You might have heard the term backlinks before but you don’t know what they do or why they matter.
Building backlinks are important in online marketing because they help strengthen your business’s online presence and help contribute to your website’s search engine rankings.
In this article, we’ll explain all this and what you can do to get backlinks for free!
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What Are Backlinks And Why They Matter?
The power of backlinks is not new. It has been around for a while and the benefits of backlinks are well documented.
Essentially backlinks are links that point to other websites on the internet. They’re important because they allow search engines to determine which sites are most relevant to a particular topic.
The number of backlinks on a website you get is a factor in how well your site ranks in search engine results. A higher number of quality backlinks will give your site a better ranking than one with fewer quality links.
There are two types of backlinks: No-Follow and Do-Follow links.
No-follow links: These are a type of inbound link that does not pass any link juice (This is an SEO term used to measure the authority a link carries from one page on the internet to another).
The purpose of using a no-follow link is to prevent search engines from following the links and counting them as votes for the destination site.
These types of links are most often used by webmasters who are trying to protect their sites from being spammed by other sites with excessive outbound links.
Do-follow links: This type of link directs users to another website. These links let search engines know not only where the destination is but that it deserves to be followed.
Many people don’t know whether they should use no-follow links or do-follow links.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about this, but there is one simple answer to this question: It depends on your goal.
If you want to get more backlinks then you should use no-follow links. It will help you get more backlinks because Google will see that your website is not spamming the internet and it will increase your ranking on the search engine results page.
On the other hand, if you want to rank better for specific keywords then you should use do-follow links because Google considers those links as stronger than no-follow links and they can help you rank higher in SERPs for those keywords.
Let’s recap: If you want to get more backlinks use no-follow and if you want to rank better for specific keywords use do-follow.
But if your goal is both, to have more backlinks and rank for specific keywords, then the best suggestion is to use both types of links. So for some of your links, make them no-follow and others do-follow.
It’s important to point out that this can affect your SEO and there are many ways you can manage your website. You do need to try different strategies over time to see what works well for you.
Depending on the results of your strategy, you may want to keep it or change it. When it comes to digital marketing, people who claim they have “a full-proof blueprint” aren’t always accurate.
New ideas and creative input don’t always come from the same person every time. It’s impossible to produce exact replicas of anything.
Top Tip: All your no-follow and do-follow links on your website should be hyperlinks.
Hyperlinks are links that when clicked lead to another part of the same or different website. The HTML link is used to navigate through a website to get to other content on the same page.
A do-follow link makes use of the standard HTTP protocol and is possible to establish by clicking on the hyperlink with your mouse. For example, when clicking on a do-follow link on Twitter, the website is loaded in your browser.
A no-follow link uses a resource tracking method known as “rel=”nofollow” and this cannot be established by using the mouse. For example, when clicking on a no-follow link from Twitter, you are directed to an external website with links to Twitter.
A no-follow link does not affect the destination of the hyperlink and it is not used for any ranking purposes.
Building Backlinks For Free
There are two main ways to build backlinks for free:
– Directly (linking to other sites)
– Indirectly (Using social media platforms to share content with others)
Directly Linking Sites
To make sure you are getting the most out of this method, there are a few crucial steps you need to take first:
1 – Creating quality content. If you want people to link to your site, you need to have quality content on your site. This means long articles, images, and helpful relevant information on your niche.
2 – Link Requests are probably the most popular way to get backlinks for free. First, find relevant websites that are in the same niche as yours and contact them.
A link request is an email sent to someone you think would benefit from the content on your blog or website. Ensure you include the keywords and a brief description of your site’s content in the email and ask them to click on your link to check it out.
When they click on this link, they will come to your site and either sign up for your email list, buy a product, or link one of your articles on their website.
To help motivate them to share your content, you could comment, and share their posts so they see that you’re an active member of their community and have something valuable to offer them in return for a link.
Be polite: When you contact these website owners you want to establish a relationship with them, not just ask for a link.
3 – Offer something in return. Provide them with valuable content in return for the backlink. This will help increase the chances of getting a link from them. This again goes back to you sharing their content or linking to them through your website.
