Why Are Backlinks Essential When Getting Featured in Digital Publications?
and how to evaluate backlinking opportunities
You got featured in a major digital publication and they even included a link back to your website or social media profile!
Now what? If you are working with a marketing-savvy PR agency, they would've campaigned on your behalf for the editor, contributor or blogger to include backlinks pointing to your website.
However, that's unlikely. Too often, traditional PR agencies and brands alike divorce the credibility and dare we say - clout! - that is gained from getting featured into the media, from the big help that a valuable link pointing to your website can be to your SEO and brand visibility efforts.
Is Your Brand Ready to getclout?
"After 250 hours of research and testing, including interviewing five baby wearing experts and walking over 100 miles in 15 wraps, slings, and meh dais, we think that the Gemlak Baby Carriers is the best"
Hold up. What's a backlink?
Backlinks happen when one website - let's say Forbes - includes a link back to your website.
Why are backlinks important?
By having more backlinks, you can increase your website’s visibility and authority in the eyes of search engines and readers. This, in turn, can help your website rank higher as search engines like Google view sites with the most backlinks as being popular and therefore useful to the consumer.
Although you want to consistently gain new backlinks, remember that quality is more important to search engines than quantity. Having a few high-quality backlinks from reputable websites can be more valuable than having hundreds of spammy links.
What is the difference between dofollow backlinks and nofollow links?
You got featured in a major digital publication and they even included a link back to your website or social media profile! Now what?
What should I look for when identifying link building opportunities in digital PR features?
When building up your back link profile, it is important to ensure that the incoming links to your website are from a relevant site. For example, if you sell skincare or are a plastic surgeon, you will want to make sure you have valuable backlinks from websites in the beauty industry such as Allure, NewBeauty, Byrdie, etc.
Links that are related to your website’s content show that you’re an authority in the niche. Additionally, it is important to make sure that your backlinks are varied. Having too many of the same link type - such as multiple backlinks from the same domain - can result in search engine penalties.
When determining which websites are worth linking to, there are certain criteria to look for:
- Domain Authority (DA): A website’s authority is determined by its age, Alexa ranking, and number of referring domains - or external links pointing to their site. You can use this free tool to check the DA of a site. Websites with a higher DA are more likely to pass on SEO benefits to your website, if the backlinks they include are dofollow.
- Relevance: As mentioned before, the websites you link your website to should be within your niche or industry. This will show search engines that your website is trustworthy and relevant. Staying in relevant publications also increases your chances of being found by other contributors at similar sites.
- Reputation: Make sure that the websites you are linking to are reputable and not considered “spam” sites. The site's spam score should not be more than 2% - and even that's a bit high. This can be done with the help of a backlink checker or a backlink tool that provides that data. Remember, just as a site with a high domain authority can help increase yours, a site linking to yours that has a high spam score can do the same to you.
Are there people or brands with similar names that can create brand confusion? If so, you will need to consider specific types of digital press to separate your brand and establish your digital real estate.
How do I know which external backlinks are pointing to my site?
How do I clean up low quality backlinks?
Where getting featured in digital publications meets SEO.
Recap: Why are backlinks important to consider in your digital PR strategy?
Valuable links are those that point back to your site and are present on relevant websites with high domain authority, spam score or 2% or less and are do-follow. Making sure that the backlinks are from authoritative sources as well as relevant to your website’s content can help you establish trustworthiness and authority among search engines and readers, pushing your site up in search rankings.
When determining which websites are worth linking to, it can be helpful to use a backlink checker tool for competitors backlinks—websites that have similar content to yours or websites within your niche. A reliable, free backlink checker tool is ahrefs.com.
The total number of backlinks matters, but quality is always priority to Google so make sure your site's backlink profile stays full of valuable links.
It’s important to remember that having too many of the same type of link from one domain can be seen as spammy by search engines and should be avoided. Focus on getting new backlinks from unique referring domains to appease Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. (A "referring domain" is the website where the backlink to your site is mentioned.)
If when analyzing your website's link profile, you find that your existing backlinks are low quality links, you should consider removing them. You can use a tool like Moz to help with cleaning up your website's backlinks as well as with lost link recovery.