Getting backlinks from quality websites is important to your traffic building efforts.
“On page” optimization will only take your site so far in the rankings war. If there were 100 sites about a particular subject, all beautifully optimized, which is the the most valuable one that deserves to be number one on the results page? To find the best site the search engines use off page factors as well. The big off-page factor that everyone tries to do well with is incoming links, usually called backlinks.
The most valuable backlinks are one way links from an authority site
with a high page rank. The least valuable are reciprocal links from a
low page rank site with dozens or hundreds of links on a page.
Don't try getting backlinks prematurely. Wait until you have twenty or so high quality pages on your site.
Then submit your site to the main directories as well as smaller directories in your niche. This will give you one way backlinks.
"Make Your Links Work" (a free 69 page e-book) tells more about using the directories, plus everything else you need to know about backlink building. The link to "Make Your Links Work" is half way down the page under "Tip#2".
Join a quality reciprocal link program and swap links with other high quality sites in your niche that don't compete with your site. Don't join link farms or link to low quality sites. The best link program I have come across is SiteSell's Value Exchange. It's free, and it only has quality sites registered. (Registration is at the bottom of the Value Exchange page).
If you are a local business, get links from your local business directory or the local chamber of commerce web site. Swap links with other businesses in your area. For example. if you're the Blacktown locksmith, swap links with the Blacktown bakery, the Blacktown hairdresser, etc.
Try to get the backlinks to use optimized anchor text, e.g. "click the link for the Blacktown Locksmiths", not "Click Here for Blacktown Locksmiths" Also, try to vary the anchor text so the search engines see the links as more natural. Don't try to get 50 incoming links in one week and then nothing for six months. Spread them out to look more natural.
Get links to your internal pages, not just the home page.
If you have time write some articles and submit them to the article directories. Make sure these are useful, quality articles. You'll get a link back from the directories, and your article could be picked up and used on other websites, giving you more incoming links.