4 – Keep track of all the links you receive. The best way to see what kind of links you’re getting (either backlinks from Google or any other website) is by using link tracking tools discussed later in this article.
Indirectly Through Social Media Platforms
If you’re looking to build links naturally, there’s no better place than to use social media.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to gain backlinks because people will often link to you when they share your content.
There are many different ways to promote your content on social media platforms. You can share your content with others on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
1 – To share content you will have to have a social media account that represents your business/website.
Make sure you have your logo and that you have linked your site in the bio. This goes for all the social platforms you decide to use. You want your business to be recognizable across platforms.
2 – Create engaging content that people would want to share on their social media.
Social platforms are all about snack bites of information so make sure your content is easy to follow or something quick to read.
Content such as tips, tricks, and hacks often do very well on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
3 – Once you have created your content, share it on your social media platforms. You can also share them on other platforms like Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora if you are looking for a specific audience or want more engagement.
4 – You should create a strategy for sharing the content that you create with an audience that will be interested in it.
This will help you increase the number of followers who are interested in what you have to say and it will increase traffic to your website as well.
You will also stay on track and be consistent with putting up good quality relevant content for those who follow you.
5 – Find relevant websites that you can follow and engage with on their social media channels.
On Facebook, for example, you could go to the newsfeed of a popular brand that you’re interested in and find ways to engage with them. Share your content on their pages and tag them in your posts.
The key here is not just to share your content, but to promote the fact that you are sharing their content.
What’s that popular saying, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”
Tools To Check Backlinks Of A Website
There are several different tools available online that allow you to check how many backlinks you currently have.
These tools also let you see where those backlinks are coming from so you can find out who’s linking to you.
The process used in the past for checking backlinks can be compared to digging through a pile of hay, comparing it with an already created list of websites.
This is not an efficient process, which is why there are multiple tools available on the market that aim to automate this process.
1. Google Search Console – This tool gives you a lot of information about the backlinks that are pointing to your website. It also gives you some insights into the quality of these links.
2. Google Analytics – If you don’t have Google Analytics then I recommend signing up and creating a free account. Google Analytics can be used to find the source of your backlinks and their quality.
There are two types of reports that are useful for backlink tracking: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reports and Content reports.
Go into your Google Analytics and look at the “Acquisition” section. You’ll be able to see all of your links there, as well as how many times they were clicked on.
This can help you determine which sites are worth pursuing additional links to improve their quality score.
3. Bing Webmaster Tools – Many people don’t consider Bing part of their web search, but you would be surprised by how many people use Bing.
Even though it’s not the first choice, it is still always better to have many options.
With Bing, you’ll be able to see all of the links you’ve been getting, as well as their quality scores.
4. Moz’s Open Site Explorer – Moz has developed a search engine for websites called Open Site Explorer. To use it, just input your URL and then look at the “Links” tab.
5. Ahrefs – Ahrefs is a backlink tracking tool that has been around since 2010. It is an essential tool for SEOs and content marketers to check their backlinks and see how they are doing.
Ahrefs has been the most popular backlink tracking tool in the industry.
Its features include keyword research, competitor analysis, link-building tools, and data analysis.
They also offer the use of their free SEO tool, although it is limited to what you would get if you were on a paid subscription.
6. Ubbersuggest – This is a great tool that generates a list of related keywords based on your search history.
It can also help you to build out a list of link sources so that you know where to focus your efforts when building links.
The tool also provides a visual representation of the links on your website and allows you to filter them by various metrics.
7. SEMrush – This tool has a lot of features that can help marketers and SEOs.
It includes competitive analysis, keyword research, and backlink analysis. SEMrush also provides data on social media shares and impressions, which is important for a marketer’s SEO strategy.
All the above tools to check backlinks have been created to do pretty much the same thing. Keep track of your backlinks, find out what backlinks are coming from what websites, how many backlinks you have, and how authoritative those backlinks are.
Choosing which tools to assist and help you will depend on your goals, your budget, and the value you get from the tool.
Building links through content is a great way to increase your rankings in google searches.
But it’s certainly not easy- these should be started months in advance and progress is going to be slow.
To maintain a healthy link profile, you will need to comment, share and generate high-quality content consistently on your blog and social media platforms.