How important are backlinks when trying to improve a businesses search engine optimisation?
It’s a question that many digital marketing agency will have been repeatedly asked, that is “how important are backlinks”?
Arguably they are one of the hardest parts of the search engine optimisation process is to build good quality do-follow backlinks, mainly because another business or a website needs a reason to link to your work, for example, let’s say that you manufacturer quality surfboards, and the surfboards are really high quality, you have to think what type of website will want to link to your website, which sells quality surfboards?
Obviously people who are interested in surfing, they may run a blog, they may link to you, but they need a reason to link to you, and that’s often because you have written an excellent piece of content marketing, such as a blog post, or a piece of evergreen content marketing, or simply embedded on your website, a Youtube video you have just made.
For example, you might have written an article “The 10 best places to go surfing in the United Kingdom”, somebody who is an experienced surfer, they may have spotted a location listed on your article, that they have never visited to go surfing before, lets say its somewhere in Devon for example.
So, for example you might have mentioned a location in Devon, and that particular surfer may have never gone surfing there ever before, but because they have read your blog post, they have learnt about a beach, where they can go surfing and they may really enjoy their time there surfing.
Because you have helped that surfer to find a location to go surfing, they may link from their blog to your website, and your website sells surfboards but because you’ve written a long blog post, about “the best location in Britain to go surfing”, and you may start receiving alot of backlinks, if you were to obtain thousands of quality links (do-follow and no-follow), from surfing blogs, this can have a dramatic impact your businesses search engine optimisation. Googlebot, will notice all of these new links, and because there quality backlinks, they are do follow and no follow, you start to improve your SEO, and you may notice in Google Analytics, a sharp increase in your organic traffic, and then you also see your sales increase as well.
That’s the say if the backlinks are superb quality, they are relevant, and they are do-follow and no follow, and the anchor text is also been written correctly, then this will really help to improve your businesses search engine optimisation.
So how do you go about building high quality do-follow backlinks?
Well, the first thing to know is this, building backlinks, its most definitely not a fast process at all, so you cant have website built, and then start building backlinks with a click of a finger, this will never work, and if you do build the wrong type of backlinks (spam links) to your website, well, this is a one-way street to incurring a penalty. For example, Google may impose a Google Penguin penalty.
If your business does incur a penalty then this will seriously damage your businesses search engine optimisation.
So, here’s our best advice, have somebody, or a group of people within your company who are asked to work closely with your digital marketing agency, that’s because these people within your company, will often have a huge amount of knowledge about the products that you sell. If these knowledgable staff, that have a huge knowledge, on lets say surfboards, working with your SEO company, then they can work toghether to produce high quality content marketing. Once Googlebot indexes this work, you may start to notice that your business starts to move up Google’s ranks, and you may move up Google’s ranks, which SEO consultants call the serps, quickly, if the work is very high quality, and you start to obtain alot of really high quality backlinks.
So let’s return to our example of surfboards.
Let’s say that you ask three members of your staff to work closely with a digital marketing agency, these three staff that you have selected most probably work for your company because they are interested in surfing, they have an interest in surfboards, and it’s not just the job to work for your company, they also have a huge interest and passion in surfing.
So, this means that these individuals will have a huge amount of expertise about surfboards, now your digital marketing agency that you’ve hired, they might not have any knowledge on surfboards at all.
However, when you combine the skill of your staff, and the skill of your digital marketing agency, that you can come together to really improve your businesses search engine optimisation (SEO).
Now you might be thinking well, wait a minute, why am I paying my digital marketing agency, lets say £1000 a month to improve my businesses search engine optimisation, so why do I need to also have my staff working with that marketing company, that’s going to cost me more terms of money, because i have to pay my staff wages as well, for the time, they are working with the SEO company.
So why would we recommend that your staff work with your marketing company?
