If you’ve done your research on Search Engine Optimization, then you’ve probably heard the term “link building” being thrown around quite a bit.
Link building is a crucial part of an SEO campaign. If you haven’t utilized this technique yet, then you are missing out on something that can truly boost your search engine rankings. The benefits of backlinks on your site are massive. But before you can dive into the process, you must first understand what link building is and why it’s an integral part of SEO.
What is Link Building?
In its simplicity, link building is the process of getting other websites to give backlinks to your own site. As you know, links are what we use to navigate our way through the internet. How do links affect SEO? Search engines like Google and Bing crawl the web with the links. They will crawl the links on each page of your site and all the links in other websites. This is one of the ways they determine a site’s SEO rank. The more connected your site is to separate, established websites, the higher your search engine rank will be.
There are different methods you can use to build links. But even if you just master one of them, you can increase the chances of your site getting ranked. Let’s talk about why backlinks are important and what they can do for your website.
How Do Backlinks Work?
Search engines use links or two things.
1) To find new pages and
2) To determine how well a site should rank on search results.
After crawling websites, search engines extract necessary data and put them in an index. This is how they compare each site and determine whether one is of higher value than another. One factor that search engines consider is the quantity and quality of the backlinks directed to your website. In a nutshell, the more high-quality backlinks your site has, the higher it will rank on user’s searches.
Why are Backlinks Important?
The importance of backlinks can never be stressed enough. In fact, the chances of your SEO campaign succeeding without links are very slim. But why exactly is it important and what are the benefits it generates on your site? Read ahead.
1. It Drives Referral Traffic to Your Site
Building links can get your site some traffic. But generating backlinks from popular, high-traffic, and established websites can drive you a substantial amount. Furthermore, if the traffic comes from a relevant website under your niche, the chances of lead conversion are much higher and can potentially give your site an increase in sales.
However, keep in mind that this can only happen when you create your content with your customers in mind instead of SEO. In order to get a backlink from any of these well-established sites, your content needs to be useful, well-written, and engaging.
2. It Helps Build Relationships
You can say that link building is a social marketing tool. If done right, the method of reaching out to other relevant websites can only benefit your business more. When building links, you get to reach out to other relevant individuals or companies. This outreach link building can help you build long-lasting relationships with key influencers that can lead to more online visibility.
3. It Builds Brand Awareness
Aside from the search engine ranking benefits of backlinks, another advantage to your site is brand awareness. When you’re sharing your link out there, you are promoting your business and your products. With the right content, you are making your target customers aware of your brand, your business, and what you can offer.
Does Link Building Still Work In 2018
The Penguin update by Google changed the landscape when it comes to link building tactics. What used to work before and was taken advantage of by scrupulous SEO agencies are now long gone.
There was a time when it was easy to acquire links and get high rankings even if you had low quality or spam content. Many SEO agencies took advantage and started flooding the internet with these types of content in order to gain links.
Google put a stop to this practice and came up with the Penguin Update. Penalties were given to those who were spamming the Google search results with links that were bought or through link networks that boosted Google rankings back then.
This prompted sites to remove their bad links and get rid of spam.
In 2016, Google Search Quality Senior Strategist, Andrey Lipattsev said on record that the top 3 ranking factors were links, content, and RankBrain.
Links are already a part of the internet. Search engines use links to give web spiders a path to discover new content. Links are also a factor in the ranking algorithm that helps in deciding how high content should rank in search results.
We should note that this algorithm changes on a daily basis. You can notice changes depending on what you searched for and where you are searching from.
You may read also:-
The best advice for link building campaigns is to focus on links that give the best user experience. Chose links that help users find what they are looking for online will give a higher chance of increasing referral traffic to your website.
The quality of your content will be the foundation of your link building efforts. When great content and good links are combined, Google takes notice and these ranking signals will give you the best results.
