When a link from a website points to your website it is called a backlink. This means the website has a hyperlink to your website. These are the links people and the search engines use to navigate the internet.
Backlinks are a main ranking factor and can affect a website’s rankings to a great extent. When quality backlinks from reputable sites point to your website then it is given a higher ranking score.
Backlinks are one-way hyperlinks that point from other websites to your website. There are different types of backlinks - Natural. Unnatural, High-quality and Low-quality.
A natural link occurs organically and exists as a reference to a website, piece of content or source. An unnatural link is acquired by paying money and Google can take manual action if these links are nofollowed. High-quality backlinks come from high-quality websites. Low-quality links are not authoritative and are irrelevant.
The aim of SEO is to increase a website’s rankings and backlinks are an important factor. A quality backlink is a link from a high authority and reputable website which is recognised within its industry.
The two main aspects of backlink quality are relevance and authority. When a link comes from a website which covers the same topic as yours then the link will be more worthy. The backlink will carry more weight. There are many factors that affect authority. One of them is domain authority, the higher the domain authority and the more valuable the backlink.
Role of backlinks in SEO
Search engines uses the links pointing to a website to discover its existence and get information. When a link points from page A to page B search engine considers it a vote from page A to page B. Each vote suggested that the content is valuable and credible.
The more the number of high-quality backlinks that point to your website the higher the ranking you will get in the search results.
Search engines do not treat all backlinks equally. Acquiring quality backlinks is more important than the number of backlinks. When high quality websites link to a website the search engine knows that the site is trustworthy and has useful content. One high quality backlink is rated higher than several unknown links.
Why high-quality backlinks are important for SEO?
Backlinks are an important ranking factor and they are valuable for SEO because they represent the ‘vote of confidence’ from one website to another. Backlinks signal to the search engines that your content is valuable.
Other benefits of backlinks are improved visibility and rankings. This leads to more organic traffic and referral traffic and improved domain authority. Your page is considered credible if backlinks point to it.
Indexing depends on website quality and popularity. The high-quality backlinks are indexed faster by Google. Authority websites are crawled for links faster than non-authority websites.
A bad quality link comes from a website that is untrusted or unrelated.
If a website has violated Google Webmaster’s Guidelines then the links from such sites will be untrustworthy.
Low quality backlinks can be purchased and there are agencies that provide such shady service.
Buying or selling links is considered unethical by Google and your website could be penalised.
A good backlink will be associated with information related to your company like name, address and phone.
You should set anchor text for a link and attach it to something important like your company’s name or your important keywords. A good backlink should be clearly positioned.
If it is placed in a highly visible location then it will drive traffic to your website directly and also contribute to search engine ranking.
Building quality backlinks is an off-page SEO technique used to build trust in your website. You should earn high quality backlinks within your niche.
Characteristics of high-quality backlinks
The main characteristics to look for in backlinks is the authority, relevance, placement and anchor text.
Authority is the overall quality of your website, the higher the score the more weight the backlinks have.
Relevance is building links from websites that are relevant to your website rather than pursuing every link opportunity. The more relevant the site the better for SEO.
Links in sidebars and footers and placed low in content may not be considered as worthy as those higher up in the page’s body.
The more relevant and descriptive the anchor text is the better.
Trustworthiness is about the accuracy of the website and its content.
The Following Are The Ways To Build Quality Backlinks:
Creating quality content is one of the best ways to get relevant websites to link to yours. If the content can be easily shared then it is an advantage. Infographics, videos and images are examples of content that can be used across platforms and then link back to your website.
For example, you can create an infographic with relevant information which others can use in their blogs and articles. Linking back through it will show your website as a reputable reference.
There are different ways to create a relationship with another website. One of the ways is guest blogging. You can offer to write content for a website and
post it. You can link back to your website from it. You can also write testimonials and include a link back to your website. This will benefit both the websites.
You can link to other websites in your content whenever appropriate. You should find websites that add value to your post. You can write an email to the writers and tell them that you liked their article and you are including it in your post as well. You should try to connect at a personal level for long term benefits.
You can get good quality backlinks from web directories, manually compiled as well as automated. You can get your website listed in a directory that is related to your industry, location or function. The more relevant the directory the better for you.
Another way of building backlinks is to create your own. You can publish a blog post about a topic you have previously posted and include a link to the first post in the body of the new post. By tying related content will make your website easier to navigate by visitors and crawlers. You will be rewarded for this effort.
Another way to generate high quality backlinks is to maintain a social media presence.
Links in your social media post can act as backlinks and if your content is shared then you may get more traffic to your website.
This will keep it in industry relevant locations and may benefit those who need your services / products.
Strategies to acquire high-quality backlinks
Backlinks from different websites can help to increase your target audience and bring more customers. Outreach is an act of asking another website for a backlink. You can try influencer outreach where you can deliver your brand message to industry influencers and ask them to promote it to their audience.
Broken building is the process where you find broken links and replace them with a link to your article.
Social media does not affect your rankings but if your content is shared on social media then it sends social media signals that your content is useful. You can manually add links to other websites like forums and communities.
Best practices for building and managing high-quality backlinks
You should audit your backlink profile to assess the overall health of your backlink profile. You should identify which links are potentially toxic and remove them.
You should build links using white hat techniques only and avoid black hat techniques because it can lead to a Google penalty. You should build links from high-quality websites as it will associate you with those websites and help to build your authority.
To build a diversified link-building profile you should get a mix of links from content, research and community.
It is important to build high-quality backlinks to your website to improve its rankings. Your link-building strategy should focus on quality rather than quantity. Backlinks are important for SEO and will continue to be. You can hire an SEO agency that offers link-building services to get quality links.