If you want to get found on Google and co – you’ve got to build backlinks to your website (ie get other sites to link back to yours).
However, one thing most business and blog owners don’t realise is this: all backlinks are not equal.
Some are worth more “link juice” than others – and some can actually damage your own website’s authority and visibility in the search engines!
The Value of a Backlink
Here some things to consider, if you are want to build good quality backlinks:
- Official websites: Links from government websites (with a URL ending in .gov.au here in Australia) and educational institutions (.edu.au) have a lot more credibility in the eyes of Google and co. They are also not easy to come by!
- Domain Authority (DA): A backlink from a website with a higher DA (What is Domain Authority?) is worth more than one from a lower DA ranking. For example, a link from my Middle Aged Mama blog with a current DA of 34, is more valuable than one from my Janet Camilleri website, with a DA of just 4 (can you tell I don’t do much with it!).
- Do Follow: There are two types of link – “do follow” and “no follow”. If you know enough to place a link to another site on your website, it is probably set up as “do follow”. However it is worth knowing that a website owner can use code to stop the link they’ve created to another website, from actually passing on SEO value. Generally a “do follow” link is more valuable, but many SEO consultants (including myself) believe there is still value in “no follow” links (but that’s a topic for another time).
- One of only a few links on the webpage: Have you ever seen a webpage that is lit up with links to external sites? Unfortunately each of those links is not as valuable, as they would be if it was one of only a handful on the webpage.
- The other backlinks on that site: If the site has links to porn, viagra, poker or other spammy sites, it lowers the value of all the backlinks on that page.
- Placement on the webpage: A link in the first paragraph on a webpage, is thought to be worth more than one in the last sentence. And, links from the (unique) content on a webpage, are worth more than links in sidebars or footers which tend to be on every page of a website.
- Backlink text that uses your keywords: Whenever possible, use your keywords as the anchor text for your backlink – for example, this hyperlink to Executive Coaching Brisbane is worth more than https://peterdoylecoaching.com, even though they point to the same website. Text links are also worth more than linked images.
- Comments: When you comment on a blog or forum, you are often able to post your website URL in the signature, which creates a backlink. In the vast majority of cases these are set to “no follow” – but as mentioned above, I still think they are worth including in your backlink building efforts.
This is a broad overview only, but it should help you to gain a better insight into the amazing world of SEO.
While you can certainly take on the (laborious!) task of building your own backlinks, here are just two benefits of working with an SEO consultant like me:
- I know what backlinks are valuable and worth chasing;
- I am continually researching and updating my list of linkworthy sites; and
- I’ve developed relationships with a number of different websites, making it easier for me to place backlinks.
When it comes to generating quality backlinks for my retainer clients, a big part of my strategy centres on producing high-quality content (which includes a backlink), which I then place on other quality websites – and it’s proven to be very effective.