When somebody searches for, say, ‘easy yoga poses,’ the search engine has quite a lot of questions to ask. What is the search intent? Are they looking for a book, a video, a coach, or a nearby gym? After that, search engines turn their attention to the relevant sites available. Which sites would prove most valuable to this person? Which sites have dealt well with similar searches? Which sites can be trusted?

That’s the magic word, trust. There’s hundreds of factors at play for what search engines choose to display on their SERPs, and in what order, but a large portion of that consideration revolves around trust. More specifically, the validity and authoritativeness of a website and what it’s saying.

Even though these search engine ranking factors are constantly changing, there is one essential that’s been around from the start, the mighty backlink. It may just be a road sign to another page or site, but it’s near impossible to gain status without these digital marketing staples.

What are Backlinks?

Now as we said, there’s hundreds of factors on if and where your website ranks in the results pages. To determine your site ‘quality’, search engines use web crawlers, or bots. These little critters go around looking at things like site structure, content, media and security, as well as plenty of technical measures such as your code, sitemap, load speed, accessibility.

What are Backlinks

Having spoken to some of these curious crawlers, we can confirm that they’re rather fond of internal and external links on your site, the so-called backlinks! The internet highway is packed full of intersections, plus it’s extremely busy. Backlinks are the road signs that direct people to more high-quality information.

These road signs can say lots of different things, such as:

  • This is where I found this information
  • Here’s a trusted source to support my claim
  • I’ve already discussed this topic elsewhere
  • Here’s some context on my talking topic
  • If you like what I’m saying, you’ll love this
  • This is exactly what I’m talking about

Regardless of what they say, backlinks communicate to your visitors that you’ve worked hard to gain reputation, which in turn indicates that you’ve created high-quality content and that people appreciate and benefit from what you’re saying. It shows you’re part of the network of trusted voices on a subject!

Websites with lots of these road signs pointing to their stretch of road are viewed as authoritative, which dramatically raises their ranking position.

For those just getting familiar with the subject, the difference between internal and external backlinks is (thankfully!) quite simple:

  • Internal backlinks are signs for pages within the same site, where similar pages are linked with one another so that visitors can more conveniently navigate your site. When you have an efficient internal linking structure, visitors are encouraged to spend longer on your site and thus they take more value from your offerings.
  • External backlinks are signs between websites, where similar (or complementary) websites are linked with one another so that visitors can get related information. When you have an established external linking network, visitors trust what you’re saying and are resultantly more likely to buy into your product or service.

You’ll need to pay attention to both internal and external links in order to perform well in SERPs, though generally speaking, external links pointing towards you are seen as more influential than internal links. In any case, the best practice is to steadily accumulate both kinds of backlinks so that your site draws a larger crowd and engages them for longer.

What is Link Building?

Some backlinks come naturally, such as when a journalist links to source information or a blogger leaves a product page link on their review video. Most of the time, however, you’ll have to put a little more work in, and thus comes Link Building!

What is Link Building

Link building is the process of strategically acquiring new backlinks. There’s a wide range of techniques that websites employ to gain backlinks, though some more honourable than others. In the early days of search engines, a backlink was a backlink. Nowadays, not all backlinks carry the same weight. Google has outlawed shady linking schemes and it’s afraid to severely punish those who partake.

If you’re looking for a quick boost followed by swift reprimand, then violating the rules is for you. For those more interested in long-term success, focus on gaining high-quality backlinks that have a positive effect on your site’s image. If you’re working with an SEO agency, make sure they stick to the proper techniques that only reflect well on your site – did someone say Shtudio?

Link Building 101: How to Get More Backlinks

Here’s some link building techniques that help you make a name for yourself. This is by no means a complete list, so always be on the lookout for new ideas to update your strategy!

  1. Determine the Route

To borrow from our road analogy again – come on, it is called site traffic, after all – your visitors haven’t just appeared at your driveway. They’ve had to take a route to get to you, and one of your most immediate jobs when link building is to determine where they’ve been.

Use analytical tools, the go-to being Google Analytics of course, to see where your visitors are coming from. If you notice there’s a popular road going straight to your door, you’ll know to invest more effort into that route.

An added bonus is that knowing the route of your site visitors can give some indication as to what they’re interested in, appreciate and ultimately respond to. Armed with this information, you can create a more relevant and enjoyable experience for them.

  1. Look at Your Competition

‘Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,’ as the saying goes, so you should have no qualms with doing plenty of competitor analysis, seeing what works for them, and adopting it into your own link building strategy. Learning from example is a fundamental part of our evolution, so there’s no need to feel guilty about checking in with your rivals.

Where do they find their backlinks? Which posts have created the most traffic? Which keywords are they performing well on? Get your hands on leading SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to find this kind of information, or use expert SEO services if you aren’t too confident doing your own analysis.

  1. Create Decent Content

No one wants to listen to an awful song, watch a 3-hour flop at the cinema, or read a terribly-written story cover to cover. More generally, nobody wants to devote precious time to sometime that, well, sucks. When you invest in valuable content, visitors get what they’re looking for and other websites are genuinely happy to link to you.

High-quality content involves conducting proper research, writing well, and adding real personality. Articles, guides, infographics, reports, social media posts, and newsletters are how you engage your audience, so it’s vital that you choose the right words to pique their interest!

Finding a gap in the collective knowledge by doing keyword analysis isn’t a bad idea either, and in fact it’s one of the first things you get with pro SEO services. If you’re the first person to write authoritatively on a subject, you’ll likely find yourself at the top of the rankings for that search query, which puts you in prime position for extra backlinks.

Lastly, it’s imperative that you stick to a content schedule, which means consistently publishing new things. Not only does this allow you to stay relevant on topics that surround your niche, it also means that your audience continues to feel your presence and doesn’t forget you somewhere in the mountain of competitor sites.

  1. Update Old Content or Go Evergreen

Whilst you’ll be kept plenty busy with a full content schedule, it’s also important to dedicate time to updating old posts. Whether it’s updating information, rewording something that hasn’t aged well, or altogether redoing it better, high-quality content needs a little maintenance work in order to keep that title.

Refreshing old stuff is particularly beneficial for content that had a good reception the first time around, for instance lots of views, shares and subsequent link creation. When you work with a top SEO agency, they’ll recommend periodic site content audits to see what has gone out of date or is underperforming otherwise.

If you’ve updated content substantially, get to reposting! Contact those who shared or featured your work the first time and ask them if they’d be happy to do the same again.

The Impact of Successful Link Building

It should come as no surprise that implementing a proper link building strategy brings huge benefits to your website. If nothing more, it’s just good housekeeping, though in the eyes of both search engines and site visitors, it says your site is informed, refined, and trusted!

Maintain a high standard with everything you put out there and you quickly increase your chances of new backlinks. If you do run into any roadblocks with your digital marketing, we know of a good SEO agency you can use!