Bare Minimum Backlink Basics

All SEO experts know that analysing links is the basic foundation of starting an effective SEO campaign. If you’re equipped with the right tools, you’ll get the results you’re searching for in no time at all.

It’s easier said than done, though. What if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t know the first thing about dealing with backlinks? That’s why we’ve listed three tactics below for making the most of your first foray into backlinks.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks go under many names, including inbound links, inlinks, and inward links. These are links that come from other websites to your website. In other words, a blogger who loves what you’re writing about may decide to link to a specific post in their blog. This would count as one backlink.

Google has often used backlinks as a measuring stick to determine how popular a website is. Whilst quantity of backlinks used to be the most important factor in SEO, now it’s quality. These backlinks have to come from reputable websites. The more popular they are, the more valuable each backlink is.

This is to stop what used to be known as link neighbourhoods. Webmasters would pay a third-party to make hundreds of trashy websites with no user value and link to a central website to artificially boost its Google search ranking.

You’ll see backlinks come in the form of an anchor text. You’ll never see a full link sitting in the middle of a webpage. Anchor text is a form of text used to denote where a link will take you. Most of the time, websites will simply write down the title of the page in question and use that as the anchor text.

For example, if you wanted to link to the Google homepage, you would do it like this: Google. That explains what the page is and it also acts as a separate keyword. Google’s crawler bots will use your anchor text to categorise your website and ensure that all links are relevant to the subject in question.

As you will discover below, most tactics involve ensuring that backlinks come from the right places. You don’t want to connect your operations with a series of low-quality websites. Remember, whenever you deal with Google, quality is infectious.

Tactic One – Analysing Backlinks

To start with, you have to find out what sites are linking to your website. You should start by reading this article to discover how to go about analysing your link portfolio.

Search engines always pay attention to inbound links. They’re an indicator of a site’s popularity and how relevant it is. Whenever you think about backlinks you should have three things in mind, and these are: quality and quantity, link neighbourhoods, and anchor text usage and variance.

It’s good to find out which pages of your websites have the most inbound links. It gives you an idea of the parts of your website people find most useful. Once you pinpoint these pages, you can work on making them look more attractive to increase traffic.

And here’s another tactic to go along with it. Always audit the content to see what you’re being linked to. This way you can find out what type of sites are liking your content. Want more of these websites? Optimise your website to suit their needs.

Tactic Two – Watching the Enemy

So you’ve looked at your own link portfolio. This is a good start, but this is a tough old world and you need to know about the threats lurking in the shadows. These enemies come in the form of your competitors. Find out what inbound links your competitors are using. If they’re dominating a specific keyword, find out why they’re dominating and why they’re ranking so high.

There are many tools to analyse your competitors, and we’re going to list a few of them below?

  1. SEMrush provides a comparison report that reveals information about competitors, such as the number of links to a site, the number of follow links, and the IPs referring to the website. With a database of 125 billion backlinks, you’re well in hand.
  2. BuzzStream allows you to find new and dropped links. It analyses your link portfolio every two weeks and updates you on your current status.
  3. Majestic SEO offers the biggest link intelligence database in the world. You can get information on the top backlinks and pages for any website with this.

Tactic Three – Delve Deeper

This is the bare minimum you need to look at, but you can also go deeper when it comes to inbound links. There are literally hundreds of tools in which you can find out more and more information about your own and other people’s websites.

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At this point, you need to work on link building strategies. Once you’ve learned about yourself and your competitors, you have to act on that information. Of course, there are thousands of potential link building strategies, and certainly far too many to list here.

What you should learn from going deeper is that the proactive approach is always going to give you an advantage over everyone else.

In conclusion, backlinks are some of the most misunderstood tools around. Whilst they seem complicated, they’re actually a simple yet crucial part of any successful SEO campaign. The best thing about the three tactics above is they don’t take long to implement. And time is money, right?


Image - Seo Buzz World