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SEO Backlink Strategy

Backlinks are an important aspect  for SEO because they signal to Google that another resource finds your content valuable enough to link to it within their own content. 

You have likely come across the words “inbound links, incoming links, backlinks or one way links during your interaction with SEO and all the vocabulary related to SEO.  Well all these words happen to be synonymous.

What is a Backlink?

A Backlink is a link from one website to a page within another website. Search engines consider backlinks  to be “ votes of confidence ” for a specific webpage.

This means that if people have links to a  page within your  website on their websites, you will likely have high organic search engine rankings.

Let’s take a look at what makes up a Backlink.

  1. Well to start with, a backlink consists of the URL that is linked to the other website which takes you directly to that landing page within a click.
  2. The anchor text which is the text you click on. 
In this exampe, the anchor text is 'network marketing', while the url is the page that opens when you click the anchor texts
In this exampe, the anchor text is ‘network marketing’, while the url is the page that opens when you click the anchor texts

Here’s an example of what a backlink looks like.

Backlinks in lay man’s language work just like citations in books or on a research paper.  Think about it. If you keep  citing another book or work of  research on your paper, it gives the illusion that the book contains valuable information right? 

Similarly, many relevant links directing a visitor to another web page means that, that page definitely  contains valuable content. You want to be the website that everyone  “ links” to.

Types of Backlinks

So there are different types of backlinks that exist.

  1. DoFollow links.
  2. No Follow links.
  3. User Generated Links

These two links give different signals to Google. Let’s break it down for you.

DO FOLLOW LINKS.

Do follow links point search engines towards other  websites or blogs. This means that every time that you insert a do follow link within your blog post, it directs your readers to another website.

 Basically, Dofollow links are like directives that indicate relevance  to another website.

Obviously those that come from respected sites linking to your website are more valuable. However there are some links which can be considered toxic. These kinds of backlinks come from suspicious sites and would have likely been gained from breaking the search engine terms of service. The repercussions for this would be Google de-indexing your site. 

Remember that with do follow links quality matters over quantity.

NO FOLLOW LINKS/ NO FOLLOW TAGS.

With no follow links things tend to be quite different. No follow links wer =e created by Google in 2005,  to control content spam. In 2019 however Google stopped taking the no follow tag as a directive which means that sometimes if the content is relevant, it will definitely become a do follow link.

Unlike dofollow links, No follow tags tell search engines not to pass any value from your site to their site. 

They therefore do not contribute to the organic ranking for the website that you would have linked.

Creating a no-follow tag will require you to make a specific change in the HTML code where the link is placed. 

You would therefore need to add the rel= “no follow” attribute to the <a> tag in a link.

So how Important are Backlinks for SEO?

  1. Backlinks aid search engines in determining how authoritative or relevant your site is. When there are backlinks that lead to your website, it also means that your content is top tier. That should validate your content marketing strategy.
  2. Your authoritativeness due to the backlinks also means that you will definitely rank better than other websites on search engines.
  3. Backlinks from your website also increases the  overall User Experience for your website’s visitors by providing them with a flow of information.

Usually the link will usually appear as a hyperlink with a descriptive text known as an anchor text. It will usually also appear differently, the anchor text can appear blue or in a different color.

LET US LOOK AT HOW YOU CAN GET BACKLINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE.

Granted, building backlinks will definitely take strategy, time and effort.  But here are seven places that you can start.

  1. Create list posts. List posts are the “how to” posts, the “ why” posts, infographics or posts that have embedded videos. These kinds of posts will usually get more backlinks compared to standard posts.
  2. You could also write guest posts or blog posts for  other websites within your industry.
  3. You can also contact influencers within your industry, and tell them about an article on your website that you may want them to link to.
  4. Do a google search for a post that is already ranking well and then improve and expand on it.
  5. Add links to your site on your social media profiles.
  6.  You can also leverage on doing  competitor backlink research, in order for you to see the backlinks of your competitors who are ranking well.

How can I check my backlinks;

There are various tools that you can use to monitor your backlinks. These Include;

  • Google Search Console,
  • SEMrush
  • and Ahrefs.

Just like with every strategy, observing your backlinks is very important. You can do this by for example taking action against toxic website owners who may have sent irrelevant links to your website. 

The three most important questions that you can answer when trying to check your backlinks are:

  1. Where can I find all my backlinks?
  2. How do I find out if they are toxic?
  3. How do I then contact these toxic backlink site owners?

Well, the  secret is in the tools that you use.

SemRUSH, for example, can help you answer all three questions. This is because it has a Backlink Analytics section, which lets you study your competitors, and a backlink audit section  which allows you to find all the backlinks to your website.

semrush

Google Search Console will help you grow your site and see your backlinks but it is limited in showing you how and who exactly is linking your website to their website.

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