One of the most common offpage SEO factors that people have a hard time with is external backlinking. Getting natural backlinks from other websites can be challenging, especially if your site is new or you aren’t well-connected in your industry’s community. When we work with prospective clients, one of the first things we provide them with is a backlink audit. This SEO audit shows them where they’re missing opportunities, which backlinks they have, and how those backlinks are helping or hurting their site.
What Backlinks Are and How You Get Them
Backlinks are links to your site that exist on other websites. For example, if you wrote an industry relevant article and Forbes decided to publish it, they’d likely include a link to your site somewhere in the article. A website like Forbes has strong domain authority since it’s a well-known site that publishes articles regularly.
You can get backlinks in a few different ways:
- Natural backlinks – These happen when another site links to your site simply because they like the content that you have and they choose to link to it. These are the rarest form of backlinks.
- Guest posting – If you guest post on another site (see the Forbes example above), you’ll usually get a backlink out of the deal. It’s good form to offer a link in exchange, especially when working with other sites in your niche.
- Directory links – Though these don’t usually hold a lot of weight, they’re helpful to have. You get directory links by submitting your information to directory sites. It’s most beneficial to submit to directory sites that are in your specific niche.
While there are a few other ways to attain backlinks, these are the most common methods. One thing to note is that Google strongly penalizes paying for links. Ideally, you’ll earn links from other sites or work with others in your industry to get them as naturally as possible.
Why Backlinks are Important
You may be wondering why we do a backlink audit at all. What are backlinks worth to SEO? Well, first and foremost, backlinks show Google that other sites place value on your content. This is especially useful when you get links from other companies in your industry or from sites that are related. For example, as an addiction treatment facility, getting a backlink from a detox center or an e-magazine dedicated to addiction information would be more valuable than getting one from a dentist.
Not only do these links signal to Google that your site is relevant, but they can also naturally drive traffic from the site your link is on back to your site. Users often click on well-placed links to learn more information about the subject of the content or even just to learn more about your site.
What We Look for in a Backlink Audit
At Dreamscape, we run through a checklist for your backlinks to make sure that they’re giving you the “link juice” that you need.
- Do you have backlinks? – This is the most important question. If you don’t have any, we stop here.
- Are your backlinks from reputable sources? – Sometimes people will launch negative SEO campaigns and put your link on sites that are completely irrelevant to your niche or sites that have bad standing with Google. They’ll do this to make your site incur penalties.
- Do you have any obviously paid links? – As previously mentioned, Google frowns upon buying your links from other sites.
- Are the backlinks that you have benefitting your site? – We’ll check which sites the backlinks are coming from, their domain authority, and whether they’re driving traffic to your site.
This is a general start to improving your backlinking strategy in order to boost your standings with Google. When you work with an SEO management agency, you’ll start to see backlinking results quickly.
Improve Your Backlinks
Are your backlinks subpar? Are you missing backlinks altogether? Let Dreamscape Marketing run a backlink audit on your website to see if there’s anywhere you could improve your backlinking strategy. In addition to backlink audits, we also offer:
- Analytics audits
- Content strategy
- SEO campaigns
Give us a call today at 888.307.7304 to learn more about our services or speak to a representative.