Having a strong local search optimization strategy with backlinks is one key to driving more people to your website and business.
Backlinks are one of many factors calculated in THE overall ranking strength of a website. Backlinks also called “incoming links” or “inbound links,” are a type of off-page or off-site search engine optimization (SEO). When another website links to a page on your website, that’s a backlink.
Like word of mouth, backlinks give websites credibility. Search engines view backlinks as a signal that other websites not only trust the content on the website but promote it by placing a link on their own website. An example of a backlink is one from an authoritative website using natural copy that has been hyperlinked like this example: “Good SEO starts with understanding your website’s purpose.”
Here’s a simple example of how backlinks can help drive search traffic. Let’s say there are two hardware store websites — ABCHardware.com and XYZHardware.com. Both sites are similar and the stores offer similar products. But if 10 other websites link to ABCHardware.com and no sites link to XYZHardware.com, Google is more likely to show ABCHardware.com when somebody searches for “hardware.”
There are two types of authority, page, and domain authority, for which websites are sometimes measured when evaluating the influence of backlinks.
Domain authority is the overall authoritative strength of an entire web domain. Backlinks from a website with a higher domain authority tend to be more valuable than links from less authoritative sites. For example, let’s say both fictitious hardware store websites mentioned above have backlinks from 10 other websites. However, the owner of XYZHardware is an interesting person and was featured in the New York Times for being an outstanding hardware store owner. The Times article includes a link to XYZHardware.com. Because it’s a well-regarded, credible website that gets lots of web traffic, the New York Times has a high domain authority. None of the backlinks to ABCHardware.com can match the domain authority of the Times, so Google is more likely to show XYZHardware.com when somebody searches for “hardware.”
Be wary of backlinks from spammy or link-farming sites. With Google Search Console, you can see where your site’s backlinks come from and even disavow those that come from questionable sites.
Earning Links through Link Building
Earning backlinks is an important component of off-site SEO. Link building is the process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website by manual outreach, writing interesting content, and promoting it on your own social media – in hopes that someone influential picks up the link and uses it on his or her own website.
The more inbound links you have pointing to your site from diverse high-authority sources, the better your perceived authority, and the more likely it is that search engines will show your site when returning search results.
The value of backlinks equates to word of mouth. For example, if one of your neighbors recommends a stock to buy, you might or might not follow her advice. But if Warren Buffett recommends a stock, you’ll buy it for sure. The key to a strong link building campaign is to create content people crave, and then to promote it relentlessly. Here are 33 link building strategies to earn backlinks and boost search rank.