What are backlinks and why successful websites have them

professional website writer hands on laptop

Backlinks are one of those mysterious SEO tricks that are often talked about like an insider’s little secret. Many businesses with a website throw the idea of backlinks into the ‘too hard’ basket. To be honest, some backlinks are hard to get. But, some aren’t. Read on to find out how your website can get a few backlinks without breaking a sweat.

What are backlinks?
What are backlinks?

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links to your website. You probably already have a few backlinks. If your website is on a directory listing, that is a backlink. The directory has a link to your website.

But, not all backlinks are equal.

Are all backlinks the same?

If you could choose any website to link to yours, which would you choose? Would you rather the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) or the local pet walker’s website? I’m sure the pet walker’s website is lovely, but the SMH website is more reputable and reliable according to Google. So if the SMH links to your website, Google deems your website pretty reputable too. But it’s a lot harder to get a backlink from the SMH than Bruce’s Dog Walking.

More reputable websites have a higher ‘domain authority’. The domain authority for SMH is currently 93/100. Most new websites have a domain authority of 1/100 as Google thinks the website hasn’t got much authority. A website with a lot of backlinks from reputable websites has a high domain authority.

What are Do Follow/No Follow backlinks?

When a website gives a backlink, they have a choice to give it a Do Follow or No Follow link. A Do Follow link is like a vote for that website. A No Follow isn’t.

Do Follow backlink
Do Follow backlinks are like a vote for your website

Blog comments, social media and usually directories attribute a No Follow backlink. But, that doesn’t mean a No Follow link isn’t valuable. You can still get traffic to your website through No Follow backlinks and Backlinko have found that No Follow links can increase your website’s domain authority.

How can I get backlinks for my website?

First of all, don’t pay for them. This is a big no no and if Google suspects you have bought backlinks, they can penalise you. Some dodgy SEO agencies promise high domain authority backlinks for a price. If this is the case, just stay clear.

Writing high quality blog content is the best way to get backlinks. In this article, I’ve given backlinks to SMH and Backlinko, as it was relevant. But writing the content is not enough. You need to share what you’ve written on social media and tell interested people about your blog. That may encourage them to write their own blog and give you a backlink.

Another way is to do a Google search of your business and see if anyone has mentioned it. If they have, reach out to them and ask for a backlink.

You could write a guest blog for a business you have worked along side. If you’re a cafe, ask your coffee roaster if you could write a guest blog with a backlink.

If you or a family member play in the local sports team and you sponsor them, they usually provide you a backlink. This is not classed as a paid backlink and is totally fine.

write testimonials for backlinks
Be nice and write testimonials

My favourite way is through writing testimonials. All websites should have testimonials. This way is great because you’re helping out another business and they help you out by giving you a backlink. Make sure it’s sincere and says why you liked their business.

Backlinks definitely improve your ranking on Google. If you’d like more advice on backlinks, get in touch.

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