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SEO 9 min read

Fed Fix: What Should You Be Looking For in Backlink Services?

Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Published 18 Feb 2021

A blond female on a black blazer stating "you are the weakest link, goodbye."

Source: Giphy

After high-quality, fresh and unique content, what’s the top factor for getting closer to that coveted top spot on Google’s search engine results page?

If you guessed backlinks - pat yourself on the back! You know what’s up when it comes to ranking on Google. 

In 2021, backlinks are the second most important ranking factor. Backlinks are vital when it comes to improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO.) 

Thankfully, we don’t have to win you over on the importance of link building. Where things can get murky is when you decide to hire a link building specialist. What steps are potential backlink managers taking to boost your domain authority? Do they promise a white-hat link building approach? 

What are the must-haves when it comes to partnering with a backlink manager or paying for link building services? 

Here at Galactic Fed, we know a thing or two about backlinks and link building. Just last year, our SEO and link building strategy helped a fintech start-up increase its backlinks by 276% and increase organic traffic to its website by 81%. 

Let us guide you through the top five backlink services you should expect from a reputable SEO agency and why. We also provide a refresher of what exactly a backlink is and why backlinks should matter to your business. If you’re feeling a little lost, have no fear! Take a look at our introduction to link building before diving into what backlink services you should seek out. 

So, first things, first:

What’s a backlink? 

Backlinks are links from one webpage on a site to another. If a website links to your business’s site, then that’s a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then that’s a backlink from your business.

Backlink explanation through Website A and B.

Source: Moz

Why do backlinks matter? 

The average number of backlinks based on total external backlinks and Google position.

Source: Monster Insights

Backlinks affect three things:

  1. Search engine rankings 
  2. Visibility 
  3. Referral traffic 

Search Engine Rankings 

Google views backlinks to your site from other reputable sites as a sign your content is useful, credible, and valuable to people. The amount of backlinks from unique websites directly correlates with organic search traffic, as illustrated in the graphic above.

Visibility 

Search engines like Google find fresh content by revisiting webpages that are already on their radar to check for new links.

Because Google revisits popular pages more frequently than unpopular ones, your content may be more visible if you’re able to get backlinks from popular webpages.

Referral Traffic 

Backlinks are meant to help people find valuable resources online. That’s why you’re able to click on them.

When someone surfing the web clicks on a link to your site, your business collects powerful referral traffic.

Galactic Fed’s top five backlink services to look for:

  1. An intelligent backlink strategy

Arguably the most crucial backlink service you should look for is one that includes an intelligent backlink strategy.  What do we mean by intelligent? Well, your backlink strategy should be data-driven and backed up by thorough evidence. 

A successful link building campaign will outline a baseline backlink analysis and include clear KPIs. In other words, the best backlink services will provide link building strategies that include insight into where link building efforts will take your business and how your business will get there. 

  1. White-hat link building 

Paying for links is a big no-no when it comes to link building strategies. 

Google identifies low-quality, paid-for links and will penalize your business’s website. It really isn’t worth it, trust us. Cloaking or redirecting the visitors to another site or page is also considered black hat. White hat services go beyond link-building, including well-labeled images, and unique and relevant pages tites on your site:  

White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO comparison.

Focus on finding backlink services that let your high-quality content do the work; that reach out to reputable publications and websites for link building opportunities. 

Try to partner with a link building specialist who knows how to build links the correct way by building relationships with websites relevant to your content and your business’s product or service offer. Link building done right is an investment and it’s not recommended to pay for each link you acquire. It definitely shouldn’t leave your business susceptible to penalties by Google.

  1. Do-follow links 

Put simply, do-follow links have a positive impact on your site’s search engine ranking, while no-follow links do not. 

Why?

Because Google’s algorithm only counts do-follow links. No-follow links have no impact on your “link juice;” therefore, they won’t impact your search engine ranking.

In the eyes of the average website visitor, do-follow and no-follow links look the same. You can click, copy and apply a nofollow link like any other link on the internet.

Make sure any backlink services you are considering provide do-follow links. When it comes to quality link building, only do-follow links matter.

  1. Quality vs. quantity of links

You’ll want to scope out backlink services with a solid understanding of when and how to use quality backlinks versus going after several backlinks, in other words, quantity. 

A quality backlink comes from a website with high domain authority. This means the website is trusted by both Google and search engine users.

Quality backlinks provide your business with many benefits: 

  • they generate passive traffic that boosts your SEO,
  • they are more valuable as likely to come from sites with high domain authority, 
  • the more high-quality backlinks you build, the better your search engine ranking will be.

On the flip side, there are downsides to quality backlinks. They can be more challenging and take more time to secure. If your site is relatively new, a website with higher domain authority will likely come out ahead of you on the SERP (we dive deeper into domain authority in the next section if you’re curious about how it affects link building.)

If you’ve just launched a new product or service and your website is brand-spanking new, you’ll want to consider quantity over quality when it comes to link building. The golden rule remains though, always ensure any backlinks to and from your site are relevant to your product or service offer.

  1. Domain Authority 

Any backlink services worth your time should have expertise in domain authority. You want a link building specialist with a proven track record of securing backlinks to sites with high domain authority and has proven results of link building with a website that is starting from scratch when it comes to domain authority. In other words, seek out an SEO agency that’s able to leverage domain authority through link building and can show you how they’ve done so with businesses similar to yours. 

A backlink from a site with high domain authority will have a significant impact on your site. These high-quality backlinks can be harder to get, but they are well worth the effort. 

Backlink services that get results 

When it comes down to it, any reputable link building specialist should be able to evidence how they will build high-quality backlinks for you.

Ensure a thorough, evidence-based strategy will be provided and that the SEO agency offers white-hat link building to protect your website from search engine penalties. 

A link building specialist should focus on do-follow links and know when to leverage quality links or quantity of links tailored to your unique business needs. 

And finally, don’t settle for backlink services that don’t have a firm grasp of when and how to leverage domain authority when it comes to crafting a link building strategy for your business. If you’re a small business and are keen to learn more about ranking higher on your targeted SERP, check out other SEO tips that go beyond link building. Or drop us a link if you’d like a helping hand with getting a link building strategy in place that gets results.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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