Could getting quality backlinks be any more confusing? I mean, what are backlinks? Are they an SEO must-have? Or are backlinks something you can live without?
Backlinks aren't as confusing as they seem. They are just links on other websites that point to your site. You know that link you followed the other day, the one that was embedded in a news article? That was a backlink, and it was likely very beneficial to the site it took you to. You want backlinks. In fact, you need them to be as successful as possible in your SEO efforts.
The Lowdown on Backlink Quality
Backlinks can be powerful, or they can actually harm your page rank. To ensure that your backlinks are helping—not hurting—the success of your website, backlinks pointing to your website should:
- Be relevant to your niche
- Be from a trusted website
- Send in referring traffic
- Be embedded in the content of the site, not listed in a sidebar
- Not be paid or reciprocal
- Be surrounded by other high-quality links
- Be from a variety of sources—not 100 backlinks from one referring domain
- Help your page rank
- Be hard to get
That last one, "be hard to get," is the most important. Why? Because Google knows when you try to cheat the system and when you go out and buy or trade a ton of backlinks. They see it coming from a mile away and will catch you and punish your site. When this happens, all of the good, honest, and organic work you've done on your site will be lost. You'll need to start over again, all for a shortcut you didn't need to take. So, even though getting high-quality backlinks is a chore, it's one worth doing. We promise.
The Basics of Getting Quality Backlinks
To get effective backlinks, you need to understand and implement our top three successful backlink acquisition strategies:
- Get listed on reputable directories.
- Produce link bait.
- Earn guest blogging opportunities.
There are many, many more ways to get quality backlinks—like getting involved in your community and ensuring you're listed with local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce. But, if you focus on the big three backlink strategies above, you'll be setting the groundwork for a sustainable link-seeking strategy.
Be Careful Whom You Trust With Your Backlinks
When done right, backlinks can catapult your site to page one. When done wrong, they can cause your site to drop to page ten. That's how powerful backlinks are. They have such great potential to elevate your SEO game but, in the wrong hands, can decimate your SEO efforts.
Cheap, fly-by-night SEO companies will try to tell you that they can dramatically increase the number of links that point to your site, and they can. But they cheat. They pay for your site to be part of a shady linking scheme, like a private blog network. This may work for a time, and you may see your page rank improve greatly. But with Google, Bing, and Yahoo getting better at spotting cheaters, you are going to get caught.
And the SEO company you gave your money to and put your faith in? Will they help you out when your site tanks? No way. You've given them your money, and they are on to a new scheme—a new, get-links-quick trick that will work just long enough for them to get paid.
If it seems too good to be true, it is. Never forget that.
We've Got Your Back(Links)
At Foster Web Marketing, we have always advocated doing things the right way. But doing things the right way isn't fast or easy, and it takes dedication. Because of this, some people decide to go with the less expensive company that promises the world and, at first, seems to deliver on their promises.
But you get what you pay for, and if you want an effective website that stands its ground against any fearsome Panda or Penguin Google throws at it, you need to spend the time or the money to get things right the first time.
Want to know what Google is punishing your site for and what you can do to improve its performance? Then get your free site audit today. After we comb through your site, we will give you a full report, free of charge. What you choose to do from there and how you decide to go about fixing your site is up to you. We can help make the changes needed, or you can use the information we provide on our website to make the changes yourself.
We want to see you succeed, whether you do so with our help or on your own. For more information about our full line of attorney website services, call 888-886-0939 to speak with a member of our team.