What Are Backlinks and Why are they Important to SEO?

As you’re reading this blog, you probably want to get more traffic to your website. Somewhere along the way, you may have heard the term “backlinks” and the fact they are important to SEO.

How do backlinks work, however, and what are they?

What Are Backlinks?

So-called (and self-appointed) SEO experts often use a load of fancy terminology and jargon to dazzle you and make them sound better than what they are. More often than not, however, they leave you with more questions than answers.

When you break most elements of SEO down, however, it is actually really simple. This applies to backlinks too. In fact, a backlink is just a normal link, a web address, a hyperlink, an inbound link… whatever you want to call it. At the end of the day, it’s just a link.

The reason people refer to these links as backlinks is because they are found on a website other than yours. When a user clicks on that link they go from the third-party website to yours.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

So, now to answer the most important question: why are backlinks important?

Search engines constantly comb the internet using what are known as spiders to analyse the content, images, and other elements of every web page they find. Search engine spiders also explore and follow the links found on those pages.

So, backlinks help Google find and connect web pages on the internet. Actually, if you have a website that has no backlinks and you don’t manually submit it to Google, the search engine has no way of knowing it exists.

In addition, Google puts all the information it finds about each web page into its index. It then applies ranking factors to that information to give search users such as Google and Bing accurate and relevant results.

Backlinks are one of those ranking factors. In fact, they are one of the most important as Google uses them like a vote for the website.

In other words, web pages with the most good-quality backlinks (votes) are more likely to rank in higher positions.

Putting this Into Practice

Search engines are crucially important to the success of many websites and businesses. In addition, search traffic can be an important source of lead generation and revenue.

If this applies to you, it is important you take steps to earn backlinks to your website.

In other words, constantly getting good quality backlinks is a key part of having a wider SEO strategy. However, it isn’t as easy as just posting a backlink as a comment on a website that gets lots of users. Google and other search engines require much more than this.

For example, backlinks to your website should ideally be on web pages that contain content that is relevant to the content on your page. So, getting a friend who has a highly ranked website for her tree surgeon business to post a backlink to your catering business is unlikely to be as effective as getting backlinks from catering-related website pages.

So, the best strategy is to get backlinks from high-quality and relevant websites. Doing this will help your website rise through the search engine rankings which will help you attract a larger audience.