Whether you’re an SEO pro or completely new to digital marketing, you’ll likely have once asked yourself: what is link building? This is an SEO expert’s secret weapon to dominating search engines! No, this has nothing to do with the construction of bridges!
But what does building links mean, and how do you even get started with a link building campaign?
If you’ve been burying your head in the sand or are simply too busy to explore this vital aspect of SEO marketing, this guide to link building is for you!
In addition to quality content, relevant keywords, and a watertight SEO plan, link-building tactics will:
- Show site authority to search engines like Google
- Increase your ranking and traffic in a relatively short space of time.
The key is to understand how to create a quality link and get high-quality links in the best place to reach the right audience
So, let’s get into and find out precisely what linking is and how to get a backlink to drive search engine traffic.
What is Link Building For SEO?
Every website and blog post you visit contains ‘links’, which guide you to an internal page or file on your website or outward toward another relevant website.
Link building, or links pointing, is a precious process of actively getting one of these ‘hyperlinks’ from external web pages to point back toward your own.
Just in the same way reviews and testimonials give kudos to your business, every link that sends a visitor to your site is a big old thumbs up of approval to the likes of Google.
The higher the ranking and authority of the site linking back to you, the higher the endorsement of their link.
Link building works the same way as a reciprocal business in the real world. Link building from websites of the same niche together tells search engines:
1. You know your stuff
2. Others in the same field endorse you
3. Your content has value to others
When Google first introduced link building. It was all about quantity over quality. Imagine website pages riddled with a hyperlink every other paragraph, broken links and a lack of link-worthy content.
Google algorithms are much tighter these days, and false backlinks are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
What are the benefits of link building strategies?
My website is ranking OK, and I’m getting the sales I want; why do I need to adopt link building techniques?
Sure, you may have some killer content and be hot on your SEO keywords. Maybe your site traffic is even up and your ranking higher each month.
But if you want the top spot in your niche and get quality, brand loving referrals, SEO backlinking is a must.
Third-party endorsement by link building through relevant websites takes your SEO to new levels and elevates your brand beyond search engines ranking.
A link building strategy will:
1. Increase your website search engine traffic faster
2. Builds your brand – both in awareness and in trust
3. It gives your brand and website authority
4. Associates your brand will help respected peers
With word of mouth and referrals still the most potent form of marketing, site visitors who have been sent to you via a reputable website will always carry more gravitas than someone who accidentally found you through a Google search.
What’s the difference between internal and external link building?
OK, you’re on board with link building for SEO, so let’s dive a bit deeper into the two main categories of link building:
– Internal link building
– External link building
Internal links, or inbound links, are exactly what they sound like; links that connect to another page on your website.
For example, in this blog, we might think it’s worth referring back to our blog Guide for on page SEO basics, so we pop in inbound links to share this relevant content.
Or perhaps when link building internally, we feel it’s time to get to the point and send you straight to where we tell you about our Expert SEO Agency services and go in for the conversion!
Either way, by adding in building links internally, we guide you throughout the site, keep you engaged and (with the right SEO strategy) lead you to conversion.
So, what’s external link building? External links work on the same principle, except the link building efforts come from other sites that are not your own. Unlike internal links, link building tactics that
Here, we are taking that incredibly fantastic blog about on page SEO and getting others to feature a link to it on their site – sending their readers our way for more digital marketing magic!
How to get high quality links
A link building strategy isn’t all about pages, and there are a whole host of ways you can get external websites to link to your website.
1. Event link building – where your event is promoted as a listing or feature
2. Resources page – highlighting you as an authority or provider of information
3. Social media link building – again, this can be internal from your own promoted profiles
4. Testimonial links – by endorsing others from your business, you inadvertently get a link promotion from their site…
The ways you can collaborate with the aim of earning backlinks are endless. The key is to build a link building strategy that targets the right websites, and provides quality, compelling reasons for people to click through and find you!
If all this sounds like too much time, this is something you don’t have to do alone. Just like everything in digital marketing, there are some seriously great backlinking agencies you can call upon, for a fee, who can help you earn links from other websites.
How to build links
There is an art when learning how to build links. Not all external link building is equal.
And we said earlier, it’s about building quality links that hold more authority in the eyes of search engines like Google.
So, how to earn links from other sites depends on a few things:
- Domain Strength: The better known a website is, the more influential the link. A link from The Guardian is worth a lot more than a local newspaper. But that local newspaper is worth more than my blog.
- Page Strength: A linking page authority plays a factor. A backlink from an old obscure page won’t cut the mustard.
- Relevancy: A backlink with little relevance is remanent of the fake links from the 90s; keep in on the subject!
- Anchor Text: This is the text your link is attached to. The more accurate (and written with SEO in mind), the better.
If a link is lacking in multiple areas here or it is missing these points altogether, it’s going to do very little for your search visibility.
The more of these factors you consider in your link building approach, the more influential the results!
Link Building vs. Link Earning: Understanding the Difference
While link building is a familiar concept to most, the idea of link earning may be a little less known but is equally, if not more, important. Link earning takes the focus off the active pursuit of links and shifts it towards creating high-quality content that naturally attracts links. It’s all about producing something so valuable, informative, or entertaining that other websites can’t help but link to it.
The primary difference between traditional link building and link earning lies in the approach. Link building often involves actively seeking out opportunities to generate links, such as through guest blogging, directory submissions, or social media sharing. It’s about making concerted efforts to get your content linked from other sites.
On the other hand, link earning is a more organic process. Instead of focusing on generating links directly, you’re creating compelling, high-quality content that people want to share. This could be a thought-provoking blog post, a comprehensive guide, an engaging video, or a unique infographic. The key here is that the content should be so good that it earns links naturally without needing much promotion.
In the world of SEO, both strategies have their place. Link building can be a useful tool for gaining immediate visibility and establishing initial connections. However, link earning is a more sustainable long-term strategy. It’s about building a solid reputation and becoming a trusted authority in your field. When done right, link earning can lead to high-quality backlinks from reputable sites, which can significantly boost your SEO rankings.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Link Building
Link building is a crucial part of any SEO strategy, but it’s not without its pitfalls. Here are a few common mistakes you should avoid to ensure your link building efforts are effective and beneficial.
Prioritising Quantity Over Quality: One of the most common mistakes in link building is focusing too much on the number of links rather than their quality. While having a large number of backlinks can seem impressive, search engines prioritise the quality of these links. A few high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative sites will do more for your SEO than hundreds of low-quality links from irrelevant or spammy sites.
Ignoring Relevancy: Another common error is neglecting the relevance of the links. The sites you choose to link to and receive links from should be relevant to your content and industry. Search engines like Google consider the relevance of links when determining your site’s ranking. Irrelevant links can harm your SEO and may even lead to penalties.
Over-Optimised Anchor Text: While using keywords in your anchor text is important, overdoing it can raise red flags for search engines. This practice, known as over-optimization, can make your link building efforts appear manipulative, leading to potential penalties. It’s better to use a natural mix of anchor text types, including branded, naked URL, and generic anchors along with keyword-rich ones.
Neglecting Internal Links: Many people focus solely on acquiring external backlinks and forget about the importance of internal linking. Internal links help search engines understand the structure and context of your site, improving your site’s navigability and user experience.
Not Tracking Your Links: If you’re not monitoring your backlinks, you won’t know if your link building efforts are successful or if you’ve fallen victim to a negative SEO attack. Use link tracking tools to monitor your link profile and make adjustments as needed.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can build a strong, effective link building strategy that enhances your SEO, drives traffic, and improves your site’s authority.
Still, a bit stumped with SEO link building?
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