generate content like you.
Further Reading: 11 Actionable Link Building Strategies For 2024 and Beyond
5. Check Core Web Vitals of the targeted page
If your targeted page has a poor web experience, it can impact your link quality. So, look at the Core Web Vitals of the referring page.
Core Web Vitals includes metrics that determine user experience, like website loading speed, visual stability, etc. It also measures search engine signals like mobile friendliness, ads, HTTPS, etc.
The 5 Best Ways to Generate Quality SEO Backlinks
Now, the main stop — is how to generate high-quality SEO backlinks. And there you can go wrong.
People often want instant results from backlinks and end up purchasing them. And that’s landing them in a puddle of bad SEO.
So, people, remember generating backlinks is a long and tiresome process. First, it takes time to find relevant targeting websites and generate backlinks.
So, be patient and follow these strategies to generate quality backlinks:
1. Produce quality content
The way to qualify backlinks goes from your content marketing. You will get backlinks without asking if you publish relevant and original content.
But, the key point is generating content that users want to link with. Your content must have value that people can’t find anywhere else.
For example, HubSpot publishes original case studies and reports. Many people use these reports as a reference in their content, which generates organic backlinks for HubSpot from various sources.
2. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is the most effective way to generate backlinks. It allows you to post content on third-party websites along with your website link.
To do so, search for websites in your niche that accept guest blogs. Simply type this keyphrase in the search engine — “Guest blog + your industry.”
Now, look for websites with good ranking, brand relevance, and user experience. You can use the email finder tool if you have an extensive list of sites where you would like to place a guest post. This will help you save time and write to more webmasters with the help of a drip campaign.
Then, follow the website process to pitch your guest blog and cross your fingers in the hope that your guest blog gets accepted.
You can also guest blog on Neal Schaffer’s website. Check out guest blogging guidelines for more details.
Further Reading: [Free Ebook] Improve Your SEO Through Guest Blogging
3. Target online directories
You can submit your website to online directories to get your site on the radar of search engines and potential clients. In addition, by submitting your site to a directory, you can tell the editors that your website exists and is relevant to their audience.
4. Publish customer success stories
Businesses often publish their customers’ success stories in the portfolio section of their websites. These case studies help to build trust among new clients.
Aside from that, it can help businesses to generate backlinks for their clients. Case studies allow you to add multiple links to your clients’ websites.
It is a great strategy to help your clients and promote your business in one go.
5. Social media
Social media is the best and easy place to generate backlinks. For example, even if you only create a Facebook business page, you will get a backlink by simply adding your website URL in the about section.
Imagine how many backlinks you can create by making business profiles on Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media channels.
Besides this, you can share your blogs on social media using enterprise social media management software. When your followers like or comment on your posts, your business might get discovered by more potential customers. There’s also a chance to collaborate with influencers on social media to expand your posts’ reach.
Further Reading: 11 Actionable Link Building Strategies For 2024 and Beyond
SEO Backlinks: A Roadway to Grow Online
SEO backlinking is the road to increasing your search engine ranking, brand awareness and generating leads.
SEO backlinks are mandatory for all online businesses today. Whether you work in the B2B or B2C landscape, you need backlinks to establish your brand authority.
This post has already given you the gist of backlinking. So, use it as a reference to customize your SEO backlink strategy.
That’s it for now! Keep on following for more SEO updates.
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert and Founder at Marveta. He helps brands and businesses generate leads with his top-notch content strategies. He has featured on various major media publications across the globe. Connect with him on social media!
Hero photo by sarah b on Unsplash
SEO Backlinks FAQs
A backlink is created when one website links to another website. Search engines like Google take into account the number and quality of backlinks when determining a website’s authority and relevance. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the more likely it is to rank highly in search engine results pages. But not all backlinks are equal. Search engines also consider the relevance of the linking website and the anchor text used in the link.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, as the strategy for getting backlinks will vary depending on your industry and target audience. However, some common methods for building backlinks include guest blogging on other reputable websites, creating shareable content that other websites will link to naturally, and leveraging social media to share your content with a wider audience.
The best type of backlinks for SEO are those that come from reputable, high-authority websites within your industry. These links provide valuable context for search engines, showing that your website is a legitimate and trustworthy source of information. Additionally, obtaining backlinks through organic means, such as through guest posting or collaborating with other reputable websites, can further boost your website’s credibility and improve your search engine rankings.
Simply put, a backlink is a link from one website to another. By including a link to a different site on your own website, you’re essentially telling search engines that the linked-to site is valuable and trustworthy. Some examples of effective backlinks include mentions in blog posts, links from social media profiles, and citations in online directories. By cultivating a strong backlink profile, you can improve your site’s visibility in search results and attract more traffic to your pages.
Yes, backlinks are important for SEO because these links help search engines determine the relevance and authority of your website. The more relevant and authoritative your website is, the higher it will rank in search engine results. But it’s not just about quantity; it’s about quality too. You want links from reputable, relevant websites that add value to your content.