Various digital marketing strategies impact your visibility on search. One often misunderstood yet extremely important marketing strategy is link building. Every month there are 14 billion searches (yes I said billion). Even more interesting, 63.7% of all searches are done on Google, therefore; it’s imperative you understand how Google rates websites and how this rating affects your visibility. Here we demystify the backlink.

Every website needs link love.
When I say link love, I mean backlinks. What is a backlink? Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, and inlinks, are incoming links to a website or web page. Is your website listed on your local chamber’s website? If so, then you are backlinked to them. The more backlinks you have (which are authoritative and relevant), the more likely you are to show up on Google’s natural search before your competitors.

What makes a backlink authoritative and relevant?
According to Wikipedia, “There are several factors that determine the value of a backlink. Backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable.  If both sites have content geared toward the keyword topic, the backlink is considered relevant and believed to have strong influence on the search engine rankings of the webpage granted the backlink.” In other words, if you are a feather pillow maker and your website is listed on the nationally renowned Feathers Galore Directory, then you have one (authoritative and relevant) backlink. The more authoritative, relative backlinks you have, the more important you are to Google.

Who is backlinking to you and your competitors?
It’s a good idea to know who is currently backlinking to you. Here’s a fun and interesting way to find out who links to you now: Go to http://ericmiraglia.com/inlink/, watch the introductory video, and try his inlink page analyzer. You may be surprised by your results. Would you like to compare and contrast your backlinks with your competitors’ backlinks? My company can give you access to some fascinating link grading software which clearly shows who is linked to your competitors as well as the authority value attributed to those backlinks.  In the digital world where relevant, authoritative backlinks help determine your search standing, this information is invaluable.

How to generate your own backlinks.

Whether or not you hire a qualified marketing company to complete an aggressive link building campaign for you, your business (even the smallest of businesses) can generate backlinks. To start, visit the website of every professional organization to which you belong and be sure your URL is hotlinked (meaning it’s clickable) on each site. Blogging and commenting on blogs are two more smart ways to generate backlinks.

Take a look at this comprehensive link building tactics list:

profiles
unpaid directories
paid directories
widgets
conference sponsorships
association sponsorships
aggregated content
research and surveys
blog reviews
job listings
testimonials
letters to the editor
contributed articles
rss feeds
blogroll
bookmarking
social media pages
squidoo page
applications
optimized press releases
build and host useful tools
awards (badge)
contest (badge)
cross link company-owned websites
write reviews
promote content on social sites
blog/rss feed directory submissions
ads on search friendly sites
classified ads
post ebook or substantial whitepaper
exchange links with marketing/business partners
post surveys
write guest posts on other blogs
speak at events, offer ppt with links embedded
donate where a link of donors is published
transcribe video interviews to text as separate posts
apply for industry awards, web site, and blog awards
ensure industry groups you’re involved with link to you
create a wiki
create microsites for causes, events, specific purposes
affiliate program
become a resource on Q/A websites like Yahoo Answers
slidewhare and similar content hosting
monitor 404 status and ask link sources to fix broken links
solicit links directly from sources
provide “link to us” content on blog or website
leverage publicity and media relations for links
digital asset submissions, images, audio, and video

Showing up on the first page of Google search is motivation for any company to hire a qualified marketing company or take care of backlinking in house.  Remember, Google don’t want none unless you’ve got backlinks hun! Above list as well as other pieces of information found in this post from http://inboundmarketing.com/university/seo-crash-course-to-get-found-gf102 (yes – this is a backlink) presented by Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing.