Writing articles and getting them to show on search engines is just one part of getting your name and brand out there. You can get lots of traffic from the search engines because people are searching for things everyday. However, being on Google is not the only way to get traffic. You also need other websites sto link back to your website. This not only gives you more traffic from another website, but you also look good to Google because someone has vouched for your authority as a subject matter expert in your blog niche. That is the focus of this article, to tell you what backlinks are, why they are important and how to get them.
Celebrating My First Backlink on This Blog
I was inspired to write about backlinks when I found this page that talks about the WordPress Gutenberg block editor linked to my article about when to use block editor styles versus CSS. When I found out in Ahrefs that my article had a backlink, I was ecstatic! My first backlink on a website about the block editor. Here, I have talked a lot about the block editor and how great it is. I have written some articles about how to use reusable blocks to create page templates. I want to thank the Gutenberg Times for linking to my article and I am glad to see all of us spreading the news that the block editor is great and that we have a great built-in page builder that can take on both Divi and Elementor.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are exactly what the name implies, these are links from other websites that link back to you. Think of a backlink as a recommendation or referral from someone who likes your work and shows it by linking back to you. Receiving backlinks are great because they show your users that other people like the stuff that you are writing and it gives your content more value and worth. How I earned my first backlink is exactly how we should all try to gain them. If you write good content that people will find in Google, they will link to you. There are other methods to gaining backlinks that I will discuss later on. There are a couple types of links, no follow and do follow. You are looking for do follow links and I will talk about both of them next.
No Follow Links
Sometimes you want to link to another website but you do not want to pass any of your domain’s authority to that linking website. You can use what is called a no follow link. The reason why people use no follow links is to preserve their domain’s authority for only the best websites. If you pass your domain’s authority to all websites that you link to, then it can dilute the strength of power of your domain’s authority. Of course, this only applies to domains that have a high authority. Brand new websites will start out with low authority so you do not need to be so selective on which websites you pass your domain’s authority to.
Adding a no follow link if you choose to use it very simple, your links will just look like this:
- <a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.google.com” rel=”nofollow”>Google </a>
Nothing complicated here, just your standard link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute. This makes your links work as normally. Just that now, you are not passing any of your domain’s authority to that link. Also, since all backlinks are all external, meaning that they point to a website outside your domain, make sure to use target=”_blank” to ensure that the linking page opens up in a new tab. The next type of link is called a do follow link. This is the one that not only brings in more traffic, but all gives you some domain authority from the linking website.
Do Follow Links
I just talked about no follow links and how they will just give you traffic and no domain authority from the linking website. Do follow links are the opposite where someone recognizes the greatness in your page and are giving you not only a link to your page, but one where you receive some of the domain’s authority. The goal in SEO is to get as many of these links as backlinks as possible. The more the better and I will now discuss why this is so important.
Why are Backlinks Important?
How much traffic and where your link is on backlink’s page will determine how much traffic you will get from the backlink. The more traffic a page gets, the more likely you are able to get a click on your backlink and receive some of that traffic. Also, the more visible your link is and the higher up it is on the page, the better chances you have of getting a click on your backlink. Think about how people subscribe to each on YouTube. They are establishing a connection where they link to each other in hope that they can reach a wider audience that way. With websites, backlinks work the same way. Someone links to you and you link back as part of a link exchange. This is a mutually beneficial relationship because a link exchange will also give both sides more content as they discuss the topic surrounding the backlink.
How Do I Find My Backlinks?
If you want to see if you have any backlinks, then sign up for Ahrefs account and check there. You will see if you have any backlinks here and you can check them out and see if they are no follow or do follow. You will want to see after a while, if those backlinks are generating traffic to your website. Go to the “Traffic Acquisition” report and change the “Session default channel grouping” to “Session source”. Look for the domain where your backlink is from and you will see how much traffic it generates. This is valuable to know because you will see the value of your backlinks when you see the actual hard numbers yourself.
How Do I Get Backlinks?
Getting backlinks is no simple task. You need to write content that is not only unique but also is good enough for someone to link it. There are few common methods in getting more backlinks. Some methods are better than others and I will clearly state any issues with using any of the methods.
