Backlinks: What are They & How Do They Work

Backlinks: What are They & How Do They Work

Backlinks

Have you ever believed a source that had no references to back it up? It is possible that the website that you are using for your research could have pulled facts and statistics from thin air. As the internet continues to expand and hundreds of websites emerge every few days, the chances that your website is the only one featuring particular content are slim. That’s why more than 90% of content doesn’t get any traffic.

More often than not, there will be several more websites that have the same content as yours. They will be talking about the same issues and will have information along the same line as yours. You cannot avoid these similarities in content, because there is only so much new information that you can gather if the same topic has been discussed again and again by hundreds of websites. You will find your content may even seem copied or plagiarized, even when it is not. This is because most facts can only be rephrased or rewritten a limited number of ways.

No matter how much you try to avoid having content that is similar to your competitors, the truth is that it is next to impossible. At some point or another, the content will merge. If they have not already, the unique topics that you have come up with will be reworded and reused by competitors and blogs.

So, how do you assure the readers that come across your page that your website has something different to offer? When readers have all the websites in the search results to consider, how do you make them want to refer to yours? Did you know that more than 50% of websites don’t have any websites pointing to them?

There are several ways that you build your own website’s reputation. Having a reputation as a credible source of information is only one of the ways that you can direct traffic in your direction. The general term used to refer to getting more traffic and having a higher ranking in the search results is known as search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO is all about having content that resonates with your audience, coming up with keywords that will put your website in the results that your audience is searching for and having a website that people do not have a hard time using. The process of SEO is lengthy and requires a lot of in-depth evaluation of your business’s page and can require changing many features of your page as well. With the help of SEO Resellers Canada, you can improve your SEO techniques and gain more traffic.

One of the main aspects of SEO is to have credible, up-to-date information. Having credible information is not about simply quoting facts, or posting images and statistics. You have to show your audience that these facts are coming from a place that has verified information. If you just insert random facts into your content with statistics that you read from somewhere but have not provided the source of, your audience will not know whether they are valid facts and statistics or if you have just used an estimate to convey your point.

However, when there is a website that constantly backs up its information with relevant sources and proves that the numbers are coming from a credible source, people are more likely to trust it. If your readers know that you put time, energy and research into the content you are putting up for them, they will be able to have a certain level of assurance that you know what you are talking about.

In this article, we will be discussing what backlinks are and how they work in order to make your content more reliable and gain your reader’s trust.

Contents

What Are Backlinks?

In order to gain more credibility as a website, one aspect of SEO that you can use is to insert backlinks. When you are trying to direct traffic to your website, you have to keep in mind that people will not come across your website, or increase the traffic to your website if it does not show up in their search results. In order to show up in search results, you need to have a high enough ranking that your website shows up in the second, or hopefully first search engine results page.

You could have a huge expanse of valuable information, images or even a question-answer in your blogs, but unless someone reads it, that information and effort will go to waste. There are hundreds of websites on the internet right now that may have amazing information, but no one has ever come across them or gained any knowledge from what they have to offer.

How do you gain that credibility and make your website among the ones that people encounter when carrying out a search? You have to get yourself a network of other websites that endorse you, support you and assure search engine crawlers that you are authentic and have reliable information. Doing this requires backlinks.

Backlinks will link your website to other websites or will link a page from your own website to another page on your website. You use backlinks to guide people towards sources from where they might be able to gain additional information about a topic they are interested in. You can also use backlinks to back up facts and statistics.

The more backlinks a website has, the higher it ranks in search engine results. This is because search engine crawlers assess the reliability of your website based on how many other websites use you as a credible source. The more websites you can incorporate into your network, the more chances there are that your website will rank higher in search engine results.

To learn about manipulative link building, check out Google’s guidelines to make sure you are not penalized.

The larger your network of interconnected websites, the higher your rank becomes. It is almost like a popularity content that you may have encountered in school or high school. The group with the most people is always the one that is more likely to have the most say and get the most attention. If you can be a part of the network of credible, link-worthy websites, you will give your website a visibility boost.

