Backlinks are one of the most important indicators that search engines use to help rank your website. Website owners and webmasters, invest large amounts of resources into building backlinks and creating the right link profiles, but where should you start with your backlink efforts?
In the past, some SEO-ers focused on building a large number of links to their sites, prioritizing quantity over quality. However, as Google and the other search engines have become more efficient, a greater emphasis has been placed on building quality links.
Using a backlink checker, you can find out which backlinks are pointing to your website, and more importantly, you can use this to inform your SEO strategy.
What Are Quality Backlinks?
Backlinks help the search engines to understand how authoritative your website is. If Google is going to rank you at the top of it its results, it wants to know the information you are providing is correct. If Google sees lots of other authoritative websites are linking to your site, then it assumes this means your content is trustworthy.
So, what qualifies as an authoritative backlink? First of all, Google is going to take into account the DA (Domain Authority) of the site that’s linking to you. If that site has a high DA, then Google can already see that it’s trusted as an authoritative source and is going to value the link.
However, if that website is about the moon, then Google recognizes it as an authority in all things related to the moon. If your website is about football, for example, then that doesn’t have a great deal to do with the moon, and therefore the link is going to carry less authority. A good backlink is going to come from a website that has a high DA score and operates in a similar niche to your own website.
Where to Start Building These Links
A great way to use the backlink analyzer is to find out which domains are linking to your competitors. If your competitor is doing particularly well in the rankings, it’s likely that they have a good link profile that Google likes. Simply by putting your competitor’s domain into the backlink tool, you can see all the domains that link to their website along with the DA of those pages.
This is invaluable information to help you start building your links, as it gives you a readymade blueprint to follow. Once you have this list, you can then reach out to the websites that are linking to your competitors and request working together.
There’s nothing to stop you researching your own links to build, but by using the link analyzer to check your competitors’ links you can give yourself a great idea of where to start.
How to Start Building Links
When you ask someone to link to your website, they’re providing you with something valuable, so in many cases they’re going to ask for something in return. In some cases, a simple link exchange is going to be enough to convince someone to link to your site, but many times, they will want a little bit more.
The easiest thing to offer up in exchange for a link is high-quality content. Creating top quality content on a consistent basis isn’t easy, so if you can provide other websites with content that will engage their visitors then they’re going to be more willing to give you a link.
As you continue to reach out to different websites and show the quality content you can produce, you begin to develop relationships with these websites and the job becomes much easier. Getting started with your link building isn’t an easy process though, and it’s the part of SEO that can take up significant resources.
If, instead, you choose to use an SEO management company to help you with your link building, you have immediate access to all their contacts, and can rely on them to produce the quality content that’s going to get you links.
A Natural Link Profile
Google uses backlinks to understand how authoritative a website is in a similar way that humans get verification. For example, if your friend tells you it’s going to snow tomorrow and it’s not even winter yet, then the chances are you’re going to check with someone else to find out if they’re correct. The more sources that tell you it’s going to snow and the more authoritative those sources are, the more likely you are to believe you’re going to see snow tomorrow.
The search engines do exactly the same thing, just in a slightly different way, and that way is through the use of backlinks. Google believes that if your website is great, then lots of people are going to link to your content naturally and in a perfect world this would happen. However, in real life, you’re not necessarily going to get people linking to you naturally, so you have to go out and get those links.
In the past, this has led some people to try and take shortcuts in SEO and use what are known as black hat techniques to create lots of spammy links. However, as always, Google has become wise to this, and wants to see a link pattern that looks natural. Now, every website out there does link building at some point, so their link profile isn’t going to be entirely natural, but it can still look natural and satisfy the search engines. You’ve just got to ask yourself when you build a link “does it make sense that this website would link to my website?”
If you build a whole link profile where the answer to that question is debatable, then there’s a high chance your link building will be less effective.
Improve Your SEO
The free backlink checker is an excellent tool to help you improve your SEO. By analyzing your competitors’ links, you can get a good idea of what backlinks work and the type of links you need to be building.
Backlinks continue to be an important ranking factor in the search engines’ algorithms, so make sure you’re keeping on top of your website’s backlinks and continuing to boost your DA.