Link building is the last step in our SEO process – but it’s an important one, which is why we’ve put together a handy ‘backlinks for beginners’ guide for you and your business.
We’re often asked ‘what are backlinks?’ or ‘how do I get a backlink?’
Read on to discover our quick guide to backlinks for beginners.
You can also watch our quick video guide below.
A backlink is a link from another website that links to your website.
A backlink is just like a normal link! However, it is known as a backlink when it points back to your own website.
You earn a backlink when another website includes a link to your site.
Link building is the process of earning and gaining backlinks. Through a series of techniques such as outreach and PR, you (or your SEO company) can build links that point to your website.
A backlink is a signal to Google that your website is worth ranking in search results.
Think of a backlink like a citation or quote in a college or university essay. Each reference adds credibility and authority to your work.
It’s the same for links; Google can’t trust your website until it knows that other websites are willing to link to it.
You could have an amazing service page, product or blog post but how can you be sure your target audience can find it? Backlinks can help.
Build Site Authority
Increase Referral Traffic
Boost Organic Rankings
Raise Brand Awareness
Get Your Content Found
Build Trust & Credibility
The following is a brief overview of how to get backlinks and start a link building campaign.
There are many different ways to build backlinks to your site. It is important to take the time to build high quality links, rather than sign up to sites that promise quick link building as it can have a negative impact on your page rankings.
To build high quality backlinks, we recommend that you:
- Create shareable content, for example, a blog or news article
- Create profiles for your business on local or industry directories
- Publish an online press release
- Network with businesses and consumers; get involved in industry events and online campaigns.
Not all backlinks are equal. Quality over quantity should be your golden rule of link building. There are 5 key variables we like to control when building a backlink:
Anchor text is the text that describes a link. For instance, the following link: SEO Agency Leeds contains a link to our SEO service page and ‘SEO Agency Leeds’ is the anchor text.
Anchor text can help you gain the benefits of SEO if the anchor text matches the keyword you want the linked page to rank for. This is because it shows Google that another source trusts your website and is relevant to both the anchor text and page content.
Anchor text can be a keyword, your brand name or the URL of your website.
Where is the link sending people? It could be to your homepage, product page or a service page. Bear in mind where you want to direct traffic – this is usually to your best performing pages or to pages you of services you want to raise awareness of.
A good quality backlink will pass authority from one site to another. A do-follow link is seen as a powerful indicator of trust by Google. This is because do-follow link passes authority (also known as ‘link juice’) from a website to another site it links to.
However, a no-follow link is a link from a site that does not pass on any authority such as social media sites or sites that have chosen to make their links ‘no follow’ in order to reduce spam comments or abuse of the SEO system. It is important to earn a natural mix of the 2 link types but to also understand the power of a do-follow link.
There is direct correlation between the number of quality backlinks pointing to a website and the higher the site’s Domain Rating (DR).
A website’s Domain Rating (also known as Domain Authority) is a number out of 100 that ranks your site on its ability to rank for keywords. Sites with a high Domain Rating are identified as providing valuable content of high quality to users and is thus more likely to rank for more competitive keywords compared to a website with a low domain rating.
For example, a high authority website such as BBC news has a Domain Rating of 93. A link from this website to yours would be highly beneficial to organic rankings in comparison to 10 low backlinks from sites with a DR of 20 or below.
Check the authority of your website with Ahrefs site explorer tool.
In addition to the above, a good backlink will be from a relevant website. The content on the referring domain’s site should fit with your industry, niche or topic. The Google algorithm is wise to shady link building techniques. It has the ability to recognise when a link is being built for the sake of it. For example, listing your cupcake business on a local dentist directory site could negatively affect your rankings.
Backlinks are typically the last step in a targeted SEO campaign – they consolidate your existing efforts to create great content that ranks high in a search engine. Effective SEO will encompass a 4 step process which begins with keyword research and content creation, ending in on-page optimisation and finally, working out how to get backlinks.
If you’re new to the world of SEO and backlink building, it can seem quite daunting at first but don’t worry – the sooner you learn about backlinks, the sooner you can start to optimise your website and the easier it will be to rank for keywords.
We hope you’ve found our quick ‘backlinks for beginners’ guide useful.
The key points you should take away from this blog are:
- Always favour quality backlinks over quantity
- Effective SEO is more than just link building
- Link building is a vital step in the SEO process
- Backlinks will boost your Domain Rating, which in turn will make keywords easier to rank for.
Need advice? Got a question? We’re here for you! Get in touch.