It takes hard work to build links organically, but those who are willing to spend the time and effort in building relationships and writing relevant content will win in the end.
One link building opportunity that has been used in the past, but still works today is tracking brand or product mentions.
You may not notice it, but there may be bloggers or websites that speak about your product or service online. These are open doors for link building that you should pounce on.
There are free and paid tools that can help you track your mentions online. Google Alerts is a free tool that you can use for a start. It may not pick up all the mentions, but it still gets the job done.
This tool can also be used for brand management, especially if you discover negative comments about your brand. These types of issues should be resolved quickly before it goes viral and out of control.
There are a lot of topics that have already been discussed extensively online in other blogs and articles.
You should try to create unique content as much as possible. You can add more information to topics that have been covered before or provide a different point of view.
Many companies get involved in sponsorship in one form or the other. These events are an easy way to build links back to your website from the organizations that you sponsor.
You have the leverage to ask for a link back to your website as some sort of thank you for your support.
Another good strategy is to do research on your competitor’s links by tracking and targeting links that they have already used.
You can use tools like SEMRush so that you can analyze these links and see if they are worth linking back to your site.
All the hard work has been done already by your competitor and you should take advantage of this and use it as leverage for your own link building campaign.
What is Off-Page Link Building?
Off-site SEO or Off-page SEO is a set of actions taken outside of your own website to help improve your rankings within search engine results pages or SERPs. Building backlinks are the heart of off-page SEO. When a site has high-quality backlinks, search engines take this as an indication that the website is useful and high-value. This makes a site rank better on SERPs compared to the ones with fewer links. This is why off-page linking is a significant part of the SEO factor.
Types of Off-Page Links
- Natural links – this type of links is made without any effort by a website owner. This means these links are done at other webmaster’s intention.
- Manually-built links – these links are made through deliberate link building strategies. For example, if you’ve asked an influencer to give you a backlink, that is considered manually-built.
- Self-created links – these links, meanwhile, are acquired from adding backlinks on forums, blogs, directories, or a press release. However, you should be aware that some self-created links can cause a red flag for search engines and can harm your SEO ranking instead.
Why is Off-Page LinkBuilding Important?
Search engines are continually finding ways to index search results better in order to give searchers the best answers possible. To do this, they rely on a number of factors. This includes quality backlinks. High-quality links give search engines some indication on how websites and users perceive your website. A site that is useful and has high-quality content and user navigation is more likely to get referenced and acquire quality backlinks from high-authority websites.
What are the benefits you can get from off-page linking?
When an off-page SEO campaign is done correctly, your site can reap incredible benefits.
- Increased SEO ranking – Ranking highly on SERPs is the goal of any Search Engine Optimization campaign. If your link building campaign is a success, your site can get high ranking on search results, which means higher traffic.
- Increased online exposure – When people see your site on search results, this means they get instant access to your site and what it has to offer. Billions of searches are done on Google every day. Just imagine if you rank high on your target keywords and how much traffic that will bring to your site.
- Increased trust from your customers – The truth is, people, trust Google search. Once they see your site ranking on the first page of search results, your target audience will automatically trust your site which can bring in more leads and potential direct sales.
Off-page link building is a big part of how Google and search engines factor your SEO score. If you want your SEO campaign to be a success, we advise that you give equal focus on both on-page and off-page SEO strategies. When building links, don’t try to take the easy way out. In fact, the harder it is to acquire backlinks, the higher the value it has. SEO practices have changed. In the past, the number of backlinks played a significant factor in a site’s SEO score. However, today, quality is more important than quantity. You should focus on this if you want your SERP ranking to increase.
About the Author:
Michael is an experienced leader and innovator with a long track record of successfully developing brands online. His proficiency in growing SaaS platforms, generating web traffic and global team building has aided in driving Newswire’s rapid growth. Michael strives to make press release Newswire the disrupter in the PR and Marketing space, allowing businesses to attract media attention without the need for high-priced agencies.