What Are Backlinks and Why Are They Important for your Website?

When looking at factors that help your SEO, everyone always tells you that backlinks are important.  

However, what exactly is a backlink?

A backlink is simply a clickable link to your website from another website.  They can also be called “inbound links” or “incoming links”. The number of backlinks 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. These websites are given a higher priority in the search results for relevant terms.

Why are backlinks important?

Google looks at a backlink to your website as a “vote” or “thumbs up” that the webpage the link is pointing to has quality content.  This is because most people would not link their website to a page that they considered bad.

The more backlinks that your website receives, the more “votes” that Google sees you as having.  By having many of these “votes”, it’s a signal to the search engines that your website is high quality with good content.  Subsequently, it makes the site more trusted by the search engines and improves your site ranking.

How do I get a backlink to my website?

Previously, before Google started guarding against it, people would create spammy, directory sites.  You could buy backlinks from these sites for very cheap.  This would make it look like you had a quality site very quickly and it would improve your search visibility.

Once Google realized what people were doing, they decided to put a stop to this.  Backlinks from reputable online sources are now way more valuable than those spammy links.  Websites now have a quality score that is taken into account.  For instance, the New York Times website has a much higher reputation score than your typical website.

Building backlinks is definitely a time-consuming task.  You want to start building backlinks to your site that have a good reputation score and are relevant to your business.  

One really good way to start is to join a local Chamber of Commerce that will give a backlink to their members.  Not only will most Chambers have a reputable website, but they are also local to you.  This is an indicator to Google as to the location of your business.  A similar organization that you can join as a law firm is the local, state or American bar association.

Another good way to build backlinks is to look at the backlink profile of your competitors who are ranking well.  You can use a tool such as aHREFs or SEMrush to see a list of their backlinks.  Then, you can start attempting to get links at the same places because you know that they are willing to link to businesses similar to yours.

Need help with link building or aren’t sure where to start?  Contact us at IFTS! Visit our website, iftsdesign.com or call 412-563-2106.

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