Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about the importance of backlinks for SEO: what they are, why you should care about them, and how to manage them.
Last week I talked about how linking to other websites can enhance your SEO, so now I’m going to talk about what happens when it goes the other way. How is your SEO affected when other sites link back to yours?
The Good News
Most of the time, any links to your site is probably a cause for celebration. It means someone else out there thinks there’s something on your site that’s worth sharing with their audience. When Google sees other sites linking back to your website, it sees it as a kind of endorsement of your site. If the site linking back to yours is a high-quality site that Google is already ranking highly, then that backlink gives your SEO a boost.
But what if it’s a low-quality site?
The Bad News
The great thing about the internet is that anyone can link to your website on their own site. The not-so-great thing about the internet is that anyone can link to your website from their own site. Despite all the awesome things the internet has given us, it has provided a lot of spam and robots that deliberately generate false and/or misleading information. Those sites tend to fall low on Google’s ranking, and if one of those sites links to your website, it will also lower your ranking.
I know it’s not fair that your site’s ranking is affected by what other people do with your links, but the good news is there is a way to combat negative backlinks. The first is to set an alert on your website (if you haven’t already) that lets you know when someone links to one of your pages. When you get an alert, check out the website, see if they’re legit, and if you like what you see, try reaching out and asking if they’d be interested in a content partnership.
If you’re lucky enough to have so many sites with links leading back to your website that you can’t possibly check on them all yourself, there are backlink checker tools out there that let you make sure your backlinks are legitimate and even let you remove bad backlinks. SEMrush is a great company that has one such tool.
This is great, but it can also sound kind of defeatist if your website’s SEO is dependent upon what other people do with your website. There are tips for quality backlink building, which I’ll talk about in next week’s post, so check back for that. If you’re afraid you might forget between now and then, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you get next week’s post delivered straight to your inbox as soon as it goes live.
Thanks for reading! If you still have questions about content marketing, let’s chat.