We would highly recommend, that your staff work with the marketing company, so that you are able to produce content marketing, such as blog posts which offer really useful advice to your customers. This way your SEO will benefit in the following ways:
- The time on site may increase (you can check this using Google Analyics)
- The bounce rate may decrease
- The amount of organic traffic may increase
- Your business may rank higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo
- Your business may generate more sales
- Your customers may buy other products from you
Let’s give you a quick example of exactly what we mean, let’s say that you sell products to help protect the paintwork on cars, so you might sell various car waxes, car scratch removers, as well as products which help clean the upholstery of a car.
Now, there is likely to be people within your company that have a lot of expert knowledge on how to remove deep scratches from say a cars door, now somebody who owns a high value classic car, let’s say a rare Jaguar E-Type, they may have a scratch which runs along the door panel, and they are looking to purchase a product from you to remove that scratch.
Now, it’s not just about purchasing a product from you, that customer may also need advice, on how they can remove the scratch, for example what rags to use, and also the process they should follow of how to remove that scratch, now you’re likely to have people within your company that will have expert knowledge on how to remove scratches from a car.
So, this is why the experts within your company should work with the marketing company to write a detailed blog posts, and also other content marketing, such as evergreen content marketing and you may also want to produce YouTube videos, explaining how to apply the scratch remover product to the door.
Therefore the marketing company should work closely with experts within your company, experts on your car waxes, experts on the car scratch remover, experts on the upholstery cleaning products, because when you offer really useful advic, to your customers, this can also really help improve your businesses search engine optimisation and sales. For example, if you have a much longer time on site figure than your competitors, for example in your Google Analytics, it says the average shopper is spending over 10 minutes on your site, and all ofter competitors, they shopper is only spending one minute, then this means shoppers want to spend longer on your companies website, so this can improve your seo.
What exactly are backlinks?
So, backlinks are quite simply, backlinks which you click on, to follow the link to another website. So let’s give you a quick example, let’s say that you are looking to book a holiday, and you’ve just booked your holiday, and you are presented with a page on the hoilday companies website which confirms that you booked your holiday. However it then asks, have you purchased travel insurance?
So, you click on the banner, which says purchase travel insurance now.
Then you are taken to another website, which sells travel insurance, therefore you have followed a backlink. You’ve gone from the website which you have booked a holiday on, to another company which sells travel insurance.
Therefore backlinks are really useful from a shopper’s perspective, because they allow you to quickly purchase services and items you may want.
What is anchor text?
Anchor text is simply the text that you click on, to follow the backlink, for example let’s say that you have just purchased a brand-new chainsaw, and just before you purchase the chainsaw, the website asks “do you want to buy replacement chain for that chainsaw”?
And you think yes, I do, I want to purchase a replacement chain for my new chainsaw, so you click the link to view that product, to read perhaps the reviews, that other customers have left, and you decide that that is the product you want to purchase, so you add the chain to your basket. Therefore to purchase that product, you had click the anchor text, “do you want to buy a replacement chain for your chainsaw”.
Now, the anchor text has two purposes, one it helps the shopper to understand what the product or the service is that your selling, but it also has a search engine optimisation benefit as well, because it clearly states to Google, in the anchor text that your selling chains for chainsaw, so the algorithm will know that that page is about a chain for a chainsaw, thats you use the anchor text such as, “replacement chain for chainsaws”.
How many backlinks does my business need to improve our search engine optimisation (SEO)?
This all does depend on how competitive your business sector is, so for example if you run a plumbing business, let’s say in a small town, and you have less than a hundred direct competitors, then you might not need that many backlinks at all.
However if you’re a plumber in a major city such as London, in England, then you are likely to have thousands of direct competitors some with really strong search engine optimisation, so this simply means that you’re going to need a lot more backlinks, for example the businesses which are currently on the first page, all might have over 1000 quality backlinks, and you might need a similar amount of first page of Google as well.
How long does it take to build backlinks?
It can take a long time to build a quality do follow backlinks, the reason for that is let’s say you publish a blog post, that blog post might be live for let’s say seven months, thats before somebody recognises it as a really good piece of written work and decides to link to it. For example you might sell dog leads, and you write an article about “how to stop your dog pulling on the lead”.
