What Are Backlinks? And How To Build Them? [2023 Update]

There are over 1.5 billion websites worldwide; out of this, about 200 million are active. Building a reputable and high-traffic site to stand out from the crowd has never been more important.

It can feel overwhelming to figure out how to stand out in this competition, but it doesn't have to be! Read this guide on how to build backlinks, understand what they are, and increase traffic fast.

What Are Backlinks?

They're when one website links to another. For example, Site A links to website B, so website B receives a backlink. 

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are important for SEO (search engine optimization). Google will see that another website finds your content high-quality. You could increase your overall ranking in search engines by gaining quality backlinks. 

The more links you have from various web pages, the higher quality your site can appear to search engines. Backlinks help consumers discover your products and services, especially for popular pages. 

Are All Backlinks Desirable?

Not all backlinks are as strong as building backlinks in SEO. It's not about the number of backlinks but instead the quality. 

Some tools will allow you to check the health of your backlinks. Your best option is to hire a link-building service. You're more likely to receive high-value links this way. 

Backlinks from sites with organic search traffic are also important. Most importantly, they have high page-level authority and are unique websites. 

Follow vs. No Follow

 While no-follow backlinks don't normally impact a page's rankings, they can. It's best to have follow links. If you do get no-follow links, it could still offer some SEO value. 

Determining Backlink Values

First, the link location matters. You might have a backlink in the footer that search engines won't see as high-quality. 

Link relevancy also matters. All links need to make sense with the content. 

Backlinks from domains with high authority will provide more value. 

Sites with numerous links are deemed less valuable than those with fewer. The anchor text matters too.

Your anchor text represents the words that send consumers to the link. They need to be natural and avoid words such as click here, buy this now, etc. 

What’s a Domain Authority?

Domain authority is a description of the links and URLs on your site. Internal links also determine authority. 

If you have a page with internal links that others link to, the authority can spread to the various pages. The closer it is toward the backlink, the higher the authority. 

Using Google Search Console To Check Backlinks

Check the Google Search Console for data about your site's overall performance. It'll also tell you about your site's organic search traffic. 

Head to Links in the sidebar. Then click on external links. This will show the number of unique backlinks to your site. 

You can also see: 

  • Top linking text- The most common anchors for your site
  • Top linking sites- Sites that have the most backlinks to yours
  • Top linked pages- The most linked pages on your site 

How To Build Backlinks

Ensure that your content is high-quality for your audience and is optimized. Link building takes practice, and it's a good idea to link to other sites. 

Some common backlink methods include:

  • Partnerships
  • Retailers
  • Suppliers
  • The local community 
  • Niche bloggers
  • The Press
  • And more 

Wow them with high-quality content that they'll want to link back to. Continue to build your network and connections. 

Through digital PR, you could earn backlinks. Try to provide infographics, long-form guides, and data-driven studies; people are more likely to link back to those. 

Resource pages are another great source. These are pages with a list of links. 

Unlinked Brand Mentions

Search the web to see if others are mentioning your products or services. They might not have a link to you, but you could reach out to them asking for a backlink.

When using search engines, include any alternative spellings of your brand. Consider using misspellings too. 

Create High-Quality Content

First, ensure that your content is optimized. This means that your content contains keywords (words or phrases that people type into searches). 

Find content that's already performing well on your site. Type a keyword into Google that you've used and see how your site comes up. 

Along with high-quality content, it's important to have a fast and clean website. If your site is too busy, or it's hard to find where someone should go next, it could increase the bounce rate.

The bounce rate is when someone doesn't engage in your content and leaves the site fast. Not to worry, if you're not a website designer, there are web design service providers you could hire. 

Link Building To Avoid

Avoid sites such as website.hostingprovider.com. You won't benefit much from these websites. 

Avoid do follow link comments. This is where you comment on a post and provide your link. This will hurt your authority quality criteria. 

Lastly, avoid public blog networks. They're easily detectable by search engines and can hurt your ranking. If you can get your site onto the first page of results, you're more likely to receive backlinks. 

Check your content, see the quality and length. To compete, long-form content tends to be more successful. Don't forget about images to engage with your audience. 

Reach out to the companies that you mention in your post. Tell them you are linking to them, but don't expect a link back. 

The Best Content to Post

While it's important to switch up what you post, the options that tend to do the best include videos, why and what posts, and infographics. Provide valuable content and stats that others will want to share with their audience. 

This includes ultimate guides. Ensure that it's an ultimate guide allowing you to add in more information as time goes on.

Publish posts that cover a particular topic in great detail, and try to stand out from your competitors. For ideas, search for your niche on Google. 