There are many different ways that people can apply the use of backlinks. However, the main purpose of backlinks stays the same. They are used to give your website a sense of authority not just for the people who come across it, but for the search engine crawlers that give weightage to websites that are approved and seen by other websites.

If you can get your website to be referred to by a website that is already well-established and known in its field, then you get a higher ranking than a website that has several backlinks to average websites. It is not about the number of backlinks you have and manage to get for yourself, it is about how credible those websites are.

For example, if someone from a well-established firm were to refer you for a new job, the chances that your new employers will hire you based on their word are high. This is because they know that a person of that calibre will only refer a person that they deem fit and meet the standards that they have set. Similarly, if you have multiple references from unknown firms that are not well-established themselves, their word will not be as impactful.

Giving another website credit for having valuable and informational content is not going to push your website lower or make your website seem less informational, rather, it pulls you up so that you are among the websites with high authority.

A website that has no backlinks seems shady and does not look maintained. Anyone carrying out a search will most likely not come across your website, but even if they do, they will have no assurance that the information you have written is from a reliable source, hence, there is a strong chance that they will not be coming back to pay your website another visit.

When making sure that a website that they are on is worthy of going through, some people may even click on the links you have mentioned to see what you are referring to. If you refer to large, authoritative websites, your readers are more likely to put more trust in you and start seeing your content as a credible source of information.

How Backlinks Work

As we have mentioned above, backlinks are a part of SEO practices that you can use to make your website rank higher in search engine results. While there are many aspects of SEO, they all have one purpose that: their aim is to make your website rank higher in search results and have more authority, so that people will automatically come across it while carrying out a search.

Backlinks are associated with the off-site part of SEO. The off-site SEO refers to SEO techniques that use the help of off-site resources to build your website’s authority. These off-site sources can be other websites, link to videos on another website, like YouTube, links to a blogger or influencer’s blog, or a link to a product that you referred to in your content.

Backlinks are also called inbound links or incoming links. They will take your reader to a page on someone else’s website. They do not only work one way, however. Just because right now, your website is not credible enough to be referred to by other websites, does not mean that you cannot build up that authority by continuing to include backlinks in your content.

One strategy that businesses use is by partnering up with websites or bloggers and influencers so that they can all link to each other. If you refer to an influencer’s page for a tutorial that you think your readers will find interesting, the influencer can link back to your page for anyone that wants to read more about the product they just gave a tutorial on.

Off-Site SEO is an ongoing process and does not just end after you refer to one website. You have to keep checking your website and the websites that you link to, to make sure their content is still relevant and shows up in search engine results. You can even check whether the website you refer to have any new, updated information that you may want to link to in your article. Search engine crawlers notice all the updates that you make on your website, and if they notice that you are making sure that all your information stays up-to-date and relevant, then they will boost your ranking in search engine results pages.

Regardless of what you use to build your off-site connections, their purpose is to strengthen your position in a network of websites and show your readers and search engine crawlers that you maintain and update your website regularly and are a part of other websites that readers have already established as credible.

Off-Site SEO is the third component of SEO, which includes on-site and technical SEO. The offsite part is probably the easiest one of them all, because all you have to do is refer to other websites that you trust. In the future, they may also refer to your website. High quality backlinks are those that come from websites with more authority. The more the authority these websites have, the more advantage you have. With careful consideration of which websites you want to include in your off-site SEO strategy, you can increase your chances of getting more traffic and leading to a higher rate of conversion.

This is the area where you try to increase your website’s credibility and reliability by linking to other websites about similar topics or additional information. You can link to videos, blogs, your own pages that talk about products or take readers to a question & answer page. The larger your network of websites is, the higher your ranking becomes. This is because search engines encourage pages to link to other pages that already have a strong reputation.

The algorithm for what a website needs to do in order to gain more authority is constantly changing. For now, websites that have a strong connection of more websites with similar content and higher authority are being boosted to the top of search engine results pages, as long as they also follow other search engine algorithms such as keyword use and the use of images, etc.