This article might be read let’s say over 1000 times, but its only when somebody with a blog, or another website, decides to link to it will you receive a backlink. For example somebody might run a blog, talking about a particular breed of dog, let’s say a husky dog.
That blog is dedicated to talking about husky dogs, they might talk about “how to stop your dog pulling on the lead”, they may have read your article and found that it is really interesting, and decide to link to it, therefore this is when you receive a backlink.
With backlinks never purchase them, never purchase any backlinks. Only let quality businesses / blogs link to you, and always make sure that the links which are linking to your business are high quality.
How do you build backlinks?
You should write high quality content marketing, if the work is really high quality then other blogs and businesses may want to link to you.
Why you should never purchase backlinks
You should never purchase backlinks, because if you purchase backlinks your website may incur a penalty.
Why you need a mixture of do follow and no follow backlinks.
You do need a mixture of what are called do follow, and also no follow backlinks.
Is it okay to purchase some backlinks?
No don’t purchase any backlinks at all, otherwise your business may incur a penalty.
What’s the difference between citation links and backlinks?
The difference between a citation link, is that it often it doesn’t really help to improve your businesses search engine optimisation that much other than offering NAP information.
It’s quality, relevant do follow backlinks that really help to improve your businesses search engine optimisation.
How do you assess if the backlinks are quality or not?
This is where you will often need an experienced search engine optimisation company, because they will be able to decipher if the link is a good-quality backlink and what also makes a low quality backlink.
Make sure that your businesses content marketing is useful
We understand that when you run the business you have 101 things to do, so for example you might be driving to a meeting, later that day you might have to put your accountant on the phone, and at the same time you’re managing staff which may well working in a different locations, your therefore likely to be extremely busy.
Therefore if your thinking about improving your businesses search engine optimisation, then we would highly recommend that when writing blog posts, or let’s say writing evergreen content marketing, or simply just writing product descriptions, your company should work closely with the marketing company to make sure the work is white hat.
How can I improve the on page search engine optimisation (seo) of my blog posts?
So it’s all well and good writing 1000 words, but you also need to improve the on page search engine optimisation, how do you go about doing this?
You should add a meta title and a meta description
This should only take a few seconds to do, but it’s most definitely worth doing if you are to improve your businesses click through rate so, for example let’s say that you are writing a blog post about premium vodka.
Let’s say that your launching a brand-new brand of vodka, and this vodka comes in various flavours, let’s say that you are writing a blog post about vodka that has been infused with blueberries, why not write a meta title and the meta description, and have a meta title that simply reads, blueberry flavoured premium vodka made in Wales.
This will help improve your businesses search engine optimisation, that’s because in an instant it’s clear that the whole blog post is about blueberry flavoured premium vodka.
Now this might be somebody’s favourite drink, so when they see on the meta title that you are written and you have mentioned blueberry flavoured vodka, they will want to click on that link and visit that product page.
Make sure you also write a detailed meta description.
Then you might wish to add anchor text
Let’s say that you have written a really long blog post, let’s say that you have written a blog post describing “the 10 best hoovers that your business sells”
Now, what you’re going to want to do is to link from the blog post to the product pages, for example on each Hoover that you’re talking about, you’re going to want to link from that blog post, to that product page.
This is so if somebody reads about a Hoover that they really want to buy, they can simply click that link, and go to the product page and then buy that item, therefore you are going to want to add internal links, and to do this you need to write anchor text.
Make sure that the anchor text is well written and by that we mean white hat.
And titles throughout your content marketing
When you’re writing content marketing, you might write an article which is well over 1000 words, but sometimes a reader will only be interested in reading one particular paragraph, for example they may well be looking to find an answer to a question, and they may just want a skip to the section of the blog posted which answers that question. This is why we would strongly recommend that you use titles right throughout your whole blog post.
For example, if you’re writing a blog post about the luxury chocolates that you sell, why not split the blog post up, by using titles, for example you might wish to use one title which explains how you source your cocoa beans, another which mentions that your chocolate is fair trade, you might also wish to talk about the history of your company.