There’s all this talk about how to get backlinks, but no one seems to know where those links should point to on your website.
But you need to know. Knowing which website pages backlinks should be pointing to accounts for easily 40% of your link building strategy.
So, here it is. Here’s where you should direct the backlinks you build for your website.
Why It Matters
First, let’s establish why this matters in the first place. Think of links to your website as votes for your site. Every time a website owner decides a page on your website is worth linking to, search engines interpret that as a vote for the quality and relevance of the page being linked to, as well as your website as a whole.
The total number of domains and pages pointing links to your website matters. But the number of links pointing to the individual pages on your website will play a large part in determining the rankings of those individual pages.
In other words, the pages you try to build backlinks to will likely rank higher and for more keywords than the pages you aren’t actively building links to.
So, which pages should you put in the rotation for your link building efforts? In general, business websites have three options:
Product or service pages
Let’s look at the pros and cons of building links to each:
Links to a Product or Service Page
If yours is a business website, you have some form of product or service page.
If you’re a personal injury attorney, for example, you might have service pages for personal injury cases, car accident lawsuits, dog bites and so on. If you’re an ecommerce shop selling shoes, you might have product pages for individual types of Nikes, Pumas, New Balances and so on.
Should you build links to these product and service pages? Absolutely. Boosting these pages in the rankings through link building can lead to real and measurable financial benefits for your business.
There’s a big “however,” however. Remember that Google doesn’t want anyone to be seeking backlinks. And they’re on the lookout for backlink profiles that look unnatural. How frequently does it look natural for some random website to link to a product or service page for an equally random business? Not that often.
Your backlink profile should reflect that in order to avoid a potential manual action or de-indexing of your highly valuable product or service page. Yes, build some backlinks to your “money” pages, but do so sparingly and cover them with links to other, more natural-looking pages.
Links to Blog Posts
If you’re doing it right, your blog posts are providing relevant and helpful information about topics at least tangentially related to your business. That makes them a much easier mark for backlinks.
Why? Because it makes much more sense to link to blog posts written by industry experts to solve consumers’ real problems than it does to link to a product or service page.
In fact, you will likely find that some of your more unique blog posts are naturally racking up backlinks.
Of course, linking to a “how-to” blog post that doesn’t do much to sell your product or service isn’t all that helpful to your business in the short term, right? You can certainly make that argument, but simply getting problem-aware readers to your site via backlink referrals and higher rankings in general can only be a good thing.
But in the end, a high-ranking blog post is almost always less valuable than a high-ranking product or service page. But here’s a pro tip for you: Build backlinks to your most helpful and most unique blog posts, and add a smart internal link to those blog posts to point to a valuable product or service page.
Here’s an example to illustrate that pro tip: Imagine you’re a plumber, and you have a blog post on your website that’s titled “How to Fix a Leaky Faucet.” You’re building safe and natural-looking backlinks to that post and having some success. In this instance, you’d go into that blog post and add a link — preferably in the first couple of paragraphs — to your plumbing service page.
Why? Because that internal link funnels some of the power of the backlinks you’re getting — sometimes referred to as “link juice” — to your service page, lending some off-page SEO power to that page. Of course, there’s always the additional benefit of presenting readers with the link in the chance that they’ll click it and inquire about your services.
Links to Your Homepage
The safest type of backlink you can build is a branded link to your homepage. That’s a link on another website that points to your homepage and uses anchor text that is your company’s name.
This type of link is so safe because it looks the most natural. There’s only one company with your company’s name, so any link using anchor text with your company name should point to your website. No one at Google is going to think twice when they see branded homepage links coming from relevant websites.
When you’re wondering which pages on your website you should build backlinks to, the homepage is always a good option if you’re in doubt.
How to Decide
You know your options, but how do you decide which of these pages to build backlinks to?
It’s like investing. You have to determine your risk tolerance. If you have a high risk tolerance, you can go heavy on links to product or service pages. If your risk tolerance is low, you should lean heavily on branded homepage links.
In any case, you need a diversified portfolio — one that contains backlinks to an array of pages and posts on your website. That’s the safest bet over the long term.
To boil that down: Build backlinks to a mix of pages on your website. You can tweak the concentration of link types and destinations as your goals and risk tolerance shift over time, but you’ll always need a healthy mix.
Need Help with Your Backlink Strategy?
Admittedly, this is a lot to keep up with — especially for a busy business owner. That’s why many companies let backlink strategy fall by the wayside. But if you do that, you’re leaving SEO opportunities — and the benefits to your business that come with them — on the table.