Backlinks are good, true. But the real key to SEO success now is highly focused, original long content . Do a search for "Brian Lam, Recode interview with Peter Kafka" on google. Brian Lam started TheWireCutter, a website that reviews technology gadgets and tech stuff.
He states in the interview above that the key to his organic traffic was really long, well-written posts... and I mean long. They were like 2500 words on each post. The content strategy he used was also important. You should really listen to the interview.
BTW_ Brian's website, TheWireCutter, was just sold to The New York Times for $30 million.
If you have any follow-up questions let me know!