Backlinks are the foundation of a good SEO campaign. These are created when an external site links to yours, which is why they’re sometimes called “external backlinks.”
Before you start to build backlinks, you need to make sure your site is ready for them. The process of acquiring backlinks is both costly and time-consuming, so you need to make sure you get the most out of every backlink. To do that you need to:
- Have a technically optimized site
- Have strong site architecture
- Have valuable content
To ensure those things, there are a few basics you should follow:
- Fix all technical errors. Technical errors always hurt your users’ experience. Don’t rush through this process, because the result could be limits on your site traffic. Make sure your site resolves every technical issue, including:
- Site loading speed
- Mobile friendliness
- Duplicate content
- 302 redirects
- Redirect chains
- 404 errors
- Canonical errors
- Duplicate meta data
- Incorrect uses of directives (noindex, nofollow, etc.)
- Develop a strong site architecture. The better you make your site architecture, the fewer backlinks you will need. One good approach is the “reverse silo,” where the backlink targets a page in your site, which then leads to every other page in the site. It’s a solid technique because it’s an organic way to build site authority.
- Produce valuable content. Making this the third point is ironic because it’s actually the most important link in the backlink chain. Good content, or the lack thereof, can and will make or break your SEO campaign. Even if you do everything else right, unless you have good content, you won’t succeed without great content. Make sure you:
- Care about your content and,
- Don’t publish garbage content.
If you follow these five rules, you’ll see your site’s traffic climb each month:
- Keep it relevant. Google bases relevancy on three things – the general content theme of the linking domain, the content on the linking page and the relevancy of the backlinks targeting the domain.
- Let authority sites be your friend. The stronger the site, the better the results. Use an analysis tool to examine every opportunity.
- Focus on real websites. Getting backlinks from sites with real traffic is vital to solidify your tier one. They’re the most difficult backlinks to get but they’ll reap the biggest dividends. In order to get the actual data on a site’s traffic you’ll need to use a tool like SEM Rush.
- Distribute your anchor text intelligently. If you do this step poorly, you will likely keep your site from ranking. If you’re too aggressive with your anchor texts, you can get penalized by the search engines. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your exact match anchor texts below 1 percent.
- Let your backlinks live in good neighborhoods. Make sure you’re pursuing backlinks from sites that have good reputations. If you’re linking to scams or spams, you’ll get tarnished in the process.