If you've read about or studied Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you’ve most likely have heard the term "backlink.’ In fact, the word is usually thrown around by SEO experts when discussing your website and not explained any further. So, what is a backlink besides a techy-sounding word? And why are they such an essential component on your website?
Backlinks link back to your website
Backlinks are exactly what they sound like…any link in or on a website page that directs “or links” back to your website/page. They also help your website gain higher ranking on Google searches.
Backlinks are also called incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, or inward links. If you have links on your websites or web page going to another website/page these are called outgoing links, outbound links, outlinks, or outward links. Conversely, an inbound link for your website is considered outbound link for that website’s owner and vice versa.
Good backlinks vs. Bad Backlinks
The quickest way to lower your ranking is to have bad backlinks that come from unrelated and untrusted sources. A good backlink should use keywords or a keyword phrase that matches what your customers are searching for. A great backlink also has that same theme or similar content topic as your own website.
Use SEO keywords in your backlinks
Those keywords used in your backlink should be identified from a search engine optimization of your website and should match the words and phrases ranked highest by Google from people who search online for your product or service.
According to Net Market Share (as of October 2017) the global marketing share percentage, in terms of the use of Search Engines heavily favors Google, with over 80%.1 For this reason, backlinks remain one of the strongest ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm.
And here’s another big kicker about backlinks—the more you have on your website the higher ranking you get on Google. To further emphasize the point, according to Backlinko, the #1 ranking post on Google always had the most backlinks.
The more backlinks the better
But that doesn’t mean you can get any type of backlink. Plus, the number of referring domains is a big factor. In other words, you just can’t post a ton of backlinks to one site and go home. You must have backlinks from diverse sources—meaning the more individual sites that link to you, the better.
Higher domain authority backlinks raise your ranking
It’s also important to remember that Google looks at the quality of these links as well to determine the importance of a website. If you can get more backlinks from sites with higher domain authority, you’re going to get a lot more link mojo.
What’s an authoritative website? The WashingtonPost.com, for instance, is considered an authority on the news. For sports it’s ESPN.com. For automotive, a great example would be autonews.com. For food it’s foodindustry.com just to name a few. So as authoritative sites give you links, Google sees your site as authoritative, too—thus, upping your ranking.
Top ways to increase your website ranking using backlinks
In summary, here’s what you need regarding backlinks to have true success and higher impact on your ranking:
- Upping your total backlink amount
- Getting many diverse websites linking to you
- Obtaining links from high domain authority sites
- Offering relevant page content that also matches SEO keywords or phrases
As you have probably deduced, building quality backlinks takes a lot of effort and time. It isn’t just a one-and-done type of operation. To get it right, ongoing dedication and expertise is needed.
Does your website have backlinks that increase your SEO ranking and presence on the internet? Do those backlinks help answer questions and help customers with their buying decision as they research your product or service?
Developing a relevant and workable SEO strategy with an emphasis on backlinks is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful content-driven approach to building traffic to your website.