Wed, 18 November 2020
What Are Backlinks?
What are backlinks and why they are so important for an online business is one of the main questions that we get asked. Followed on by "How do i get backlinks to my business?" i suppose. So in this podcast episode we will focus on the key elements that make a great backlink, and why for most online businesses they should form part of your monthly strategy. Lets start with explaining in the simplest terms what a backlink is as the success of your business could depend on them. The Simplest Concept For Understanding Backlinks Imagine that you have been given a balloon by a friend to blow up for a birthday party. You take the balloon with all the enthusiasm you can muster and start to blow with all your might. No matter what you do the balloon won't inflate more than a fraction. It stays lifeless and limp in your hand, whilst you are red faced and defeated by the effort. Well when we start building an online business our fledgling enterprise is just like that balloon. It wont be getting much traffic, sales, customers, eyes whatever, as it will be bouncing along the Google ranks two inches off the floor. Now imagine you got a hundred other businesses to blow into your balloon. Suddenly you have momentum and your business will gain from the SEO boost that they have given you. You take off because those other sites have linked to you, and through that link Google says "Ok. these other sites think this business is worth talking about...lets push it up the rankings" Its the backlinks or inlinks that have made all the difference. Or said in another way, every time someone links your URL to theirs, your balloon will start to rise and reap the rewards. What Types of Backlinks are Valuable? Now back in the day this question would never have been worth answering as it was a numbers game. Get as many people linking to your business and it's game on. So business owners would ignore building quality backlinks into their strategies, and instead went to as many spammy sites as they can. Whenever you could leave a comment or review where there was a chance to add their URL, people would bash out as many as they could and do very well. However, Google started thinking about their definition of "what are backlinks" and decided that it should be all about relevance and authority. Now we are getting into the nuts and bolts building a backlink strategy and there is no getting away from the fact that Google are right. By looking at how established a website is, by scoring it from 1 - 100 you are well on your way to only having to get a few top quality backlinks to make a big difference to your success. Lets give you an example to make things easier. Trait #1: Authority Sites Are The One To Go For At the time of writing this article Join Up Dots has a domain authority of around 49 from a possible 100, which for a podcast is pretty good. The BBC has a domain authority of 95, almost a perfect score. So it would make sense that we should try to get a programme, article or radio show to do a piece on podcasting whilst mentioning us as a reputable source of information. They are saying to the world "Join Up Dots are highly recommended" and Google takes notice of the powerful backlink they have given us. So when you are sitting thinking What are backlinks, then you have to think reputable, high ranking businesses, that add to my authority. Don't go spammy and aim for quantity, instead be strategic and work on approaching other top sites for potential linking opportunities Why Are Backlinks Important? Now by this time you should have understood why understanding in links or incoming links as they are also called is very important for your success. They are a big tick in the box from other peoples businesses that they want to tell the world about your own through their businesses. But we can go deeper than this and tell you why some backlinks can actually harm your business, whilst others are amazingly important. So we already mentioned the authority sites, and why they should be aimed for whenever possible. But what if that site keeps on linking to you? Trait #2: New Links Are Better Than From The Same Site Time And Time Again Imagine when you are working on your what are backlinks to my business strategy, you try to get the BBC to keep on linking to you? That would be amazing as they are high in the rankings and have super powerful linking potential. Well you will see that this can cause the initial boost of SEO power that you gained to get less and less important for you. In fact the more you get from the same website the worse it is for you. It is better to aim for a few, more than loads of backlinks, no matter what the site is. Even if your mate works for the perfect business and is part of the editorial team....don't abuse that connection. Think what one of my pages would be great to gain a boost for and stick to that only. Trait #3: Your Target Keyword Should Be In The Anchor Text Once again, lets picture the fact that you are building content on Indoor Fireworks and you approach a company for a linking opportunity. They say yes to you, and then on their page link to your website with the words "Fireworks" instead. You are still getting the link back to your business so what would be the issue with them omitting this one word? Dependant on the amount of traffic and the winnable aspect of that traffic that mistake could well be fine. However more often than not, you will have done your keyword research and found the keyword "Fireworks" is highly competitive and needs a huge push to get to the top of the ranks. Whilst indoor fireworks, with less traffic and competition could be the winner you should be aiming for. Try to get the right keywords in your backlinks from other people as the more you get the more you will rise to the top of the Google rankings for those hard to win words. Sit down, work out where the buying customer is heading to find people like you, and analyse the search times. Grasping the power of anchor text, when you are working on your business can really take the effort away from everything I promise you. Trait #4: If The Backlink Isn't Relevant To Your Business Then What's The point? We could go on about this all day for sure, but you have to get into the head of Google and understand what Googles prime business model is to understand "What are backlinks?" Googles business model is nothing much more than bringing the greatest, most accurate information to us when we want it. They dont want us to be spending hours searching for "Dog Training" when everything we type in brings back results about Cats and Mice. They want reputable, accurate, honest, trustworthy information to appear to make us stay longer on Google (which means more money for them). Therefore, by getting you business linked to by a site that has nothing to do with your own you would be better off to have a clean up. Spend sometime going through your links and pruning them by contacting the relevant owner or webmaster and asking for changes and removals to be made to the content. Once again this is an ongoing business and should be looked at every few months to maintain the authority and relevance of your own site. Dont be let down by what other people are doing. Keep it clean, mean and make sure backlinks are doing what they should be doing for your business. Giving you a huge boost in ranking, traffic and of course sales, and isnt that you want after all?