Are you a website owner or an SEO specialist looking to improve your site’s overall authority and search engine ranking for the long haul?
If you’ve nailed the keyword research and on-page optimization, and you’re still struggling to get the results, it’s likely that you’re missing out on SEO backlinks.
You need to build a diverse portfolio of high-quality SEO backlinks from authoritative sources and websites. This will help you sustain organic growth in the long run.
At ConvertBunny, our SEO strategy is all about leveraging data to make a real impact on our clients. We’ve been executing backlinking strategies in multiple niches.
Let’s look at the role of backlinks in SEO and how to build them.
What are SEO Backlinks?
Imagine the internet as a web of interconnected roads. SEO backlinks are like signposts on these roads that lead from one website to another.
They’re links located on one website that direct users to a different website when clicked.
These links are more than just pathways; they’re like votes of confidence from one site to another.
When Site A links to Site B, it’s like Site A is saying, “Hey, Site B has valuable content!” Search engines, like Google, see these endorsements as a sign of credibility and popularity.
Importance of Backlinks
The importance of backlinks cannot be emphasized enough.
As you work on your SEO strategy, link building will play a major role in determining its success.
It’s not just about algorithms; it’s about creating a network of connections that improve your website’s authority, visibility, and overall success.
Building links from reliable and relevant sources magnifies their impact.
A network of well-established links can establish your website as an informational hub within your niche, driving organic traffic and increasing your digital presence.
Role of Backlinks in SEO
The role of backlinks in SEO is often undermined.
Picture SEO as a three-legged stool, with keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building as its support. To rank #1, all these aspects must work in harmony.
However, among these pillars, the link building stands as the bedrock.
Link building isn’t just about connecting web pages. It is about securing your spot in the competitive landscape of online visibility.
Imagine each backlink as a digital vote of confidence from one website to another. These endorsements tell search engines that your content is credible and valuable.
When numerous websites link to the same page or your entire website, search engines interpret this as a collective endorsement.
This endorsement, in turn, prompts search engines to view your content as authoritative and relevant.
As a result, your content gets a boost in ranking and becomes more likely to appear prominently on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
How To Earn Backlinks?
There are three main ways to earn backlinks:
1. Naturally Earned Links
In an ideal world according to Google, websites would gain authority and trust purely because others find and share their content.
2. Manual Links
You can actively seek links through efforts like reaching out to relevant websites or guest blogging.
For instance, if a hiking gear website asks a climbing resource for a link, that’s a manual link.
3. Self-Created Links
These are links you add yourself, like in a forum post, blog comment, or online directory.
But be cautious! Some of these tactics can harm your website’s reputation with search engines. They often come with “no follow” tags.
What is Backlink Authority?
Backlink authority refers to the influence and power that a particular backlink carries in contributing to a webpage’s search engine ranking.
It is determined by a combination of factors that gauge the quality, relevance, and credibility of the linking source.
While the PageRank algorithm initiated the understanding of backlink authority, modern search engines use more sophisticated algorithms that consider a broader array of factors.
How is Backlink Authority determined?
1. Quality over Quantity
Search engines prioritize the quality of backlinks over their sheer quantity.
A single high-quality backlink from a reputable and authoritative website can have a more significant impact on your site’s authority than numerous low-quality or spammy backlinks.
2. Domain Authority
The authority of the domain providing the backlink matters a lot.
Domains with high authority are those that have established themselves as trustworthy and valuable sources of information.
Backlinks from such domains hold more weight in boosting the recipient’s authority.
The relevance of the linking page’s content to your own page is crucial.
Backlinks from pages that are topically related to your content are considered more valuable. They indicate to search engines that your content is being endorsed by relevant and authoritative sources.
4. Anchor Text
The anchor text used in the backlink also contributes to its authority. It should ideally be descriptive and relevant to the content it’s linking to.
Generic or keyword-stuffed anchor text may raise flags for search engines.
5. Link Placement
The position of the link on the linking page matters.
A backlink placed within the main content of the page is usually given more weight than a link placed in the footer, sidebar, or author bio.
6. Nofollow vs. Dofollow
Backlinks can be marked as either “nofollow” or “dofollow.”
Dofollow links pass authority, while nofollow links signal to search engines that they shouldn’t consider the link for ranking purposes.
Dofollow links are typically more valuable in terms of authority. More on this later.
The recency of a backlink can also impact its authority.
Newer links have more influence than older ones, as they reflect current relevancy and endorsement.
8. Domain Diversity
The link should be from a domain that hasn’t linked back to you yet.
Backlinko’s search engine ranking correlation study found that domain diversity has a substantial impact on rankings.
DoFollow vs NoFollow; Determining Backlink Value
Not all backlinks are created equal.
The best ones are the ‘Do-follow’ backlinks from authoritative, trustworthy, and renowned websites. These digital endorsements hold the most weight.
On the flip side, links from low-authority or spammy sources can harm your website’s credibility, reputation, and search engine ranking
‘No Follow’ links do not pass the link equity to your website. That doesn’t mean you neglect them altogether.
Pro Tip: Getting a nofollow link from a high-authority site within your niche provides greater benefits to your SEO strategy than to receiving a dofollow link from a low-authority site.
Checklist for Assessing Linkbuilding Opportunities
There are multiple factors to consider when assessing a linking opportunity. We’ve created a checklist for you to begin with:
|Source Authority||– Check domain authority using tools like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating.
– Evaluate page authority using tools like Moz’s Page Authority or Ahrefs’ URL Rating.
– Prioritize high-authority sites for stronger link value.
|Content Relevance||– Analyze linking page content for thematic relevance.
– Ensure the link adds value and context to the reader’s experience.
– Verify the link’s alignment with your site’s content.
|Traffic and Engagement||– Analyze organic search traffic, page views, bounce rate, and time on page.
– Check for genuine user interaction through comments and social shares.
|Search Accessibility||– Confirm indexability using tools like the robots.txt tester in Google Search Console.
– Avoid “noindex” or robots.txt blocked pages.
– Ensure the linking page is accessible to search engines.
|Anchor Text Strategy||– Craft anchor text that is contextually relevant.
– Incorporate target keywords naturally for SEO relevancy.
– Provide informative anchor text that adds value to users.
|Follow or Nofollow||– Determine if the link is “follow” or “nofollow”.
– Use a mix for a natural link profile.
– “Followed” links pass authority, while “nofollow” links contribute to diversity and referral traffic.
|Meta Tags and Attributes||– Check for additional meta tags like titles and descriptions.
– These tags can influence the link’s perception and SEO impact.
|Contextual Placement||– Ensure the link is placed within the main content.
– Contextual links integrate better and provide more value.
|Link Diversity||– Seek links from diverse sources (blogs, news sites, directories, etc.).
– A varied link profile enhances credibility.
|Site Reputation||– Research the linking site’s reputation.
– Links from reputable sources boost your site’s trustworthiness.
|Link Velocity||– Monitor the rate of acquiring new backlinks.
– Sudden spikes can raise search engine concerns.
How to Build Backlinks?
There are different ways to build backlinks. Let’s have a look at each one:
1. Content Creation and Promotion
- Resource Link Building – Create high-quality resources, such as guides, tutorials, or comprehensive lists, that other websites would find valuable and link to.
- Guest Blogging – Write guest posts for other websites in your niche, including a link back to your site.
- Infographics and Visual Content – Create visually appealing content that other websites want to share, linking back to your site as the source.
- Research and Studies – Conduct research and studies related to your industry, and share the findings to attract attention and backlinks.
2. Local Citations and Directories
List your business in local directories, industry-specific directories, and platforms like Google My Business.
3. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
Respond to queries from journalists and writers through platforms like HARO, which could lead to mentions and backlinks in their articles.
4. Skyscraper Method
Find popular content in your niche, create even better and more comprehensive content. Then reach out to websites that linked to the original content to promote your improved version.
5. Press Releases:
Distribute newsworthy press releases about your company or achievements. Journalists and bloggers might pick up the story and link back to your site.
6. Broken Link Building
Identify broken links on relevant websites and offer to replace them with links to your own content that provide a suitable replacement.
7. Influencer Outreach
Collaborate with influencers in your industry to create content or promote your products/services, potentially leading to backlinks.
What Are Broken Links?
Broken links are links that don’t take you to the intended page. There are multiple reasons why links break. Let’s have a look at the most common ones:
1. Most Common Reasons Behind Broken Links
- Site Downtime – If either the linked site or your own site experiences downtime, the links temporarily become broken.
- Updated URLs – If a page’s URL was changed, and no redirect was set up to guide the old link to the new page, it becomes a broken link.
- Change in URL Structure – Altering the structure of your URLs without setting up proper redirects can cause both internal and external links to break.
- Misspelled URLs – When typing in a web address, accidentally adding an extra letter or forgetting one, leads to a broken link.
- Lost Pages – During website redesigns or migrations, some pages might get lost or renamed, leaving behind broken links.
- Geolocation Restrictions – Sometimes, content might be blocked in certain regions due to legal reasons, creating a broken link for users in those areas.
- Moved Content – If a file, video, or document that you linked to has been shifted to a different location or taken down, your link will lead to nowhere.
In essence, link building isn’t just a connection-building exercise; it’s a credibility-enhancing strategy.
The more quality backlinks you earn, the more search engines validate your content’s worth.
At ConvertBunny, we’ve honed our skills by crafting backlinking tactics across various industries, giving us an inside track on how things work.
We can help you boost your website’s rankings and drive organic growth.
Can I do SEO without backlinks?
It’s possible to do SEO without backlinks. However, if you want to rank #1 on Google, link building isn’t a mere option; it’s a fundamental necessity within your SEO strategy.
Each quality link you secure is like a vote of confidence from one website to another, indicating relevance and credibility.
The more reputable websites link to your pages, the more search engines consider your content authoritative, leading to improved search visibility.
How to get free SEO backlinks?
Here are four easy ways to get free SEO backlinks:
- Guest Blogging: Reach out to blogs in your niche and offer to write quality content as a guest author. In return, you usually get a backlink in your author bio.
- Social Media: Share your content on social platforms. If it’s valuable, people might link to it on their websites.
- Online Directories: Submit your website to relevant online directories and listings. They often provide free backlinks.
- Q&A Platforms: Participate in forums and Q&A sites related to your niche. You can drop your website link when it’s relevant to the discussion.