How Backlinks Became Essential for SEO, and 5 Things You Should Do To Build Them During Social Distancing


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business man standing at the base of a staircase leading to a backdrop of the word backlinks against a red arrow pointing up

Backlinks, or links on other websites to your own, are an essential part of any search engine optimized (SEO) content. To boost your business, contact Romain Berg for web content specially created to drive traffic to your site. SEO can sometimes seem like magic; you need a steady hand to help you make sense of it.

How Backlinks Became Essential 

What Are Backlinks?

When one website links to another and mentions it at the same time, that’s a backlink. A helpful way to conceptualize backlinks is to think of them as votes for a page. The more sites that backlink to you, the more credible your organization will appear to others and to search engines. 

Backlinks, even organic ones, are primarily promotional. The trick is doing them in a way that attracts visitors to your site while playing by the rules.

How Did Backlinks Start?

Backlinks date back to the early days of Google when it was called PageRank. As early as 1998, Google described backlinks as an essential part of the web search experience. To this day, Google acknowledges backlinks as a critical component of their search ranking factors.

Useful Backlinks and Their Benefits

Businessman holding a foldable smartphone with BENEFITS inscription, business conceptNow, you may find that scoring those backlinks on other pages is difficult. Especially for new or small businesses, backlinks can be few and far between. However, if you can get them, your business’s search rankings will improve.

Here are some things to look for when trying to snag the most valuable backlinks:

Domain Authority

You want your business or organization’s backlinks to have something known as domain authority. The concept boils down to this: ideally, the sites that backlink to yours should be credible and trustworthy. Google weights backlinks with domain authority more highly when it determines a site’s search rankings.

Keywords in Anchor Text

“Anchor text” refers to the text that appears in the hyperlink to a site. When backlinks use target keywords for your business in their anchor text, that boosts your site’s search rankings.

Beware of too much anchor text, however. As with everything, a little goes a long way when it comes to keywords in anchor text. 

Google has systems that can detect when businesses are too clever with their keywords and anchor text. Sites can avoid this by avoiding exact-match keywords in their anchor text.

Sites Linking to Your Site Are Related 

Backlinks to your business should come from sites that exist somewhere in your brand’s wheelhouse. If you run a bike shop, you want sites that link to your business’s content to be related to your business. Think of sites dedicated to things like cycling, wellness, or outdoor activities.

Again, Google will weight your site higher in its search ranking calculations when the backlinks are associated.

“Do Follow” Links Are Self-Explanatory

When businesses link to content on your website, they use links with a “dofollow” tag. This tag is what it sounds like. Content with “nofollow” tags in the link includes things like blog comments and press releases. 

Google does not include links with “nofollow” tags in its search rankings, but you don’t need to worry. Blog post comments and press releases aren’t typically high-value for search engine optimization (SEO).

First Time Links Are Important

Your search rankings don’t benefit when all of your business site’s backlinks come from the same place. Backlinks need to emanate from fresh sources in order to boost your site’s rankings.

Crucially, studies seem to suggest that backlinks from many and various sites are most impactful on a site’s search rankings. You don’t want the same site linking back to your business repeatedly. You want your backlinks to come from multiple locations.

Tips to Cultivate Useful Backlinks

Businessman leader leading a large group of people. Backlink building conceptNow that you know the traits of useful backlinks, you may be wondering how you acquire them. After all, you can’t control another business’s web content and marketing strategy. Fortunately, there are certain practices you can incorporate into your own content to boost backlinks to your site.

Here are some useful suggestions you can deploy to promote backlinks.

1. Develop Linkable Assets

Linkable assets are straightforward. Develop and post content that other related sites will want to backlink. Content can include blog posts, videos, quizzes, and more.

Think about what your business offers or does that could be turned into a linkable asset. 

2. Pitch Your Content to Related Sites

Do you have a blog post or lead magnet that might be valuable to a related site? Find out if they do link roundups. A link roundup is a website’s regular summary for their readers of potentially interesting blog posts and articles.

In this context, “regularly” depends entirely on a site’s editorial decision-making process. Regular link roundups can be daily, weekly, or monthly.

Consider extending a friendly suggestion to a website related to your business or organization that does link roundups. Let them know you have a blog post or some piece of content that their readers might find useful.

Social Distancing and Backlinks

These are undeniably difficult times for small businesses. Entrepreneurs and employers need to leverage every edge available to them. Businesses and organizations can put backlinks to work for them during social distancing, especially if their offerings are quarantine-friendly.

3. Help a Reporter Out 

Everyone is checking the news right now. While everyone is looking for the latest updates on social distancing or shelter-in-place rules, look for opportunities to inform people.

Help a Reporter Out, or HARO, can be an efficient way to garner trustworthy backlinks from news sites. Publishers and publications that use HARO include Time, Reuters, Fox News, and the New York Times. When you sign up to be a HARO source, you receive notifications when reporters are looking for story sources. 

4. Offer Free Services or Products

Many creators, businesses, and entrepreneurs are offering free or reduced-cost services and products. Consider posting content on your website and social media offering your product or service for free or at a discount. Limited-time offers, or specific beneficiaries (i.e. first responders), can help keep this tactic from getting out of control.

Alternately, you could offer a free product or service to a blogger or influencer in exchange for a review. New reviews mean new backlinks, and new backlinks mean higher search rankings.

5. Do a Review of Your Own

Are you aware of a business meeting the challenges of social distancing in a particularly innovative way? Is there a local restaurant in your town doing takeout or delivery that you especially enjoy? If it relates to your business or organization in some way, maybe you could generate your own review or testimonial.

This tactic is similar to the practice of pitching your content to related sites, mentioned earlier. Send a related business a friendly shoutout along with your testimonial. Often, when these businesses post your testimonial or review, they will provide a backlink to prove it’s a real review.

Improve Your Backlinks During Social Distancing with Romain Berg

Don’t become discouraged by uncertainty. Take advantage of social distancing to develop your business’s online presence. Prepare for better times and the end of social distancing by building backlinks on other reputable, related sites.

SEO is a complex world, and it isn’t intuitive. You’ve got enough to worry about right now without trying to solo-navigate the process of boosting your search rankings. Invest in high quality SEO that will boost your business’s profile. 

Romain Berg’s team of content writers create the linkable assets other sites are looking for. Contact Romain Berg and score the backlinks you need for the search rankings your business deserves.


About the Author

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

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