When making any sort of site on the web, be it a blog or something for selling your products, you need to worry about site traffic quite a bit. The more people visit your site, the more interaction your content receives and thus can spread even faster to others through word of mouth.
The main way many people go about improving SEO is via backlinks. In this guide, we’ll go over what they are and how they can help you in making your site more popular and create a healthy amount of growth for it. If you want a better idea on any app we mention in this guide we recommend checking it out on a review aggregator site such as Truely.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing the amount of traffic your site receives via search engines. Not all the people who reach your site will have reached it via search engines but the higher you are up on the search list then the higher the chance of someone stumbling upon it while searching for related keywords is.
While there are many things that people use to increase their search engine ranking, the one we’ll be focusing on today are backlinks. While they may not be the only option, they’re among the most popular ones and many people think that they may be the most important aspect of SEO.
Backlinks, what are those?
As with anything, in order to explain how backlinks affect site growth, traffic, and of course search rankings we need to understand what they are and how they work in general.
Backlinks, also known as inbound links are created when your website is linked elsewhere publicly online. An example of this would be if you made a website for your coffee shop and some coffee blog linked your site in a post about how nice it is.
Because of how search engines work they put content higher on the search list if it is something that people view as quality content. The best way to view if the content is enjoyed by others is to see if sites with similar topics as yours link to you since it is a vote of confidence.
How do backlinks affect SEO?
The way search engines decide priority on search results is by checking which sites match the keywords the best and then ranking them based on their backlinks. Since the backlinks can be used to somewhat accurately assess the quality of a site’s content it’s a reasonable method to use and it’s why backlinks have such a great effect on SEO.
Most sites that rank number one on google have upwards of dozens of thousands of backlinks pointing to them to give you a sense of the amount needed to get top spots.
This is the reason that so many site owners would invest in backlinks to hopefully get the first spot on search rankings or at least rank well enough to be on the first page to massively increase traffic in a relatively simple way.
Are all backlinks weighed the same?
You may be wondering if there is any difference between different backlinks or if it makes absolutely no difference which site links where. This was the case before 2012 and caused people to use many different means for getting as large of a number of backlinks as possible. Since nothing except quantity mattered the best methods were the ones that could generate a lot of backlinks with as little of an investment as possible such as backlink generators.
After 2012 the way backlinks are viewed by search engines was changed forever and the importance shifted from quantity to quality. Some backlinks could be worth hundreds of times more if they were of high quality, while others could have not only a neutral value but even have a negative impact on your search rankings.
Due to this change, the way backlinks are used for SEO shifted as the main way to get high-quality backlinks is to organically get linked by other users on sites with similar topics due to your good content. This means that not only do you need consistently liked content on your site but you also need quite a bit of luck for someone to link your site.
Types of backlinks are there and how to get them
If you have a site you’re most likely interested in how you can begin getting as many good backlinks as possible so your site can grow and gain increased traffic. Below are the most common ways of gaining backlinks and their basic pros and cons.
- Self-created links – links like this are made when you yourself link your own site somewhere on the internet such as some public forums. These are the easiest to obtain but they’re viewed negatively by search engines as they are highly frowned upon. It may be worth reconsidering if you intend to use this method.
- Manual links – these links are created when you manually ask someone to link your site on theirs. There are many different reasons and ways that these can be created but the main trait is that they are created by someone else after your input.
- Organic links – organic backlinks are generated when someone links your content elsewhere publicly online without your input, i.e. organically/naturally. While these links are quite difficult to get as they require consistent quality content, they are also worth the most to search engines for ranking your site in search results
Due to the nature of how search engines value backlinks in the current day and age, many have given up on manually getting backlinks and instead try to help their SEO in other ways. While you can’t manually affect them as easily and efficiently as before they are still an incredibly important part of affecting site traffic and search results.
We hope that this guide has helped you gain an understanding of how backlinks work and possibly gain a better insight into how you can increase traffic for your own sites or projects.