Why quality backlinks matter for SEO

If you work in marketing in any capacity, whether in the marketing department of a company, at an agency, or for your own brand, you know that SEO, or search engine optimization, is a difference-maker for growth. Consumers are looking for instant gratification in their online searches, which means going past the first page of results to find what they are looking for is extremely rare. 

In fact, the CTR, or click-through rate, for the top three results in a Google search query is over 50%, (there are other search engines besides Google, but since it is the largest by far, we will use it for our examples going forward). That makes for an incredibly high volume of traffic for the companies that rank high for that particular search. If your brand is dropping to the end of the first page or even further, the chances of getting significant hits decreases.

All of this is to say that SEO really matters if you want to get a lot of traffic from online searches. With 3.5 billion searches being processed by Google every day, a digital presence is key to having a successful business in 2022. One of the most effective methods for improving SEO and increasing your search rankings is obtaining high quality backlinks. Let’s break down what that really means.

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What is a backlink?

The simple answer is that a backlink is a link that exists on a separate website domain that connects to a page on your website. When a user visits this other website and clicks on the backlink, they are brought to a URL on your website. When Google is ranking different pages, it uses bots to “crawl” the website to determine its level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. These bots will search for backlinks to those pages to help determine the authority level of the page. If a website has a lot of backlinks connected to its pages, it is more likely to be ranked higher in Google’s index. 

What makes a backlink high quality?

Essentially, a high quality backlink must exist on an authoritative site. For example, let’s say that your brand has obtained a backlink on a website that was recently created for a new blog by someone who is just starting out. Their website is not very authoritative, so a backlink from their website to yours would be very low in quality. However, if you have obtained a backlink with a reputable source like an online magazine that has been around for years, that would be a high quality backlink. Since Google ranks websites based on their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, it follows that if your backlinks are located on highly ranked sites, it is far better for your website ranking. 

How do you get these backlinks?

This can be a tricky question. It takes a lot of research, time, and effort to build up a list of high quality backlinks, especially if you are a new brand and your name is not yet out there. There are plenty of different methods for finding high quality backlinks, but not all methods are created equally. Some of them include responding to reporter queries looking for industry expertise, connecting with your network, reaching out to influencers, and searching for broken or low quality links to replace with your own. It can be difficult to know where to start, but there are plenty of resources available to help you get the job done. Investing the time to find high quality backlinks now can pay dividends down the road if your page ranking improves.

Why quality beats quantity

If quantity of backlinks was more indicative of search rankings than quantity, it would be extremely easy to improve your SEO. All you would have to do is build as many links as possible through whatever website you could find. There would probably be entire websites built around just providing backlinks to different domains. The quality of backlinks is far more important since Google ranks everything based on its expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. You cannot simply outbid other brands by focusing all your efforts on a huge list of backlinks, you actually have to do the work of obtaining the right ones.

SEO is king

More people shop online than ever before, and that trend will only continue. If you are not taking advantage of improving your SEO, then you will fall behind every other competitor that is making the investment.

While there are other methods to improving SEO, such as focusing on quality content, obtaining backlinks is key to building authority in Google’s eyes. If other websites point to yours, and they are considered authoritative, then Google will know to trust your website and rank it favorably. It takes investment of your time, energy, and resources, but it can be a game changer for your brand, so get started on your link-building journey today.