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If you’re the owner of an ecommerce store or any other kind of online domain, it’s likely that you’ve heard of backlinks, but what are they and why do they matter?
An important aspect of SEO (search engine optimisation), backlinks are implemented to help your website secure more prominent search rank positions and thereby increase traffic to your site.
Keen to find out more? Below, we explore the importance of backlinks, backlink examples and how to build backlinks for your very own domain. Regardless of whether you want to uncover the various backlink strategies or find out more about the overall backlink building process, we have plenty of experience in this area of SEO to both inform and guide you.
A backlink (also known as an inbound, incoming or one way link) is an external online link that points from the page of one website to the page of another website. This link therefore allows traffic to travel directly from one domain to another, but how does this impact SEO?
Well, backlinks act like a vote of confidence, suggesting to Google and other engine crawlers that the website they’ve inserted a link to is relevant, trustworthy and useful.
Ultimately, this helps to build the authority of the domain receiving the backlink as well as funnelling traffic from one website to the other. With regards to carrying out effective backlink SEO, you’ll see better results by securing backlinks from domains with a high domain authority score.
Scored from 1-100, the higher the score, the more authoritative and reliable Google finds the website to be. This means it’s more likely to appear at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). Examples of domains with a high domain authority score includes well-known websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
While the likelihood of receiving a backlink from one of these domains is slim to none, there are still plenty of domains that you can contact to secure backlinks. However, you should always ensure that any backlink you acquire has been sourced from a reliable and relevant domain that has a higher domain authority score than yourself.
If you’re still not sure exactly what a backlink looks like, then allow us to help. An example of backlink for Aqueous Digital can be found on Liverpool Business Fair’s homepage underneath the ‘2022 Exhibitors’ heading. It’s an easy way to reach our site and adds instant credibility in the eyes of both the Liverpool Business Fair website visitor and Google.
You can find many more examples of backlinks an almost every website. Magazine articles, for example, commonly backlink to product pages that they want to promote from a variety of websites (including marketplaces like Amazon as well as independent retailers with their own domains). Backlinks can also be found in scholarly literature, company news pieces and online business directories.
Yes, backlinks are still (and should be!) an incredibly important part of your SEO strategy! Unlike website components like meta descriptions that Google no longer factors into their ranking algorithms for web search, backlinks still make a substantial difference. In fact, they are one of Google’s most powerful ranking factors, so backlink building shouldn’t be overlooked or neglected.
Generally, the more backlinks your domain or a page from your domain acquires, the higher that page will rank in SERPs because Google will view it as a reliable and authoritative source. The higher your page ranks, the more likely it is that your content will be seen and interacted with.
You don’t need money to build backlinks. In fact, if you do decide to build backlinks by purchasing them, you may actually be putting the authority and current search ranking positions of your website at risk. This is because Google, the world’s most popular search engine by far, has stated that both buying and selling backlinks is against their Webmaster Guidelines.
They only want businesses to naturally build backlinks. To add insult to injury, websites that encourage you to buy backlinks often supply low-quality links that Google can easily spot using algorithms designed to weed out deceptive behaviour.
The only way that good backlinking should cost you money is through the salary is costs to hire either an in-house outreach specialist or to employ an agency, like ourselves, to carry out this work on your behalf.
A backlink strategy refers to the way in which you decide how to build backlinks. There are various methods you can use to acquire backlinks. Some of these options include purchasing a bulk amount of low-quality backlinks, paying a high price for a few good-quality backlinks or using backlink outreach, but which is best and which one is right for your business?
Below, we find out more about the three different backlink strategies you could employ to help boost your domain authority.
While there is no set way to build backlinks, there are certain methods that you should definitely avoid. This includes bulk-buying a batch of low-quality backlinks, no matter how tempting the low prices might be. When engine crawlers like Bing or YouTube find these poor-quality links, they have the ability to devalue the links or penalise your website.
