In the internet marketing world, we use a variety of strategies for increasing your website’s visibility and boosting its placement in the search engine results. Of those strategies, high-quality link-building is one of the most important.
But backlinks won’t help your site’s ranking — and may actually harm it — unless they are of exceptional quality, based on Google’s current standards.
Understanding Link-Building and Backlinks
You’ve probably heard or read discussions about link-building and backlinks, but if you’re like most business owners and managers, you don’t have a full understanding of what it all means.
Today we’re going to explore external links, or links between your website and other sites unaffiliated with your business. Internal links, a discussion we will save for another day, are those that link your site’s internal assets to one another.
In the simplest of terms, external backlinks are links on other websites that lead to your site.
The important distinction we want to emphasize here is the difference between a backlink and a good backlink. High-quality links are those on reputable sites that are also most relevant to your business. The source site must have outstanding credibility, with engaging and fresh, highly relevant content.
In many ways, backlinks are the SEO equivalent to citations in a research paper. When a reputable site links to your content to support its own, this establishes you as an expert in your field.
These links will drive traffic to your site as well as establish credibility for your company. This means that the site’s target audience should be interested in what you have to say.
Google Loves — and Rewards — Great Backlinks
For Google, high-quality links are a beacon for great content and internet marketing strategies. Poor-quality backlinks, however, do not reflect well on you.
Let’s use a real estate analogy to illustrate this point. If you buy a well-built and attractive home in a bad neighborhood, the home’s value will be downgraded no matter how nice your house is. If your high-quality house is in a community of homes that are as nice — or nicer — than yours, your home’s value will benefit from this synergy.
In the process of internet marketing, we want to always strive for links that come exclusively from the best online neighborhoods.
Internet marketers sometimes refer to backlinks as digital handshakes. When a great site includes a link to your site, it tells the world — and Google — that this site trusts you and respects your content or electronic assets enough to recommend you to its audience.
As you continue to accumulate high-quality backlinks, Google will increase your site’s visibility, authority and presence scores accordingly. And as a result, you will see your status steadily improve in the SEO rankings.
How Do You Get More High-Quality Backlinks?
As with most facets of internet marketing, no one-size-fits-all formula exists for building quality backlinks. The right links for your business aren’t right for everyone.
To create your own quality links, you must identify those sites that rank highly in credibility and visibility, and ones that Google will embrace under its algorithms. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t have the time or advanced expertise to handle this themselves.
And that’s where we come in.
Be Locally SEO, through exhaustive research and testing, has developed a proprietary process for highly effective link-building. Each link is created manually by our team of backlink experts and customized to leverage your keywords and phrases.
Once Google recognizes this collection of outstanding links, you will be well-rewarded with improved credibility and better search engine placement.
Unnatural Backlinks Will NOT Help (and May Hurt You)
Just a few years ago, all links mattered — the more, the better.
In fact, quite a few unscrupulous companies made a fortune creating meaningless backlinks for unsuspecting business owners. In those days — way back in 2010-2012 — Google couldn’t tell the difference between a high-quality backlink and a fake one created to manipulate the system.
Fast-forward to 2016, and Google’s sophisticated algorithms can root out artificially engineered links in a nanosecond. And if any are found, Google will punish your site as a result, by dropping you in the search rankings.
The way the link is constructed matters too. The anchor text that contains your link should closely match the words and phrases that you commonly use. This is an important part of Be Locally SEO’s proprietary approach to link building, internet marketing and SEO.
Social Links Aren’t as Important to Google … Yet
Today, most meaningful discussions about backlinks do not involve social links. But that may be changing soon.
Social links, shares and mentions are all highly valuable for internet marketing and brand-building. When we specifically discuss backlinks, however, Google has yet to consider social media’s contribution — for good reason. Most social media platforms don’t allow Google’s crawlers to explore their content. Consequently, Google doesn’t include the data or links for many of the largest social sites.
But because Facebook has been slowly but surely cutting into Google’s share of the online search action, this is a discussion we will likely revisit in the future.
Internet Marketing Prerequisites to Link-Building
Link-building is one of the most important (and challenging) aspects of internet marketing. But even the most talented link-builder can’t succeed without a few preliminary factors in place.
First, you need to have your brand, mission and goals clearly established and aligned. Your website must be optimized for SEO, and your optimization must be updated regularly. You also need plenty of content that is fresh, engaging and highly relevant to your industry and your business.
This doesn’t mean we (or you) can’t begin to build your high-quality links while all of this is in process — you absolutely can and should. But once all the prerequisites are in place, high-quality backlinks will become much more beneficial to your SEO.
Google’s Ever-Changing Rules for Internet Marketing and Link-Building
Unfortunately, Google changes search engine optimization rules multiple times each year.
In all fairness, Google’s intent is not simply to be difficult. The world’s No. 1 search engine platform is trying to make the search experience better for all of us. They’re also doing everything they can to ensure that no one can gain an unfair advantage.
This is good for your business as well as your prospects and customers, because it minimizes wasted time and useless search results.
Those familiar pages of irrelevant search results are directly attributable to unscrupulous marketers looking for ways to cheat the system. They charge their clients for moving them up in the search results, but not necessarily in locations where they are relevant.
Rely on Professionals for the Best Strategies
You can invest the time it takes — no small feat — to create high-quality backlinks. Or you can trust an expert online marketing firm that knows how to create these important links in the places they matter most.
At Be Locally SEO, we will never compromise standards or ethics simply to push you higher in the search results. We focus on improving your position where it matters — where your best prospects and targets search for what you have to offer.
We specialize in providing a full range of online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) services. We create websites that put our clients front and center for the most qualified targets and prospects. With a combination of pay-per-click advertising, website optimization and content marketing, we ensure that our clients are regarded — by Google as well as the public — as experts in their field.
Contact Be Locally SEO today to learn more about building high-quality links for your website. Our proprietary programs are tailored to the needs of each client, ensuring that you get the highest possible return on investment for your internet marketing.
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