Backlinks are essentially links from external websites to your website. Why are they important? Backlinks are important because keyword density will only get you so far in many cases ( high keyword difficulty phrases like BOISE SEO ). The more people vying for a particular phrase makes it more difficult to gain good placement for those searches; beyond having good keyword focused text the next best way to do that is with backlinks.
Links to your website from other (preferably well ranked sites) essentially lend credibility to your website with the search engines. If 5,000 people are linking to your website saying it is THE source for Boise Ghost Blogging for instance, guess what, the search engines will believe those 5,000 people and give you a bump up in the search results.
While having 5,000 people linking to your website is good, it’s not as good as perhaps having 100 high quality links pointed to your site. So what determines quality? For the most part it is determined by PageRank.
“PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page,used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set….”
You can see what a websites pagerank is by using online tools like the one here to determine a sites basic backlink quality.
Other factors that make a site a good source of backlinking is the sites content (is it related to your audience or genre), and the amount of traffic that website itself receives.
Ways to Create Backlinks
Social Networks – Many social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will allow you to add links to your website, the problem with many of those sites is that they attach a nasty bit of code to their links called NOFOLLOW. This essentially tells spiderbots not to follow the link or lend it credibility towards your overall backlinking numbers. Don’t discount having links on social networks to your main site, they are still important and can deliver live person traffic to your website, but from a backlinking perspective they are somewhat a neutral item.
Blogs – blogs, like this one, are a great way to create backlinks. It is important to market the blogs themselves or no one will ever see the links or content you’ve made there, so by all means if you make a blog, MARKET the blog. Blogs are a great way to create informative content and get it out easily to your prospective viewers.
Comment on Blogs – find blogs others in your industry have written and comment on their posts. Sometimes these links too will contain the dreaded NOFOLLOW code but they are still working to get your link out there and chances are if you do it right the people who read that blog will click your link to see more about what you are talking about or who you are.
Directories Etc – Sites like DIGG, Stumbleupon, etc all allow you to publish your blogs and content to a wider audience. This can lead to better linkage and a wider audience of visitors.
Email Blasts and Signatures – by all means put a link to your site in your email signature. Every email you send can then potentially lead to your website, this won’t count as a true backlink per se but it can help drive traffic. eBlasts work much the same, get a list together and send out an email copy of your latest blog or current special, it’s a last resort in many cases but it can help drive traffic up.
It’s MORE than just making links tho…
You can create links all over the place like this one: click here and then wonder why you aren’t seeing any results. You see it’s more than JUST a link pointed to your site.
While yes, the link itself IS important it is even more important to have the TEXT of that link be related to your targeted keyword. You will notice up above I linked out to a few places using keywords like BOISE SEO and Boise Ghost Blogging…that was intentional. You see those whacky little internet spiders don’t just count where the link is going to but also what words the “anchor text” of the link is made of…
The code of a link looks something like what you see here:
<!– <a href=”http://www.hinsel.com” target=”_blank”>Boise Web Design</a> –>
the HREF is the address the link goes to
the target (in this case) just tells the browser to open it in a new/blank winow
the words between the A HREF code and the closing /A tag is what is called the ANCHOR TEXT. By customizing this text wherever possible you can make your backlinks even more potent.
If all the links to your website have the anchor text MY WEBSITE you are actively trying to gain position/credibility for the phrase “my website”…of which there are over 1 billion people doing the same (likely unknowingly). It is thereby best to use your keywords when linking to your website whenever possible. Many directories or other sites won’t give you any option, but often they ask for a “Name” for the link; instead of putting “my website” put your keyword…this is one reason why blogs are wonderful, because they make it easy to create custom anchor text links within a post.
It’s quite simply to improve ANY websites search engine position if you know the basics and how to use them effectively. If the competition is astronomical you may have to work harder to gain ground, or target more localized or niche markets to see better results there first, but creating EFFECTIVE properly formatted backlinks whenever possible can be a real boost; something that just about anyone who is trying to improve their search engine placement can do.
Do you have questions about search engine optimization in Idaho? Need a ghost blogger to write effective content for you? STILL not sure what the hell Twitter is and how to use it for anything more than letting people know you are at Costco? I can help with all those things! I provide the best Social Network Management in Boise , Idaho and likely for far less cost than anyone else. Feel free to contact me here or via any of my many social portals if you have questions, need help getting started or want to hire the best Search Engine Samurai online today. 😀