01 May Got Links? (Why You Need Backlinks)
If you’re working on your marketing game, making improvements to your website, or working with a marketing firm, you’ve probably heard the words “search engine optimization”, “backlinks”, and “link building”.
The landscape of search engine optimization is constantly changing. Building high-quality backlinks has never been more important, if you want to compete and thrive online.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are simply links from other websites to your own, usually in the form of clickable “anchor text.” Their purpose is to lead individuals from one page to another on the Internet.
Search engines use these links to crawl (comb through every nook and cranny) around the Internet. More specifically, search engines use these “backlinks” to discover and evaluate the connection from other websites to your own.
Why are backlinks so important?
Search engines (like Google) use backlinks to determine how highly your website ranks in search results. The more quality backlinks that point to your content, the higher your chances of showing up on page one. (Click here to see why page 2 is bad for business.)
Each quality backlink is seen as a vote of confidence from someone else. It’s no longer enough to have quality and valuable content (a.k.a good blog posts, research, or studies).
Search engines want to know that other credible sources endorse (link to) your content, making your site appear more relevant and credible. After all, 59 million pages on the internet contain the word “lasagna”. Google wants to be sure your “lasagna” is the best.
For more information, check out What Happens When You Do a Google Search:
Other than SEO, does link building help your business?
Gaining backlinks involves reaching out to other relevant businesses, information sources, and experts in your industry. Getting a quality link is the goal, but you’ll also have the opportunity to build long-term relationships with influencers in your industry, further adding to your credibility.
Even if you don’t gain a link, there’s a chance you’ll gain a champion for your business.
Quality links can also help you earn new referral traffic. Think about it! Followers of a credible influencer in your industry are going to trust (and follow} a link posted by that influencer vs. a link from a source they don’t know.
Since they are already connected to your industry (and following the influencer), this traffic is much more likely to lead to a conversion (sale, form submission, phone call, booking, etc).
Getting trusted and credible sources to create inbound links to your content can also help you to build your brand. They’re spreading the word that your brand (your business) is the one to follow, buy from, or trust. It’s social proof, the modern-day version of word of mouth.
How long is this going to take?
Let’s just rip off the Bandaid… instant improvement is unlikely.
Building backlinks is just one form of search engine optimization, and it’s a long-term strategy. The actual length of time it will take to increase your ranking can vary greatly depending on many factors such as:
- competition and activity in your industry
- the difficulty of your target keywords
- the types of links you’re building
- history and strength of your website
It could take a couple of days or several months before you start to notice a difference in your search visibility. This should be factored into your objectives and expectations.
Link building is not the only way to improve your organic ranking. When combined with other actions like content creation, customer service, and social media practices, it can lead to an increase in traffic and revenue for your business.
Link building involves a lot of time and effort, but in the end, it’s worth it. If you need help building links to your website and aren’t sure where to start, reach out to us.