How Important are Backlinks & SEO for your Website?
Never underestimate the importance of a website for a business of any type; even restaurants, gyms, and other companies that don’t actually conduct business online will often have potential customers check a website for hours, prices, and location. If they can’t find that information, they may not visit!
If a brick and mortar business has to rely on their website being easily found online in order to maintain the growth of their company, imagine how vital it is for those businesses that do sell their products or services through their site! A website may very well be the backbone of a business; it can even be an entire business itself. However, like any brick and mortar that’s hidden behind other stores and difficult to find from the road, your website will do nothing to improve your bottom line if customers simply can’t find it.
This is where backlinks and SEO come into play. Both of these are vitally important for a company website to be found by visitors and potential customers. It’s not enough to just publish your site to the internet and expect it to be found, but like a brick and mortar store that might hang signs, mail out local flyers, and be listed in the local paper; proper local SEO with authoritative backlinks will get your site ranking, noticed and ensure potential visitors can easily find it when searching.
First, let’s make sure you understand the importance of search engine rankings. Many people don’t realize how websites get found by visitors. When you type a phrase into a search engine, for example Google, out spits a list of relevant sites to browse. This list goes in order by how they’re “ranked” by. The sites with the best rankings are the ones that will pop up first in the search results.
Note that there may be literally hundreds of thousands of sites that show up on that list when a person searches for something online. But given that most people only take the time to browse the first page of those results, it's important that your site has positive search engine rankings to appear as close to the top of that list as possible. Effective backlinks and SEO are two very important factors when it comes to a site ranking high in the search engines like Google.
What are backlinks?
A backlink is when another website points to your site’s URL. The hyperlink can be from a product description, service, or any other word or phrase; which is known as an anchor text. It can also link as a naked URL. Your site now links from another persons website and is associated with that particular word, phrase or topic.
This is important in your site’s rankings because each backlink will help search engines associate your site with the anchor text to which it’s attached. The more that your site is associated with a certain word or phrase, the higher your site ranks when someone searches for that same keyword.
Let me illustrate how this works. If you sell jewelry online and your site has a number of backlinks from other relevant websites that connect your site to the phrase “sterling silver rings,” your site will rank higher when someone goes online and searches for “sterling silver rings.” The more backlinks with a specific phrase, or other such phrases that relate to your business, the more search engines will associate your particular URL with that keyword and the higher your site ranks. Without adequate and qualitative backlinks, search engines may never associate your jewelry site with “sterling silver rings,” no matter how many rings you may sell on your site.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, meaning the tools and tactics you do to optimize a website in order to be found and indexed by those search engines. Backlinks are one means of SEO, and content is another. The more content on a website, the more likely it is to be found at the top of the search results. This is why highly authoritative sites like Wikipedia, IMDB, and Huffington Post are often first in search engine listings, simply because they contain massive amounts of content.
Content is King-- And creating content that people are likely to read is another part of SEO. Search engines will measure how long a visitor stays on your site and the longer they stay, the more this adds to your ranking. This is because search engines will assume that you have quality content on your site and not just filler information.
So what is the importance of backlinks & SEO? Please remember that without proper SEO for your website, other sites that are optimized to be found by search engines will easily bypass yours and this would result in them gaining the potential customers. In turn, your site will get fewer visitors if any, no matter the quality of your product or service. If your site has no backlinks associated with certain keywords and phrases, your site will have a lower rank than other sites whose URL is often connected to a certain phrase on the internet. Resulting in fewer visitors to your site and your overall business could easily suffer.