April 3rd, 2019
You may have heard the saying; “If Content is King, Backlinks are Queen?” Although there are thousands of techniques used in the SEO industry, Content and Backlinks are extremely important for increasing Organic traffic.
We’re often asked what backlinks are and whether they are actually important? This is why we will be going into great depth in this article to discuss everything there is to know about backlinks for SEO.
What are backlinks?
At Brave Agency, we like to describe backlinks as “votes” of confidence. Backlinks are links from an external domain, pointing to pages on your domain. This is essentially a link from another website to your website.
Each domain has a backlink profile – the profile is made up of all of the backlinks from referring domains (External domains). However, it isn’t as simple as “the more backlinks you have, the stronger your backlink profile is.”
- Your backlink profile will take into account a number of elements.
- The number of referring domains linking to your domain.
- The relevancy of the referring domains.
- The backlink profile and trust of the referring domains.
- The page that the referring domain is linking to.
- The content on the page that is linking to your domain.
- The Search Visibility and Penalty History of the referring domain.
Why are backlinks so important?
Backlinks are really important for both Search Engines and users. From a search engine’s perspective, backlinks help define the importance and value of the page. In technical terms, this is called ‘authority.’
In the early days of Google, the quantity of backlinks directed to a site was an indication of popularity. This meant, the more backlinks a domain had, the stronger it was. However, as Google has evolved, it is all about quality over quantity. Something we know many other Digital Marketing Agency appear to be oblivious to!
When looking at backlinks from a user’s point of view; they provide a way for users to find websites on another website. A brilliant example of this is product review blogs. Many online magazines will review certain products or services and link to the particular product they are discussing.
This traffic can lead to conversions for a website as well as boosting your backlink profile.
How to get good backlinks for your website?
As already mentioned, there is a difference between getting lots of backlinks and getting quality backlinks. This makes the task a lot harder because anyone with a strong domain and backlink profile, know how valuable a link from their site will be.
This makes backlinking very time consuming and costly – almost every online magazine/blogger will charge for a link from their site to yours. This is where we split up the two techniques used to improve a domains backlink profile.
Outreach is the strongest method for getting a backlink to your domain; however, as you may expect, it is the most time-consuming. It involves reaching out to related websites and writing content for their blog/news section.
Within the content, there will be a reference or link back to your website. This type of backlink is very valuable because it is surrounded by relevant content.
Directory backlinking is not as valuable as Outreach, but it will still have a positive impact on your domains backlink profile if done correctly. It involves submitting your website’s URL to business directories.
The most common type of business directory is found on local newspaper websites. This is old-school as it is very rare that anyone actually goes to an online newspaper website to find a local business. Although, it still counts as a backlink.
Directory Backlinks are typically free, but once again, it is about quality over quantity. We would strongly recommend that before submitting your domain to a referring domain, the referring domain’s backlink profile is reviewed and analysed.
How to assess your backlink profile?
Whilst gaining and growing your backlink profile is incredibly important, you can’t take your attention away from protecting your domain’s Trust Flow. Therefore, it is really important to regularly check your backlink profile to make sure that you don’t have any negative, low-quality links appearing.
To do that, there are a number of tools out there that can be used. However, we prefer a very select number of tools and systems when it comes to analysing and assessing a backlink profile.
The first tool that we are going to talk about, and the one that we use the most, is Majestic SEO. As Majestic SEO uses the Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics, it allows you to quickly and easily determine whether a linking domain is helping or hindering you.
From there, you can create a Disavow File to disassociate your website with those domains that have a poor Trust Flow.
Secondly, we have SEMRush, another great tool with a strong backlink profile analysis tool within it. Whilst it isn’t as accurate as Majestic SEO when it comes to Trust Flow, you can often find additional referring domains that Majestic hasn’t crawled yet.
As such, you can then review those referring domains in Majestic as a cross-reference tool, in order to determine whether there are any that need to be disavowed.
The final tool is another backlink analysis system that should be used to cross-reference against the Trust Flow score database that Majestic SEO has. Ahrefs, like the other two, has its own crawling software, meaning that it can (and does) find other links that Majestic and SEMRush may not have found.
Therefore, it’s really important to utilise these tools together, in order to gain a true picture of your backlink profile. That allows you to then clean up your backlink profile and protect your website from negative links, whilst building up the new, high-quality backlinks.
As backlinking is such a valuable but time-consuming task, we understand that not everyone has the time to do it for their own website. Also, if the backlink is done incorrectly, it can be extremely damaging to the equity of the domain. Therefore, destroying your websites organic rankings.
If you would like to let the experts take care of your websites backlink profile, call our team of Digital Marketing Professionals today on 0845 544 3626