Often hailed as the ‘quick fix’ to increasing organic traffic, these low-quality links can have the opposite effect – something website owners will want to avoid at all costs! Start-ups that have limited funds but want to increase their online presence and SERPs will often choose to buy a bulk amount of these backlinks.
If the problem with buying a bulk amount of backlinks for an affordable price is their quality, then surely there shouldn’t be an issue with paying more for high-quality links? Not quite. Search engines take into account not only the quality of backlinks, but also the number of backlinks that a domain possesses.
As high-quality backlinks are much more expensive than the low-quality alternative, buying a large number of these links simply isn’t a feasible option for many businesses – especially start-ups or companies with a limited marketing budget. Purchasing just one high-quality backlink is therefore unlikely to make a significant difference to the search ranking position of your website or content.
One way to create backlinks yourself instead of buying them is by conducting competitor backlink analysis and using backlink outreach. With a helping hand from an SEO toolset, you can accumulate a list of the various websites that are providing backlinks for your main competitors. You can then review these sites and highlight the domains that are both relevant and have a decent domain authority score.
Working from the list of relevant domains with good domain authority scores, you can then start your research and backlink outreach. Try to find out more about the company and the best person to contact to discuss a backlinking opportunity. Often, this person will be part of the marketing department, but to obtain a backlink for a smaller company, you may need to consider reaching out the CEO or founder.
You may be wondering what incentive you can offer the domain for providing you with a backlink that isn’t financial. The answer is content. If you can provide related, high-quality content, the likelihood is that the domain you’re reaching out to will want to provide a backlink to this content. Creating well-researched, readable content is therefore an essential part of any backlinking outreach strategy.
Any professional SEO agency or backlinking provider, will recommend that the most effective way to build backlinks is through backlink outreach as outlined above. While paid backlinking involves paying a website to insert a link to your domain and comes with inherent risks, backlink outreach offers a good-quality piece of content instead of money.
By reaching out to a website with relevant and useful content, they are likely to want to provide you with a backlink. You may not have success with every domain that you reach out to, but this is widely considered to be the most effective and reliable way of building backlinks. Plus, not only does organic backlink building appease Google, but it also creates the strongest backlinks.
With competitor backlink analysis and backlink outreach being the most effective strategy, this is the approach we use for our own clients and therefore strongly recommend adopting if you want to build backlinks yourself. One of the most important parts of this strategy is choosing an SEO toolset to help conduct your competitor backlink analysis.
To get comfortable with this process, we suggest testing out the competitor backlink analysis tool on your go-to SEO tools, such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. You’ll be asked to enter the competitor’s domain at which point the tool will do the hard work for you and identify a list of domains that link to your competitor’s site.
By pin-pointing these top sites, you can attempt to recreate their backlinking strategy by reaching out to either the same or similar domains for a backlink to your own site. Before you reach out however, you’ll need to create content that they’ll want to provide a backlink to. To support this process, we suggest constructing a content strategy that’ll allow you to get organised and assign a prospective backlink to a piece of content.
However, if you have limited experience creating backlinks, want a more professional backlinking approach or tend to buy your backlinks, we recommend using an experienced agency. Many companies don’t have the time, in-house experience or expertise to perform backlink outreach, so using an agency is often the most practical choice.
Here at Aqueous Digital, we have a talented team of experienced SEO specialists on hand to provide a professional backlinking service. Acting on your behalf, we reach out to reliable and authoritative domains to secure high-quality backlinks to fantastic content (created either by ourselves or your own in-house writer) published on your online site.
This process ensures the publication of great content with the helpful SEO boost of a backlink. As well as on-site SEO (such as our content strategy and backlinking services), we can also provide off-site SEO to help strengthen or improve your search ranking positions. To find expert SEO specialists and marketers in the Manchester area, look no further than our award-winning company.
Specialising in both paid and organic search, why not speak to a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team to discuss your SEO, content and backlinking requirements today? You can either call us on 0800 285 1424 or send us your enquiry in an email to email@example.com. We even offer a free website health check and no-obligation consultation – we hope to hear from you soon!