We all know search engine optimization (SEO) plays a pivotal role in determining the online visibility and success of a website. What you might not know is how valuable backlinks are for SEO. Let’s dive into what backlinks are and why they should serve as a key component in your digital marketing strategy.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are hyperlinks that one website gets from another. To break things down even more, if Website A includes a hyperlink that directs users to a page on Website B, that hyperlink is considered a backlink for Website B.
These backlinks serve as pathways that allow users to navigate between different online sources. Implementing high-quality backlinks can help improve a page's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). The emphasis here is on high-quality, which we’ll dive into more below.
Why Are Backlinks Important for SEO?
Due to their significant impact on search engine rankings, backlinks are a vital aspect of a website’s SEO success. Search engines, like Google, consider backlinks as a measure of a website’s credibility and authority. In simpler terms, search engines view quality backlinks as a vote of confidence in the linked content.
Websites with a higher number of quality backlinks are often perceived as more trustworthy and are rewarded with better positions in search results. Acquiring relevant backlinks not only enhances a website’s visibility but also contributes to increased organic traffic, making it a valuable element for successful SEO strategies.
What Makes a Good Backlink?
Below are the characteristics of a high-quality backlink:
Relevance: Arguably the most important factor in determining a backlink is relevance. The backlink should come from a website or page that is relevant to your content. Search engines value links that make sense and enhance a user’s experience.
Credibility: Backlinks from authoritative and credible websites are considered more valuable in the eyes of Google and other search engines.
Engaging Anchor Text: The anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink) should be descriptive. Avoid generic phrases like “click here” and instead provide context about the linked content. This is also an ADA and user experience best practice.
Link Position: Search engines prioritize links that appear early in an article or page as they are often seen as more significant.
Growth: Sudden spikes in backlink acquisitions can raise red flags to search engines. A consistent and natural growth of backlinks is more favorable.
Can Backlinks Be Bad?
While backlinks are generally beneficial for SEO, there are some potential disadvantages associated with them, so it’s important to watch out for predatory emails and linking opportunities that aren’t valuable for your site’s rankings:
Low-Quality Backlinks: Not all backlinks are valued the same. Low-quality or spammy backlinks could produce negative impacts on your website’s credibility.
Search Engine Penalties: Search engines, like Google, follow important policies when determining the relevancy of web pages. Any links that are intended to manipulate search ranks may be considered link spam and are subject to being penalized by search engines.
Dependency on External Websites: Relying heavily on external websites for backlinks means your SEO success is somewhat dependent on factors beyond your control. If a linking website experiences issues or removes the backlink, it can impact your own website's authority and rankings.
How Do I Get Backlinks on My Website?
Getting good backlinks on your website involves a strategic and proactive approach. Here are a few ways to discover and acquire high-quality backlinks.
Quality Content: Develop valuable and shareable content that naturally attracts links. Content that is informative, unique, and engaging is more likely to be linked to by other websites.
Competitor Analysis: Investigate the backlink profiles of your competitors to identify websites linking to them. Reach out to these websites, emphasizing how your content or offerings provide additional value.
Social Media: Actively promote your content on social media platforms. The more you post, the more you amplify your content’s reach, increasing the likelihood of gaining backlinks.
Let ZAG Interactive Help
Still, have questions about backlinks? Our team of digital strategists can help find and fix potential harmful backlinks to your site, along with identifying sites that link to competitors but not to you. Contact us today to build a successful SEO strategy.