Trying to improve your website’s search engine ranking can sound and seem overwhelming. While you’d ultimately like a page one rank, getting there can feel quite intimidating. Where and how do you begin? It’s like eating a gorilla.
And as the saying goes, how do you eat a gorilla?
One bite at a time.
And the logic follows … how do you get to page one?
One click at a time.
And we’re going to tell you how to get more clicks.
Even with limited SEO knowledge, there are many things your small business can do to improve your search rankings. Today’s topic: Backlinks.
What you need to know about backlinks
Backlinks (aka incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, or inward links) are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Basically, backlinks represent an endorsement of your site. After all, if these other site owners find your site useful, the logic goes, then Internet searchers are likely to find your site useful too. Backlinks can not only bring new users to your site, but they are also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.
This is an example of an inbound link to our website.
Think of it like this: Hyperlinks are the streets and highways of the Internet-how we get from one place to another. Backlinks are the roads that lead directly to your door. And just as not all roads are not of equal quality or reliability, neither are all backlinks.
Here’s what determines the value of a backlink:
1. The Source
Backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable. In this instance, a backlink is like a book blurb. If you’re an author wanting to sell more books, a positive review from Stephen King or JK Rowling has significantly more value than a review from an author no one has ever heard of.
2. The Content
This one is straightforward. Quality links often come naturally to sites with compelling content or offering a unique service in a compelling way. When visitors to your site get value from what you provide, they’re more likely to link to you.
3. The Anchor
Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In browsers, it is often blue and underlined, such as this link to our portfolio page. You want your anchor text to be relevant to the content on the linked page: congruency between the two is highly weighted in search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
Increase the backlinks pointing to your website:
Why do retailers give away free t-shirts and water bottles? To get awareness out and people in. You can do the same with backlinks. Honestly, one of the most effective ways to get people to link to your site is to offer something for nothing. No matter what your business, you can find some type of premium to give your visitors for free; a sample product, trial membership, or how-to guide.
2. Maintain an awesome blog.
Blogs –written well and updated often – have the unique ability to contribute fresh material on a consistent basis, participate in conversations across the web, and earn listings and links from other blogs, including blogrolls and blog directories.
3. Use good old-fashioned PR.
You already know that being mentioned in the press is good for your business. It can also be a source of timely, quality backlinks: online publications will likely include links to your site for more information.
Ready to try?
Have a handle on backlinks? Think you can get a few directed your way? And heck, it is worth a shot, right? Backlinking isn’t the only ingredient in the secret search engine recipe … no one really knows the exact ingredients anyway. But backlinks are a reliable and easy way to get started getting noticed, by both humans and search engines, bit by bit. Just like eating a gorilla.