What’s Backlinking? And Why Should You Care?
Here’s a statement today’s youth will understand: SEO is the bomb!
Okay, so once again I dated myself, but you get the point.
Maybe it would be better to quote an older popular song: SEO is where it’s at! (Pardon me while my inner grammarian cringes.)
As we talked about in a post last week, SEO can make or break your site’s ranking and, therefore, your business’ success.
Good SEO = high ranking and lots of visitors
Bad SEO = a need to rethink your content strategy before you have to look for another job.
Of the many components of SEO, one of the most overlooked is backlinking.
Quite simply, backlinking is exactly as it sounds: linking back to your site.
It can happen two ways:
- An internal backlink from one page on your site to another
- An external backlink from an outside site to your site
An example of an internal backlink might be an article on your site that contains a link to a product related to the article topic.
Let’s head outdoors to learn more.
Outdoors expert REI is a master at this sort of backlinking. (BTW, see that link in the last sentence? That’s a backlink.)
REI not only provides outstanding outdoor equipment, they also offer great advice on how to use it. In fact, it’s what they do best.
Consider this article by Julie Eiselt on caring for your carabiners.
(“What’s a carabiner?” you ask. It’s that little metal loop thing that your climbing rope runs through. REI explains it better.)
The article is all about how to inspect, clean, and store carabiners to keep them in good working order, which is pretty important since your life may depend on them as you’re hanging precariously from a cliff face.
Not only does the article backlink to product pages featuring REI’s extensive selection of carabiners (who knew there were so many options?), it also suggests additional reading on how to choose the right carabiner for the type of climbing you do.
That’s a great example of an internal backlink.
This blog post is an example of an external backlink because I refer to them here so you can click over and learn all sorts of things about carabiners and other outdoor equipment.
How does backlinking affect SEO?
Remember in the post from last week when I mentioned that Google looks for keywords? That’s not all it looks for.
Google also cares about page authority.
In other words, does the content on the page really know what it’s talking about?
One way Google determines that is by the number of external backlinks. How many people are heading from other sites to your site for information? How many outsiders consider your page an authority on a given topic?
If you are a major brand site, you’re lucky because Google considers those sites as automatic authorities on a topic.
But what if you aren’t? What if you are a small retailer that is just getting started?
The folks at NewsCred have some great ideas about that. Check out their suggestions on how to take your site from newbie to authority in a few fairly simple steps.