Building links is done by referring to websites that already have a high ranking. This makes your website look like a more trustworthy source of information by search engines. Getting other websites to refer to your site will create a strong network of high-ranking resources.

Ways to Use Backlinks

There isn’t just one way of using backlinks. People use backlinks to refer to videos or tutorials. They link to the pages of influencers and bloggers and can then negotiate with them to mention their website on their blog or in their video as well. You can also link to a website that has information similar to yours so that your audience can learn more about something they are interested in.

Relevant backlinks are very important. You should not just be referring to any websites that have authority without making sure that their content is relevant to your website. If you refer to a website that has nothing in common with what your website or brand is about, chances are that the network you are trying to build will be of no substantial value. However, if you use websites that have authority and are also within the same field of what your brand is focused on, then Google and other search engines will place a high value on these links.

Anchor texts are one way to link to other websites. Make sure that the text you are using includes the keyword that you know gets you the most traffic, so that if someone were to come across your website and see the target keyword linked to another site, there will be more chances that they will click it if the link includes the words they were looking for.

Anchor texts also give readers an idea of what they should expect when they click on the link, rather than have to click on it first and wait to see where it leads. This increases the chances of people clicking on the link, because they will not have to spend any time wondering where the link will take them.

For example, if you want to create links to other pages on another site, such as a page that reviews the product mentioned in the article you have posted, you should include anchor texts that specify what this website is focused on and where it will take your reader. You could write “detailed review of our latest product XYZ” and link it to the review, rather than only writing “click here to learn more.”

Anchor texts also work to link pages of your own site to each other. You might already know that SEO includes how much time people spend on each page of your website. This means that the more chances you give people to explore all the different parts of your website and ensure that they stay long enough to go through the content, it will increase your website’s ranking. For example, there are many readers who come across a website that they are genuinely interested in.

However, navigating through all the tabs and pages of a website can be difficult. But when the content itself has anchor texts that tell them where they can find more information similar to what they have just read, then they are more likely to keep going from one page of your website to another. You can do this by mentioning “we talked about retro hairstyles in our post from last month” and link it to an older piece of content that you would like your audience to see.

Benefits of Backlinks

Another benefit of using backlinks for your own content is that it has the possibility of increasing engagement. For example, if you have an article discussing a new product and its uses, you can make another article later that is based on people’s feedback and answer any questions or complaints they had regarding it.

Once you have compiled a substantial amount of information and enough time has passed since your product released, you can link your new article to the previous one so new buyers can go through it before making a purchase. It also makes readers feel more secure about how invested you are in their user experience by focusing on the feedback you receive on your page.

When you connect all your content to each other, this creates a sense of flow between your pages. It is possible that some pages on your website do not get any traffic because they content is not as pertinent as it used to be. While you could also update your content to make it more relevant, another measure you can take is to link it in a newer blog. Search engine crawlers take into account how many pages of a website get no traffic, and it can play a role in how high you rank.

It helps in boosting sales as well, because most buyers do not make a purchase after reading only a single article about a product or service. They like to go through a variety of sources, and prefer reading reviews and watching videos before making the final decision to go through with a purchase. When you link all your pages regarding a particular product, you’re giving your audience a path to follow and gradually build up more interest and trust in your business. The more a potential buyer know the ins and outs of your product or service, the more intentional they will be when they click on the CTA and finally do business with you.

If you want to link to other online platforms that talk about your product and its reviews, you can. Many articles feature backlinks to videos on YouTube that discuss how a product actually worked. If the video you are linking to is by a vlogger with a large following, it will help to increase your credibility, if not to search engines, then definitely to the viewers that were thinking about whether they should purchase your product.

You can partner with an influencer to publish a video or tutorial where the product is being described in more detail and link it to your blog in the description of the video. If people want to learn more, they can pay a visit to your site and read about any additional details the video may not have provided.

