Link-building is considered to be one of the best strategies to earn new traffic and interest for websites. Yet I’ve seen companies do so in a way that impacts their overall online reputation – and not in the good way.
Given the prior experience, we’re here to tell you first how not to build up your backlinks, and then we’ll get into the meat of what you want to know: how to build those backlinks properly.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are basically incoming links from your website to another web page, usually within other people’s websites or on social media. They are one of the biggest assets in SEO to have, yet so many people don’t realize their potential, especially when it comes to search engine rankings.
The best way to approach high-quality backlinks is to consider them like a conversation between websites. For example, let’s say a blog post about hockey gets published by website author A. Enter website author B, who disagrees with the opinions of website author A, and then writes a separate article for their separate website. Website author B then links to website author A’s article so that B’s audience understands the subject from both perspectives. Website author B’s article gets popular and thus many other websites link to B’s article. Even though website author B received more backlinks, the value of website author A’s single backlink has increased exponentially thanks to the backlinks generated by website author B.
If that’s too confusing, approach backlinks this way instead: as an intertwined conversation between massive groups of people behind their computer screens, supplying links to back up their case or to prove a point in their writing. It helps web pages communicate with search engines so they can be tracked online, thus helping to boost site traffic and interest.
Examples of Poor Backlink Building
One of the worst possible things you can do to attempt building backlinks is to lower yourself to the level of using black-hat SEO tactics. This means you need to avoid performing the following actions on websites, both your own and others, no matter what:
- Buying and selling backlinks.
- Using link exchange networks.
- Leaving spammy, standardized comments on websites irrelevant to your company.
- Approving of and hosting spam comments on your own website.
- Adding your website address to unrelated and untrustworthy directory websites.
Doing any of the above will not only result in a Google penalty, but also severely damage your website’s online reputation. Bad backlinks are not easy to clean up either, especially if this is a new concept to you.
The good news is there are many tools, including Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools, which can help you identify poor quality backlinks. There are also helpful guides that delve further into this complicated, broad subject.
How You Can Build Backlinks Properly
Building backlinks is overall considered to be one of the top white-hat SEO tactics you can apply to your website, which is why it’s so crucial to do so in a way that works for everyone involved. To start, you need to let people know you do, in fact, have a website, and get them to link to your website via a blog post for example. Get them to see your link as a pathway to your business, instead of as a cheap trick to gain higher search engine rankings, by performing one or more of the following tasks.
- Promote your blog content.
- Guest blogging.
- Online directories – unless they are inconsistent, incorrect, and invisible to search engines and users alike, in which case you need to clean those up before advertising them to your clientele.
- Contacting bloggers or journalists directly – maybe they’re passionate about the topics you’re covering!
Overall, proper link-building will not get your website anywhere if you ignore the key factors of what makes a website great: a solid design, great usability, meaningful content, and excellent communication between you and your online customer base. For assistance with all of this and more, contact us at V3 Media. Our expertise in website design and development can help you in all these facets.