Phoebe’s Week in SEO: All About Backlinks

This week in my SEO journey, I have embarked on a mission to learn the importance of backlinks. I never knew how big of an impact backlinking had on a website’s ability to rank, with them arguably being one of the most important factors to focus on when it comes to ranking highly on SERPs. Here is what I’ve learnt on the subject so far:

What is a Backlink? Why are They Important?

A backlink, also known as an inbound or external link, is when one website links to another website. Backlinks are a great and necessary asset to include in an SEO strategy. Typically, the more authoritative backlinks, the more likely a website is to rank higher on search engines.

Building backlinks is one of the cornerstones of SEO, along with keyword research and on-page optimisation. Google makes thousands of changes to its algorithm, but backlinks remain one of the three most important ranking factors. Backlinks can be considered an indicator of how popular, trusted and relevant a website is. Implementing, managing, and monitoring the performance of backlinks is an essential part of a good SEO strategy.

To get noticed by search engines and increase organic traffic, it is important to focus on on-page and off-page SEO. On-page optimisation is the process of optimising web page content for search engine users to boost rankings. Off-page SEO focuses on improving domain authority through content creation and building backlinks.

Links and Backlinks

Websites are connected by links. Internal links are links between web pages on the same domain – this is predominantly to help people navigate the website. External links connect to content on other domains, and these are used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Recommendations
  • Citations / directories 
  • Authenticity
  • Providing more context

In every case, each link is there to provide value for the reader. The more valuable the content is, the better. 

An Example of Backlinks in Action

Examples of link building are present all over the internet. A common example can be found within articles or blogs. Often, there will be links to other websites in the form of anchor text. Links will be made to provide resources or more context to the article or blog.

Link Building

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website. Links are a ranking signal to search engines and can signal trustworthy and valuable websites. Link building is a focus for many with an online business as it can boost rankings in SERPs.  

Google has revealed that backlinks are a top-ranking factor. They are a reliable resource for search engines to gauge how popular a website is. This comes down to the quality and quantity of backlinks, so link building is hugely important.

Link building offers more than just the benefit of better rankings. A consistent flow of referral traffic as well as increased web traffic through improved visibility are among the positives of focusing on building backlinks. The more links a website builds, the more authority it will gain.

Authority Backlinks

A key element in search engine optimisation is authority backlinks. These are links that come from authoritative and highly respected websites. These links signal to a search engine that a site with authoritative backlinks offers reliable and valuable content. They act as a vote of confidence from one site to another. When it comes to backlinks, both quality and quantity are important, however a few backlinks from high authority sites can hold more weight than hundreds of backlinks from low quality sites.

Links guide users from one webpage to another – they’re a big part of how people navigate the digital world. So, why do authority backlinks matter?

  • Builds credibility and trust: Authority links are essentially endorsements from highly trusted sites, and this will increase credibility and can help build trust with the audience. This will lead to increased engagement and traffic.
  • Search Engine recognition: These links will increase recognition from search engines and lead to improved search results.
  • Visitor flow: These links will direct traffic to the new site and provide an increase in referral traffic.

Altogether, authority links play a big part in increasing a website’s credibility, trust, traffic, and rankings.

How to Acquire Backlinks From High Authority Websites

So, I’ve learnt why backlinks are valuable, especially from high authority sites, but how do these backlinks end up getting acquired?

Post Quality Content

One way to gain authoritative backlinks is through the content published on a website. High-quality, insightful content is much more likely to naturally attract backlinks. Quality content should include the following:

  • Accurate data and statistics
  • Original research
  • Correct grammar and spelling
  • Citing any sources
  • Well written content
  • Join Web Directories

Directories are a great extra way to give search engine rankings a boost as well as build up backlinks. Web directories provide structure for websites and allow users to find the information they need easily. They offer an array of categories that allow users to search specific topics without hassle.

Some directories are easy to sign up to – often they just require some contact and website information. Other directories can require a fee. In this case, it can be beneficial to try out a free trial and assess the results to see if it is worth the cost.

Contact Site Owners

Reaching out to the owners of a relevant, trustworthy website can help gain a high-quality backlink. Simply communicating with a site owner takes minimal time and can reap a great reward. What’s to lose?

Considering all of this, I feel confident in the information I’ve taken on during my week of SEO. Backlinks are a powerful tool in the SEO world that offer great benefits when directing time and energy to this area. They improve rankings on search engine results pages; they increase site credibility; and they improve flow of traffic and user interaction. It’s important to create high quality content to increase the natural attraction of backlinks from high authority websites and ensure that users experience the highest value possible while visiting a site.