In today’s hyper-digital marketplace, it’s a never-ending race to ensure that your organization features prominently on major search engines. Recent data indicates that 93 percent of all online experiences begin with use of a search engine like Google. It’s critical that your organization understands the resources and techniques available to keep itself front and center to attract new and repeat customers in your industry. However, Google currently has over 200 factors to determine page ranking, and understanding how to maximize your SEO resources can be easier said than done. One of the most effective ways to quickly and organically start building page authority is through a process called backlinking.
What Is Backlinking?
Backlinking is one of the primary factors that affects rankings on search engines. The simple definition of backlinking is the practice of one website linking to another website. The more relevant definition for SEO purposes is that they’re links to your site from other websites that can help or hurt your position and authority in search rankings. Google essentially views these links as endorsements and favors sites with large numbers of external links to their pages. Think of it as getting recognition from a celebrity or high-profile figure within your industry that increases your authority.
In theory, the more links you have to your site, the higher you will rank; however, Google has certain criteria for these links, including but not limited to:
Quality – It’s generally more favorable to have a more recognized and authoritative entity like the New York Times, CNN or any leading organization in your industry then another less visible business. Google understands that there’s more distinction in having the New York Times link to your website than the cupcake place down the street. The more backlinks you have from higher-profile organizations, the better.
Relatability – It’s important that your backlinks align with your subject matter and content on that specific page. For example, if you run a restaurant or café, it’s actually more advantageous for a mid-level organization in the food landscape to link to your site than a larger media outlet. It’s always preferable, however, to try and have the highest-level organizations within your industry link to you.
Domain Authority – Google factors in the domain authority of websites backlinking to your page to determine their worth and position. Domain authority is based on search engine ranking so in some ways, your rankings are connected to the rankings of the sites linking to you.
Authenticity and age are other key factors that Google considers. It’s never advisable for organizations to try and pay for backlinks from companies.
How Do I Start Getting Quality Back Links?
When it comes to getting quality back links from reputable and high-ranking sources, the quickest way to start is by reaching out to high-profile sources directly with questions about subject matter related to a blog or piece of content you’re writing. Once they reach out to you with a response, you can use that information in a blog and email them with the finished piece requesting that they share the piece on their social media and wherever else they’d like. Remember to include the experts’ name, organization and link to their social media within the content.
The quality and richness of content will also help to attract quality backlinks. Include a mixture of visual appeal and authority, including:
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- On-Page Content
- Other Thought-Leadership Pieces
Another effective, albeit more time-consuming, way to start generating successful backlinks is to research high-ranking competitor’s backlink profiles to gain further insight into their strategy. Tools like Link Explorer and Majestic SEO can be highly effective in this endeavor.
Start Climbing the Google Ladder Today
While backlinking may seem like an intuitive and common-sense concept, executing the proper strategy based on your industry, your company’s size and other factors, can be a more difficult matter. Start by creating quality, professional and feature-rich content and then try researching the practices of some higher-ranking competitors. A comprehensive and realistic link building strategy can have you quickly ascending the Google ranks in a very short time and put more and more eyes on your business. This will ultimately convert to increased customers and the growth of your organization.