Backlinking: Build a Backlink Profile Search Engines Love
- What backlinks are
- Basics of a good backlink profile
- Backlinking tools
- Strategies to naturally strengthen your backlink profile
Search engines like a website with a good backside. A good code base, targeted metadata, and a well built and maintained backlink profile all make your site more appealing to search engines.
Today, we’re diving into what it means to have a good backlink profile and some strategies to build a natural portfolio.
A backlink profile is a portfolio of links from all the sites that link to your site. It can contain links from authoritative sites, social media platforms, nofollow links, spam links and more. It is a an important SEO building block because it boosts your credibility.
SEO is a nuanced practice. We could go on and on about the technical components of a good backlink profile, but we’ll just give you the basics.
- Natural looking - Search engines raise a red flag if there are too many of one type of link. You can be penalized if, for example, all of your backlinks come from blog comments.
- Authoritative links - Links from high authority sites - like Wikipedia or news sources - give your profile major value. You should also link to authoritative sites within your blog and website content.
- Varied anchor text - If the text that is linked is all the same across different sites - you can be penalized. It is preferred to have the anchor text be natural keywords and variations.
- Comes from related sites - It doesn’t make sense that a majority of an IT firm’s links would come from a cooking site. Google can spot when there’s no natural relevance!
- Contains dofollow links - In order for a link to be counted in your backlink profile- the link must be tagged “dofollow” as opposed to “nofollow”. Important note: it is important for your site to have both in order to look natural. But this is usually the case with naturally obtained backlinks anyway!
If you want to roll up your sleeves, there are a few tools you can use to measure the quality of your backlink profile.
- Ahrefs is one tool that helps you track your backlinks, keywords, and peek in on the competition. There is a 14-day trial for you to test (monthly packages are pricy!).
- MOZ has a handy open site explorer that gives you details of your authority, mage links metrics, and inbound links. A Moz Pro subscription will help you dive even deeper.
SEO pros use these tools, but they’re useful for SEO beginners as well. But if you want a real analysis, we recommend you reach out to an SEO consultant.
Okay - now that you know some of the technical components of what constitutes a good backlink, let’s talk about how you can generate more backlinks to your site.
Generate quality content your audience will share
Ah, yes- generating original, quality content prospects will eat up is a challenge in its own right. But it is far the best way to strengthen your backlink profile and overall SEO health!
Use Google Analytics to determine which types of your content are generating the most pageviews and social shares. Focus on sharing and generating more content in those categories!
Start guest blogging (and invite guest bloggers)
Guest blogging exposes your content to a new audience and provides you the rare opportunity to control your backlink! You can write a post and strategically link keywords back to your site - or better yet - to a related blog post on your site!
As you schedule guest-blog posts onto your editorial calendar, remember to choose companies and industry partners that you relate to. You want their audience to find your content valuable.
When ask to guest blog on someone else’s site, remember to invite them to do the same. Feel free to reference this blog post to explain the importance of backlinking
Ask partners & customers to link back to your site
Partner pages are a common and way for companies to recognize their strategic alliances. And they give you a backlink! Ask your trusted contacts to link to your business and return the favor.
Comment on blogs & join professional conversations
It’s pretty simple. If you read a post that jives with you, join the conversation in the comment section! It’s a great opportunity to share your personal expertise, get noticed, and include a subtle backlink to your site.
Backlinks in comments sections are of the lowest value. This is because this type of backlink used to be abused in aggressive black hat SEO tactics. You will be penalized if you abuse it. But naturally joining an intelligent conversation is good for you all around.
If you’re marketing right, you’re already backlinking
Most of the technical criteria we outlined above and the strategies we recommended are really all part of a good B2B inbound marketing strategy. If your business keeps its website up to date, is blogging, and actively joining the conversation on social media, the chances are these things are happening on its own.