Anyone who has a website and has in some way researched or asked the question of how to improve their search engine ranking position, will no doubt have come across the term backlink. A backlink is a link on a different website to your own that goes to your website. For example if you have a Facebook business page and on your profile you add your domain name, this is a backlink. It is a link from an external website, in this case Facebook, that has a direct link to your website.
Backlinks are important because in the eyes of Google a backlink is treated almost like a recommendation. If website X is linking to website Y then they must think it is a good website. In the old days of black hat SEO you could easily improve your search ranking by spamming your link across thousands of websites without a care for what the websites were or whether the link was relevant. Thankfully things have improved since then and not all backlinks are treated equally. So if you get a link from the local dry cleaners website, this would be good and might improve your ranking slightly, but if you get a link from say the BBC then you should treat it like gold dust! A link from the BBC would be more than a thousand times more effective than your average backlink, but of course getting a link from the BBC will probably be quite a difficult task.
So now we are comfortable about what a backlink is and why it is useful, we are going to go over the best way a website can link to you. Probably the most important factor, aside from obviously the actual website that is linking to you, is the anchor text. The anchor text is the written text that you click on that will take you to the website. Let’s take an example that we have already used on this page. Scan back quickly to the first paragraph you will see that we link to a webpage about setting up a Facebook business page. So the anchor text in this case is “Facebook business page” which is a great link in terms of anchor text, because it describes what is on the page. Could it be better? probably, we could have been more specific and linked with how to setup a Facebook business page or it could have been worse with a simple click here. The anchor text is important because when the Google bots read a link they read the anchor text to know what the link is about, so when someone searching in Google types in the keyword or phrase you are targeting one of the facotrs Google uses to decide ranking position is backlinks and of those backlinks which ones have the anchor text of the keyword or phrase that is being searched for. So if you decide to to link to us rather than a click here why not try awesome web design services or some thing similar 😉
You may want to link to your website with an image, in which case the anchor text would be redundant, but fear not you can still include it! With every image on a website, they should (unless it is a background image generated by css) have an alt tag. This alt tag should be a description of the image which is also used by the Google bots to replace the anchor text of a standard text link.
One other important factor that should not be overlooked is the relevance of the link. If you are a tech website and you have a link from another tech site, this would be much more relevant and valuable to you than a link from a cooking website for example.
Other Things To Take Into Consideration
Although anchor text is the most important factor when creating a backlink, there are a few other things you should also take into consideration:
- The location of your link on the page (near the top is better)
- Having you link occur natural within the content
- A title tag in the link describing the page being linked to
Just remember, backlinks are great, but great backlinks are even better!