Did you know that backlinks are one of the three most important Google ranking factors? Furthermore, about 75 percent of search engine optimization (SEO) is off-page — and that includes link building among other strategies, such as local listings or social profiles.

But what is a backlink and why does it matter?

Google and other search engines rank web pages based on the number and quality of external pages linking to them. The authority of the page linking to you plays a key role.

From guest blogging to press releases, there are various ways to get backlinks. Obviously, some strategies work better than others. As a rule of thumb, avoid any links coming from suspicious websites as they may hurt your rankings.

Interested to find out more? Here’s what you should know about backlinks and how they benefit your website!

What Is a Backlink?

Imagine the following scenario: you’ve just published a new article on your blog. A few weeks later, your article gets massive traffic. You check where the traffic comes from and discover several other blogs or websites linking to your post.

Those are backlinks. Every time someone links to your site or web pages, you get a backlink. Think of it as a vote of confidence from one website to another.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should strive to get as many backlinks as possible. The number of backlinks matters, but their quality and relevance are even more important.

Links coming from academic journals, universities, government websites, and other authoritative sources hold the greatest value.

If, let’s say, you have a fitness blog, it doesn’t make sense to get backlinks from wedding photography blogs, for example. Instead, try to acquire links from relevant sources, such as the American Council on Exercise, Bodybuilding.com, medical journals, and so on.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Back in the ’90s, Google created a hierarchical system designed to evaluate and rank websites based on their link profiles. This concept was called PageRank and became one of the most important search engine ranking factors.

Today, it’s all about quality rather than quantity. A link from BBC, for example, is worth more than 100 links from websites and blogs you’ve never heard of.

Quality backlinks can help increase your rankings in search results and make your website easier to find online. This leads to more traffic and greater visibility.

More traffic equals more sales and leads. An online store with quality backlinks will achieve higher rankings for the targeted keywords and hence attract more visitors.

There are several ways to check the websites linking to your site or blog. A good starting point is Google’s Search Console. This free online tool also displays traffic data and can help you fix indexing problems, among other features.

Get Quality Backlinks for Higher Rankings

As discussed earlier, building quality backlinks is a key component of off-site SEO. One way to do it is to write guest posts on high-authority websites in your niche. With this option, you’ll include a link to your website in your bio or blog post.

Focus on publishing quality content on your website or blog. A unique, engaging article could go viral within hours. Certain types of content, such as “ultimate” guides, infographics, and listicles, are more likely to be picked up by other sites.

Your best bet is to work with a digital marketing agency. Our team can help you with all aspects of online promotion and SEO, from link building and content marketing to pay-per-click.

If you’re still wondering “What is a backlink?” contact us to find out more and discuss your needs!