What are backlinks?

3 minutes read

Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are links from one website to a page on another website. They are one of the cornerstones of effective SEO strategies because they are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP. Consequently, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility. This article will delve into what backlinks are, why they are important for SEO, and how you can acquire them effectively.


Understanding Backlinks

Backlinks are fundamental to the web, intended to serve as a navigational method linking one resource to relevant information on another resource. They are crucial for several reasons:


1. SEO and Page Authority

Backlinks from reputable sites can increase your site’s authority, particularly if the linking site is highly authoritative itself. Search engines see these links as endorsements of your content that help to build your site’s credibility.


2. Referral Traffic

Backlinks can drive significant amounts of direct traffic to your website. This is traffic that comes not from search engines but from a click on a hyperlink on another website. It’s valuable because it is targeted: a user was reading an article and clicked a link within it to learn more.


3. Network Building

Creating backlinks often involves outreach and building relationships with other webmasters. This networking can be beneficial for future collaborations and cross-promotion, creating further opportunities for organic link building and audience sharing.


4. Brand Building

Effective backlinking can help build your brand in your industry. As part of a strategy that promotes high-quality content, earning backlinks can make your business a topic of conversation and establish you as a leader in your field.


Types of Backlinks

Not all backlinks are created equal. Here are some types of backlinks that differ in their value to your SEO:

1. Natural Links

These links are editorially given without any action on the part of the page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favorite produce farms is a natural link.


2. Manually Built Links

These links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like asking influencers to share your content or getting customers to link to your website.


3. Self-Created Links

These can include things like adding a backlink in an online directory, forums, blog comment signatures, or a press release with optimised anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so caution is advised.

How to Acquire Backlinks

Acquiring backlinks requires effort and a well-thought-out strategy. Here are several methods to gain valuable backlinks:

1. Content Creation & Promotion

Create compelling, unique, and high-quality content that people will naturally want to reference and link to. Promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels.


2. Guest Blogging

Submitting posts to popular blogs in your industry is another great way to gain backlinks. Usually, you’ll get the opportunity to include one or two links back to your site.


3. Public Relations

Good PR practices involve getting your name out there and creating content that naturally gets shared online. This might include interviews, high-quality PR releases, and interactions with the press.


4. Building Relationships

Engage with your online community. Connect with bloggers, websites, and social media influencers to build relationships that can lead to backlinks.


5. Check Competitors’ Backlinks

Using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush, check where your competitors are getting their backlinks from and target the same sources.


Backlinks are a vital part of any SEO strategy because they help search engines analyse the popularity and importance of your website on relevant topics. By focusing on building a diverse backlink portfolio from reputable sources, you can improve both your website’s authority and its visibility in search engine results pages. Remember, the quality of backlinks is often more important than quantity, so focus on building deep and meaningful connections across your industry.

Quick Links

Start your project

Contact Us