What are backlinks and how can they help drive more traffic to your website?

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07 Feb 2023

What are backlinks and how can they help drive more traffic to your website?

Now that you’ve learned about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and why it’s important for your business, you need to put a plan in place to ensure your website ranks higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Backlinks are a critical component of SEO, that’s why it’s important to know what they are, how they work and how to understand them.

What is a backlink?

Simply speaking, a backlink is a link created when one website connects to yours. Backlinks are important for SEO because they represent a vote of confidence from other trusted websites. Plus, they help search engines determine how trustworthy and relevant the information on your site is based on keywords and topics.

For example, if your business sells cosmetics and a major online beauty magazine or blog links to your product page, this will improve your brand’s search discoverability. This could also lead to you getting more visitors to your site, as people may see your products mentioned in the online magazine or blog and directly click through.

If lots of sites link back to your webpage or website, this is even more powerful in showing search engines, like Google, that your content is reliable and, therefore, worth promoting on the SERP when people search for words or phrases relevant to your business.

How else are backlinks beneficial?

Backlinks aren’t only useful because they can help contribute towards getting more people to visit your website. There are other advantages, including:

Relationship building: Creating opportunities for other sites to link to yours often involves reaching out to others within your industry. While the common goal of this outreach is to get a link, it can help you build long-term relationships with influential brands in your industry too.

Brand awareness: Backlinks can help you establish your brand as an authoritative voice in your industry. Connecting with relevant websites to get a link also helps show your expertise and build credibility of your brand.

Generating referral traffic: Referral traffic is when a user visits your site having previously been on another website or social media channel, without searching for you on Google. Referral traffic comes from backlinks. This means that when your business gets the right backlinks, you open a new way to get more people consistently to your website.

How to ‘earn’ backlinks

Getting backlinks could be hard work, especially if you want to ‘earn’ them. A lot of businesses pay for backlinks, however, this is actually against Google’s policy and can result in your website being banned.

Here are a few simple steps that could help you earn backlinks from sources that matter to your business. You can keep track of all the backlinks using a free backlink tool, which can also help you to build links and boost your website’s ranking.

Competitor analysis: You need to make a list of competitors before analysing each of them. Then, using the tool, put each competitor’s URL in the search bar. This will show you all the links that connect to their website. You can then search for the pages that are the most popular. Through the report function, you can then see what articles your competitors are focusing on and target them yourself.

Examine the content: Take a look at articles your competitors have written that are similar to your industry; think about what’s missing and what needs improving, and take those learnings to write more-detailed articles.

Make it interactive: Once you have an idea of what your improved content would include, think about how to make it more visual and interactive. For example, including images, videos, GIFs, infographics, and animations can help make your website more interesting.

Targeted outreach: Email everyone who has linked to your competition’s website and break down how your content is, simply, better, and adds more value. This way, you’ll have a better chance of getting your links included.

Earning backlinks involves quite a lot of manual work, and that’s why a lot of businesses don’t have these important links. However, by putting the work in, you’ll be able to stand out against your competition, rank higher, and get more people to your website.

Need a quick reminder on SEO and the steps to help your business improve its online presence? Check out our easy steps for getting to grips with SEO.

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