What are Backlinks?

The simple answer is this: backlinks are a vital part to ensuring your business’s website page ranking is high on Google, Yahoo! or Bing. In even simpler terms, backlinks are incoming links which direct to a website. The more backlinks you have throughout the web, the higher your page rank and traffic.

That is a very straight and to the point definition of backlinks, but there is still much more to backlinks. For an even more precise explanation of backlinks, read on:

Backlinks for traffic: The more visitors to your website the better, nothing new here. Backlinks that focus more on traffic are going to be ones that are linked from a different site. Say for instance, you submit your company’s website to a paid or non-paid business directory. Now, whenever someone finds your entry and clicks on your link, you will be receiving traffic for your website. Other outlets to get these simple inbound links include review sites, online job sites, social media sites (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc), customers’ websites and much more. The more of these backlinks out there the better for your business and your overall website traffic.

Backlinks for PageRank: Backlinks that are geared toward PageRank are different from backlinks for traffic in that they are focused on ensuring that you rank high on search engines for specific terms. Say for instance, you are a moving company located in Chicago. When someone types in to a search engine “Chicago movers” you will want to be ranked high on that search results page so potential customers visit your website. At Spectrum, we figure out what terms or keywords your customers can rank with. If another person types “Chicago moving companies” you will again hope to rank near the top of Google, Yahoo! or Bing.

But how do backlinks for PageRank work?

Good question. There are a few methods at our disposal to make sure important keywords point your way. One simple source is blog posts. There are countless blogs throughout the web, and decent amount of these blogs give us the ability to increase your PageRank. If you’ve ever commented on a blog post, odds are you’ve used your own name or some online alias. With backlinking for PageRank, instead of using our name, we instead use a keyword. So, to go along with the previous examples, we may comment on the blog with the name “Chicago movers.” In addition to the keyword name, blog sites let you insert a link in to your comment. When that is the case, “Chicago movers” will link to the business’s website or a specific webpage. The keyword “Chicago movers” has just become anchor text. The more of these backlinks across the web, the higher you will rank for the specific keyword terms you use (i.e. the previously used “Chicago movers”).

What about my map ranking?

Ranking high for search results is one thing, having a high ranking on Google, Yahoo! or Bing maps is another. Fortunately, improving these results is not very difficult. Every business should fill out their Google maps listing, but it will take a little bit more effort to rank high against competitors. Citations for Google maps is key in this area. There are many websites out there which let you input your business’s listing. Businesses need to make sure that their address, phone number and website are available on sites such as Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, infoUSA.com, Yelp, Universal Business Listings and much more. Some of these sites may cost money for you to list your business, but the results are well worth it when it comes to your map ranking.

Spectrum is doing all of these things for me, but why am I still not ranking higher than my competitors? 

As hard as we work to guarantee your PageRank and traffic, there is still much more to be done, but that is where you come in to the picture. There are many ways that you yourself can become involved in the backlinking process in simple ways that can go far to benefit your business.

What are Ways You Can Help Make Your Backlinking Program Successful?

YOU are your company’s greatest asset to your backlinking program. Rather, your existing professional relationships that can translate into great backlinking opportunities for your business. What are some examples of existing relationships or resources you have that can double as quality backlinking opportunities?

  1. What associations does your company belong to?
  2. What charities have your company donated to or been involved with?
  3. What local organizations is your company a part of?
  4. What client relationships do you have where you could obtain a backlink from their site?
  5. What local schools does your company do business with? Are you an alumni from a local college or university?
  6. What are some local government organizations you are or could get involved with?
  7. Who are your company’s suppliers? Can you obtain a backlink from their website?
  8. Who are your competitors, and what backlinks do they have?
  9. Where do you post career opportunities for your company?
  10. Are you taking advantage of paid and non-paid directories?
  11. What are industry-related or other relevant blogs you can post on?
  12. What are marketing articles we can write about your company and/or industry?
  13. What are video posting opportunities?
  14. What are photo posting opportunities?
  15. Who are your other businesses in the area that you work or partner with from which you can take advantage of backlinking from their sites?

Take some time to really think about the above questions.There are abundant backlinking opportunities through business relationships you have right now. Why not take advantage of what resources you already have?