Backlinks are links on external websites that point back to your website. They’re an important element of SEO because they help determine a page’s authority, and the more authority a page has, the higher it will appear in search results.
According to Moz, “backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP.”
In 2017, Search Engine Watch called links the “king of ranking.” The top three ranking factors (out of more than 200!) include:
- The number of external links. Some of the top SEOs say external links are invaluable to your ranking power.
- Anchor text of external links. Links with SEO-focused anchor text need to be relevant to the target page.
- Authoritative links. For example, your links need to be from a reputable news source or academic journal.
Some backlinks will be more valuable than others if they are from trustworthy, popular and high-authority sites. These are the types of backlinks that brands work to secure through a process called link building.
Link building strategies
Creating a link building strategy is a proactive way to increase your SERP ranking and improve the authority of your posts. Your brand will also benefit from relationship building along the way.
Before reaching out for backlinks, publish a solid set of high-quality posts that people will want to link to in their content. Once you feel confident with your own content, know where you currently stand with backlinks and authority by using a tool such as Buzzsumo or SEMrush.
These tools will give you an idea of how many links you’d like to secure. Then, it’s time to start getting some backlinks. Here are a few common tactics:
- Reach out to relevant businesses with similar content that would be interested in linking to your content. You may want to offer a link for a link.
- Ask customers to link to you.
- Find directories or lists in your industry that would make sense for your business to be added to. Then reach out to request the addition.
- Create highly shareable content such as a survey or a giveaway that others would be likely to link to.
While links seem like a trivial component of content, they’re essential for establishing the authority of your webpage and increasing your SERP ranking. It’s a tedious process to begin link building, but it will be worth it in the long run.