Backlinks: What are They and How Do I Get More of Them?

Passion Digital Passion Digital 21/11/2019 5 minutes

What are backlinks? Where do they fit into my SEO strategy? How do I get more backlinks? If these questions have been eating you alive and keeping you up at night, have no fear – all your questions are about to be answered. I’m Kyle, Passion Digital’s SEO Manager, and I just happen to know a thing or two (or three or four…) about backlinks. Here’s all you need to know about perhaps the most challenging part of SEO: earning quality backlinks.

What are Backlinks?

Simply put, backlinks occur when websites link to one another. For example, when an outside domain links to a page on your website, you get a backlink.

How Do Backlinks Play a Role in Your SEO Strategy?

Backlinks are undeniably an important part of Search Engine Optimisation and are an important tool in the arsenal of any SEO agency. When you receive backlinks from an external site (especially if they are from quality pieces of content on reputable and authoritative web pages), it’s like getting a vote of confidence for the page that is receiving the link. The more votes the page gets, the more that the Google search engine views it positively, which means it will rank higher in the search results. This will increase your webpage’s visibility, organic traffic and, ideally, conversion rates.

How to Get Backlinks

There are lots of great ways to get backlinks – however, there are lots of bad ways out there as well. It’s important to ensure that you are using the best SEO practices so that Google doesn’t penalise you. Here are five of my top suggestions on how to properly build links in a way that will hopefully have your webpage soaring through the rankings.

If you want links as badly as this kid, listen up!

1. Leverage Partnerships

One of the easiest ways to get backlinks? Just ask for them! Speak to your partners and other professional associates and see if they’re willing to add a link to you on their website. Since they already have a working relationship with you, it’s more likely they’ll be happy to pop you onto one of their pages – especially if they already have a list of partners on their site!

2. Love Your Long-Form Content

Make sure that you have at least one page on your website that is filled with a fantastic long-form piece. This page will have a static URL and will be available all year round. Make sure that it is genuinely useful (you should never create content just for the sake of content), well written and, as the name implies, LONG. If you have a PR or social team, it’s a good idea to get them to focus a lot of energy on promoting this piece. Good long-form content tends to correlate directly with very good backlinks.

For an example of this type of long-form content, check out our Wellbeing at Work page.

3. Create a Blog with Great Content

One way to naturally get backlinks is to write fantastic content that other people will want to reference. Blogs are a great way to do this. Make sure your blog posts are well written, properly structured, relevant to your industry and useful to the reader. You should also post on a regular basis.

Over time, your blog will likely gain authority and a readership and, ideally, you will earn links to your blog posts. When you create useful content, others will want to use it as an authoritative reference and link to it – which means another quality backlink for your page.

Remember that when you get a backlink to a blog post, you should make sure you funnel the authority you receive from the link into a key page (perhaps one of your website’s long form pieces). To do this, edit that post and include a link to a key page on your site. This will give your blog content maximum effectiveness!

4. Try Guest Posting

This one is also related to creating great content – but you will be submitting it to another website. This tactic is called guest posting; many websites allow you to submit content to them that includes a link back to your own website. However, it’s important to note that there are some base rules you should follow when submitting a post:

  • Make sure that the website or blog that will receive your guest post is relevant to the web page to which you will be linking
  • Make sure that the posts you are submitting are well written, useful, interesting and, as always, relevant
  • Don’t just hype up your company – make sure that there is real substance to your article

Be their guest, be their guest!

5. Utilise the Broken Link Building Method

This is a tactic that involves finding broken outbound links, contacting the website that has the broken link and suggesting that they fix their page by updating the broken link with a link to one of your web pages. This technique will only work if the page you’re suggesting to them is a useful, authoritative resource on the same topic as the broken link. In short, it should make sense to the website editor to swap out the old link for yours. Not only will this help a website fix its errors and improve the experience for its readers, it will also get you an extra backlink – a win-win situation for all!

However, despite the mutualistic benefits of the broken link building method, there is one potential hurdle you’ll have to get around: finding the broken links. Luckily there are lots of great SEO tools to help you identify them (such as Siteliner and Ahrefs). Once you compile a list of websites you want to target, all you have to do is pop the URLs into one of those tools and viola – you’ll know where to start your outreach. Just make sure the emails you are sending are short yet sweet. You want to come off as friendly and helpful not just hungry for a backlink!

With these tips and tricks in mind, you can easily increase the quality of your backlinks and get some great content on your blog in the process. Good luck in all your future link building endeavours – you’ll be on the first page of the Google search results before you know it.

Want to up your SEO game but not sure where to begin? Passion Digital can help you with all your digital marketing needs… and that doesn’t just go for our clients! If you’re looking for the next step in your digital marketing career, we’re currently looking to hire some new Passionistas – check out our job openings today.