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What Are Backlinks and Why Are They Important for SEO?

What Are Backlinks and Why Are They Important for SEO?

Let’s say you’re applying for a job or sending in a college application. In both situations, references and letters of recommendation can bolster your chances. These options demonstrate your abilities and provide assurance to potential employers and institutions. In fact, they can be the deciding factor that brings you success. It’s always good to have someone in your corner who can vouch for you, right? For your business, SEO tools like backlinks work in much the same way. The only difference is, they provide a vote of confidence that helps influence search engines rather than college admittance boards.

This tool can prove indispensable to the growth of your company. Through backlinks, sites support each other and vouch for one another’s content. Over time, the link’s source is viewed as trustworthy by search engines. Trust us, this is something that is extremely beneficial for your business. If you’re curious about why that is, let’s take a closer look.

What are Backlinks?

If you have ever read an article online, you have probably come across backlinks. You may have even clicked on a few. Of course, it’s much easier to describe backlinks by illustrating what they look like. In this scenario, another website vouches for our business by mentioning us as a credible source:

“According to Gauge Digital Media, pay-per-click marketing is a great way to acquire new customers.”

In this mock article, the website provides a link to our company and lets readers know about our expertise. If readers trust the site itself, they will then begin to view our business as a reputable company as well. Think about a business you trust, one that you turn to regularly for products and services. If they recommended another company to you, you would most likely have confidence in the new company’s services as well. Word of mouth is everything, and this marketing strategy applies to backlinks.

Quality over Quantity

Some companies believe that acquiring thousands of backlinks is key to SEO success. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Like most things in life, the quality of your output is much more important than the amount you produce. Natural links, therefore, are much more effective compared to unnatural links. You may be wondering what the difference is.

Natural links are authentic votes of confidence from other sites. For instance, if a blogger includes a link to your site in a list of sources for further reading, that is a natural backlink. If a publication cites your research, that’s a natural backlink as well. If you’re an artist and a website credits your work through a link in several posts, those are all natural backlinks.

Unnatural links are typically paid for by companies so they can obtain backlinks. If we think back to our earlier example, this is the equivalent of paying someone to write you a reference letter or using a fake reference on a job application. You may still get the job or get accepted, but the way you chose to receive that vote of confidence was not authentic. Businesses that choose to advertise their services by publishing comments on forums would be an example of an unnatural backlink. Similarly, any widgets, banners or gimmicky ads could be considered unnatural backlinks. Unless someone is personally vouching for your company, it’s probably not natural.

Why Backlinks are Crucial for SEO

You might be asking yourself why backlinks are so crucial, or why they matter in the larger scheme of things. This is understandable: after all, in this day and age you have a ton of marketing tools at your disposal. More than likely, you have plenty of work to manage already, including site design, social media marketing, content writing and pay-per click strategies. Backlinks aren’t always easy to obtain compared to ad campaigns that you control directly. However, by using backlinks you receive a unique benefit you can’t get anywhere else: authority.

Over time, search engines take notice of how often other sites link to your material. Think of it as building up a line of credit. When you get your first credit card, you have some work to do before you qualify for a major loan. The more sites that link to you over time, the more credibility you have. Then, much like the bank that gives you a loan, SEO steps in to help you reap the rewards.

Search engines exist to help users find the most relevant content quickly. When your site is flagged as a trustworthy source, it will show up more frequently in searches. It also helps to give you a strong reputation; if high-quality sites vouch for you, customers will see that as a major incentive to visit and interact with your site. So how do you get companies to vouch for you? Start by creating secure, high-quality content and an exceptional, well-formatted website structure. Consider giving out backlinks to others. Most importantly, ask licensed individuals to browse your content, get the word out and let your voice be heard. Before long, you’ll have plenty of backlinks!

Are you looking to improve your backlinks strategy? At Gauge Digital Media, our experts can help you achieve your goals. We can also direct your ad campaigns, display ads across Google AdWords and Bing Ads, and measure them accurately. We can even assist you with your web design, SEO, graphic design, social media marketing and e-mail marketing needs. No matter your business or industry, we can help you thrive.

We Are Here to Help Grow Your Business Online and Through SEO

Working with a professional digital marketing company is the best way to make the most of your website and all that Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn ads, Google Analytics and other digital advertising platforms have to offer. To learn more about the best digital marketing strategies for your company and reach a bigger audience than ever before, work with Gauge Digital Media. For a quote or to schedule a call, contact us at (443) 376-7709.

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