What are Backlinks?

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are links one website gets from another website. Typically, the websites are similar or connected in some way (similar content, industry, or goals) and the backlinks are beneficial to both parties.

Backlinks make a big impact on a website’s prominence and overall performance in search engine results. In fact, implementing a backlink strategy can be an important part of search engine optimization (SEO). Because search engines calculate a site’s ranking using a number of different factors, it is important to utilize all resources when trying to help your site rank higher on Google or other search engine results pages (SERP).

Of course, how much a backlink matters really depends on the backlink you’ve secured, your industry, the nature of your content, and how much of a reach your content has. However, the bottom line when it comes to backlinks is that they are very important and should definitely be part of your marketing strategy no matter what.

backlink example image

Why are Backlinks Important for SEO?

The best way to think about backlinks is as a type of building block. Backlinks directed towards your website are important because they lead to good SEO, which leads to more visibility and the possibility of better business.

If a website has a lot of backlinks, it is usually a good indicator that the site itself is popular or important with search engines – or both. If a site has a large number of backlinks, the typical search engine (think Google), will give more credibility to it because it seems more relevant than sites with little to no backlinks.

Of course, you must be careful about just adding backlinks for the sake of having them. While backlinks are important and indicate popularity, throwing in backlinks that aren’t relevant or even connected to your content can become pointless and gratuitous. Like a keyword strategy, you want to be intentional about the backlinks you procure and the websites you’re connecting with.

The more relevant your backlinks, the higher the quality of your website, and the higher your site can rank on Google and other search engines. With this in mind, linking out to random sites and content won’t cut it.

For example, if your business offers content management systems and solutions to your customers, linking out to a website about fixing smartphones would not be relevant, making the link one of poor quality. In short, you have to ensure that your backlinks are always relevant to your business and site’s content.

illustration of a backlink

When you’re sure that all backlinks are relevant, you know you’re on the way to great SEO. Backlinks are so important to SEO because they play a major role in the algorithms of most search engines.

As mentioned, a site with a lot of backlinks indicates both popularity and relevancy, meaning that the more backlinks you secure that are relevant to your business and actually helpful to visitors and clients perusing your site, the higher you can rank on most SERPs.

How Do You Earn and Build Backlinks?

Before you can begin building backlinks, you have to earn them. Earning backlinks is an important part of “off-site” SEO and comes from a lot of hard work and networking. It’s no secret that some backlinks are just more important to some businesses than others.

If you can snag backlinks from highly popular, trustworthy, and high-authority sites that are relevant to your business in some way, it means that you are building the quality of your own site and gaining credibility to boot.

If you only manage to set up backlinks to low-authority and often spam-filled sites, you will effectively lower your credibility and quality score, pushing you even further down the results page of most search engines.

To earn and build backlinks, networking is essential. The process of backlinking is usually beneficial for both parties. Each site has something to gain, and backlinks are made to boost the two (or more) sites involved. You can reach out to a site you’re interested in backlinking to or offer a relevant site the opportunity to link to your website. The key thing to remember is that your sites are similar in some fashion.

Maybe you sell items or services that complement one another. Maybe you have information that enhances their overall business mission or vice versa. It all comes down to choosing the sites you backlink to wisely. When you do this, it doesn’t always matter if your backlink is followed. To be clear, it is important for your link to be followed (how else will potential leads see and explore your site?), but even just having your business, products, services, and name mentioned on a high-quality site is enough to give you a boost.

Finally, keep in mind that earning backlinks can be time-consuming. A lot of research must go into expanding your keywords – so much so, that it can get competitive between all the businesses that exist in our modern digital world. To get an edge over the competition, be sure to examine the backlink profiles of your competitors to gain insight into the type of link building that has helped them grow. Use tools like Link Explorer to help you out with this endeavor. The more thorough your research, the better your backlinks.

Building backlinks is important for your site’s growth in a number of ways, so be sure to be intentional about the backlinks you earn and build. To help with keeping your site strong and accessible to users, consider teaming up with us to see where else you can improve.

At Directive, we offer a free proposal to show you how you can seamlessly grow your business online. Contact us today!

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