Are backlinks the most important part of SEO?
To dominate Google search engine results, you need a lot of great SEO tactics. One of them is a powerful backlinking strategy. We’ve always been told that backlinks significantly impact your SEO rankings. Even 72% of marketers say they believe backlinks are an important part of your SEO performance (2017). But should you only strive to receive backlinks? While backlinks can improve your search engine rankings, a backlinking strategy shouldn’t be the only tool in SEO campaign management. Worse yet, backlinks from spam websites can result in poorer SEO performance.
Are backlinks the most important part of your SEO campaign? Continue reading to find out!
Why Backlinks Are Important
Are backlinks the most important part of your SEO campaign? If they’re not the most important, they’re definitely one of the best SEO strategies out there. That’s because backlinks tell Google you’re an authoritative source. When Google bots crawl web pages, they identify different links in the content. The more your content is linked, the higher your web pages will appear on search engine results. This helps improve both your domain and page authority.
Domain authority is your website’s relevance in search engines, specifically in a certain topic or niche. Page authority is how well a specific web page ranks on search engine results. Backlinks not only improve the linked page’s authority but can also improve your overall domain authority.
Backlinks have even more benefits. For example, they help increase website traffic. If someone is reading a blog and your page is linked, the reader might click on your website’s link.
Are Backlinks the Most Important Aspect of SEO?
Backlinks can offer many benefits for your SEO performance. But are they the most important tool in your SEO strategy? Not exactly. Many factors contribute to linkable content. These include high-quality content and a great website. In addition, these factors also improve your SEO rankings alone, helping attract even more backlinking opportunities.
Here’s more information on the different SEO techniques you should also use.
Create High-Quality Content
While this seems like an obvious strategy, creating great content is the biggest key in your backlinking success. Websites want to link to educational and interesting content. Even if you’re not a huge name in your industry, publishing unique content will attract other websites in your niche and will find your content. Google’s bots are also getting smarter. They can identify websites that keyword stuff and use other bad SEO tactics, so it may be necessary to work with an SEO Company. Instead, focus on writing natural and conversational content that will attract an audience.
Using media also entices your audience and serves as linkable content. Videos, images, and infographics are especially popular — it’s recommended you add this media into your blog posts.
The topic you cover will also make an impact and you’ll see the best results when you create and post unique content. This includes writing reviews, conducting interviews with other industry leaders, hold a case study, and cover any industry events and conventions. As long as the topic is relevant to your audience, you’ll quickly establish yourself as an industry leader.
While content is king, technical SEO is the foundation of a great SEO strategy. Google may penalize your website for technical issues, such as web page errors and interstitial pop-ups. In addition, Google bots can easily crawl titles, meta descriptions, and headers to better rank your website.
Web UX and Mobile Design
Google is now ranking websites more on their web design, usability, and performance. Google is also focusing on a mobile-first ranking approach since over 50% of web traffic now comes from mobile phones. Website performance is also a major ranking factor, specifically page speed. Here are a couple we use Google Speed Test and GT Metrix. If users have to wait a significant amount of time for your page to load, they may end up leaving your website. For best results, keep your website load speed under three seconds long.
Why Bad Backlinks Can Hurt You
Even with the significance of content and website performance, many businesses continue to invest in black hat SEO. Their links appear on spammy websites, causing a reduction in SEO performance. If you receive too many bad backlinks, your website could be removed from search results altogether (Search Engine Journal). In addition, Google is always releasing algorithm updates to better catch spamming backlinks and other harmful SEO strategies. They also started implementing human reviews that manually penalizes bad websites. If you’ve been doing this you will definitely need an SEO Agency to help find and disavow spammy backlinks.
How do you identify a bad backlink? This is more difficult than you think. First, the website will have a very low domain rating or authority. But this isn’t the only sign of sketchy backlinks. Other signs include several websites linked in the same content, websites linked unnaturally, bad page layout, and mirrored pages. Many times to find these spammy backlinks you need to use a combination of tools like Google Webmasters, SEMRush, and/or Ahrefs.
Other Backlinking Factors to Consider
While backlinking is still important for SEO, backlinking success depends on a variety of factors — more than just the number of backlinks you receive and the source of the website. Here’s what to know.
The total backlinks don’t necessarily mean you always need a lot of backlinks, but the backlinks you need to rank depending on the keywords you use. Some keywords are highly competitive and require several backlinks, while some nichey keywords are easier to rank for.
Total Follow Backlinks
If you only have a few high-quality websites linking to your web page, your SEO performance will be better than if several toxic links were linking to your content. You’ll want backlinks from “follow” websites, not “no follow” websites.
How to Improve Your SEO Without Buying Backlinks?
No doubt backlinks will continue to be an important focus of every SEO campaign, and it’s true they will help your website rank better. After all, it’s frequently said that backlinks are the most important aspect of great SEO ratings. Whilst high-quality backlinks can improve your SEO results, spammy backlinks can only hurt your SEO performance and can even remove your website from search engine results.
Thus, if you should not buy backlinks what should you do? While achieving great backlinks is the desired goal, focus on creating great content, and having a high-quality website. A linkable website with a few high-quality organic backlinks built over time is better than several toxic backlinks pointing to a low-quality website.
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