How Backlinks Affect Your Search Engine Rankings
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In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how you can build high-quality backlinks that will get your website to rank higher on Google.
One of the most important factors that Google uses to determine your website’s ranking is the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your site.
Backlinks are essentially links from other websites to your own, and the more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your website will perform in search engine results.
I am going to cover everything you need to know about building high-quality backlinks.
We will start with determining what makes a good backlink and why it’s so important for your website’s ranking.
Then, I will take you through the exact processes and strategies that we use to build high-quality backlinks for our clients.
Table of Contents
What is a backlink
In simple terms, a backlink is when another website includes a link to your website on its own site.
Backlinks are a crucial part of SEO. Because search engines like Google use them to determine how trustworthy and authoritative your website is.
When another website links to your content. It’s like a vote of confidence that your website is valuable and worth visiting.
So, the more high-quality backlinks you have pointing to your website, the better it will perform in search engine rankings.
That’s why building a strong backlink profile is such an important part of SEO strategy.
What is anchor text
Anchor text refers to the clickable words that link from one webpage to another. Usually, the text is colored blue, but it can be any color the website owner chooses.
Let’s use an example to better understand anchor text. Say we have a link for our brand, “Shakeworld Digital”. The anchor text for this link would be “Shakeworld Digital”, not any text before or after it.
The reason anchor text is important for SEO is that search engines like Google can read it. And use it to determine the relevance of the linked page.
When linking to a webpage. It’s important to use relevant anchor text instead of generic text like “click here” or “read more”.
SEO best practices dictate that anchor text should be relevant to the page being linked to.
This helps Google understand the context of the link and improves the page’s search engine ranking.
Types of anchor text
There are different types of anchor text you can use when linking to a webpage. Such as:
- Exact match
- Partial match
- Naked URL
What type of anchor text is best for your website
I know that one of the most common questions that website owners have is about the best type of anchor text to use for their backlinks.
While it’s important to have a variety of anchor texts to make your link profile look natural, there’s no perfect ratio to follow.
Instead, it’s important to look at what your competition is doing and aim for a similar variation of anchor texts.
However, be careful not to over-optimize your site with too many exact match anchors.
Especially if your domain name contains a keyword. This can confuse Google and potentially harm your rankings.
Ultimately, the key is to keep your anchor text natural and relevant to the page you’re linking to. Some sites rank well with just branded anchors.
While others have success with a mix of different types. So, experiment and find what works best for your industry and website.
What pages should you build link to
One question that comes up quite often is What pages should you build backlinks to?
It might seem like a complex issue. but when you look at it from a different perspective.
The answer is quite simple. Backlinks can improve the visibility of a webpage on Google, so it makes sense to build them for the pages you want to promote.
Whether it’s your homepage, service pages, or blog posts, focus on building links to the pages you want to rank higher.
However, keep in mind that every piece of content you publish on your website should have some value.
So, if a page has value, it’s worth building links to it. Even your blog posts contain valuable information, so it’s essential to build links to them as well.
Don’t limit yourself to building links only for your service pages. This approach can appear unnatural and could harm your SEO efforts.
Instead, you should aim to blend in with the rest of the internet and not look like an overly-optimized site.
Remember, Google is not a fan of SEO tactics, so you need to play it safe and build links in a way that seems natural.
How to find out what backlink your website already has
If you’ve just created a new website, there won’t be any backlinks showing up yet.
However, if your site is around six months to a year old, you should already have some backlinks generated naturally over time.
To check your backlinks, head over to SEMrush and enter your website and country.
You’ll be able to see the total number of backlinks and referring domains pointing to your site.
For example, I have 69 different websites linking to my site, shakeworlddigital.com. The backlinks tab will give you more detailed information about the links and when they were last updated.
It’s important to pay attention to the anchor text of your backlinks as well.
If you have too many of one type, it could be over-optimizing and hurting your SEO.
SEMrush’s anchor text overview will show you all the different types of anchor text being used to link to your site.
One great feature of SEMrush is that it shows you both new and lost backlinks.
This allows you to reach out to websites that have stopped linking to you and find out why.
However, if the website was spammy or irrelevant to your site, it’s best to move on and not waste your time trying to get the link reinstated.
How to determine what makes a good backlink
Evaluating the quality of backlinks is essential for SEO.
It is not enough to simply have a link from any website as the website’s authority and traffic can affect the quality of the link.
Here is a five-step checklist to follow when determining if your backlinks are good:
Page Authority: Check if the website has a page authority of at least 30.
Domain Authority: Check if the website has a domain authority of at least 30.
Linking Out: Check if the website is not linking out to too many other websites, as this could indicate it is selling links.
Website Traffic: Check the website’s traffic to ensure it is not penalized by Google and has a decent amount of traffic.
Keywords: Check how many keywords the website ranks for, as this can indicate whether it is a good site in Google’s eyes.
If the website does not meet all five criteria, it may not be worth getting a link from. For example, a link from a website with low traffic.
Or no keywords could be detrimental to your SEO campaign. However, if the website meets all five criteria, it is likely a good site to get a link from.
Do-follow vs No-follow links
Do-follow and No-follow links are important concepts to understand.
When a page receives an inbound link, it gains a small SEO boost, and the more links a page has, the higher its PageRank.
Do-follow links are links that count as points and boost the PageRank of the linked page, whereas no-follow links do not count as points and do not affect the PageRank.
Nofollow links are created with the HTML tag “rel=nofollow,” which tells search engines not to count the link.
The reason for the no-follow attribute is to prevent spam. To determine if a link is a do-follow or no-follow, you can use a Google Chrome extension like SEO Quake, which highlights no-follow links.
In link-building campaigns, it is essential to focus on do-follow backlinks as they provide SEO benefits and help rank higher on Google’s search results.
If you’re a local business owner, one way to get more exposure for your business is by obtaining what we call a “citation”.
A citation is basically a reference to your business name, address, and phone number (known as NAP) on an external website. You can think of it as a digital version of the Yellow Pages.
So, what exactly makes up a citation? Typically, it includes these three components: your business name, address, and phone number.
However, many citations also include an option to add a link back to your website. This strategy works particularly well for local businesses that have a physical location.
If you run a fitness or beauty blog, for example, you won’t be able to use this strategy since it’s more focused on physical locations.
It’s worth noting that citations are typically “no follow” backlinks, meaning they won’t directly boost your SEO rankings.
However, by building up a lot of citations that have your address listed, you can improve your visibility locally.
This is especially important for local businesses, as it helps potential customers in your area find you more easily.
To find citation opportunities for your business, simply search Google for directories in your local area.
For example, if you’re based in Lagos, you could search for “directories in Lagos”.
This strategy is most effective for local businesses, so if you’re not targeting a specific geographic area, it may not be as useful for you.
To sum it up, backlinks are essential for any website to rank high on search engines. By getting high-quality backlinks. You can increase your website’s authority and visibility on the web.
However, it’s crucial to focus on getting backlinks from relevant and trustworthy sources.
Remember to avoid low-quality or spammy links, as they can harm your website’s reputation.
Now, I want to hear from you.
What strategies have you used to get backlinks to your website?
Have you seen any improvement in your search engine rankings?
Let me know in the comments below.
And as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need help with your SEO efforts.
Entrepreneur, Writer, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Insightful Teacher and Blogger…