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SEO Strategies: What are backlinks?

Backlinks have excellent potential to help your site succeed in organic (unpaid) search results, but many businesses don’t use backlinks to their full potential. Although there are over 200 factors that Google considers when determining search results, backlinks are among the most important. As one of the most important pieces of a good, local SEO strategy, it’s vital to develop a consistent strategy for developing and generating new links.

Backlinks are web addresses or URLs found on external sites that direct back to your site. Essentially, they are an added measure of authority for your site that Google uses to determine in which position your site should be shown when a certain keyword is searched.

Backlinks are different from citations, which are used to spell out your business details directly on another website (think Yelp, the BBB, etc.). Typically, the more backlinks you have for your site, the better positioning you’ll receive in Google search results.

While having more backlinks than competitors can be an advantage, it’s important to remember that Google not only measures the number of backlinks a certain site has, but also the quality of those backlinks as well. Quality ‘scoring’ is determined by a set number of factors, but generally can be boiled down from attributes such as user-friendliness, responsiveness, and appearance.

How can I get backlinks?

Backlinks can come from any site on the internet, but finding backlink partners can prove to be difficult. Below are five ideas for where you can request backlinks from:

1. Sponsor sites and events – If you are a sponsor of any organization, check if they link to your site anywhere. These sites will often have sponsor sections or directories where they highlight their partners.

Some great examples of partner organizations and local events include:

  • Chamber(s) of Commerce

  • Job fairs

  • Fundraisers and charity drives

  • Nonprofit causes

  • Relevant neighborhood watches

  • City-related parades and more

2. Industry partners – Oftentimes, your business partners (accountants, real estate agents, etc.) will have their own websites. It’s incredibly easy and helpful for each party to link back to each other’s website, providing quality backlinks.

3. Guest blogs – Look for opportunities on sites to provide thought-leadership pieces. These are great opportunities to not only promote your personal brand, but also to find backlinks. When you provide a site with a guest blog or a guest piece, confirm that they will link to your website.

4. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) HARO is a program connecting journalists who are looking for sources with industry leaders that can provide quotes or insights on a certain topic. You’ll receive an email asking for your expertise and, if published, you’ll be credited along with a link to your website. Not only is this an excellent tool for backlink building, it is a great way to market your agency.

5. Create helpful and shareable content – Unique content that you share and create, such as on social media, for example, can inspire others to share it – even if you have to provide a little nudge in that direction.

When combined with some of the other suggestions above (i.e., tagging other organizations that are highly relevant to your post), you can add links back to your site on these posts for more avenues to ‘boost’ your quality score when shared, assuming you’re not spamming the same thing over and over.

Want a second opinion on your agency’s SEO strategy? Reach out to Direct Clicks Inc. to see how we can help!

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