StatCounter Insights

Free Insights & Training in SEO, Web & Social Media

The Importance of Backlinks

Search engine optimization involves a number of different tasks and moving pieces, each of which are equally important to the health and strength of your website. Backlinks are an essential aspect of SEO because they help to build your website's domain and page authorities, which directly contribute to search result rankings. However, the importance of backlinks extends further than this alone.

With StatCounter, you are able to track where your traffic comes from and how those users interact on your site. This can help you develop a sound SEO strategy, which should surely include a strong backlinking strategy, as a thorough and quality backlink portfolio is important for a multitude of reasons to be covered below. As you consider SEO for your website and begin to familiarize yourself with the strategies therein, let us fill you in on the importance of backlinks and the best practices for building your backlink portfolio.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are a link on another website that directs back to your site. In the early days of search engines, Google’s ranking algorithm relied almost solely on a website’s backlink portfolio. Dubbed PageRank, after founder Larry Page, this algorithm was easily manipulated with black hat SEO techniques, such as link farms. Link farms are essentially websites created specifically for backlinks. The site will host a large number of links, often with no content, and these types of links will typically result in a penalty—so be sure to avoid such in acquiring links for your website.

As search engine’s algorithms have become more complex, backlinks have become less important, although they still contribute to the strength and authority of your website. Domain and page authorities, for example, are direct indicators of how authoritative search engine’s believe your site to be. The more authoritative your site is, the higher it will be ranked for the targeted keywords you chose during keyword research.

Better yet, backlinks also provide another avenue for web visitors to find your website. If a visitor is reading an informative blog and sees a link pointing back to your site and finds the topic to be fitting for their research, they could click the link and be directed to your site. This is known as referral traffic and it can have a positive impact on your website’s online reputations.

Essential Definition

There are two different types of backlinks; follow and nofollow.

  • Follow backlinks contribute directly to your website’s domain and page authorities and pass on site strength.
  • Nofollow backlinks, on the other hand, do not pass on site strength. These links, however, are still beneficial as they can help visitors find your website easier.

How to Get Backlinks

Seeing as backlinks play such an important role in your website's performance in search results, building a strong backlink portfolio is key. But getting backlinks can be a time consuming and tedious process. Luckily, there are countless ways to get backlinks, each of which can be beneficial for your website’s backlink portfolio.

Online and Local Directory Submission

Listing your website in local or online directories will give you a strong backlink, although, it may be a nofollow backlink. Regardless, directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Four Square make it easier for potential customers to find your website, read reviews, and determine if you are the right provider for them.

Additionally, Google’s My Business pages allow you to list your business and website on Google Maps, making it easy for customers to find you. Be sure to use the correct name, address, and phone number consistently across all online directory listings to avoid potential confusion.

Blog Comments

Another way to garner backlinks for your website is to visit authoritative websites, read their blogs, and comment on them expressing your appreciation for their quality content or asking a thoughtful question. Of course, in commenting on the post, you’d leave a link to your website. These are likely going to be nofollow backlinks, however, they can still help you build a relationship with other authoritative websites and businesses in your industry. Regardless, ensure you’re only commenting on appropriate and relevant posts for your industry. Otherwise, linking in your comment may come off as spam and the site will simply remove your comment.

Guest Blogging

One of the best strategies to gain high-quality follow backlinks is to guest blog for other websites in your industry. This is far more time-consuming than the other options we have mentioned, but this is the best way to build high-quality backlinks. To perform guest blogging, you will need to research quality sites in your industry and find out which ones accept guest blogs.

You will then need to ensure you are writing content that fits their guidelines and submit it to them for approval. Be sure to include a link back to your website somewhere in the copy, as this is the entire purpose of guest blogging. While you’ll find that many sites won’t be interested in a guest blog, plenty of others will oblige considering the free content they’ll receive for a backlink.

Pro Tips

While you will need to employ some of the backlinking tactics above to acquire strong inbound links for your website, you should also focus on creating content that will acquire backlinks itself. It’s no different than the content you find to comment and leave a link to your site on. If you write great content that’s helpful to those in or interested in your industry, they’ll link to it themselves.

Contact StatCounter Today

As you can see, backlinks are an incredibly important part of your website’s SEO strategy. Building a sound backlinking portfolio can help improve your website’s domain and page authorities, as well as help your website rank higher for your targeted keywords. Without backlinks, you’ll have a difficult time getting your site ranking well in search engine results—so be persistent in your tactics.

If you are in need of assistance, you can contact StatCounter member support by filling out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Share this article

Contact your StatCounter Growth Expert for a free 30 minute consultation

Understand your visitors with StatCounter

See why over 2,000,000 bloggers, web designers, marketing and SEO professionals and small business owners around the world use StatCounter to grow their business.

Learn More