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What is Backlinking and Why is it Important for SEO

Don’t overlook backlinking in your marketing strategy. Here’s everything you need to know about backlinking and why it’s a crucial aspect to domain authority.

To stand out in a crowded marketplace, you must find ways to bring new customers to you. You may already know about SEO and how it can bring in more qualified website traffic by helping you rank in search engine results pages (SERPS). However, SEO is complex, and it's difficult for small business owners to understand every ranking factor that affects where they're placed on SERPs, ultimately impacting their number of web visitors.

Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO because they demonstrate to search engines like Google that your website has authority, especially if other high-authority domains are linking to it. But, What is backlinking? Having an effective backlink-building strategy is key to ensuring your success in SERPs. The more high-quality backlinks you obtain, the higher you can rank on search engines.

What are backlinks?

If you know only little about SEO, you may wonder, "What is a backlink?" SEO backlinks are a link from another website to your website. High-quality backlinks can increase your ranking on search engines and improve visibility in search, translating to more traffic coming to your website.

Backlinking is just one aspect of SEO. Since backlinking takes place off your website, it's called off-page SEO rather than on-page SEO, which refers to the content on your site. High-quality backlinks are like endorsements; they're a recommendation from another website to view your content to learn more about a specific topic.

Ultimately, backlinks are how search engines determine the authoritativeness and relevancy of your website for search queries. Since the more authoritative your website content, the more Google will reward you, backlinking is necessary for SEO.

Why are backlinks important?

Now that you understand what a backlink is, you may wonder why they're important. SEO backlinks enable website growth in many different ways. If you want to rank on the first page of SERPs, you'll need to stand out from your competitors. Unfortunately, most small businesses do some form of SEO. However, for small businesses, SEO is typically limited to on-page efforts involving targeted keywords in website content to rank higher in SERPs and earn more web traffic.

Backlinks in SEO improve your rankings because they view the quality and quantity of the links as authoritativeness and votes of confidence from other websites. Therefore, the more backlinks your website has, the higher it can rank for search terms. While this isn't always the case, it can increase your page rankings for relevant search terms. But of course, there are many other factors to consider, like on-page SEO and page speed.

Backlink building also makes it easier to find your website online, improving your visibility. Search engines find content to crawl by viewing pages they've already crawled, revisiting the most popular pages. When you begin backlinking, search engines may discover your content easier.

Additionally, backlinking may provide you with more website visitors through referral traffic. Individuals who read a popular website may click on your backlinks, bringing them to a relevant page to find more information about a particular topic.

Backlinks can also boost your domain authority. While domain authority isn't a Google ranking factor, many SEO tools use this metric to help identify ways to improve your strategy by comparing you to the competition. Ultimately, the higher your domain authority, the more likely you will earn top spots on SERPs. Therefore, even though domain authority isn't a ranking factor, using it to measure your improvement can help you determine if your efforts are improving your rankings.

Backlinks also increase brand awareness online. Companies should never stop investing in brand awareness campaigns because they must always attract new customers by highlighting new products and services. By earning backlinks from authoritative websites that get thousands of monthly visitors, you can increase your brand awareness by reaching the other website's visitors.

Backlinking is fairly easy, but it takes time and strategy. However, you do not need to be an SEO expert to build backlinks for your website.

Are there disadvantages of backlinking in marketing?

While backlinking is necessary if you want your website pages to rank in search engines, backlink building can become disastrous if done wrong. Google and other search engines have specific guidelines for how websites can earn backlinks. Collecting backlinks that go against Google's rules can affect your entire SEO strategy, causing your rankings to decrease.

Too much backlink building is considered spammy to search engines. Because many years ago, marketers took advantage of how easy it was to purchase backlinks for their website, search engines have cracked down on spammy backlinks. However, getting too many backlinks too quickly can make search engines think you're engaging in SEO black hat tactics. These backlinks, known as toxic backlinks, may all have the same anchor text or come from websites with low trust scores.

Additionally, even though SEO backlinks are an important ranking factor, they're not the only ranking factor. Spending too much time building backlinks and not enough developing quality content for your website that satisfies user intent and utilizes keywords prevents your web pages from ranking for their target keywords.

Backlinking is also time-consuming, and many people who try to accomplish backlinking on their own run into many low-quality websites, which may have the opposite effect on your rankings. Instead, you must pursue high-quality backlinks from other authoritative and popular websites. Even though the top-ranking pages typically have the most backlinks, small businesses should focus their energy on building quality backlinks instead of going for the largest number of backlinks.

What makes a good backlink?

While there are plenty of bad backlinks, knowing the attributes of a good backlink can help you develop the right backlinking strategy. The best backlinks are relevant, authoritative, and bring referral traffic to your site.

One of the most important things to consider is relevance. Your backlinks should be on sites or pages that are relevant to the page you're sharing. For example, you can look for backlinking opportunities on dog blogs if you sell dog products. Additionally, readers of a dog blog are more likely to click your link than readers of a beauty blog.

Authority is another important consideration because backlinks from high-authority sites are higher quality and transfer their authority onto your web page. Of course, this isn't always true since the authority is split between all backlinks on a specific web page. Unfortunately, high-authority websites aren't always high in traffic. However, traffic is always something to consider because the more traffic a website gets, the more likely it is to send referral traffic to your page. That being said, backlinks from high-traffic pages don't necessarily affect rankings.

The type of backlink also affects how beneficial it will be for your website. There are two types of backlinks to consider: dofollow and nofollow links. Nofollow backlinks don't influence rankings as much as follow links, but they can still transfer some authority. Therefore, prioritizing dofollow links is your best bet to ensure your backlinking strategy can improve your rankings.

Additionally, you should consider the anchor text used to promote your backlinks. Anchor text is the hyperlinked text that contains the URL back to your website. Believe it or not, you can't use any anchor text for your backlinks. Keyword-optimized anchor texts can look spammy to Google and other search engines because they'll think you're trying to manipulate them instead of offering relevant and useful content. Instead, opt for natural anchor text that fits nicely in the website copy.

Backlinking is a process with a single goal: to increase website traffic by helping your website pages rank higher in SERPs. However, that's not their true purpose. After all, your main goal should be to increase your website traffic. If your backlinks aren't sending traffic to your website, they're ineffective. Instead, think of backlinks as a way to drive site traffic and increase your visibility on search engines rather than using them as a method to manipulate search engines to rank higher. Measuring campaign impact can help you determine which backlinks bring the most traffic to improve your strategy.

Make sure to link to other sites besides your own

If you've already started investing time and money into SEO, you know there are two important types of links: backlinks and internal links. While backlinks help increase page and domain authority, internal linking can help search engines understand the structure of your website and the importance of different pages. However, there's a third type of link to always consider when trying to improve your rankings: external links. External linking refers to when your site links to another site. While it may seem like these links take visitors off your page, they can actually be incredibly beneficial for SEO.

External linking can improve your credibility by allowing you to cite your sources and provide links for references while helping search engines determine the relevance and usefulness of your pages. Want better website SEO? Since there are so many different aspects of SEO to consider, including the many types of linking opportunities, you may need some help. Mailchimp makes building backlinks easy by helping you create an outreach list of websites you can target. You can also passively earn backlinks by creating useful, authoritative content using Mailchimp's website builder to update your blog and landing pages to improve your SEO and content marketing strategy.

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