Something I am often asked about is website backlinks.
And if you’ve looked into doing any sort of digital marketing or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website, then the chances are you have come across the term before.
But what are website backlinks?
In short, a backlink is a link from another website to yours, sometimes also referred to as inbound links.
It can be a reference to a page on your website or one of your articles, or it might even be a banner link.
Along with having quality content, having website backlinks from high-authority domains is still in the top five ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm.
This tells search engines that your website has something worth linking to.
It also tells search engines you have credibility in your field of expertise.
It isn’t all about the number
A lot has changed since backlinks were first introduced. Initially, companies were trying to build as many links as they could, from as many sites as they could, because the more website backlinks you had, the better. I recall seeing a lot of agencies trying to sell backlinks, to “improve your SEO”, but these weren’t necessarily from a great source.
Google cottoned on to that and now look at more than just the number of backlinks you have. They want to know:
- The quality of the site providing the link
- If the link is relevant to your service/product
- Where the link is, eg is it a blog, on a page, etc.
Please note, if the number of backlinks on your website suddenly grows very quickly, this may appear suspicious and raise some flags! The last thing you want to do is be blocked or marked down in the search rankings.
A rough way to determine how good a site is when looking to build backlinks is to check its Domain Authority (DA).
What is DA?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that helps to predict how likely a website is to rank. (Note, tagging Moz is a classic example of a backlink for them)
It’s a score from 1 to 100, the higher the score the better. It’s quite a weighted scoring system though, moving up into the 20s is much easier than progressing from 30 upwards.
So well-known websites, or sites that have been around for a long time, and offer information viewers need (such as Moz, or the BBC) will have a really high DA. However a website that launched very recently with little or no backlinks will have a low score.
So the idea is to earn backlinks from websites with a high DA. You should never buy a backlink, so don’t think of these as a quick win. They take time to build up, but are worth the effort you will need to put in.
So how do you earn website backlinks?
Creating great content which other companies will want to link to is one of the main ways, along with adding something useful – that is likely to be shared.
Writing a guest blog for someone is another great way, as you will be able to add your name and a link back to your website too.
Website Backlinks are important, but it takes time and effort, but as I’ve mentioned above, your rankings will improve as a result.
SEO is a long game, so over time continue to write/add great content and earn those backlinks!
I try to post a blog regularly, so do have a read and if there is something you would like to know more about, please do let me know and I’d be happy to answer your questions.