There are three types of links that you can use on your website to enhance your SEO strategy. Quite arguably, the most important of the three link-building techniques is backlinks. Backlinks help to link your website to another site. SEO managers can add outbound links, but a backlink means that someone has added you to their site too. Why is that an important distinction? You can add a link to whatever site you want, but backlinks mean that you chose another site and they chose you, too. Because it is almost like a referral from another site, Google counts backlinks as more credible than just an outbound link. 

Why Are Backlinks Critical for Your SEO Ranking?

Backlinks work differently than other types of link-building activities because they:

  • Improve rankings
  • Guide Google to new pages
  • Boost your EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness)
  • Send traffic to your site 

They Help to Improve Your SEO Ranking

Google counts backlinks as more credible than other types of link-building activities because backlinks are like a referral from another site. If you can have another site provide a backlink, their reputation and credibility are transferred to you, and vice versa. The more quality links you have, the bigger the benefit for the connection; the more quality backlinks you have, the more credibility you lend to the linked site. That is why targeting high-quality backlinks is so important. A backlink to a website that is not viewed in good standing by search engines will not help your website. If you choose the wrong sites to link to, it can actually drag you down.

What Are Referring Domains?

It is also important for SEO managers to consider referring domains, which is the number of domains that they are linked to. You want to get backlinks from credible sites as well as from a variety of different sites. The key is to backlink to publications that have a high level of credibility in your industry. Google likes to see that you are linking to different areas within your industry; the more you have, the better it serves you.

Google Uses Backlinks to Find New Pages

Backlinks are a great guide for Google to find new pages and content when added. When Google uses a backlink to your new page, it also crawls to find all of the other links on the page. Inbound links or internal linking will guide Google to see the linking within your pages that points back to other pages on your website. Then Google indexes those pages for a better understanding of your site’s map.

Backlinks Guide Referral Traffic 

When someone visits your site by following a link from a referral site, it is called “referral traffic.” The benefits of referral traffic are:

  • Opportunities for high-quality leads
  • Enhanced brand recognition
  • Puts you in front of new audiences
  • Enhanced authority from backlinks

Referral traffic can help to grow your following and get more people interested in your brand, leading to building your customer base. The way to check your referral traffic is by looking through your Google Analytics under “Acquisition.”

How Do You Get Backlinks?

There are various ways to build backlinks, but they do take effort and some pounding on people’s doors. The first option, which is the easiest, is to purchase backlinks. The problem when buying backlinks is that you aren’t always sure what you are paying for. A poor backlink will not only not do any good; it can be a detriment. Also, Google does have algorithms that analyze the quality of a backlink and can spot if one has been bought rather than earned, so if you are going to purchase backlinks, make sure you know who you are working with and what you are getting for your money.

The second way, link schemes, can look like this:

  • Link exchanges, basically saying that “I will link to you, you link to me”
  • Exchanging goods, services, or money for links
  • Adding automatic programs that help create backlinks to your site

Link schemes can hurt you if Google penalizes you, which will impact your SEO ranking negatively. 

Earning Backlinks the Right Way

The best way to avoid being penalized by Google is by earning your backlinks above the table. Activities like writing guest posts or creating a press release campaign will get you the links that will help. If you want to ensure that your backlinks work the way that you want them to, do the following:

  • Create excellent content
  • Write guest posts that are strategically placed
  • Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
  • Publish in journals in your industry and then create a press release 

Linking is one of the best ways to increase your SEO ranking, but only if you do it correctly and align your site with other credible sites in your industry. Backlinks don’t come easily, which is why it might be best to let someone work on creating them for you. At A Digital Media Company, we have the industry contacts, SEO knowledge, and creativity to gain backlinks for your website the right way. Don’t take a chance on connecting to a website that will tank your site’s ranking; let backlinks be our responsibility. Contact us to increase your presence today!