A question that I hear often is “why do links matter?” Well, some search engines such as Google use the number of links pointing to a site as a measurement tool.
There are free tools on the web to use to check your links. An easy tool to use is www.linkpopularity.com. When using this tool, first check how many sites link to your site. Also check how relevant the data is that links to you.
You can also use the tool to check your competitor’s websites as well. If you find that they link to some powerful sites, you can use their list to brainstorm what you could link to as well to help increase your ranking.