A jargon free explanation of Backlinks in simple terms
As if I need to tell you what a link is; well just in case, it’s a text or image that when clicked or tapped (if on a mobile device) like this goes to a website resource. That can be a page on the website it’s on (an internal link) or a link to another website (also known as an external link), it can also be a link to a PDF or other online document.
So a backlink is a link to another website, simple as that. Having links to your website from other websites can make search engines such as Google think your website is more important. It’s like a vote for your website by other people’s websites, which increases the legitimacy of your website in the eyes of Google or Bing.
Think of it like looking at a London Underground map, the more train lines going into that station the more popular that location is!
Be careful though Google is a bit like Vicky from I Robot or Hal from 2001 A Space Odyssey, they know if you’re faking it or trying too hard, so don’t have whole pages with lists of links to your friends' websites. If you do have some friendly business owners, especially those you work with or they do work for you, then having links to your site is good as those are relevant. Better still if you’re a member of an organisation whose website you have a profile on then having a link to your site from there is good too, especially if they're a big and well established company. For example we’re members of The Best of Sudbury and our profile is on there with links to our website and on posts we’ve written, these kind of give us Google brownie points. There’s no shame in joining organisations that support your industry just to get backlinks from them, that’s what they’re for.
How to add legitimate backlinks to your site and visa-versa?
You can have a suppliers page with links to your accountancy, bookkeeper etc, people who work for you and if you have friendly contacts who can do the same that’s one way. Also, you can get someone to write a guest blog on your site with a link to their website and you do the same for them, that’s relevant and useful content right there! Google loves that because that’s good for people searching for stuff.
Why on Earth they’re called ‘back’ links I’ll never know, like being in space, it’s not as if you’re facing any kind of direction on the internet, it’s a link to a website, that’s all!
Be sparing with these, content is the best way to get ahead on Google, giving actual humans a reason to visit your site is always going to be a winner.
Content is Queen I always say!