SEO for Beginners: Backlinks

When it comes to SEO, there are several factors that join together to figure out your rank. Backlinks is one important strategy that figures into rank.

Let’s talk about SEO. Yes, that’s right, Search Engine Optimization.

How does it work? What does it do? Does your business really need it?

Since being introduced to the world, the internet has become the largest community of sharing digital information. Information can be sent everyone and to everyone including family, and even strangers across the world. With Time magazine estimating that “more than 3 billion people are now using the internet” (May 2015) and that number is increasing exponentially each day, the internet is becoming more and more an important asset to any business trying to reach new customers.

Think of search engines like a concierge service at a hotel. If you are new to an area, you would go to the concierge desk to ask for information. The concierge would refer to his or her reliable information to give you the best results. The same goes for a search engine. A search engine will search the internet for information that best relate to the question or inquiry at hand. With billions of websites listed on the internet, it is important to use search engine optimization strategies to make your website stand out amongst other websites.

Search Engine Optimization is the internet marketing industry term for creating strategies to help your website rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. When it comes to digital marketing or generating online leads for any business, there are various determining factors for search engines to decide where your website ranks amongst the others for a certain keyword. These strategies include keyword optimization, image optimization, link building, schema, and more.

Of these aforementioned strategies, link building is becoming more and more influential when determining search engine rankings because it gives more authority to a website because it is a reputable and well known website.

What is Link Building?

Link Building is an SEO strategy for creating external hyperlinks to direct back to your website. When it comes to SEO, hyperlinks are connecting text or objects that direct the user from one page to another. The more referred links to a website, the more creditable a website is in regards search engines.

What is a Link?

So, now that we understand how link building can be beneficial. We need to get down to the basics: What is a link?

On websites across the internet, there are certain text or objects that can be directed to another webpage or object, these are called “hyperlinks” or “links.” Links are an easy way to help the user navigate through a website or multiple websites. There are two types of links: internal link and external link.

Internal Link

Internal links are links that help you navigate through your website and will only link out to other pages on your website. Internal links are important because they help establish an information order for your website, as well as help spread link juice or ranking power throughout your website, thus increasing your domain’s creditability for search engines.

External Link

External Links are links that direct out from a website to another website or object. External links are important because they are the basis of link building. Creating external links on other websites to redirect back to your website will increase your website’s value. However, all external links are not created equal. They hold one of two values: dofollow or nofollow.

Follow vs. No Follow: What is the difference?

When establishing external links on other pages, it is important to note the attribute that goes along with the link. Search engines like Google search the back end to see if links are given certain definitions. Link definitions are used to help search engine measure page rank and which website ranks higher than others. Link definition can fall in a dofollow or nofollow category.

Follow Links

Follow links are links that contain link juice and can contribute to the overall ranking of a website. In link building, it is an important strategy to get as many follow links as possible because search engines like Google take special notes of these values and watches how many inbound links are directing to a certain website (WordStream, 2013). The more the value, the higher the rank.

No Follow Links

According to WordStream (2013), No Follow are links that do not contribute to page ranking value boosting or doesn’t help rankings in search engine rank position (SERP), but are still very important to use because they are able to direct users to your website.

When it comes to a link, there are certain attributes that goes along with the link. Each link is given a “dofollow” or “nofollow” attribute. Dofollows are links that contain SEO value and are indexed to be found by search engines, while nofollows are the complete opposite. For a strategy, dofollows are more coveted because they help influence search engines of the link’s target index.

How do I get backlinks to my website?

Now that you’ve been acquainted with backlinks and its value in SEO, it is time to get started. When it comes to backlinks, there are a couple ways to create links back to your domain and increase your rank.


One of the best link building strategies is adding your website to online directories. A directory is a referral website that helps users find a listing within categories. One of the most reputable, well known directory is Yellow Pages.

When registering your website on a director, it is important to be very specific and include as much information as possible. Directories can include NAP (name, address, and phone number) and even pictures of your business and services.

Public Relations and Social Media

In the last decade, social media has become part of the DNA of society. With everyone having access to their accounts with their fingertips, social media has become the flagship of digital marketing. However, as a general rule, most social media are blocked from search engines and follow a “nofollow” rule, where the links do not contain any SEO value; however, there are exceptions to the rules including Google Plus and Pinterest.

Free Websites

Another great way to gain strong links back to your sites is to develop a webpage on a free website like Weebly, Square Space, Wix, or any other free website.  Often these websites hold dofollow attributes and can send back some strong link juice back to your website; increasing its rankings.

Guest Blogging

When it comes to the internet, many sites are looking for guest bloggers to added new content to their website.  Guest blogging is essential because it offers a different perspective to new content that may attract new users or reengage current users.  When blogging for another website, you will be able to dictate what content is being used and include strong dofollow backlinks directing to your website.

Ready… Set… Go Link Build

Now that your familiar with link building and how it is absolutely necessary for any digital marketing effort.  It’s time to put the action into motion.  Start out by opening a word document and adding necessary information including name, address, phone number, keywords, location(s), and website address.

Still unsure how to link build and increase your search rankings?  Well, you’re in luck.  TheeDigital is an award-winning web design and digital marketing firm in Raleigh.  Call TheeDigital at 919-341-8901 or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our web experts today.