Online Marketing Tips


How to Rank on Google’s 1st Page with Quality Backlinks!

Talking about creating backlinks is certainly not the sexiest SEO topic (yes, we think SEO has some sexy topics) – but backlinks are the bread and butter of your Google ranking.

Understanding what makes a good backlink, how and where to create them, and how often is fundamental and crucial information to getting to that first page on Google.

We know that investing marketing dollars in search pays off because 89% of customers are searching for products and services online – and we also know that many of them are searching based on location-specific needs to solve their problems.

What does that mean? Ensuring that your company information comes up as a result in those local searches is paramount. But that doesn’t just mean that you should be focusing on SEO-optimized website pages, rich with keywords… you also need to be listed where people are looking for solutions… like Yelp or Yellow Pages or Google Maps.

So, if you want to get on the first page of Google, you’ll need a multi-pronged strategy that takes location into account and a crucial element that’s at the centre of today’s post: backlinks.

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What is a backlink?

A backlink is simply a link from one website to another website’s page. Examples of backlinks are a guest blog post that links back to your author page on your website – or a local directory that includes a link to the menu page on your site.

Backlinks contribute substantially to your search ranking, and fall into one of the three main pillars that Google crawlers use to determine your site’s ranking: off-page SEO.

Quality Rules Over Quantity

While it’s important to continuously build backlinks to boost your search ranking, Google will always favor high-quality links over low-quality links. In fact, there are many reports of Google penalizing sites that flooded crawlers with low-quality, fake/irrelevant, or toxic backlinks. The Google crawlers can easily determine a toxic link from a high-quality link, and it takes months to offset the damage that toxic links can do to your domain authority, and as a result, your ranking.

Building Quality Backlinks:

Building quality backlinks is a complex topic, and rightfully deserves its own dedicated post – but here’s a quick summary.

Step 1: Select relevant keywords.
Using an SEO-keyword planning tool (
Check out our Green Lotus DIY SEO Toolkit)

Step 2: Spy on your competitors. Using your toolkit, evaluate the strategy of your competitors, because it will tell you a lot about where there are opportunities for you to create backlinks, and which areas you should ignore.

Step 3: Share content with high-quality partners.
When your backlinks are shared on a website that has very high domain authority, it will boost your domain authority. For example, government and educational websites are ideal resources to secure backlinks, primarily because they are considered extremely credible – and would never sell a backlink for profit. Your services must be relevant to their organization. Consider scenarios where you might be able to leverage a relationship with a government office or educational institution in order to secure a backlink; the payoff is a thousand times more valuable if you can swing it.

Step 4: Choosing the right anchor text.
Anchor text refers to the words that are hyperlinked as the backlink. The specific words you select to link are incredibly important as a ranking factor. The more relevant that Google deems the anchor text to the overall topic, the higher the ranking. Interestingly, it’s very common to see mistakes made around selection of anchor text. How many times have you seen the words ‘click here’ or ‘book now’ used as anchor text rather than something like ‘personal branding photography’ session’? The best practice with anchor text is to leverage your most valuable keywords.

Step 5: Anchor text placement.
If you’re looking for the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to quality backlinks, the most powerful positioning is anchor text that is positioned in the first paragraph of the main body of an article. It’s also important to ensure your first 200 words or so, are relevant and serve as a sort of summary introduction to the overall content, so as to speak to the cohesiveness of the content.

Easy ‘Backlink’ Wins:

Companies should work towards building partnerships with high ‘domain authority’ brands over time to continue to build quality backlinks. But if you’re wondering what you can do immediately to fuel your race to Google’s first page – here are some quick and easy backlink wins to go after:

  • Local and business directory submissions: With so many customers searching for local companies, take advantage of optimizing your visibility with local listings. It’s the fastest and easiest way to outrank your competitor, plus you’ll be adding relevant backlinks and be even easier for your customers to find!

Submit your listing on Google maps and Bing and any search engines that offer map services, too.

One last tip: Ensure your NAP is always consistent. NAP stands for Name/Address/Phone Number and will virtually be included everywhere you list yourself. However, if the wording or spelling isn’t consistent, it will affect your rank.

  • Share press releases: News and other forms of shared content are a great way to secure backlinks to your site. There’s no shortage of fresh content that a business can share, and by providing frequent updates you’re remaining relevant and continuing to demonstrate your expertise; both factors that rank in search results. View our PR writing & distribution services!

  • Find guest blogging and expert interview opportunities:  Guest blogging is a great opportunity to join the conversation with key influencers and local businesses in your geographic area and among your target audience. It’s also a great way to position a key team-member as a thought-leader, providing valuable expertise on relevant topics. Similarly, if you have media connections, pitch yourself for an ‘expert interview’. Invite local media out to business events to secure noteworthy mentions and backlinks.

Some Important Backlink Vocabulary:

Domain authority:

Domain authority is one of the most important denominators that calculate the rank on search engines. Domain authority is largely based on the number of quality backlinks pointing to your website. Backlinks from a website with authority will boost your domain authority.

Link juice:

Link juice is a measurement of backlinks coming to your website, and links your link to other sites. You’ll fill up your glass with ‘link juice’ when you have an abundance of high-quality links coming to your site. However, you’ll deplete your ‘link juice’ if you have a lot of outgoing links. Ideally, you want more high-quality links coming to you, and only a very few links going out.

Follow Links VS. No Follow Links:
Both ‘follow’ links and ‘no follow’ links look the same on a web page, however ideally, you’ll want to have ‘follow’ links backlinking to your site, because they are the only links that supply ‘link juice’ to contribute to your overall ranking. With Green Lotus SEO Tools, you can flag ‘follow’ links and ‘no follow’ links and make adjustments as necessary to the HTML tags to optimize your content for better search results.

Want to Learn How to Dominate the First Page of Google?