Backlinks are SEO Gold

Creating a high value backlink profile helps tremendously to increase your search visibility in Google. Backlinks remain one of the strongest SEO signals in it’s search algorithm, and they're really the only search engine that matters at this time.

If your content is getting links — the organic kind, that happen naturally because the ‘linker’ likes your content that much kind of backlinks — that content will likely rank higher in Google.

Backlinks help you rank higher in search, and they can be a great source of highly targeted traffic. Finding these kinds of links can be a rewarding search marketing tactic, but also a daunting undertaking. Here are 5 guidelines to follow to build a strong backlink profile.

Backlink Building Guidelines

1. Keep It Relevant
The relevancy of the backlink is probably the most important criteria for building a strong profile.

How Google bases “relevancy”:

  • Content “theme”/subject of the linking domain
  • Actual content on the linking page
  • Relevancy of the backlinks

Link opportunities that don’t have strong relevancy can still be valuable, just make sure to evaluate the overall authority, or reliability of the linking domain’s brand.

2. Authority
The more ‘authority’ that a site has, the better the link will be weighted when Google finds it. Google doesn’t update PageRank anymore, but here are some great tools you can use. Leverage their expertise in the area of backlink building.

One of the best tools for link building, and one that I’ve been using for years:

Others to check out, and that are also great tools for building links:

3. Target Real Websites
Real websites have real users which represents real traffic. Backlinks from sites with real traffic solidifies the value of this SEO factor. They’re also harder backlinks to get.

Unless you have a special relationship with the owner of the linking domain, you’ll never know the exact traffic data. In this case use the tools recommended above to get a rough idea of the popularity of the brand. How engaged are they on social? Are they a leader in their space? How much content do they publish?

4. Use Intelligent Anchor Text
When you can specify the anchor text used in the link — do it. Just using your URL as the anchor text doesn’t add the best value. At the same time don’t use one primary keyword as the anchor text for all backlinks. As a general rule of thumb aim to keep your exact match anchor text below 1%.

Also, think about what text will catch the user’s attention as they’re scanning and skimming the content.

5. Keep it Clean
Concentrate efforts on acquiring backlinks from sites that have high standards, offer real value, and produce unique & useful content.

When you evaluate a prospective website think about answering these kinds of questions:

  • What are they linking out to?
  • Are the outbound links relevant?
  • Are the outbound links going to respected, trusted sites?

Avoid backlink from sites and content that is obviously questionable, like “viagra” or “gambling” or anything of that nature.

Things to keep in mind

  • Check the web resources linking to your competitors. These domains could be a link building opportunity. Try reaching out to those potential backlink partners. Analyzing competitors’ backlink profiles and strategies will help you better understand what works and what doesn’t in your industry.
  • Websites in or related to your industry, such professional directories & associations, can be a great place to build your backlinks profile.
  • Backlinks are more value if they comes from highly relevant websites.

In Conclusion
Backlinks are still one of the top ranking signals and worth the time and effort to build. Remember the goal of your SEO is to rank well overtime and backlinks are great at providing a high valued SEO signal.

Main Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash