Are backlinks still relevant for SEO in 2017?

Why do you still need backlinks for SEO

I am often asked: What is a backlink? and Should I still worry about it?

Backlinks are essential for a successful website, and when deciding how you are going to get additional backlinks, you need to consider the the quality of backlinks you will get.

You want to make sure the search engines are giving you the full benefit of any backlinks you get, so try to make sure they’re all from relevant and/or high-quality sources.

If you put in the time to get quality backlinks, you will be rewarded with higher rankings in search engine listings.

According to a recent study by Econsultancy, links from other credible sources that mention your website are still useful today, with a slow decline going forward. The best results came from news sites – this seems to be the area where there is the most growth.

Take the time to implement a few of the following tips, and you should see the number of backlinks to your website increase.

  • Offer valuable content – With the latest changes and updates from Google in Penguin 4.0, it’s more important than ever to write articles tailored to your audience and provide new information that solves their problems. The updated algorithm is designed to weed out spammy websites and excessive keyword usage.
  • Update your website – As mobile usage becomes more prominent, your the website should be optimized and suitable for all devices. It pays to invest in a professional audit to ensure the user experience is optimal, including load times and the removal of old links and content that affect your search results.
  • Mitigating Anchor Use – It used to be that anchor text helped move a website up the search engine ranks, but today the focus is much more on phrases and content quality. Google also measures how engaging your posts are by focusing less on penalizing small mistakes and targeting websites that rely solely on spammy links and content.

Think Relationship Marketing and Seth Godin’s Idea on Permission Marketing. David Meerman Scott recommends that marketers “publish their entry” (via blogs, etc.), as opposed to outbound marketing where they previously had to “buy their entry” (via paid ads).

Inbound marketing encompasses the use of blogging, social media, article marketing – anything to do with online exposure; and, is also often called pull marketing because you attract people to your sphere of influence by being findable and available for communication.

In traditional marketing (outbound marketing), companies focus on finding customers. Think of the term intrusion marketing and Godin’s term interruption marketing.

Outbound Marketing is also called Push Marketing, where advertising or promotion is pushed through the media.

Three successful uses of using this marketing approach are:

Original content

Everything produced on your blog, including text, infographics, videos, etc. — can be used to create an audience and connect with influencers who will recommend your website. This can include any guest blog posts and repurposed content on sites like LinkedIn and Medium.

Search engine optimization for desktop and mobile

SEO makes it easier for potential customers to find your content. It is the practice of building your site and inbound links to your site to maximize your search engine rankings, where most of your customers begin their buying process. As we move into a mobile-only world, it’s important to make sure your website is properly indexed and that the links used work well with today’s conversation-based predictive search.

social media

Using networking to develop genuine relationships that bring qualified customers to your website continues to be a powerful force for increasing backlinks. Although social media is not a ranking factor in Google, it is still very effective in getting your brand content out there.

According to an article on Convincing and Converting some of the best social sites to create backlinks on include:

  • Google Plus
  • Google Places
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Foursquare
  • Reddit
  • Equidoo
  • Stumble
  • Yelp
  • yahoo
  • Youtube
  • ezine articles
  • Hubpages
  • dotpoch

You don’t have to be active in all of these places – select a few that your business can focus on and drive the most traffic from. This is where you have to be careful target market research comes into play and provides information about where your community is most active.

The world of online marketing has changed and if we want to be effective in this ever-changing world, we need to be aware of what it takes to do it!

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