By now, you’ve probably heard about search engine optimisation (SEO) and how important it is to help your business get discovered online. And while there are plenty of elements involved in effective SEO, such as on-site optimisation and content marketing, backlinking takes the cake as one of the most important factors out there.
So what exactly is backlinking and why does it matter? We dive into all the details below.
First things first: what is backlinking in SEO?
The most simple backlink definition is a hyperlink from another website or blog back to your site.
While there are plenty of different types of backlinks, the most common way to backlink is through clickable text links in the content of a web page. These usually reference another relevant page or content source, like the backlink example below:
A backlink for SEO can also come in the form of links from directories and social media platforms like Google, Yellow Pages Online and Facebook, or credits in the ‘about the author’ section if you’re contributing to a website.
Why is backlinking so important for SEO?
Now that we’ve covered the what of backlinking, it’s time to dig into exactly why it matters from an SEO standpoint.
Here are three reasons why backlinking is so important for your website.
1. It boosts your website’s authority.
Google’s search algorithm is designed to help connect searchers with the most relevant and useful information out there. One of the ways it judges websites is using backlinks. When a website has more links directing back to it on a certain subject, Google starts to see it as a trusted resource — and displays it more highly in relevant searches as a result.
Simply put, backlinking helps boost your website’s authority in Google’s eyes. This in turn pushes your site up in the search engine rankings, and ultimately gets your business in front of more people who are looking for your product or service.
2. It speeds up indexing time.
Stay with us here! Search engine indexing might sound like a mouthful, but it basically refers to how Google sorts all of the information out there on the web.
Google uses bots to crawl websites for information and stores this away in their index. When someone types in a search — say, for ‘martial arts in Sydney’ — Google trawls through their index to quickly match that search with the most relevant pages to answer their question.
But with so much information online, it can take days before Google gets to crawl your website. Even if you post a new blog or make website updates, it won’t show up on Google until the search engine indexes it.
The good news is that when your site has more backlinks, Google sees it as more authoritative and prioritises your website, indexing any new content as quickly as possible. Ultimately, this means searchers come across your content faster than they normally would and you get more visitors to your site.
3. It increases brand awareness and visitors to your site.
Beyond SEO, backlinking is also a valuable way to get more visitors to your site. The more high-quality websites that link back to your business, the higher the chances are that people will see the link, click on it and end up visiting your site. Then it’s all up to your website design (and your stellar product or service) to work its magic.
How do I get backlinks for SEO?
By now, the point has probably hit home: backlinking matters. But how do you get more backlinks to your website for free?
These tips will help you build more links back to your website:
- Run a backlink check. Use a free tool like Ahrefs backlinks checker to see exactly how many sites are linking back to yours. This helps you get a clear idea of where your links and traffic are currently coming from. You can also use Ahrefs to look at competitor websites to see who’s linking back to them, to get inspiration on where they’re getting links.
- Use social media. As we touched on earlier, backlinks can come from a number of sources. Make sure you link back to your website on your Google My Places listing, Facebook account, and business directory listings.
- Link to other websites. The best way to get backlinks? Share the love! Chances are, when you’re backlinking websites in your blog posts, they’ll be more inclined to give you a link back in return.
- Reach out to relevant sites. If you come across any websites that might be interested in linking to your product or service, simply get in touch! You could invite a local influencer to review your product, or ask an online publication to consider your product for a ‘Best of …’ article.
And don’t forget …
Backlinking is just one part of building a solid SEO strategy. You also need to target the right keywords, get the technical stuff sorted and create fresh content on a regular basis.
If it sounds like a lot to manage, don’t panic — the experts at Yellow Pages are here to help! Get in touch with us here to learn how SEO can ensure your website is found by more customers, more often.