When developing an SEO strategy, backlinks play a significant role in where a company’s website ranks in search engine results. The basics of backlinking have changed significantly over the last few years, however. It is no longer about the quantity of links, but the quality that matters to search engine algorithms. For companies starting from scratch or those hoping to improve SEO outcomes, creating a natural backlink profile is a must.
Why Linking Matters
Search engines rely on links to evaluate which websites should show in the results of a search. Determining which sites rank and how high they rank depends on the other websites currently linked to the original company’s site. This is known as a backlink portfolio or profile, and it can make or break an SEO strategy. A combination of a high number of links, unique domains linking back to a company’s website, and the anchor text used to create the link are vital in establishing and maintaining an efficient backlink profile. Here are several dos and don’ts when it comes to perfecting this SEO tactic.
The most beneficial backlinks direct users to relevant and high-quality content. Simply adding a link to a random keyword or phrase won’t do the trick, nor will anything good come from directing readers to an irrelevant or unuseful destination. To ensure a backlink profile is strong and efficient, company’s should focus on the following:
Changing up the anchor text – readers need to know where they are headed when clicking on a backlink. However, using the same anchor text over and over again diminishes the return of a link. Anchor texts should be varied, and they should match the content of the page where the user is headed.
Select sites with different rankings – a natural backlink profile includes links to other sites that may not rank as highly on search engines as other websites. Focus on the quality of the information provided by the site link instead of rankings.
Vary the destination – backlinks should not always go back to the same destination, such as a company’s homepage. Creating backlinks that go to different portions of a website, so long as they are relevant to the link, can be beneficial in establishing a profile.
In addition to these best practises, creating a backlink profile may require some additional work. Guest posting can be a valuable strategy in getting quality backlinks, so long as the links are on relevant websites and they have relatively high exposure. The same can be done through social media, or the promotion of a digital asset, like an infographic. These SEO methods can be complicated to plan and implement, however, so it can be beneficial to utilise the expertise of an agency experienced in backlink profile management.
Although backlinking is a necessary component of SEO, it has to be done correctly to be effective. There are several don’ts in backlinking that companies should be aware of and avoid whenever possible. First, creating links for low-quality content will kill a strategy each and every time. It does not pay to add links for the sake of adding links, so be sure to focus on quality, not quantity, from the start.
Additionally, paying for backlinks is not always a smart choice. There are plenty of services offered that promise a high number of links for a minimal cost to the company, but these may ultimately be spam. In some cases, the links provided are of such low quality they actually hurt a company’s SEO efforts. Also, backlinks that are included somewhere outside the body of text, such as a footer or sidebar, won’t be as effective.
Creating a natural backlink profile is helpful in improving SEO results, but companies need to focus their time, effort, and investment on quality backlinking from the beginning. Search engine optimisation with backlinking can be a fruitful endeavor in earning a higher rank in search results, but this is available only to companies that know the dos and don’ts of link building and follow through consistently.