Website Backlinks: Basics and Importance for SEO

There are several specific elements of online marketing efforts that must be kept in mind, and backlinks are one great example. Referring to links from one website to another, backlinks are a huge part of any SEO effort, assisting with not only rankings but also site discoverability and referral traffic across numerous industries and brands.

At SEO Werkz, we’re happy to provide comprehensive SEO services for a variety of clients, including link-building and related off-site optimization areas. What exactly are backlinks, why do they matter within the realm of SEO, and how can you both understand and improve your backlink quality and quantity for your site? This two-part blog series will go over several important themes related to website backlinks.

Backlink Basics

As we noted above, a backlink for a website refers to any link from one specific website to another. Technically, a backlink refers to any web resource – this is usually a website in most cases, but can also be a web page or a web directory.

In essence, the backlink serves as a form of citation for a site or page. If Google and other search engines see multiple quality backlinks to your site from reputable, authoritative sites, this will improve the way they evaluate your page’s importance and ranking quality. Google’s PageRank metric involves several different areas, one of which is how well pages connect and the quality level of their backlinks.

website backlinks basics SEO

You may hear backlinks referred to by several other terms that are mostly covering the same thing: Incoming link, inbound link, citation, inlink or inward link. Unless specified otherwise, these all have the same definition as a standard backlink.

Why They Matter

There are a few specific reasons why backlinks matter within SEO and digital marketing. Three qualities stand out from the rest:

  • Ranking quality: Remember how we noted that backlinks are somewhat like a citation, but for a website? This is often a key factor for Google in determining the quality of your site and how high it should rank – the better your links are, the more confident they will be. Numerous areas of research connect the number of quality backlinks on a site with strong search traffic.
  • Referral traffic: Backlinks are meant to point users in the direction of sites they may find useful. For this reason, they’re a huge tool for site referral traffic, which takes place anytime someone clicks a backlink to your site.
  • Discoverability: Search engines revisit pages regularly to check for new links – and they are tuned to revisit popular pages more than unpopular ones. This means if you have backlinks from popular, reputable pages, you’ll be discovered faster.

For more on how backlinks work in the internet marketing world, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC, web design or other marketing services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.

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