Having high quality links into your website can do more than just bring in the customers who click on them. It can also have an impact on your search rankings. What can you do to get more of these valuable inbound links?
What is a Backlink?
The term backlink or inbound link simply refers to any link to your website that has been posted online. It could be a link that one of your customers has posted on their social media account when recommending a product to their friends or it might be included in an article written by an expert in your field. Anyone who is reading that content will see the link and they will be able to click on it to visit your website.
Why Are Inbound Links Important for Your Website?
When someone posts a link it can lead people to your website. Links that are posted by influencers or respected organisations can generate more clicks. However, even if the number of people who actually click on the link isn’t that high it could still be benefiting your business.
Backlinks are one of the factors that search engines will consider when they are ranking pages for search results. If your website has a lot of links from high quality websites then the search engine will consider it to be more valuable. You will be boosted up in the search results.
Which Types of Inbound Links Are Best?
Having links back to your website is generally good, but search engines like Google don’t place the same value on all kinds of inbound links. Some can even be harmful for your search ranking.
The best inbound links
The best inbound links will be placed on websites that search engines consider reputable and of high quality. A link on a well-respected website that is relevant to your content and has lots of its own high-quality backlinks will have a bigger effect on your rankings. If your webpage is connected to a lot of these websites then the search engine will assume your content is very valuable.
Bing prefers organic weblinks and shares more on types of links that can help search results.
The worst inbound links
The worst inbound links are on websites that search engines consider to be suspicious. Search engines may lower the rank of your website if they detect these kinds of links or even remove your site from their index so that it doesn’t appear in the results at all.
Google has explained types of links that it sees as weak and manipulate best practice. If you discover these on your site, Google also explains how weak backlinks can be removed – or disavowed as they prefer to call this.
Checking Your Backlinks
You can find out who is linking to your website using tools like the Links Report in the Google Search Console. The report will also reveal which pages on your website are being linked to most frequently, which can help you to identify the most valuable content on your site. Creating more of these kinds of content and building relationships with the websites that are linking to you could generate even more backlinks to boost your rankings.
The Links Report provided by Google can also reveal any less reputable sites that are linking to your webpages. If you notice any suspicious websites in the list you can ask them to remove the link or disavow the link through Google. You can also do this with any inbound links that might damage your search ranking, such as paid or directory links.
How to Get High Quality Inbound Links
Since search engines consider the quality of the inbound links to your site, not just the quantity, it isn’t possible to improve your search rankings simply by posting lots of links around the web. You need to make sure that you’re getting high quality backlinks.
- Contact website owners who might be interested in collaborating with you. For example, you could create blog posts with reciprocal links or recommend content on each other’s websites that could be of interest to your visitors. One particularly effective technique can be to recommend your website as a replacement for any broken links to similar content.
- Find blogs related to your sector that might be willing to accept guest posts from you or who would be willing to write a review. Networking with bloggers can be an effective way to get high quality links as well as building your reputation with their followers.
- Write content that mentions other people. If you write a blog post or news story that mentions another website, there’s a good chance that they will want more people to see it so they’ll be happy to add a link.
- Encourage people to share your content on social media as these links can affect your search rankings too.
- Create content that other people will want to post on their blogs or websites. Infographics and videos that get embedded on other websites will be linked back to you.
- Create high value content that other websites will want to direct their visitors towards. How to guides, recipes, and expert advice can all generate more links.
Moz has created a useful how to guide that provides more information and is available here.