Review the kinds of links you include in your content and make sure they take your audience to reliable and resourceful websites that will boost the credibility of your website. When search engine crawlers notice that you have authoritative backlinks in your content, they give you a higher ranking, as opposed to several backlinks that take them to undeveloped webpages.

How Can You Get Backlinks too?

Google and other search engines rely on more than just the number of backlinks you have to evaluate your authority. While making sure that your backlinks are from strong, trusted websites, it is also very important to have other websites link back to your website as well. When it comes to having other websites refer to your site, it is much more difficult and takes more work than referring to a website.

You can do this by having content that is easy to refer to. Having research that you have analysed and talked about in detail makes life easier for other websites. If they can see the journals or papers that you have used to come up with your findings, they will not hesitate to credit you and mention your study in their own article. You can get other websites to link your pages in their content by partnering up with them. Remember, the more extensive your network, the higher your website’s ranking is.

When you are trying to build authority by having websites refer to your site, the opposite rule applies when numbers are considered. A website that has the maximum number of links from a number of different websites will rank higher than a website that has been referred to 100 times by the same website. This ensures search engine crawlers that you are accepted as a credible source by many different websites that deal with the same topics as you, rather than have a mutual understanding with one website that links to your constantly so that you link back to it as well.

You can have linkable material like a survey, a video or quotes from experts in the field, that you know people would like to see. This way, if another brand comes across this content on your website, they will be inclined to share it and will link it to your website as well. People love reading lists of top rated things, so if you come up with attention-grabbing content, other websites will want to refer to it in order to boost their own ratings and along with it, yours as well.

Make sure that your videos are getting plenty of views, because people will not be inclined to backlink a video that clearly does not get them the kind of traffic they are looking for. When you have attention grabbing videos, you will have more chances of being noticed not just by a reader, but by a business owner who sees potential in the content you are posting. The goal you should have is to be as helpful in your content as possible, because only then will people feel inclined to view your content and share its findings with their own readers and to add substantial statements into their own content.

Final Words

To find out which websites are currently in the top of the industry that you are associated with, you can use Ubersuggest or Moz. These websites have the tools to help you better understand which websites are currently leading the field you are associated with and what kinds of keywords and content ideas they are using to get the kind of traffic that you are looking for.

It also helps you decide which websites to link to based on the keyword that is most relevant to your industry. For example, if you know that “best gardening shoes 2020” is a trending keyword for the content you are posting, then you will find a website to link to that will have information regarding the best gardening shoes for 2020.

It also helps you get an idea of how to promote your own content. For example, if you know that many websites are currently writing about the best gardening practices, you could publish a video that talks in detail about the top ways to have a healthy garden. You can share this video in your own blogs and websites in your network will use it as a link in their own content.  You could also carry out studies about unhealthy gardening practices, complete with statistics and proof, so that people can use it to refer to in their own website to gain credibility and authority.

Having a strong network of backlinks and links that come back to your website can take a lot of research and investment in other websites. However, the payback is worth it, because you are using other websites to boost your own website’s SEO, which takes the possibilities of your visibility increasing to new heights.

However, keep a watch out for broken links. Broken links can harm user experience because people will remember that the links they clicked on did not lead them anywhere and wasted their time. To prevent this from happening, you should regularly, run a crawler on your site in order to make sure there are no links that no longer lead anywhere or take visitors to an error page.

At SEO Resellers Canada, we can help you come up with relevant SEO strategies to boost your website’s visibility.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
author – Jamie – Barton
Jamie Barton
CEO of NASN Licensing Inc. & Shopincities.com

Jamie has more than two decades of experience in accelerating brand visibility for online businesses. His company operates SEOResellersCanada.ca, a white label SEO and digital marketing agency. With his unique and actionable business processes, agencies and small businesses can successfully expand online operations without the traditional associated cost overhead.

For over 18 years we have been the solution to fit any size agency or business. Our team of creative SEO experts and marketers develop some of the best results driven campaigns in the industry.

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