You now have your website successfully running and you’re probably navigating through the appropriate steps of marketing such as effectively optimizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When it comes to SEO, content, meta-descriptions and keywords usually come to mind, but have you considered the use of backlinks in your e-commerce website and the importance they play in SEO?
Backlinks are integral to your SEO strategy as they allow you to directly link any page of your website into another which search engines can use to rank you higher on their platform. Search engines crawlers, or bots, use this data from other websites to authenticate the information on your website and increase your page ranking. The use of backlinks on external websites can also help to drive traffic to your website, promote your products, services or blog to your audience and be labeled as a genuine source of information by both search engines and users.
Why backlinks are important for SEO
Backlinks, also known as inbound or incoming links, are essential to your SEO strategy as they are an important factor in search engines rankings. Backlinks are an off-page SEO strategy that shows search engines how other websites use the content of your website as a reference and represents a “vote of confidence” of valuable content. This has a positive influence on how you are ranked by the crawlers as the search engine algorithms use backlinks to signal trustworthiness and authority within your niche or industry.
When you are thinking about creating your SEO strategy for backlinks, you should always consider existing websites that are already deemed valuable and trustworthy. It is important to correctly implement backlinks into your website so you are not blacklisted or banned from search engine platforms which could detrimentally affect your reputation. The use of backlinks is a great way to build a network and regularly create content for your website with guests, on social media or other website owners.
If several websites link to the same page on your website, crawlers will deem that page as trustworthy and useful for users which will increase your visibility and ranking. As you rank higher, you will be able to increase your brand awareness and undoubtedly receive more traffic to your website which will convert customers and conversion rates. Search engine platforms crawl the most popular pages to include into their index. The use of backlinks presents your website as a source of credibility and popularity which is important to the guidelines within all search engine platforms.
External links are considered the most important and effective way to increase your ranking. There are four main ways that backlinks are earned:
A natural, or organic, link is a link from your website that a website owner has input into their website without you asking them. This is a great way for search engines to identify your website as an authentic reference to valuable content from your site. It also shows you that people find your content useful enough to place it on your website as a source of information for their users. These types of links do not have tracking parameters and exist without paid or sponsored content.
Manual links are backlinks that are gained through your efforts of contacting website owners or bloggers to feature your content or page. This link building technique is extremely common among small businesses who are looking to build awareness within their industry, but it is important that you have high-quality and valuable information that websites will want to share before you go ahead to propose your content to them.
Self-created links can often lead toward “black hat SEO” which is a set of practices used to increase your ranking that often go against and violate the terms and conditions of search engine platforms as it includes manually adding links into forums, comments or online directories. This link building technique may appear to be the easiest route of getting your backlinks into other websites however, they are typically labeled as “no follow” tags and could harm your reputation on search engine platforms.
Anchor text is the text that you see in a clickable hyperlink that often appears blue and underlined. This information provides context to search engines and users to indicate what page or content they will see from clicking the link. It is important that you do not use generic text such as “click here” but related information that will increase interest of visitors who wish to click on it. This technique holds great importance in your SEO strategy and should be used correctly to inform the search engine of the relevant page linked to help you with ranking higher.
Backlinks in SEO are used to rank your website on search engines based on quality content and site structure. This is a great way to build relationships with others in your industry and create unique, original content such as articles, blogs and related digital PR that other companies will want to vouch for and even use in their pages. The number of trustworthy websites linking to your websites will significantly determine the position of your website across search engines. It is best to build your backlinks over time rather than attempting to create hundreds at a time to build trust within search engines to rank higher.