What are backlinks and why do you need them for SEO?

What are backlinks and why do you need them for SEO?

If you’ve ever gone on a website and clicked on a link that takes you to a completely different site, that’s a backlink (also sometimes referred to as inbound links). Essentially, it’s a link that makes a connection to another page. 

Why Are Backlinks Important?

If a user is on their favourite site, for example, then they’re likely to value the site’s voice and opinions. Now, if that site has backlinks to your website, then it may have an impact on the user’s behavior. If they already trust the site that they’re on, they might be more likely to check out the site’s recommendations, i.e. your page. 

If multiple trusted websites are linking your website, then chances are that you’ll gain more traffic and also, authority. They’re essentially a way of another site approving yours and notifying their users about what you can offer them. 

Backlinks will also help with search engine ranking. They help Google to establish how relevant your site is concerning your main topic and keywords. 

While the number of backlinks used to be more of an indicator, now, it’s more about the quality of the backlinks that impacts ranking.

How to Build Backlinks

By now, you should understand what backlinks are and why they’re important for SEO, but how do you actually build backlinks?

You should note that not all backlinks are valuable. Some are seen as more worthy than others, i.e. If a site specializes in your niche, and they’re displaying their trust in you, it’s far more worthy than an unknown and potentially unreliable site. 

So knowing how to find out which ones are worthy or not is essential to building backlinks. Building links isn’t an easy task and it can take a lot of time and effort, and really, you don’t want to be wasting time on unreliable sources. 

Although it can take a lot of planning and preparation,  if you do place your resources into building backlinks, it’ll heavily impact your SEO campaign.

Backlinks mean that you’ll be given credit and authority by a trusted source, so firstly, you’ll need to form and develop relationships. 

Backlinks can either be earned or given. For example, building relationships is a two-way street. If someone links you on their website, then it’s because there’s some kind of mutual understanding between you. 

The predominant impact of backlinks is shown through bespoke content and authority. It massively comes down to trust – who you can trust to represent you well, and who can trust you to know that you’re authentic.

It’s important to do your research as well, and know who you’re representing. While it might give you some kind of credibility, it could be from a potentially damaging source. If you recommend a site to your users, one that has a bad reputation, it’ll also be likely to impact your reputation.

You can build backlinks by:

  • Producing influential and original content
  • Inviting guest bloggers onto your site to produce new, exciting content in a particular niche
  • Contacting and being involved with influencers, i.e. typically through YouTube or Instagram
  • Creating content for other websites 
  • Having a mutual bond with a site where you both can link each other

Conclusion

Gaining backlinks from other trustworthy sites can help you to build your credibility and authority. Having authority means that you’ll be able to build relationships with other sites, be more likely to rank higher in the Google SERP, and give your users reassurance that you’re a reputable source. 

Remember that with backlinks, focus on quality over quantity. 

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