Backlinks – What are backlinks and why are they important?
We cannot stress enough that website backlinks are so important if you have an online presence and want to rank well in search engines. However, many of our clients aren’t always familiar with what they are or why they’re so important.
So, what are backlinks? In this article, we will discuss what they are. We will also look at what website backlinks can do for your online presence. And how we at Engaging Websites can help.
WHAT ARE BACKLINKS?
Many of our clients ask, what are backlinks? Very simply, backlinks are created when one website links to another. – See the link in the last sentence? That’s a backlink. That’s us linking to another website, in this case, marketing giants Moz.com.
WHY ARE BACKLINKS IMPORTANT?
Now we’ve answered the question ‘what are backlinks’? We need to look at why backlinks are so important. We used the link in the last paragraph to back up a claim we made. Therefore, we’re telling you that the site we’ve linked to is an authority on this subject. And we’re also telling this to Google. Google also sees a backlink as a kind of ‘vote of confidence.’
Google likes lots of website backlinks because this shows that lots of people have given this site a vote of confidence. And therefore lots of people think this site is high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy.
In fact, website backlinks are one of the most important factors that Google takes into account when ranking websites in search results. Sites with lots of these links rank highly in Google because, again, Google sees them as high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy.
It’s also a good idea when speaking about facts and figures, to back this up with a backlink to this information. For example, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. This is factual information, but not information you have gathered yourself. By backing up what you’re saying with a website backlink, you appear more credible to readers and Google.
BUT BE CAREFUL…
Not all backlinks are created equal!
For a website backlink to show Google that your site has a vote of confidence, it needs to come from another reputable, high-quality site. (Naturally, this means that sites with lots of good-quality backlinks are the ones you want to receive links from!) It also helps if the link comes from a website within your industry.
Why is this the case?
Well, let’s say you’ve been recommended a movie. Wouldn’t you trust the recommendation more if it came from someone who A) was widely respected for giving great movie recommendations and B) had a similar taste in movies to you?
If you receive a backlink from a completely unrelated site, or a site that Google thinks is low-quality, this may harm your site reputation.
HOW CAN I CHECK IF MY SITE HAS BACKLINKS?
Good news! You can check if your site has any backlinks for FREE!
Head over to Ahrefs Free Backlink Checker to get a FREE summary of your website backlinks.
You want to look at the ‘backlinks’ counter in the middle of the top row. – There’s no exact number for a ‘good amount of links. However, ideally, you’d want these to be in the hundreds or thousands rather than the tens.
KEEPING YOUR WEBSITE BACKLINKS HEALTHY
It’s really important to regularly check in on your website backlinks. Why is this important? Well, keeping a healthy backlink profile will keep your website in good standing with Google. And will make sure you’re not slapped with any penalties.
Occasionally, websites can be targeted by other spam sites. There’s nothing to stop a less reputable site from linking to you and harming your reputation. If you’re not regularly checking your backlinks, you might not even know about it!
You can remove any unwanted backlinks through a process called ‘disavowing backlinks.’ By using a backlink tool, you can find unwanted links and submit them to Google, asking not to be associated with these websites. However, this should never be done by someone who isn’t qualified to do so. If you get it wrong, you could risk a penalty from Google that harms your site!
If you’d like a website backlink audit or need any help removing harmful links, we offer this service here at Engaging Websites! So, get in touch with us for any extra help!
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE MANY WEBSITE BACKLINKS?
If you don’t have many website backlinks, your site will be unlikely to rank well in search engines. No matter how great your content is! That’s because, at the moment, Google doesn’t recognise your site as high-quality or trustworthy.
But that’s okay! There are plenty of things you can do to get hold of some good-quality links such as:
- Submitting your profile to online directories
- Becoming profiled by online media outlets
- Get your content featured on related websites
- Feature another writer’s post on your website
- The broken link method (ask us more about this!)
- Ask your clients to link to you
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WEBSITE BACKLINKS AND HOW WE CAN HELP
If you’d like some more information about anything you’ve read in this article, want to know how you can generate more website backlinks, or are still wondering ‘what are backlinks’? Then please speak to us. It can be quite daunting if you haven’t had a website before.
At Engaging Websites, we look at your website, assess the best marketing approach you should take, and help you achieve any objectives. We will provide you with some tangible action points. And some real clarity on where to focus your marketing efforts moving forward.
Be in touch with us for more information, or to arrange a meeting.