Backlinks are created when one website links to another. Backlinks are important in SEO because they allow your content and technical SEO efforts to be found, and pushed even further up the SERP rankings than they already sit. Good backlinks are important to SEO because they represent a vote of confidence from one site to another. These ‘votes’ help search engines like Google or Bing understand that content is worth linking to, and therefore must be worth showing up in search results. This blog discusses the importance of backlinks and our top link building tactics to generate backlinks to your website.
Why are Backlinks Important in SEO?
1. Improve organic ranking
The main importance of backlinks in SEO is the boost to organic ranking. Google’s PageRank algorithm considers links as votes and uses this information to determine which pages are most important.
Some votes are deemed more important than others. Google analyses the page that casts a vote – the linking domain – too. So, a vote cast from a page with a high domain authority is considered ‘important’. This helps to make other pages ‘important’ in search and showcases them as trustworthy sources. As a result, this improves the rank of the destination page in the SERPs.
Search engines consider the content on the page, the number of inbound links to the page, and the quality of the linking domains as ranking factors. The more high-quality linking domains that link to your site can improve your site’s relevancy and domain authority. This increases the likelihood that you will rank higher in search results because your page is deemed trusted, relevant and valuable.
2. Build brand awareness
Backlinks provide the path from one site to yours, allowing web users to find your site. Receiving good backlinks is essentially a promotion of your content, where the linking domain perceives your content to be of benefit to their readers and is a vote of confidence for your site.
3. Boost referral traffic
The importance of backlinks shows here, as good backlinks from a site with a lot of traffic can increase your traffic too, and it is especially beneficial as referral traffic tends to be more targeted and relevant. The increase in relevant traffic could even boost your sales!
4. Position your business as an authority
Good backlinks from quality sites can pass on link value to your site. Domain Authority and Page Authority are an indication of the quality and relevancy of your site, and how authoritative the search engine perceives it to be. The more authoritative your site, then the higher it will be ranked for your target keywords.
5. Build relationships within your industry
A link building campaign or strategy often involves outreach to relevant blogs and websites within your industry. While you are seeking a link to promote your content, you can also build trusted relationships which may benefit your link building in the long-term.
What do Good Backlinks Look Like?
Good backlinks should come from websites and pages that offer similar content and services to your business.
High-quality backlinks from trusted sites are beneficial to your SEO efforts because they are likely to pass on the referral traffic and Domain Authority to push your page up the ranks on the SERP. In fact, Ahrefs found a clear relationship between page-level authority and organic traffic.
Your backlinks should be generated from a variety of different sources, such as blogs and forums. It is better to have 12 unique inbound links from a variety of domains than 120 from one site!
4. Acquired in a realistic time frame
Google knows when a site has bought backlinks and may penalise your site for that. It would help your SEO efforts if you weren’t generating tonnes of backlinks overnight. Instead, build up your link profile steadily and authentically.
What do Bad Backlinks Look Like?
As mentioned above, Google will recognise when you’ve paid for backlinks when they bear no relevance to your content – avoid doing this!
How to Generate Backlinks
Create great content that is worth linking to! Pillar content, infographics, social media posts, how-tos, videos – anything that provides value, and can establish you as an authority on the topic worth linking to, will generate good backlinks.
Things to consider when creating content:
Build internal links
An internal link is one that points to another page on the same website and is beneficial to your link building efforts. A good internal linking structure should connect up your content and give Google a bigger picture of the structure of your website. Google divides the link value across all the links on a web page and shares the value between all the links found on a page, for example, your home page. So, similar to inbound links, a post or page with a lot of links is a signal to Google that it’s a high-value piece because the link value is passed on.
When creating your content, add in contextual links to help both Google and users see what is topically related to your piece. Use this opportunity to let readers spend more time on your site, linking to important pages that they might not land on otherwise, like product pages or other blog posts.
Placement of your links
People are more likely to click on a prominently-placed link. A link is better placed in the main body of text, as high up as possible rather than in the footer, for example, as readers may not scroll that far down your page. A link in the main body of text gives a reference to the website or information it points to and tells Google what terms the linked page should rank for.
Appropriate anchor text
Good, descriptive anchor text is also an important part of your link building effort. Anchor text lets your readers know what to expect when they click on the link, and also helps to tell Google’s algorithm what your content is about and what your page should be ranking for.
2. Guest blogging
Writing a guest blog is a great way to generate backlinks and build up your backlink profile. If you write a quality piece for a well-known blog, you’ll see referral traffic flooding in. Plus, if your content takes a truly original angle, or if you write a useful guide to a topic in your industry, you might even see more inbound links to your site as a result!
3. The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique involves an analysis of existing competitor content, and then re-creating this content better, to win links to your site. If your content is worth linking to, it will generate backlinks to your site and improve the user experience at the same time.
4. Unlinked mentions
An unlinked mention is what it says on the tin: it’s a mention of your brand or something related to it, that doesn’t link back to your site. Follow up with the site owner or editor to get a link placed on their site!
5. Broken link building
Broken link building is a great link building tactic for your strategy. What you do is: find broken links on sites, recreate the broken content, and reach out to anyone linking to the broken link to replace it with your link!
Backlinks are important in SEO, and having good backlinks to your site can take your efforts to the next level. Contact us to find out how we can help create your link building strategy.