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The Power of Backlinks: How to Harness Them for Better Website SEO

Updated: Aug 23, 2023



The Power of Backlinks: How to Harness Them for Better Website SEO - a blog from Digital Soda - website design and digital marketing in County Durham and the North East


Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO. But what exactly are backlinks, and why are they so crucial?

In this post, we'll dive into everything you need to know about backlinks to boost your website's search engine rankings.


What Are Backlinks?


A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. When Site A links to Site B, Site A is providing a backlink to Site B.


Backlinks serve several important purposes:


  • They help build authority and trust for a website. If many reputable sites are linking to your site, search engines see your site as a trusted source worthy of a higher ranking.

  • They help search engines understand relevancy and topical authority. Lots of backlinks from photography blogs signal your site is likely about photography.

  • They pass link equity and ranking power. A backlink passes some of the SEO "juice" from the linking site to your own site.


Why Are Backlinks Important for SEO?


Backlinks are considered one of the strongest ranking signals by Google and other search engines. The more quality backlinks your site has, the higher it will tend to rank for relevant keywords.

There are a few key reasons why backlinks are so important:


1. Backlinks indicate popularity and authority


If many well-established, authoritative sites link to your website, search engines see this as an endorsement of your relevance and expertise on a given topic. The more sites that link to you (especially reputable, high-authority sites), the more trustworthy your content is seen as.


2. Backlinks help search engines crawl and index your site


Search engines use backlinks to crawl the web and discover new content. Having lots of backlinks pointing to your site helps search engine bots crawl your content more efficiently.


3. Backlinks pass ranking power and authority


When a site links to your page, some of that site's own ranking power gets transferred to your page. So a backlink from a high-authority page has much more SEO value than a link from a lesser-known site.


4. Backlinks indicate topical relevance


If your site earns backlinks from other reputable sites in your niche, search engines understand your content is highly relevant for those topics. A fitness site earning links from Bodybuilding.com tells search engines, "This site is about fitness."


Clearly, backlinks are tremendously important for SEO success. Now let's look at some tips to build high-quality backlinks.


How to Get Backlinks for Your Website


Here are some of the most effective ways to earn authoritative, relevant backlinks for your website:


1. Create link-worthy content


The best long-term backlink strategy is simply creating content so useful, unique, or engaging that other sites can't help but link to it. Promote your content through social media, outreach emails, and your newsletter to encourage others to reference it.


2. Guest post on authority sites


Reaching out to authoritative sites in your niche and contributing a guest post is a terrific way to earn a backlink. Make sure you only guest post on sites where your content and expertise aligns with their audience.


3. Get interviewed by industry experts


Podcast and video interviews provide a valuable way to get your name and site in front of new audiences. Being interviewed allows you to highlight your expertise while scoring a backlink from the interviewer.


4. Add your site to relevant directories


Getting listed in both general and niche-specific directories like Crunchbase, Upcity, or industry associations still provides SEO value. Just be sure to avoid shady directories that add little value.


5. Fix broken backlinks pointing to your site


If other sites link to your content but the links are broken, you can nicely reach out and ask them to fix or update them. This retains the SEO power of backlinks that you've already earned.


6. Build relationships with your network


Networking online and off with others in your field gives you the opportunity to organically earn backlinks over time. If you develop a reputation for expertise, others will naturally link to your content.


7. Create linkworthy assets


Assets like online tools, research reports, calculators, and quizzes can all attract backlinks as others reference these helpful resources. Just make sure they provide real value, not just SEO bait.

The key is being patient and earning backlinks gradually over time. There are no true shortcuts here. Focus on producing the best content possible and connecting with others in your industry. The high-quality backlinks will accumulate.


Common Backlinking Myths and Misconceptions


There are also some common backlink myths that you should avoid:


Buying backlinks rarely works long-term.

Purchased backlinks from low-quality sites often get devalued or penalized by Google.


Any backlink is a good backlink.

Poor quality or irrelevant backlinks can actually dilute your site's authority over time. Quality trumps quantity.


Comment spamming is not worthwhile.

Leaving spammy, irrelevant comments on blogs just to score a link is easily flagged by search engines.


More backlinks always earn a higher ranking.

If they are low-quality or irrelevant, more backlinks may actually hurt your ranking. Getting backlinks from authority sites in your niche is ideal.


Focus your efforts on earning backlinks the right way over time. There are no shortcuts, but the long-term SEO gains are well worth the effort!


Wrapping Up


Backlinks remain one of the most powerful signals search engines use to rank pages. By understanding precisely why backlinks matter and using the right tactics to earn high-quality links, you can rise to the top of the SERPs over time.


Just remember: backlinks are a long-term investment. Stay patient, avoid shortcuts, and focus on producing genuinely useful content that others can't resist linking to. The backlink benefits will come.


If you need help improving your website's SEO, don't hesitate to reach out to me here at Digital Soda. Whether you need backlink building, technical SEO fixes, or content optimisation, I have the skills and experience to take your site's SEO to the next level. Contact Digital Soda today to learn more about our customised SEO packages!

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