Backlinks:  What Are They and Why They Are Important for SEO

Backlinks: What Are They and Why They Are Important for SEO

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In the world of digital marketing, the strength of your search engine optimization strategy will have a telling impact on visibility and traffic levels, which will ultimately give you the best chance of gaining maximized conversion rates. While many different elements will contribute to your SEO ranking, backlinks are undoubtedly one of the most important.

Here’s all you need to know about the whats, whys, and hows of utilizing backlinks as a part of your SEO strategy.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks, otherwise referred to as external links, incoming links, or inbound links, are links from one website to another. When clicked, they will redirect the web user to another website by opening a new browser tab or window.

In other words, backlinks take place across the world wide web any time one website mentions another website and links to it. Whenever backlinks occur, it is like receiving a vote for a webpage. The more votes you get from the authoritative sites, the more it creates a positive effect on a site’s ranking and search visibility.

We’ve all encountered backlinks as consumers. For example, you might be reading a blog about the best kinds of hiking shoes.  In the blog, there may be a link you can click on to take you directly to the retailer’s web store.  That is a backlink. Or, perhaps, an article has encouraged you to click a link to read the full study that they used for their research. Either way, when the link takes you from one website to another, this is a backlink.

By the way, you might come across internal links, too. While they work in a similar fashion, they are a different concept altogether.

Why Are Backlinks So Important?

The use of backlinks can increase organic traffic as people that directly click the links on other sites will become web visitors. More importantly, though, they will boost your SEO ranking with significant results.

When search engines rank websites, they use advanced algorithms to present their users with the most appropriate websites based on the content of their search terms. Backlinks gained from other websites are seen as a significant recommendation and vote of confidence from the linking site. After all, the assumption is that the linking site is only going to direct its users to credible and trustworthy websites and products.

Alongside content and RankBrain, links are considered one of the three most powerful factors in the ranking process. Over 90% of all search engine users will select a link from the first page of results. Backlinks will help you land that coveted spot, so it’s safe to say that you cannot build a thriving digital marketing strategy without them!

How To Use Backlinks Well

While gaining more backlinks will naturally boost your SEO presence, it’s important to know that search engines rank backlinks based on their value, too. Thanks to the sophistication of search engine algorithms, like Google’s Penguin update, it’s actually better to have a few high quality backlinks than a lot of low quality ones.  This means that when you are looking to gain backlinks, you want to develop a strategic plan.

The best ways to do this are:

  • Try to gain backlinks by building strong relationships with authoritative sites. This could include providing guest content for major sites to boost your SEO.
  • Take advantage of backlink opportunities on Google My Business and well-known directory websites that gain a lot of traffic.
  • Create great content that will gain lots of shares and will encourage bloggers and news sites to naturally add links to your site.
  • Where possible, aim to get links that are relevant to your company. This could include geographic terms, as well as the keywords.

Conclusion

Getting quality and authoritative backlinks is crucial for higher ranking in search engine results and improving your overall SEO.  As always, if you’re note sure where to get started, we can help with that!  

~Jenny Green, Co-Owner @ Fisher Green Creative, LLC, jenny@fishergreencreative.com

P.S.  Were you able to spot the backlinks in this article?  Comment below!

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