What is a backlink?
All those who are familiar with search engines, would have heard about backlinks and their importance as a vital component of SEO. Backlinks, are incoming links to a website or web page and are also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks and inward links.
Backlinks are important factors which determine the popularity and importance of a website. A site which has quality backlinks is ranked higher and more relevant as compared to others in the Google search query. Google weighs the number of backlinks to determine the PageRank of a webpage.
Before the advent of search engines, inbound links were the primary mode of web navigation but today backlinks are important for Search Engine Optimization. One key element to remember is that it is the number of ‘quality’ backlinks that will matter to make a website relevant to searchengines. This is because search engines are designed to measure the relevance of a keyword to a site and the number of quality backlinks that point back to that site.
To make a quality backlink , the relevance of content comes into play. When a backlink points to your site and the content on that site matches your own site, then it takes the form of a quality link. Backlinks which are commonly found in middle of sentences of the content are contextual backlinks and have a great value since it directly relates to the specific topic and leads to higher page rank. Although one can manipulate the backlinks on a website so that it ranks high in the search engine algorithm but now-a-days the search engines have become wittier. Webmasters can’t get away with tactics like reciprocal backlinking and using of a link farm. (For the uninitiated, a link farm is any group of web sites that all hyperlink to every other site in the group in order to improve their SEO.) Such devious ways are likely to get your site banned.
Let’s gain an insight about how you can best build upon quality backlinks:
1. Slog for Blog
Blogging is a definitive way to earn relevant backlinks to your site. Think deeply, research and write about relevant industry topics and topical issues which people are likely to search and take notice of immediately. The topics should catch the imagination of the people. Eventually the net community will read your blogs and cite your posts as a source of information for their articles. One thing to take care is that blogs should not be only about you and your company. Don’t just brag about yourself; rather write blogs on relevant and diverse topics which provide information about a product or service.
2. Build relationships with bloggers and net community
Spot out like-minded writers, bloggers and internet personalities who are active in your field of interest/industry sector. You can even set upGoogle Alerts to be notified about their activity. Give your feedback and comments on their forums, blogs, articles and other posts. Don’t forget to put a link in your signature. Whenever you give your feedback, the backlink with the keyword will be displayed and will direct search engines to your website.
Make good use of Twitter and retweet articles in order to build a relationship with other bloggers. You can even send them a tweet to apprise them of your own product offerings. In this manner other bloggers and net enthusiasts become your virtual brand ambassadors. It is not easy to achieve this but once you accomplish it, the ride will be easier for SEO.
3. Get your products reviewed
Get your products reviewed from other bloggers and netizens. When they will review your products, you will gain valuable backlinks naturally.
4. Build relationships with customers
If you build an active and positive relationship with your customers on the social media, you might earn a few more links. These customers are likely to cite your articles and spread good word about your company. This will earn you ‘brownie points’ since other people will be influenced to take the services of your company by reading the views of your existing customers.
5. Register in directories and portals
Register your site in various online directories and portals. You can easily search on the net for free directories with high PageRank, which will provide a relevant starting point to build links.
6. Effective use of SEO tools
There are many link building softwares which you can use to analyze the link profile of other companies (who closely relate your own industry or sector). Scrutinize which links point to their sites and if you have missed out on the same, reach out to those sites and build a relationship with them.
7. Use Infographics
Create interesting infographics for your blogs. The visual nature of infographics appeals to people and they are more likely to read and then share them to others. Infographics will certainly lead to a rise in the number of links. Take the services of a designer for creating infographics. Working on a shoe-string budget? Design them yourselves with easy designing softwares available today .
8. Create how-to guides
If you are an online retailer in the business of selling products which needs installation or there is a lengthy procedure to use a product, then it is wise to set up links for ‘how-to guides’ for customers. This is a two-pronged tool. On one hand, it will attract customers as it is easier for them to use your product. On the other hand, other bloggers will cite your guides as a point of reference. This will earn product-specific links for your store. In case, you can add a video of the guides, nothing like it!
9. Publish free news
You can publish free news for newspaper websites, news portals or publish a press release on the Internet. If possible contact some reporters who interview retailers who are also product experts. When these interviews are published, they will carry your name and a link back to your site.
E-commerce merchants cannot do without Search Engine Optimization techniques as they need to stand above their competitors in the online world.By building upon valuable backlinks, the online retailers can achieve higher PageRank, attract traffic to their site and improve conversions.
What is a backlink?