“Create great content, and Google will reward you.”
That’s a phrase repeated by many digital marketing experts when asked how to increase rankings in Google search. These experts aren’t technically wrong because great content will likely land somewhere in search engine results, but nabbing the coveted number one spot—or even finding placement on the first or second page—is almost impossible without a good search engine optimization strategy behind it.
While there are multiple facets of an effective SEO strategy, backlinks rank right after quality content when it comes to importance. But what are backlinks, and how can you get them pointing to your website? Let’s break down everything you need to know.
- What Are Backlinks?
- Quality vs. Quantity: Which Is Better for Backlinking?
- How to Build Backlinks to Your Website
- How Much Does It Cost to Build Backlinks?
What Are Backlinks?
Also called inbound or incoming links, backlinks are created when one website links to another. For example, if I have a blog about cats and a pet-focused e-commerce company links to one of my posts, that’s a backlink. On the flip side, if I write a post on my cat blog and link to a post on their site, I created a backlink for their website.
Why does this matter? It’s all about context. Google’s ranking algorithm is based on a number of factors—some they tell us about, some they don’t. Having quality backlinks pointing to your website is one of the ranking factors they’re open about. The reason? Backlinks act as “votes” for your website. The more people link to your website, the more Google sees your website as an authoritative resource and, hopefully, rewards it with higher rankings in the results for your desired keywords.
Quality vs. Quantity: Which Is Better for Backlinking?
You might think that getting as many backlinks to your website as possible is the key to SEO success, but it’s not that simple. There are millions of services out there that say they can get you hundreds—or even thousands—of backlinks for just a little cash. Just look at the freelance marketplace Fiverr, for example:
Wow, so all you have to do is spend a little bit of money to get a ton of backlinks and success in Google’s search results? Not exactly. The old adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” fits here. While we have no experience with these particular service providers, it’s likely that any backlinks they point to your website are from spammy websites that, at best, provide no value to your website. At worst, these backlinks could actually hurt your search engine optimization efforts.
So in the debate of quality vs. quantity, quality wins out every time. It’s much more advantageous to have a few backlinks from high-quality relevant websites than hundreds or thousands of non-related, spammy backlinks.
How to Build Backlinks to Your Website
In a perfect world, other webmasters would link to your website or blog post without you even knowing it. These are called earned links, and they require no time or effort on your end. It’s what Google wants to see. The good news: You’ll likely receive some earned links from other websites over time. The bad news: You don’t know when—or if—these backlinks will materialize.
That’s where manual link building comes in. Manual link building involves reaching out to other websites and building relationships with the ultimate goal of a backlink. There are a number of strategies you can use for manual link building, but a few effective methods include the following…
Brand Mentions Link Building
This is probably the easiest—and most efficient way—to get a backlink. In a nutshell, the brand mentions link building process involves searching the web for pages that mention your company name but don’t link to your website. All you have to do is reach out to them and ask them to add a link. They’re already talking about your brand, so convincing them to link to your website should be relatively easy.
Skyscraper Link Building
Think of one of the keywords you’d like to rank high for on Google. It’s likely that the blog post or website in the number one spot has a ton of backlinks pointing to it right now. You can (ethically) steal those backlinks with the skyscraper link building method. How does this work? You create content that’s even stronger than what’s ranking number one and then reach out to all the websites that are linking to it asking them to link to your content instead.
Broken Link Building
Broken links are bad for user experience and can have a negative impact on website SEO. However, it’s often difficult to keep up with broken links, especially on a website with hundreds or thousands of pages, so websites continually link to pages that are no longer there. Broken link building involves finding these pages and reaching out to the websites that link to the pages to let them know and ask them to put a link to your resource in its place.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Backlinks?
Technically, it doesn’t cost anything to build backlinks—as long as you have the time, patience, and perseverance to work on it. It’s a lot of work to do on your own, but it’s possible.
Or you can have a dedicated agency build and implement manual link building campaigns. Some agencies will guarantee that they’ll build you a certain number of backlinks for a certain price. Steer clear of these agencies. Like with service providers on Fiverr, these agencies will get those backlinks with spammy tactics that won’t benefit your website. Or they’ll pay for link placements (which is a big no-no in Google’s eyes).
At Hurrdat, we can’t guarantee that we’ll get you a certain number of backlinks per month. We have, however, tested and perfected our manual link building process so that the backlinks we do get for your website are relevant, high-quality, and boost the SEO strategy for your brand.