We’ve talked a lot about SEO. Recently we discussed AI SEO, Using social proof to build SEO, and even SEO mistakes. This week, it makes sense to give you a few tips on how to drive traffic to your website. To do this you must understand how Google decides to rank your site and why backlinks are important.
Many believe that keywords and using lots of them is your key to success. That’s not really true. Realistically keywords are just a small part of the whole grand scheme that is SEO. Google really decides your site’s ranking through two critical aspects of SEO
Two critical aspects of SEO is:
Relevancy is really just creating and serving content that matches what your audience is searching for and providing high quality content. It makes sense that Google would serve relevant content – after all, that’s the whole purpose of the search engine. If you have a problem, you plug your question into Google, and it serves you an answer.
However you could serve up the most relevant and high quality content, but it may not be enough. Truth is, there’s hundreds of business, blogs, and people serving up just as good enough content. SEO is a competitive landscape. How does Google know which of the resources to show?
Google takes a ton of factors (200 known Google ranking factors) with backlinks being one the most important factors.
HubSpot Defines Backlinks as “A link that comes from another website to yours. Visually, the link could be placed in a text, on an image, or as a button — as long as the source is a different website, all of these connections count as backlinks.”
But why are backlinks important?
Backlinks tap into the second factor of ranking listed above, authority. Links coming from another website is a vote confidence in your website. When someone uses a link it says, “I’ve read this source, it is good information, it’s a source i trust, and you should check it out. It’s kind of like a real-world, word of mouth recommendation.
It tells Google that you are a great resource, other people already come to you, other people have reviewed/tested your advice, and that you have authority. Google isn’t going to serve any content, it’s going to service content with authority.
But, just any ole backlink won’t work. You need high-quality backlinks. Especially for small businesses and startups that don’t have the presence, brand awareness, or market authority. To make the most impact on your SERP rankings, you need to make sure you are earning high-quality backlinks to your website.
Additionally, Gabi Theard, Director of Marketing at Trujay, says, “A link building strategy doesn’t just increase your SEO score and visibility on Google. It also shows readers where your company falls in relations to other brands — and reminds readers that there is, in fact, a human behind the screen. Backlinks can demonstrate a relationship between two sites and how each site is working to help the other grow.”
“Plus, backlinks help readers get the highest degree of information that answers their questions.”
Keeping in mind that not all links are high quality, it makes sense to evaluate the credibility and source of links.
In the past, businesses and individuals would use tactics such as link farms and comment spam to build a vast backlink profile. This was known as black-hat link-building techniques. Today, Google has caught on and docked link-farming tactics. In fact, too many “unnatural” links may even earn your site a penalty. – Yikes! Make sure your site is getting links from great and other reliable (authoritative) sites like yours.
In other words, quality matters just as much as quantity when it comes to backlinks.
For links to be quality and reliable, they need to be:
Earning high-quality backlinks is the hardest part of link building. It’s kind of a catch-22. You need links, but people can’t find you without sites linking to you. But how do you earn quality backlinks?
You’ll have to catch our next post on 5 ways to build quality back links.