What are SEO Backlinks and Why are They Important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) lets you make your website easily ‘searchable’ from the many search engines across the internet, such as Google or Bing. SEO will check for how relevant and credible these search results are based on your search query. Now how do the algorithms know your content is relevant? The right keywords, technical optimization of each page, internal linking,, and backlinks are all steps that together make up an effective SEO strategy. But backlinks are often a mystery to many marketers getting started with SEO. What is an SEO backlink, really?
Think of backlinks as a source for search engines to check your website credibility, trust, and authority. Backlinks are also known as external links. These are links on other websites that link back to your website. Say, for example, you sell customizable t-shirts on your website, and a fashion influencer blogs about ‘the 5 top websites to get customizable t-shirts’ and includes you in the list, with a link for her readers to come to your website––that’s a backlink.
Let’s understand the importance of SEO backlinks in more detail.
How SEO Backlinks Boost Your Online Efforts
Search engines, like Google, apply various formulae, strategies, tools, and understanding to throw the best results for their users. Whether you’re looking for restaurants in your area, travel guides, new products, or recommendations, search engines aim to offer you the best and most relevant results. While the top few results are ‘sponsored’ or paid, everything after that is organic based on SEO.
Here’s why SEO backlinks are important and how they positively impact your website:
Boost Search Engine Rankings
SEO backlinks have a direct and positive impact on your search engine rankings. As the word suggests, rankings are how search engines rank you in terms of the order your website will appear for a particular search compared to other websites. In simple words, when someone searches for a product or service you offer, will you be the first result, second, tenth, or in the hundreds?
Google values backlinks as one of the most critical parameters for ranking websites, as these backlinks are directly linked to popularity and/or credibility. However, it is important to note that Google understands the difference between backlinks from high-authority websites vs. spam websites. Simply put, backlinks from relevant and quality websites with authority over the industry or field will be stronger indicators of relevance than generic blogs that do not have high authority.
Increase Website Authority
When you have a lot of quality backlinks to your website, search engines can not only find the linked page but also crawl and find other pages on your website through internal linking.
For example, your homepage is backlinked by a high authority website, and on your homepage, you have internal links to your product pages, which makes it easier for search engines to crawl through your entire website structure. This means other pages that are not necessarily backlinks will also be indexed by search engines and thus will be more likely to appear as search results whenever relevant.
Extend Reach with Referral Traffic
Backlinks are not only good for search engines but also for your target audience. People can click on these backlinks and make their way to your website, thus allowing you to extend your reach to a larger pool of audiences. This new audience that comes from backlinks is known as ‘referral traffic’ as it is referred to your website from another website/page. This referral traffic can boost conversions and sales, allow you to improve your brand awareness, and improve website authority.
Win Back Confidence with Backlinks
SEO backlinks are critical to building credibility on search engines. However, it’s important not to fall into Link Spam traps because that will do the opposite of boosting your credibility and relevance. Search engines carefully inspect all the sources that link back to your website to understand whether this is a quality backlink.
Make SEO backlinks a part of your overall SEO and website strategy and use them to inform search engines that you are a reliable website. You will start attracting more and more traffic to your website, allowing you to sell, engage, connect, or work with new audiences who otherwise may not have found your website.