Using backlinks for SEO

For successful search engine optimisation (SEO), it is not just the content of your own site that is important, but the site’s appearance in other places on the internet.

If you’ve read anything about or looked at Search Engine Optimisation, you’ve come across the term “backlink” at least once. For those of you new to SEO, you may be wondering what a backlink is, and why they are important.

Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also known as Inbound links (IBL’s). The number of backlinks to a particular website is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

 

Backlinks are great for:

Improving organic ranking:

Backlinks help get better search engine rankings. If any of your content is getting organic links from other sites, that content will naturally rank higher with search engines. Your goal should be to create links to individual posts and or pages along with your homepage.

Faster indexing of site:

Backlinks help search engine bots to discover links to your site and to crawl your site effectively. It is especially important for new websites to get as many relevant and good quality backlinks as they can to help in the faster discovery and indexing of your sites.

Referral traffic:

One of the major benefits of backlinks is that they help to get referral traffic. Generally referral traffic is more targeted and therefore has a low bounce rate.

 

Search engines will consider the quality of backlinks when indexing and ranking a website. A good backlink will have most or all of the following attributes:

It will come from a trustworthy source.

If a website is very popular, is highly relevant to the keyword that is being searched and is generally considered to be reliable and trustworthy, then links provided by that site will be viewed positively by visitors and search engines.

It will be included on a page which contains relevant information.

Links added to pages which are irrelevant to your website content will be viewed as spam by search engines and penalised in the rankings. This is to deter people who try to ‘cheat the system’ by placing large numbers of links around the web in the hope of unfairly gaining visitors.

Your own website will be of good quality.

Strong backlinks are no good to you if your website isn’t helpful to visitors who arrive there. Ensure all your webpages are easy to navigate and filled with relevant keywords and content – even if a site receives a lot of visitors to its homepage, if they are not finding what they need and clicking through to other pages on your site, this may also harm your search engine ranking.