Hercules SEO

backlinks are important for seo

What Are Backlinks & Why Are They Important?

Clients often ask us: What’s the best way to improve my site’s SEO ranking? What’s the most efficient way to rank higher in the SERPS?

Our answer is often two-pronged. 1. Publish great content. 2. Get quality backlinks. The former is easy enough. Find your keywords. Create great content. Publish it using the latest and greatest of on-page SEO techniques. The latter isn’t so straightforward. Many clients struggle to understand what a backlink does or even what one is, never mind how to get them from quality sources.

That’s why we wrote this post. To clear up the confusion. And to get you one step closer to acquiring quality backlinks that win you better rankings, greater traffic, and countless more sales in the process.

A backlink is nothing more than a link from another site that points directly ‘back’ to your website. If someone on a website (be it a business site, a social media platform, a review site, or a news publication) links to your site, you now have a backlink. If you link to them, they now have a backlink from you. It’s that simple.

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Search engines (like Google) generally view backlinks as ‘sources of confidence.’ Just like in the real world, where a recommendation from a friend or a comment from a colleague is more credible than a pitch from a salesman or a stranger, backlinks are seen as ‘referrals from quality sources’ from one site to another. Broadly speaking, the more ‘votes of confidence’ your web pages have via backlinks, the more likely they are to rank for relevant search queries in the search engine results pages (or SERPs).

Moreover, just like in real life, where a recommendation from a close friend, family member, or mentor matters more to us than a distant one, the source of a backlink matters as well. Search engines generally place more value on backlinks that are from relevant sources – meaning those that are from sites that have content that is about the same thing (a plumbing site linking to a local plumber, for example). They also look at a site’s domain authority – the ‘strength’ of the referring site (typically based on how many backlinks they have to their site, how much traffic they generate, and other technical SEO factors) to determine how much weight to give to the backlink. Generally, the stronger the referring site, the better your odds of benefiting from their backlink.

By increasing the number of backlinks you have (and taking steps to ensure they’re from relevant and quality sources) your business can dramatically improve your rank in the search engine results pages, generating more traffic to your site.

Ready to start building backlinks to your business site and content? Follow these tips to get started:

If your business operates on multiple sites (or in multiple locations using different URLS) you can take advantage of this opportunity by finding a way to link across your sites. While limited in scope, it’s an easy and nearly effortless way to build a foundation of backlinks to and from your sites.
You can also encourage your fans on any of your social media pages to share your content (or your site) with any of their friends who may be in need of your products or services. Not only is this a great way to promote your brand, but also generates quality backlinks from quality sources.

building backlinks are important

One great way to build quality backlinks is to create awesome content that you ‘guest post’ on other sites – typically on local review sites, local online publications, or sites about your industry. This is a super simple—and highly effective—link-building technique since all it takes is reaching out, figuring out a topic, and writing a great post about it (you can even reuse material from your blog.) It’s also a great way to build a quality relationship with a local reporter, publicist, or industry expert, who may know of other sites or sources that might be open to guest-posting as well.

Another way to build backlinks to your site is to look for ‘broken links’ on other websites that could potentially link back to your site. A broken link is exactly what it sounds like: a link that’s broken—a link that doesn’t go to where it says it goes—typically to a page with an error message (such a 404 Page). By reaching out to the site owners who have these ‘broken links’ in their content, you can replace these ‘broken links’ with links that go directly to your content – winning you a quality backlink in the process.

The biggest sources of quality backlinks by far will be from quality sources and quality content. A good experience, a great interview, or a fantastic write-up can lead to a backlink from a quality source. As can the content you’ve shared on your site that folks (customers, experts, writers, etc.) believe is so good it’s worth linking to.

That said, your biggest asset in link building will be producing and sharing quality content on your site. While this takes time – often a few months for it to begin to rank in the search results – it can be a tremendous investment over time, as quality sources of content can be easily shared online – triggering massive windfalls of quality backlinks.

Work With A Professional Digital Marketer

Want to know a secret? Many marketing agencies offer ‘link building or backlinking services’ that are nothing more than writing up a few short posts and posting them on a fake ‘syndication’ site to manufacture links. While this appears like an easy, low-risk way to generate traffic, it’s far from it. As mentioned above, the source of your backlinks matters; backlinks from sub-par sites can actually penalize your SEO efforts, de-ranking your content in the process.

At Hercules SEO, we partner with our clients to ensure we provide quality backlinks from quality sources. We’ll set you up for backlinking success first by identifying sites whose content is relevant to yours’, second, by thinking strategically about the value your content can provide them, and finally, by pitching them a quality guest post (written by a professional in-house content writer). In short, we do our homework, starting with research, followed by quality outreach, and ending with a guest post that benefits your referrers as much as it benefits your business. Ready to get started building quality backlinks for your business? Contact Hercules SEO today to set up a call!

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