Do Backlinks Really Increase Website Traffic? The Proof is in the Data
Backlinks remain one of the most effective ways for top SEO agencies to increase website traffic. This in-depth guide analyzes backlink data, SEO expert opinions, and real-world results proving quality backlinks drive referral traffic
Getting more traffic to your website is a top priority for most businesses. But does investing time and effort into building backlinks actually help drive more visitors?
Some argue backlinks are no longer as important for search engine optimization (SEO) in 2024. However, data and expert insights show that quality backlinks remain one of the most effective tactics for increasing website traffic.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:
- The Correlation Between Backlinks and Website Traffic
- Expert Opinions
- Case Studies Demonstrating Traffic Lift
- Tips for Earning High-Value Backlinks
- Common Myths vs Reality
Let’s explore the proof that backlinks can significantly increase your website’s organic and referral traffic when done right.
The Connection Between Backlinks and Website Traffic
Numerous studies reveal a strong positive correlation between backlinks and website traffic.
For example, SEMrush analyzed over 700,000 keywords and found pages ranking on the first page had 2x more backlinks on average compared to pages ranking on page 2. Pages on page 1 also enjoyed more than double the traffic.
Moz’s study of over 3 million keywords also found a high correlation between the number of backlinks and higher organic keyword rankings, which translates into more clicks and visitors.
This data shows earning more quality backlinks tends to lead to higher rankings, which leads to increased organic traffic.
Expert Opinions on Backlinks for Traffic
Backlinks remain one of the few consensus recommendations among local SEO companies for increasing website visibility and traffic.
According to Ahrefs, they are one of the best investments for growing organic traffic. Their data shows a website moving from 10 to 100 referring domains can increase organic keyword rankings by over 30 positions on average.
Searchmetrics describes backlinks as the strongest ranking factor, responsible for over 60% of algorithmic ranking signals. More backlinks signal authority and relevance to search engines.
Neil Patel argues that focusing on them is especially important for new sites trying to accelerate growth. Links from authoritative sites help new domains rank faster.
The data and recommendations from top SEO thought leaders provide powerful evidence that quality links move the needle for website traffic.
Backlinks Case Studies Demonstrating Traffic Lift
Specific examples from companies that increased backlinks also demonstrate the traffic benefits:
- Lawyer.com :They doubled monthly backlinks from 275 to 550 over several months. Organic traffic subsequently increased by 289%.
- Valuer.ai: By building press mentions and guest post links, they grew organic traffic by 76% in 5 months.
- Single Grain: After an intensive backlink building campaign, this marketing agency increased organic traffic by over 135% in 1 year.
These real-world results show that, when executed properly, backlink building can drive remarkable growth in organic website traffic. The lift comes from improved search rankings and direct referral traffic from links.
Some additional tactics to increase website traffic
- Leverage social media marketing – Promoting your content and website on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram can drive social referral traffic. Encourage social sharing.
- Implement retargeting ads – Use pixels to track website visitors and serve targeted ads across ad networks to generate return visits. Effective for remarketing.
- Email marketing – Build an email subscriber list to market to. Send regular newsletters, promotions, etc. to subscribers. Email drives high conversion rates.
- Optimize site speed – Faster loading sites have higher visitor engagement and lower bounce rates. Optimize images, code, etc. to improve site speed.
- Create visual content – Compelling videos, infographics, and images tend to attract more clicks and shares versus plain text.
- Guest blogging – Publishing articles on other popular blogs in your industry helps earn backlinks while also driving direct traffic from new audiences.
- Host webinars/events – Webinars are a proven tactic for lead generation. Promote these to drive registrations and website traffic.
- Refresh old content – Updating and improving existing pages and blogs helps attract new visitors from search.