What are backlinks and why are they so important?
If you’re currently looking for an SEO company, well your probably currently being bombarded with marketing jargon as to what your website needs.
That’s to say whether your phoning a local seo business, or you’ve attended a meeting with an agency, you may have been told that your website needs more backlinks.
So many business owners recognise that they require high-quality backlinks, yet with that said many business owners do not know what they are.
Also, there’s simply loads of businesses that don’t know how to build backlinks. And ever since the Google Penguin updates many businesses are rightfully worried that they will build low-quality backlinks, and actually damage their businesses SEO.
So if your fed up with SEO businesses stating a load of marketing waffle, and you just want a straightforward guide as to what backlinks are, well you’ve come to the right place.
Sock it to me, why are backlinks so important?
There are over 200 ranking signals that Google’s algorithm calculates in order to work out how important your website is.
Now ranking signals sounds rather complicated, so just think of ranking signals like different elements of SEO.
So, your websites meta titles are one, the anchor text another and backlinks are another kind.
And yes you guessed it, the businesses that are on the first page of Google will have the strongest ranking signals.
Also you have to think of how relevant your website is, so for example, if you run a dental practice you will want to make your website relevant for people looking for teeth whitening services for example.
So SEO is all about optimising your businesses ranking signals, as well as making your website more relevant for the keywords your website wants to rank for.
After all, there’s no point in writing about rugby news on your dental practices website.
Now back to the main point, and that is why backlinks are so important, they are important because many seo companies believe out of the 200+ ranking signals, backlinks are one of the most important.
That’s to say some digital marketing agencies think they are the most important, and some others believe that backlinks are at least in the top 10 in terms of importance.
So, are all backlinks worth the same?
This is a mistake that some businesses make, and even some seo companies as well, that is thinking that all backlinks are worth the same.
The truth is some backlinks are deemed good quality, these can help to improve your websites seo.
An example of a good quality backlink would be a link obtained from a website that offers good quality information. For example, lets say you run a law practice, you specialise in employment law, and there’s a website that a lot of solicitors read as it offers daily advise on employment law practices.
The employment law practice website is written by experts, and within employment law its regarded as one of the best news websites there is. Well, this would be a good place to obtain a backlink from.
On the other hand there’s low quality links, these may come from websites that use rubbish seo.
Low quality backlinks can damage your businesses seo, meaning that these links linking to your website could mean that your website incurs a penalty.
Most businesses will have heard of the Google Penguin penalty, a lot of businesses have received such a penalty because the businesses links have been deemed as low quality.
A Google Penguin penalty can mean that your website drops in terms of where it ranks. So for example, your solicitors practice may have been ranked on page one of Google, then after the Penguin penalty your website may have dropped to page 10 of Google.
So in a nutshell, the backlinks that your website needs must be high-quality and relevant to your business.
What are internal and what are external backlinks?
Internal backlinks are links that take you to another page on the same website. So lets say you are on a website that retails skiing equipment, and within the blog post you read about a new set of skiing googles that have just been offered for sale.
So you may click the anchor text that states “skiing googles” and then you are taken to that page that tells you more about the goggles on the same website, this is an example of an internal backlink.
An external backlink is when you click a link, and then you are taken to another website.
So, what exactly is a no-follow and a do-follow backlink?
The backlinks that seo companies want to obtain for their clients will be high-quality do-follow backlinks.
The reason that your digital marketing agency will want to build do-follow backlinks is quite simply because do-follow backlinks pass what is referred to as “link juice”.
This means that often the businesses that are ranked on the first page of Google, will have many good quality backlinks that are do-follow.
No-follow backlinks do not pass link juice, yet they are still important. No-follow backlinks are important because most seo agencies believe that if a business just has do-follow backlinks that this can look too artificial.
So, most seo companies build both do-follow and no-follow backlinks.
What does “anchor text” mean?
Anchor text is simply the text that you click on in order to follow a link. So lets say for example you are looking to purchase a new pair of boots, so you click on a button on a website that says “brown boots”- therefore “brown boots” would be the anchor text.
How should a business go about building backlinks?
We think that the best way that any business can build backlinks is to earn backlinks. What we mean by this is your business, working in conjunction with a white hat seo agency should be offering really useful information to your website’s visitors.
So, lets say you run a dental practice, you should be answering questions that patients commonly ask. For example, what to do if you experience tooth pain.
If the work you publish on your business’s website is really good quality, then other websites may choose to link to the work.
For example, a rugby website may publish an article about what to do if a tooth becomes painful because of an accident while playing rugby. The author of the article may mention your website, as a place to go to read more about what to do while experiencing tooth pain.
So this way your business is building backlinks, without you asking for backlinks from another website.
Yet, its also important that your business works with a white hat seo company to ensure that all the backlinks are quality backlinks. If your website starts to obtain low quality backlinks, well you must discuss this with your SEO company. Low quality backlinks could mean that your website incurs a penalty.
This is why its so important that if your website accumulates spam backlinks, or low-quality backlinks that your seo company takes action to fix the problem.