What Are Backlinks? Backlinking For Beginners

Backlinks (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links”) are links from one website to a page on another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page or piece of content. The more of these “votes” you have, the higher your site will rank in Google and other search engines. However, not all backlinks are built the same. Some can harm your website and its rankings, while others can skyrocket it.

Pages with a high number of quality and clean backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings as they’re deemed authoritative results.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

The reason backlinks are important is because they will increase your website’s “referring Domains” or “RD”. As we all know, Google is a huge part of why websites rank well in the search results. Backlinks are how you “aid” or “assist” your website to get more links with the hope of getting more links from them, as well.

Now, not all backlinks are created equal. In other words, if you want to rank higher in the SERPs, focus on quality backlinks. Put another way: A single quality backlink can be more powerful than 1,000 low-quality backlinks.

What Types of Backlinks are Valuable?

There are many types of backlinks. For example, you can get backlinks from other websites, backlinks from other pages on your own website, and backlinks from social media profiles. Let’s discuss each type of backlink in a little more detail.

  1. From websites – It is important to note that you do not have to have “comments” on your content to get a backlink from another website. A backlink is essentially a text-based link that points to your website such as a reference, referral, or call to action. The more authorative the website giving the backlink is, the more valuable it is. For example, a backlink from the Oxford University website is a lot more valuable than a backlink from a random guy’s website.
  2. From other pages on your website – On your own website the type of backlinks that are the most valuable are “backlinks from other pages on your website” or “backlinks from your own pages”. This can be from blog posts to relevant pages or from main pages into sub-pages with more information on them. They’re not as valuable as from other websites but still play a part in a quality SEO plan.
  3. From social media profiles – Backlinks from social media profiles are generally regarded as the least important type of backlinks. However can count towards building up your back links quite easily as it’s free and easy to paste your link on relevant posts throughout social medias.

Backlink Generating Ideas

There are many ways to collect backlinks to improve your website rankings. One of the most common ways is to use a “link building” strategy. A link-building strategy is when you try to build as many backlinks as possible from other websites to your own website. You can do this by creating valuable content such as a blog that is helpful for other websites or business owners who will then link and refer to it on their own website. You can also use that same content across your social media profiles, and newsletters, or contact people directly who it may interest and ask them to link back to you.

Backlink generation happens in one of 2 ways:

  1. Someone found your content and decided to link to you within their own content.
  2. You put your content in front of someone and asked them to link to you.

Either way, you need to reach people with the content you’re publishing. There are many different approaches you can take to do so. What ends up being the most effective will depend on the type of content on your website, the type of people and businesses that might link to you, and how you might get them to look at your site.

  • Suppliers and Retailers
    If you already have an existing business relationship with other establishments who supply to you or you supply them, encourage them to mention you on their website. Perhaps they already have a ‘companies we work with’ section – make sure your website is included on it and linked to. Offer them a link back in return!
  • Partnerships
    Business partnerships have plenty of upsides, but there’s no reason you can’t use an existing business relationship to put the spotlight on your businesses. You could offer the other business some content to include on their own website such as a guest blog post.
  • Local Community
    Supporting your local community is a great way to give something back while also spinning a positive story about your business. If you’re not already plugged into the local community, find out how you can get involved. This could include sponsoring events, running local meetups, or volunteering at local schools or universities. You’re likely to gain backlinks on this through their website sponsorship sections as well as local press.
  • Niche Bloggers
    In many industries, there exist passionate bloggers who constantly produce content for their own audience. Fostering relationships with these bloggers is an excellent way to give yourself a step up online. They already have an engaged audience who likes their content, and if your product or service is a good fit for their audience, there could be a range of benefits to collaboration. Offer to write a feature, send them free samples, do an interview, or pay them to write on your site as a guest author.
  • Press
    While it can be difficult to get online press, it offers potential because journalists are always looking for stories to write up. If you happen to have a compelling story about your business or your products, it might intrigue them to hear about it. The press also has the potential to multiply the reach of your story, as other news outlets pick up and republish stories to their audience.

With all these ideas, you should never pitch or spam someone asking them to link to you. The idea is that you partake in activities where backlinks are a potential outcome – but not always guaranteed! The best ideas are ones that offer business value even when you don’t necessarily also get the backlink.


There are many ways to collect backlinks and you do not have to spend a lot of money to do it. Backlinks are important in the world of SEO and you should take the time to collect as many as you can. Links are not just good for SEO. They can also be good for creating awareness and driving traffic. Link building should be a major part of your SEO strategy.

Web Design Huddersfield by Ben Dickinson of Athena Media

Written and Edited by Ben Dickinson

Athena Media was set up by Ben Dickinson with a huge passion and ambition to provide quality digital marketing to businesses in and around West Yorkshire.

I’ve always believed the key to success online is building a great digital presence. I love amplifying how businesses are seen online. From amazing web design to outstanding search engine optimisation… a good digital brand always pays off.