If you’re serious about ranking your website high on Google, one of the first things you need to focus on is increasing the amount of traffic to your website.
One of the best ways to do this is by getting as many backlinks as possible.
If you are new to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you might be wondering – What are backlinks and how to create backlinks.
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. The more backlinks you have, the more “link juice” (authority) your website will have.
This, in turn, will make it easier for Google to consider your site as an important resource and thus increase the amount of traffic to your site.
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to get backlinks to your website and how to make sure they are quality backlinks.
What are 2 main Type of Backlinks in SEO?
Before knowing how to create backlinks in SEO, there are two main types of backlinks – DoFollow Links and NoFollow Links.
For a visitor on your webpage, there is no visible difference between these links and they will be able to click through both these types of links in the same way.
However, the real difference between these two types of backlinks is in the way their HTML code is written.
The HTML tag used is what makes a DoFollow or a NoFollow. Below is a representation of the tags:
What are DoFollow links
When you give a link to an external website, the type of link created by default is a DoFollow link. These are the most common links on the internet.
When you give a DoFollow link to another website, you give a signal to Google that this is an organic link (that means you haven’t got paid to add that link) and it shows that you can vouch for the accuracy of the content on the webpage you are linking to.
If you get a DoFollow link from another website, it also means that they are passing “link juice” (domain authority) to your website.
These are the links that increase the authority of your website and these are more valuable than NoFollow links.
When to give DoFollow Links: While giving backlinks, if you are linking to valuable & high-quality websites and can vouch for them, give a DoFollow link.
What are NoFollow links
NoFollow links are not very common as you have to specifically add a tag for the same. These links are used to tell Google’s bot to ignore (not follow) the links.
While these links can still be clicked to go on the webpage on the other side, they don’t pass any link juice (authority).
Most online press releases, forums, news websites, and even websites like Wikipedia give out NoFollow links.
Despite Google saying that NoFollow links add no SEO value, there are some instances that provide some contrary evidence. It has been observed in some cases that NoFollow links from high authority websites (like Wikipedia) can actually improve your website rankings.
When to give NoFollow Links: If you are linking to low-quality websites or websites that might not have accurate information, it is better to give a NoFollow link.
Which backlinks should you get: DoFollow or NoFollow?
Google suggests that a website should have a healthy mix of DoFollow and NoFollow backlinks in order to have a healthy backlink profile. If you have most backlinks as one of DoFollow or NoFollow, that is unnatural and might give a bad signal to Google.
How to create High-Quality Backlinks for your Website
Fundamentally, there are just 4 ways to get backlinks:
- Add Backlinks Manually: Go to other websites and place your link there.
- Ask for Backlinks through Outreach: Email other website owners and ask for a link.
- Buy Backlinks: Pay money to get a link from another website.
- Earn Backlinks: Get your website visitors to give you a link.
ADD BACKLINKS MANUALLY
In this method, you add your website link manually to other websites without asking for anyone’s permission.
You can search for various business directories and social networking sites (this process is also called Social Bookmarking). You can just create your account on these websites and add a link in your profile or any other placement where it is permitted.
But do directory submissions and Social Bookmarking backlinks add any SEO value for your website?
Actually, most of these links will have Zero value for your website.
While there could be some great business directories in your niche where you can get listed and also get discovered, but those will be rare.
The majority of these websites will be of little use to you and adding links there will turn out to be a waste of time.
If you still feel some directories are relevant to your niche and you should be present there, by all means, add your link there. Just make sure the effort makes sense to your business in the long run.
But do this from a perspective that they will not give any boost to your SEO performance, and neither will they give any competitive advantage to you because well… your competitors can get those links as easily as you can.
ASK FOR BACKLINKS
Most website owners who have built an authority receive such emails all the time asking for a backlink.
They are so common that they will either get ignored or deleted.
So what do you do to stand out?
Before writing the email, answer a question: “WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM?”.
The problem is, most people overestimate the value that they are offering to the website owner.
Chances are, a website that has built its reputation and authority through content is not really relying on guest articles from strangers.
But what they are looking for are exceptional guest posts that have a unique point of view and some deep research into the topic. That is when a guest article becomes valuable.
Apart from guest article submissions, there are some more methods you can use to acquire backlinks:
- SkyScraper Technique – See which websites have given backlinks to your competitors. Now approach those websites and tell them you have written a BIGGER and BETTER article on the same topic. Ask them to replace your competitor’s link with your link.
- Ego Bait – Mention them in your own articles and show them in a positive light. Share this article with them and then ask for a backlink.
- Testimonials & Case Studies – Give a testimonial for their product/service in your own article. Or make a case study on their product/service. Share it with them and ask them to link their on their own website.
- Link Exchange – Offer them a backlink if they agree to give you a link. Do this at your own discretion as Google does not like this strategy.
- Broken Link Building – Check if their website has a broken link relevant to what you do. Ask them to replace the broken link with the relevant page on your website.
- Image Link Building – If someone has used your image, ask them to link it to you.
- Unlinked Mentions – If someone has mentioned you or your brand on their website, ask them to link the brand anchor text to your website.
If you are a website owner, you might have received emails from strangers asking for backlinks.
A lot of those emails look like this:
These emails would most likely be ignored and deleted because they are clearly sent to a mass email list.
Also, emails such as these have zero personalization and don’t get the website owner’s attention by adding value.
However, the bigger problem is – Google is strictly against buying backlinks.
But let’s be real – most SEO experts and agencies follow this practice.
It is difficult for Google to know if money was exchanged for a backlink if there is no visible process of doing so.
So should you resort to buying backlinks?
Honestly, it depends on your risk tolerance and your moral code.
Here’s why moral code is mentioned here – Think about yourself searching on Google for some information. Would you like to see a result that is high-quality and has worked hard to rank there, or would you like to see someone that has hacked their way to rank higher by paying money (to acquire backlinks)
If it is not something that bothers you, you can use the paid backlink technique.
The truth is, you will find a lot of SEO and Digital Marketing experts arguing that paying for backlinks is completely ethical and normal as it gives your business a fighting chance against the behemoths in your space.
However, if you are of the opinion that Backlinks should not be bought but should be Earned, then the next strategy is for you.
This is the strategy where people link back to your website without you having to ask them.
Because this is an organic method and probably the most effective one, it is also extremely difficult.
Apart from writing content consistently, here is what you need to earn backlinks:
- A strong, well-known brand in the industry. Known brands get mentioned by other people easily because they are trustworthy and don’t need an authenticity check. See how this article linked to Google’s website above.
- Good reputation in the industry. If you are known to product high-value content all the time, people will automatically trust your future content more.
- Large audience & following. If you have a lot of website visitors and social media followers, it is easy to get your content discovered by them. Higher the discovery, higher the chance of getting links.
- Original Ideas. If your content is similar to what everyone else is writing, why would people link to you instead of a known name in the market. The workaround is to publish content that is unique and superior to what others in your niche have written.
- Learn Content Marketing. Content is as much about planning & distribution as it is about writing. Invest in this skill, or a content marketing team. It will do wonders for you.
- Invest in promotion of your content. Writing content and only relying on organic discovery might not be very effective – especially if your website is new and doesn’t have a lot of authority. That is why a promotion strategy including paid media, email marketing, and social media marketing will help you a lot.
Summarizing: How to Create Backlinks
This should give you a conceptual understanding and direction to start building backlinks for your website.
Creating backlinks has now got more complex than ever. But it has also got more important than ever. Writing content and On-Page SEO Optimization isn’t enough. You also have to spend time on link building strategies.
If you haven’t started yet, it is time to start now and while it will take time & effort, it will be worth it.
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