Monica Badiu, Email Copywriter & Copy Coach

If you’ve given any thought to increasing your business’ visibility in Google search results, then you might have stumbled upon a magical term called “backlink”.

You’ve surely read some technical articles about how off-page SEO works, inbound marketing and how a website’s domain authority could impact or help your own domain to appear higher in search results.

If you’re not a marketer, then navigating all these terms and strategies could be a bit frustrating. I get it. That’s why, in this post I am to help you get a better understanding of what a backlink is, how it helps your SEO and how you can use it in your strategy without getting a headache.

So, let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

What is a backlink?

A backlink is really what the name suggests – it’s a link from one webpage to another. When someone links to your site, that’s a backlink, just the same as if you link to another site when writing a blog post; that’s a backlink too.

Examples:

  • having your product featured in a magazine’s gift guide (Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, etc) and their website linking to your website.

  • being a guest blogger on websites such as Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes gives you the chance to have your own bio, which can link to your website.

  • having your product reviewed, or included in some content piece from a blogger in your niche.

  • appearing in the news or being a podcast guest also qualifies.

Why are backlinks important? 

Backlinks are important for three main reasons.

The first is that they help with your search engine rankings

If Google – or another search engine – spots that you have backlinks on your site, it sees that as a positive, and rewards you by boosting your rankings, putting you further towards the top of search engine results. If another site has backlinks to your site, that’s even better – it shows that you’re real, reliable, and active. All great things for a search engine to know about you. 

Google has confirmed that backlinks remain one of their three most important search engine ranking factors.

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Beware though: quality is more important that quantity with this strategy. Which means that you want to get backlinks from websites with high domain authority (traffic, visibility, authority) and connected to your specific business.

Before we move to the second reason why backlinks are important, you might want to learn more about domain authority. So, here is a short overview:

  • The domain authority of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines, trying to assess domain authority through automated analytic algorithms

  • Domain authority ranges from a score of 1 to 100. The higher your score, the better your website will rank.

  • To find a website’s domain authority (yours or others), you can use various tools. I like Semrush, which is sort of like the “Swiss Army Knife” of the SEO world. You can create a free account and use it to audit your website. Here’s what your dashboard would look like:

There’s a bit more to backlinks, and I am going to try and summarize the most important bits in a few bullet points:

  • Ask for “Dofollow” links. Google and other search engines ignore links with the “nofollow” tag attached to it

  • Find websites or pages that are specific to your topic, because search engines want to see what two websites have in common (example: if you’re a fitness coach you want to have links coming from sites about health, wellness, exercising, healthy eating)

  • Don’t focus on getting one website to link multiple times to your website. Having multiple backlinks from the same website isn’t going to help more. Focus on getting multiple websites to link to your website, than just one

  • Resist the temptation to buy backlinks. There are going to be people who recommend this as a link building tactic, but it is considered an illegal tactic and could damage your ranking with search engines

Backlinks also help with discoverability

In other words, if a popular site links to your site, your content is going to be discovered more quickly and by more people. 

This is great for ecommerce. For one of my consulting clients we created a complex strategy around this. This puts their products in front of a larger audience than what they would normally be able to get on their website with organic, social and even paid traffic – and it is oftentimes less expensive.

Finally, there is referral traffic

If someone clicks on the backlink they see in another site’s post, you’ll get a visit from them, and that’s known as referral traffic. Referral traffic is great because, of course, the more people who visit your site, the more confidence the search engines will have in it. Plus the user might just find what they’re looking for and make a purchase, or at least let others know you exist. 

So, how do you get backlinks?

It’s clear then that getting backlinks to your site from other, popular, highly-visited sites, is crucial to your success, especially if you’re hoping to build your business quickly. This useful infographic explains just how to get these all-important backlinks so you can move forward with your plans. 


Check out this useful How To Get Backlinks Guide

How can I find my backlinks?

There are plenty of tools out there to help you see what your backlinks and referral traffic are. Here are my favorite three.

Semrush

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Ubersuggest

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Google Analytics

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About the Author

Monica Badiu is an email copywriter and copy coach. She specializes in sales copywriting for online course creators who want to send emails that speak to their ideal customer and generate conversions without using fearmongering or pressure. She’s made clients over $3 million in 2023.

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