Have you ever received one of those emails from someone asking if they can have a link on your website, or asking if they can exchange backlinks with you or even someone asking if they can publish an article on your website?
Well the reason behind these emails is simple – backlinks are the main identifier used by Google to determine how popular or important any given website is. You probably delete those emails rather than responding to them and you can continue to do that for the most part, but there is an important lesson to be learned from those emails. The lesson is simple – backlinks are very important.
Rather than giving other people backlinks from your business website you should be looking out for opportunities to get backlinks from other peoples websites pointing to your website. This is one of the easiest ways that you can promote your website, drive traffic to it and also convince Google, and the other popular search engines, that they should be listing your website above other websites for your relevant keywords.
Getting traffic from backlinks
Lets cover this first – if you have a link on someone else’s website, one of your suppliers for example, then anyone that visits their website will see that link and might click on it to find out more information about your company. This is great because that backlink is essentially driving traffic to your website which may in turn convert into a sale for your company.
This is great and it means that whenever you can get a relevant backlink you should do so because you may end up getting a sale from it. It’s not the main reason that most people build backlinks though.
Using backlinks to move your website higher up in Google
This is the second reason why backlinks are very important. We should consider this an unofficial reason because building backlinks specifically for this purpose is frowned upon in Googles eyes – in fact its against their terms and conditions because it is seen as manipulating the search results.
However, that being said it is important to understand the effect that backlinks have on your website and on the search results.
Lets say that you are a builder based in Perth. If you search on Google using the term “builders in Perth” you might come up number 9 in the results by default.
Backlinks are important because the more websites that have backlinks pointing to your website the more important and well known Google will think your website is. So for example, if you contact all of your suppliers and ask them to add a link to your website from theirs, these links may well push your website from number 9 up to number 3 – for example.
There are many other factors at play – for example Google will also use the text on your website to determine how relevant your site is for that particular search term, they will also use the address information on your website to determine whether you are actually based in Perth and thus if you should even be on the first page for that result. Google will also take note of the type of sites that are linking to you and see if they are relevant to the search term. For example, if you are a builder and you have 10 backlinks from websites that are in the building industry, Google will take those links a lot more seriously than if you have 10 backlinks coming from website directories or anything else unrelated to the building industry.
In summary, never pass up an opportunity to build a backlink to your website as long as the link is coming from a reputable source and is actually relevant to your website or your industry.