E-commerce in Australia will only continue to soar within the next few years. The Statista data revealed that its revenues could reach almost $30 billion by 2021.
From this point on until 2025, it could achieve a compound annual growth rate of $4.22%. By the end of the forecast period, the market value would have grown by at least $35 billion.
But to conquer e-commerce is to build a website and optimize it for search engines, particularly Google. That will entail working with an SEO agency and implementing strategies like backlinks.
What does the mighty Google say about these links?
First, What Are Backlinks?
To understand the context of the answer later, one needs to know the definition of backlinks first. Backlinks are also called in other names, such as inbound links. These are the links found on other people’s websites that direct users to your webpages.
A website can generate backlinks in many ways. These include:
- Reciprocal linking, where two or more websites decide to link with one another
- Guest posting, where a website (let’s call this A) publishes a post to another website bearing a link to any or some of the webpages of A
- Natural linking, which happens when other websites link to website A since they find value in the content
For Google, backlinks matter since they work as a vote of confidence to the content's value. It implies that the website’s pages are relevant to the target audience and provide useful information.
It also suggests that the primary, secondary, and related keywords work harmoniously and are also relevant to the brand and the content.
For many years, however, there seems to be a quiet competition among websites about who gets the most number of backlinks. Perhaps they believe that the more links that point towards their pages, the more they can establish their relevance and value in their chosen keywords.
But in the latest Google discussion, the number of backlinks may not matter at all.
What Matters Then?
In one of the most recent SEO after-office hours, John Mueller, an SEO advocate of Google, answered the question that many marketers have wanted to ask: the search algorithm doesn’t give any preferential treatment to sites with the most number of backlinks.
Instead, like what Google has been stressing for years, it’s quality over quantity. A webpage can have two or three backlinks. But if these are quality, they can still rank higher in their chosen keyword over those with hundreds of poor-quality inbound links.
How to Attract High-Quality Backlinks, According to Mueller
This isn’t to say that websites go easy or consider back-linking strategies a second priority. One study shows that pages that make it to the top search results often have nearly four times more backlinks than those that appear on the lower ranks or, worse, the succeeding pages.
However, Mueller also wants marketers to end their obsession with generating backlinks. Rather:
- Websites should focus on generating “natural links.” While he didn’t say how Google can distinguish between natural and unnatural links, he may be implying that websites should encourage others to link back to the website without anything in exchange.
- To attract natural links, marketers need to produce well-optimized, quality content.
With these two points in mind, the following strategies may help:
1. Consider Creating Long-Form Content
Long-form content is any content with over 500 words. Usually, it ranges between 700 and 1,200 words. Google doesn’t explicitly say how long a webpage should be, but industry reports reveal that the long ones convert better. It can increase one’s traffic by as much as 600%.
For many experts, this type of post works because:
- It encourages marketers to add more value-added information.
- Marketers can include a variety of media to enhance the message and context. These can include images, videos, and infographics.
- It provides more opportunities to add relevant keywords for SEO purposes.
- Marketers can also include more internal and external links to increase the value of the content.
- It makes the content more appealing to Google, which always wants sites to offer its users something valuable.
Sometimes other website owners or marketers can stumble into your quality content. Often, the best way to attract natural linking is to promote it.
Besides spending on paid ads, marketers can also share their content on social media, particularly Facebook. They can opt for an e-mail broadcast or connect with subject-matter experts. Let them read the content and encourage them to share it with their network if they found it credible, engaging, and relevant.
SEO remains one of the effective strategies to succeed in e-commerce, but it is also costly. Marketers can avoid wasting their money by focusing on what works for Google and its audience.