Backlinks: What They Are and Why You Need Them.

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Search engine optimization. It’s a term that gets used a lot in the digital world. To summarize it quickly, SEO is improving how highly your site is ranked in the results of a query. This is also called the search engine results page or SERP. Think about the last time you searched for something online. Did you scroll through all of the pages of results? Or did you look at maybe the top 5 at best? Those top 5 results have better SEO than anything popping up on pages 2+.

How Can SEO Be Improved?

So, how do you improve SEO? You can buy advertising, of course, but you can build up your SEO organically by consistently making updates to your website. I promise, it’s not as daunting as it may seem! SEO can be boosted in several ways, but knowing what the Google Ranking Factors are can help point you in the right direction. These are the factors in which Google analyzes your site, and the cumulative score means a higher rank. Basically, if you can make your site easy for Google to “get,” then it will give a more favorable score. Some of these factors include:

  • Magnitude of updates (i.e., how much content is added or changed. Blogs are the perfect way to achieve a higher score here)
  • Freshness of the site (i.e., how often content is updated)
  • Quality (spelling, grammar, sentence structure)
  • Formatting (headers, bulleted lists, titles)
  • Images and completed information (Google can see images, so having all image information completed is key)
  • Mobile first site structure
  • Internal and external links

Now, if that last one has you scratching your head, I’m here to help.

What Exactly Are Links and Why Do We Care?

There are two types of links; internal and external. They’re both important for different reasons. Internal links point back to other places in your website. Internal links assist web crawlers with analyzing your site. The anchored link sends the user to a more in-depth post about that anchor link; it allows the crawler to get more information quickly and easily. In addition, these internal links create what’s known as “link juice.” Think of your home page as having the most juice; when it’s then linked to another page, it shares some juice. The more the pages are linked to each other and the more times, the more evenly the juice is shared, giving potency to the entire site, rather than just one page.

External links go away from your page to other websites. External links are more like a vote of confidence that two sites are linking information; it lends to the validity of the site. Each form of content, like a blog post, should have a minimum of one external link.

Where to Start

If you have blog posts with no links, get started linking! For example, you’ll see a lot of links in this post. Each word that is linked sends you to another of my posts with more information on that topic. If you’ve already been linking, it’s essential that you go back to your earlier posts and link to your newer ones. These long form links (i.e., older) are fantastic for SEO! In addition, more links mean that visitors to your site are more likely to stick around and check out other topics.

One Word of Caution

If more links are good, then why don’t we just link every word?! The answer is that web crawlers don’t like it. Link stuffing—or giving links that don’t make sense—can ding you. Think about it: if the whole goal is to make your site easier to be analyzed, linking to crap that doesn’t make sense is only going to confuse the search engine. Quality links are much more important than the quantity of links.

BW Concepts Can Help

If you’re thinking “hooray backlinks!” but also “where do I even start?” let’s talk. I want to know what’s working for you, what isn’t, and where you are taking your business goals. My team and I can help with your website content, blogging, newsletters, social media creation and management, and more. Shoot me an email and let’s set up time to chat. 

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