What is a Backlink?

They’ve been around for almost as long as the Internet has blessed us with websites. Backlinks are an ongoing conversation between themselves and other websites. It’s the equivalent of a retail business not having what you want and then pointing across the street at the company who does. They’re a courtesy to readers and a massive SEO weapon to the websites which utilize them and benefit from them. Unfortunately for some sites, they’re not weaponizing their links quite as much as they could, and in failing to do so, they’re missing out on traffic and online reputation they could have.

Examples of backlinks

To give you a better idea of what a backlink is, here are three examples of the significant types of inbound links. The first example of a backlink is the general one. Let’s say that another website links to your site. That’s a backlink from them to you. Another example is when you might link to another website or page of a website. If you’ve done that, you just gave another site an inbound link. The third type of backlink is when you link to another page on your website. That’s called an internal backlink, and it’s majorly useful to your readers to have different areas of your site to gain information from. 

The Importance of Backlinks

Backlinks are a part of a perfectly balanced SEO diet. If you want to become a significant sensation online, or even be seen at all, inbound links are one of the most critical components of your strategy. They show search engines that other websites view your information as important and worth linking to. Likewise, they show human readers that your content exists, and another site deemed it necessary enough to connect to. Backlinks are vital because they show that your content is essential.

That’s just the necessary explanation of why backlinks are relevant, though. There are three key areas where backlinks will pay off for you. Here are those three areas and just why backlinks play a part in boosting your popularity.

 1. Traffic

 The goal of any online website is to get traffic: that pleasant flood of human visitors who consume your content and make it worthwhile to publish. Links help you grab new traffic by giving you referrals. For example, if someone stumbles on a backlink to your website and clicks on it, you instantly get a human visitor who might browse around your content and say, “Hey, I like this place. It has good stuff. I’m bookmarking this and coming back every day.” Thanks to that backlink on another person’s website, you’ve suddenly got a new fan, then two, and then many more. A single link can lead thousands of people to your site.

 2. Search engine rankings

The most significant search engines view inbound links as a sign of your popularity and authority in your content area. In other words, they’re going to value your website more than another site that doesn’t have very many backlinks. There have been multiple studies that demonstrate how Google and other major search engines rank websites higher on specific keywords that they’ve earned inbound links from. Another site linking to your site says very clearly that you have something of value on that keyword or phrase. It can boost your search engine rankings.

 3. Return visits from search engines

If a viral website links back to your website, a search engine like Google will likely revisit your site more often, discovering more of your content. That’s because Google places a premium on accessible content. If there’s a link to your website among that popular content, you’re golden! They’ll discover much more of what you have to offer.

Hallmarks of “Good” Backlinks

 A link from just any old website won’t do. You need backlinks from websites that are popular and relevant to your content area. That’s one reason why paying someone for backlinks or just getting a backlink from a non-popular site won’t do much good, and in some cases, Google might even see it as spamming. When you hunt for links if you do, here are the signs that they’re a quality link that might improve your popularity online.

High Traffic Pages

 This is the most obvious one, but we’re going to mention it anyway. You want links from websites that get a boatload of traffic. Not only will Google and other search engines view that page as having more weight online, but you’re much more likely to get referral traffic from that inbound link because thousands, or even millions, of people, will see it.

Relevant to your subject matter

 You want links, but not on un-related subjects probably won’t earn you much referral traffic. For example, if your website is about dog food, you’re highly unlikely to get much referral traffic from an inbound link in an article about online dating. It’s not related and looks unnatural. 

Appearance of Backlinks

 If you’re backlinked to in a way that links stand out in some way – such as significant, bolded fonts screaming visit this person’s content – then you’re more likely to get better PageRank from that link. If it’s on a profound page on the website that not many people see, then you might not benefit as much from that link.

Use Google Search Console to Check Backlinks

 It could be that you have a few inbound links to your website already and don’t even know it; you could also have 1,000 backlinks right now and not even know it. The only way to find out who is linking to you is by using an agent such as Google Search Console to find out definitively what kind of links you already have. And while it’s nice to know how many links you already have, it’s far more essential to learn how to get more. What if you don’t have any at all? What then?

How to Get More Inbound Links

SEO depends on your popularity online, your established authority. If you haven’t got enough of these lovely links yet, don’t worry. Here are just a few ways you can grab more.

 1. Social media activity

Can garner your links in a hurry! When you participate on your page and contact others in the community with your ideas, you’re much more likely to get attention and encourage people to share your content. If you’re not active on social media yet, please be sure to sign your website and content up. It’s going to massively improve your chances of gaining new links to your content.

 2. Submit to directories

There are plenty of ways to get your links out there. You can leave blog comments that link to your content. You can add your website to business directories that will garner you a coveted inbound link. Forum replies work the same way. Get creative with it. There are many ways to make sure that your link begins to make its way across the Internet. Just remember, you need to post in places that are relevant to your content.

 3. Building

If you don’t earn them or create them, you can always build links to your content by reaching out to other webmasters and simply asking for a link. It’s a discrete way that webmasters have been spreading the word about their content for ages. Asking for a simple link works most of the time! Webmasters realize just how vital these things are to getting their content seen. You can exchange links. You link to their content, and they link to yours. It’s a business deal, and it’s a good one.

 4. Guest blog

 You write your content on your website, but what’s to say you can’t do a guest blog or two? When you guest blog, the content provider gets excellent content, sometimes free, and you get to link back to your content as well. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. Guest blogs allow you to take an authoritative stance and then throw in at the end of it, “and this is where my content is.” It’s a perfect scenario for creating a quality link.

Get Out There and Do the Work!

 Getting links to your website isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it. The Internet itself is based on the concept of linking. We’re all here to share information, and linking is what makes it possible. The more links, the merrier! If you sorely lack links to your pages, then it’s time to start doing the few things mentioned here. You’ve seen the benefits: increased PageRank, referrals, and reputation. When you put in the work to get the links, those links make all of your content more visible online and give more people a chance to enjoy your stuff. Now get out there and get to work!