(This article is a 3.5 minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU'LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1. How links work for search engines and for readers
2. The easiest links that help with SEO
3. Strategies for backlinks for dental SEO marketing
If you have done some reading around search engine optimisation, you will have come across the word ‘backlinks’. A link on a web page is that blue text you click on to be taken to another page. A backlink is a link that leads to your website from someone else's. It seems like a simple thing, but it is frustratingly hard to get.
Backlinks are important for two reasons. Firstly, the fact that someone else is linking to your site indicates to search engines that your site is interesting and worth giving a higher rank to. Secondly, it gives the search engine crawlers a road to travel on when indexing pages on your site.
So many people have tried to manipulate this system over the years, that now backlinks have become really hard to get. Authoritative sites know how valuable they are, and don't give them out easily. And search engines know, and don't count, links from dodgy sites.
And you can't rely on hugely popular sites like Facebook or Wikipedia, because they have code written into their links which tells search engines not to follow them.
But don't despair. There's two strategies you can follow to generate more useful links for your site that are good for SEO.
Internal links are easy to organise and can help search engines work out how to rank you. Internal links are ones you put in your sit that point to other pages on your own site.
The reason internal links are important is every website is allocated a crawl budget by search engines. This means they will only index a certain number of pages. And you don't have much say in which pages they will index.
If you have lots of links pointing back to your most important pages, that indicates they should be indexing those pages. A page that doesn't link anywhere is a dead end, as far as a search engine is concerned.
But which pages to choose? The quickest way to determine which pages on your site should be these important ones is to look at your Google Analytics data. That will tell you which pages are already getting the most traffic. They are the ones you should be directing search engines to, as they are the ones most likely to get the best SEO results for you.
These are the tricky ones. It's a bad idea to buy or try to manipulate external links, because doing that will get you a penalty and you will lose your place in search rankings. The two most effective ways are to use content you have created, and either get someone else to run it (with a link back to your site) or promote it on social media, and hope others pick it up and link back.
Just getting someone to repost something on Facebook is not going to help immediately. It's not going to hurt, either, as it may get you visitors, but the link back to your site from Facebook will not be counted by search engines.
But if you start with some great, unique content that is hosted on your site, you are giving other people a good reason to link back to you.
Which is exactly what search engines want to see: great, unique content. The more of that you have, the more they will reward you which visitors.