Use SEO Tools To Build Better Links

There are a variety of SEO tools available online that can help you to build backlinks for your website. Here is a tutorial on how to use some of the most popular SEO tools to build backlinks:

1. Google Search Console: This tool allows you to see how your website is performing on Google search results and also provides data on who is linking to your website. To use this tool, simply go to the ‘Search Traffic’ tab and then click on ‘Links to Your Site’.

2. Moz Open Site Explorer: This tool allows you to see which websites are linking to your website and also the quality of those links. To use this tool, simply enter your website URL into the search bar and then click on the ‘Explore Links’ button.

3. Ahrefs: This is a paid tool that offers a lot of features, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and link building. It also has a very large database of backlinks, which makes it a valuable resource for link building. Ahrefs also tracks keyword position, does competitor gap analysis and many more features than we could list here. Big fans of Ahrefs.

4. Majestic: This is another paid tool that offers similar features to Ahrefs. Majestic SEO tools are renowned for the detail of the backlink data and have been collecting it for over a decade, so if competitive research for backlink building is on your list, then Majestic may be the tool for you.

5. SEMRush: Truly the digital marketers swiss army knife. SEMrush is a powerful SEO tool that can help you build backlinks to your website. Use the "Site Explorer" tool to find websites that are linking to your competitors but not to you. Use the "Backlink Gap" tool to find out which of your competitor's backlinks are most valuable. Use the "Link Building" tool to create a list of potential link partners and start building relationships with them. And this is barely scraping the surface of what SEMRush does. Also: big fans of their SEO tool.

How To Do Email Outreach Right

Email outreach can be a great way to build backlinks. Here's a tutorial on how to do it:

To start, find a list of potential websites that you would like to get a backlink from. The SEO tools listed above can help you build that list by looking for sites linking to your competitors but not you, you can also find links to content that no longer exists and create that content on your site and have the link updated through email outreach (as one example of how to use email outreach properly).

Next, reach out to the webmasters or owners of those sites via email and politely ask if they would be interested in linking to your content (not your site - be specific - offer a specific piece of content rather than a general request). Be sure to include some compelling reasons why they should link to you, such as your site's high quality content or valuable resources.

The more relevant the resource you are offering to share with the person you are reaching out too, the more likely you are to be successful in getting the backlink. One way to do this is by making your content locally specific. For example: if you have stats or content to share that is featured around specific challenges and victories of doing SEO in the City of Surrey BC (just because this is where we are located), consider sharing that with local papers and publishers first, then move on to the niche that the content is specific too. Also, If you are considering offering something in return, such as a link from your own website, be sure to mention that as well.

Don't offer to buy backlinks, it's not only against search engine's published policies, it's just not classy bro! Once you've sent out your emails, all you can do is wait for a response. If you don't hear back from anyone after a week or two, you can follow up with another email or two.

How to Fund Backlink Building

If you're in Canada, your business might be eligible for a Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) grant. If you click "find out now," you'll fill out the prompts. 

It's great since small and medium businesses need to compete with larger companies. You'll need to use new digital tools and consider hiring an SEO expert to help.

In the United States, you could consider side gigs or loans. Currently, the United States doesn't offer grants to start or fund businesses. They're only for personal financial assistance through federal benefit programs. 

Check Competitors

The average company spends more than 21% on advertising. Online global revenue continues to increase as in-store decreases. 

Head to your competitors and see what their organic strategy is. It's important to stay up-to-date on what's working and not in your industry. 

You'll be able to see their top-performing content, organic keywords, social media activities, etc. You could also see who backlinks to them. 

If they're guest posts, you could reach out to those websites to see if they could also link back to your site. Some companies will allow you to write the guest post and link to your page. 

Check Out Different Forums

Discussion forums will allow you to find backlinks for your site. This will help you drive traffic to your site and become an industry expert. 

To find forums for your niche, head to Google and type in: 

  • Your niche + forums
  • Your niche + discussion
  • Forums + your niche 

Head to Quora and respond to various questions. Search on Quora for different questions related to a topic.

You could also look at your competitors and see what forums they use. Check out the comments to see who has already responded on places such as Quora, Reddit, etc. 

For resource pages, enter your keyword + resource list/helpful resources. Once you find them, reach out to the site and see if they'll mention your page. 

Try to personalize each email to stand out. Mention how your tools or website will add value to their resource page. 

Better Understanding How To Build Backlinks

After exploring this complete guide, you should better understand how to build backlinks. Take your time increasing your network, providing high-quality content, and letting businesses know when you mention them. 

Are you dreaming of standing out from the competition and increasing sales? It can feel tough to stand out, but we're here to help! 

We've been SEO experts since 2008. From search engine optimization to our link building service, we're your one-stop shop for your traffic building needs. Book a call today to get started, and we'll answer any questions you have along the way. 





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