If you want to have a successful website that features highly in search engine results for your niche or industry, you’ll need to take a closer look at backlinks.
Backlinks are links that come to your site from another site. This link (to Augiewildlife.com), for example, would be classed as a backlink to the Augiewildlife.com website.
Backlinks are used by search engines to work out how ‘good’ the site is: how much information it gives to readers, whether it’s trustworthy, and if it provides entertaining/informational/useful content.
They’re also useful to help search engines find new pages.
Lots of backlinks would suggest that a website is trustworthy and holds authority, making Google and other search engines believe that it is worth showing higher up in search results.
But there are a few rules that you’ll need to follow…
1 – DON’T buy backlinks
Buying backlinks, either alone or as part of a ‘guest blogging’ package, is behavior that Google will penalize you for. You will struggle to rank highly in search results, or could be blacklisted from results completely.
Google specifically states:
“Buying links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”
Backlinks are more expensive than you’d think, too. Some websites/blogs can charge upwards of $500 or $1,000 for the addition of a link, or for a guest post that links to you. Most will charge between $50 to $500.
2 – DO create amazing, LINK-WORTHY content that people would naturally want to link to
Amazing content is content that gives an audience exactly what it is looking for: it answers questions, provides useful information, and hasn’t just been copied from another source. Creating informational, easy-to-read, entertaining, and unique content is the fastest way to get more readers, and also to get more backlinks.
Find a question that someone hasn’t answered yet, and then answer it.
Offer a suggestion to resolve a problem that you haven’t seen anywhere else.
Put together a full, in-depth guide that answers EVERY question a potential reader might have, but also add in a table of contents, plus bold sub-headings, so readers will have all of the answers in a format that makes each answer, individually, easy to find.
3 – DON’T ignore the importance of a blog
While we’re on the subject of amazing content, you definitely shouldn’t ignore the importance of a blog. Posting on a blog consistently and regularly gives you a chance to create multiple amazing pieces of content, each of which could attract backlinks from other relevant sites.
Posting consistently and regularly doesn’t need to mean every day: you could blog once a week and still see huge results. Consistency is key.
4 – DO work with the local community
This applies to both the local community online, and in ‘real life’.
If you are a small, local business, your local community IS your job; the people around you are what keep you in business. Working with, and linking to/from, businesses that are local to you is one of the best ways to build links within both the ‘real life’ and online community.
If your community looks at you in a positive light, they will be more inclined to leave you with positive reviews online — and this applies to ‘regular’ customers as well as business customers. Those business customers probably have a website of their own, giving you the perfect opportunity to inter-link within your community.
5 – DON’T try to get as many backlinks as possible
Having lots of backlinks to your site is, obviously, a very good thing — and probably the target of your hard work; however, lots of backlinks only works in your favor when those links are high-quality and from relevant websites. If you get a high number of backlinks from domains that are considered undesirable by search engines, such as spam or blacklisted sites, you could find your site is penalized.