Here are a few methods for getting backlinks:
- Go to Websites and Ask for Backlinks
- Create Accounts and Link to Your Website on Your Profile
- Write Good Articles and People Will Link to You
Go to Websites and Ask for Backlinks
If you want backlinks and no one is linking to you, then you might need to take your website to other people. You are basically cold calling similar and related websites in an attempt to see if they like your website and want to link to it. This is usually a hard sell and some places require that you buy the backlink from them. So you have to expect that you will not get many responses and even then you have to be wary of the place that promises you a backlink. If you do decide to purchase backlinks from others, then make sure that the link to your website is a do follow because you paid for it.
Create Accounts and Link to Your Website on Your Profile
This method is easier than the first one but most likely will result in a no follow link. All that you have to do is create an online profile and then you should be allowed to place a link to your website in that spot. Careful now, you are placing links on someone else’s website. Some websites have rules and regulations that you must follow in order to link back to your website. Most websites fight spam and want to make sure that you are not just placing these links as a way to self-promote and advertise your website. This is why many websites are fine with placing links in your profile but on when you post something for the general public to see. This is most common on online message boards and forums.
Protecting Your Online Reputation: Respect Other People’s Websites
This is why I cannot stress enough that you must respect other people’s websites when you visit them and post on them. Just like you would want to be respected on your own website, you must do so for other’s. Be courteous and considerate. Do not just join other websites and create accounts just to promote yourself. In the next section, I will talk about writing great articles that people will want to link to. Then you do not have to go around and look for people or places to get backlinks.
Write Good Articles and People Will Link to You
So this is the ideal way to receive backlinks from other websites. Since this is natural, it reflects well on you when you receive backlinks this way. Instead of having to sell your articles to people, you let your great writing speak for itself. In this case, you focus on getting your articles on Google because when you first start your blog, no one knows who you are. Therefore, you must rely on Google to get your name and website out there for people to find and become noticed. If your articles land on Google, then people know that you have some skill and knowledge in SEO to get your articles ranked. This is great because then people know what you are doing and are more likely to link to you. This is a great way to get recognized because someone came to you instead of you coming to them.
Linking Back to Websites That Link To You: Showing Gratitude and Authority
If you received a backlink from a website naturally, you should consider linking back to them like I did for this article at the very beginning. Doing this adds a lot of benefits. First, you are letting people know that you have authority when someone links to you. People are more likely to respect and listen to your opinion if other people do. Second, giving a link back sends people to their website so that they can learn more about your niche. Third, you are showing appreciation for receiving a backlink and sending one back. We should all show gratitude when we receive backlinks naturally, and linking back is a great way to do that.
Monitor Your Backlinks Regularly
Just like your traffic, once you gain some recognition you will need to keep an eye on your backlinks. You will need to know if your backlinks are changing, whether you gain or lose some. Like life, everything is changing everyday. You must accept that your backlinks will change and that you will always have to constantly figure out ways to attract people to your blog. This means either writing new articles, updating existing ones, re-organizing your articles, and lots of things that you can do to keep your blog fresh and interesting.
Gaining Momentum and Getting More Backlinks
Once your blog gains some momentum, then you should be able to get backlinks easier. We all know the phrase “once you get the ball rolling”. So just keep at it and keep going. There is no exact number of articles that you must write to get backlinks. This really all depends on what topics you write about and if they align with the interest of those looking for articles to link to. This is why you have to really get into your niche and try out different topics that might get backlinks or not.
Give Backlinks to Others When Referencing Statistics and Facts
You should write your articles and give credit when you find statistics or facts that you found online. This is important because you are providing a citation to your claim. This will make your writing more credible and also reward the source where you found your claim from.
Backlinks are an integral part of SEO because it shows that not only are people reading your articles, but also linking to it. It is one thing to have readers on your blog. When you have people actually linking to your articles, that shows another level of authority that works great in your favor. Make sure to check to see if your backlinks are no follow or do follow. No follow means that you receive traffic from that backlink, but no domain authority from the linking website. Do follow backlinks are what you want so you get the traffic and domain authority. Backlinks are important to show that others respect what you write and they increase your authority in your niche.
Use Ahrefs to find your backlinks. Once you do, then consider letting your readers know about it to not only show that people respect your opinion, but also to show gratitude to those who link to you. There are many ways to get backlinks but naturally from writing great articles and being found on search engines is the best method. Make sure to check your backlines regularly as they can change over time.