Backlinks


What Are Backlinks? An Introduction.


Whether you are a blogger, a business owner, an e-commerce entrepreneur or anything in between, the world of websites, pages, profiles and links can be terribly overwhelming. While you are probably just proud of yourself for creating a website and launching it into cyberspace (as you should be), there is more to a website than just the layout. You will soon come to find that content and traffic are the two most important aspects of your site, no matter what you’re using it for (blogging, business, revenue, etc.).

To increase your traffic and be more visible on the Internet, you have to provide content. To promote your content, you have to have viewers, or traffic. To get more viewers, you have to have other viewers support your content. Are you sensing a theme? This is a constant cycle, and to help you out there are many tools you can employ, from social media to keywords to other websites. One such method is called a “backlink,” and it is incredibly powerful in getting people to “vote” for your website and increase your visibility on multiple platforms, as well as earn higher rankings on search engines.

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Backlinks

Backlinks Definition

Backlinks are, rather simply put, links from your content to another source. When you link to another source, that link will essentially add to the volume you provide that other source. To illustrate this point, imagine you are a blogger. You read a blog or article that you would like to add to or respond to in some way, so you start with a link to the blog or article in your post. This links to the other website, where, hopefully, you will be rewarded with views in return.

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The Importance of SEO

SEO is quickly becoming one of the most important aspect of an online presence today. Because nearly everyone relies on a search engine to acquire their information, what better way to increase your visibility than by making sure you pop up in search engine results pages? There are many companies that help you tackle this rather complex aspect of website development and management.

Increasing Traffic Through Links

Another aspect of off-page SEO is link building. There are so many ways to link to your website, but really, it comes down to what you’re most comfortable with.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is essentially the basic website and making sure it is ideal for search engine results pages. This means that it is well-designed, user-friendly, has great content, uses keywords in the headers and text and also has external links either to other pages of your own, or links to another site. It encompasses everything that is on your page and sets you up for the best SEO and SERP outcomes you can generate without furthering your reach.

Off-Page SEO and Social Media

To further your reach beyond your on-page SEO, you need off-page SEO. This type of SEO is important because it means that you are searching for other ways to link back to your own content, website, products, etc. By increasing your online presence through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and more), you are attaching many more ways for your information and website to be found on SERPs.

Social Bookmarking

Many people have a self-admitted Pinterest addiction, which is great news for website owner hoping to increase their off-page SEO. Bookmarking sites like Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Feedly, Evernote and more all allow a person essentially save images, text, sources and information that they intend to use for reference later, or to forward to others.

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Relationships for Mutual Backlinks

One of the best ways to grow your brand and your website is to build a community. Odds are you're not the only person with the same interests you're blogging about, or the first company of its kind. Follow people in the same field as you, learn from them, and add to their community and discussions. For a blogger, this may mean following other bloggers who write in your similar style or on a similar topic. Be a genuine contribution, and they will be more likely to follow you and backlink to your content in return.

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Avoid "Black Hat" SEO and Backlinks

Most people have visited a site that is merely ads and links to other sites, and the content is poorly written and obviously only there to fill in spaces between links. What do people do when they come across these websites? They close out of the window and return to the search page results. Google and other search engines are also, thankfully, getting much better at detecting these "black hat" operations.

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Only Use Backlinks for Good

It is incredibly tempting in this digital age to do everything technologically possible to advance ourselves, our business and our bank account with little regard to others. While using backlinks, SEO tactics, social media and websites may seem entirely impersonal and generally morally exempt, it is important to remember that your website, company or your personal brand will get nowhere if you don't implement an ethical approach to promoting your website.

The Importance of SEO

SEO is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of an online presence today. Because nearly everyone relies on a search engine to acquire their information, what better way to increase your visibility than by making sure you pop up in search engine results pages? There are many SEO companies that help you tackle this rather complex aspect of website development and management. It involves keywords (words that can be connected to your page via a search engine), backlinks and a number of other platforms that can be used to increase your website’s presence in cyberspace. As a website owner, it is important to know that there are two major components to optimizing your site: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

Increasing Traffic Through Links

Another aspect of off-page SEO is link building. There are so many ways to link to your website, but really, it comes down to what you’re most comfortable with. If you have a blog, many people prefer reading other blogs, commenting in a constructive and polite way and adding something like “I’d love it if you could read a similar article I wrote at www.website.com.” This may not work for larger blogs that get a ton of comments, but if you’re hoping to build a small, loyal following this can help. Other ways include guest blogging (writing an article under your own name for another blog with a link to your website in the bio) or asking your readers to link to your content on their own sites or social media.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is essentially the basic website and making sure it is ideal for search engine results pages. This means that it is well-designed, user-friendly, has great content, uses keywords in the headers and text and also has external links either to other pages of your own, or links to another site. It encompasses everything that is on your page and sets you up for the best SEO and SERP outcomes you can generate without furthering your reach. It is important to use “white hat SEO” here, which means that you’re using your SEO keywords and links to legitimately increase your traffic for your specific content. If you have a website or blog about the history of pencils, there is no good reason to have backlinks connecting you to cute kitten videos or trending topic tags on each page. Without working through your on-page SEO, there is no point in going on to the next step.

Off-Page SEO and Social Media

To further your reach beyond your on-page SEO, you need off-page SEO. This type of SEO is important because it means that you are searching for other ways to link back to your own content, website, products, etc. By increasing your online presence through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and more), you are attaching many more ways for your information and website to be found on SERPs. Outside of search engines, being on social media also gives you a larger reach. Instead of “Googling” you, your company, or your blog, people can access Facebook, Twitter and other sites to search for you. People with large social media followings have loyal viewers who contribute to their influx of new traffic. Not only that, but people who find you on social media will most likely search for your “home” site, giving you more traffic through more clicks and more streams. Consider off-page SEO to be somewhat like a funnel, attracting all the traffic from social media, external links, and “bookmarking” to your site.

Social Bookmarking

Many people have a self-admitted Pinterest addiction, which is great news for the website owner hoping to increase their off-page SEO. Bookmarking sites like Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Feedly, Evernote and more all allow a person to essentially save images, text, sources and information that they intend to use for reference later, or to forward to others. Many people also use Facebook and Twitter as a sort of curation method for saving links—this is generally what happens when something “goes viral.” So many people bookmark it and save someone’s content that the SERP ranking increases exponentially. Use all of these platforms to share your content and promote it and others will bookmark it and pass it along to their followers. In an age where “going viral” is all the rage, it helps to know how to “go viral.”

Avoid “Black Hat” SEO and Backlinks

Most people have visited a site that is merely ads and links to other sites, and the content is poorly written and obviously only there to fill in spaces between links. What do people do when they come across these websites? They close out of the window and return to the search page results. Google and other search engines are also, thankfully, getting much better at detecting these “black hat” operations.

In contrast to white hat SEO (honest use of keywords and links), black hat SEO and backlinks are designed only to generate the most traffic possible without regard to the quality of the content, website layout or design or user safety. These websites have spam links, which have pop-ups or ads attached to (and around) links. Sometimes you don’t even need to click a link for something to pop up. While everyone desires more traffic when they have a website to promote, these tricks not good practice and can actually get your website booted from the major search engine results pages. To avoid this, only use legitimate links to outside content, and only use quality content that is supplemented by links. Don’t ever work your content around the links, even if that is incredibly tempting. Instead, write content that is great on its own, or provide a legitimate service that people will want to use. Then, use SEO and backlinks to generate more visibility for you, your website or your company, knowing that your content will be what keeps your new visitors coming back for more.

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