There is no denying the importance of SEO to your business. It is a necessary component of online success, but it’s also one of the more challenging aspects.
One of the essential techniques for SEO is link building. But what is link building, and why is it so important?
What is Link Building?
Link building is acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink, also known as a link, allows users to navigate between web pages. Search engine algorithms consider the number and quality of links when ranking websites; hence it’s importance to SEO.
When you have a lot of high-quality links pointing to your website, it tells the search engine that your website is an authority on the topic. As a result, your website will rank higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Implement a Link Building Strategy
There are many different effective link building strategies, but some standard methods include guest blogging, directory submissions, and social media marketing.
Common Link Building Strategies:
- Guest blogging is when you write a blog post for another website and include quality links to your website from high authority sites.
- Directory submissions are when you submit your website to online directories, usually in exchange for a link back to your site.
- Social media marketing is when you use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote your website and link it.
- Internal links are relevant links that connect pages and blog posts across your website, and is key to proper link building.
There is no one “correct” way to build links, as the best link building strategy depend on your website, industry, and the competition. However, all the methods mentioned above are generally effective ways to boost your site’s search engine rankings. So if you’re looking to improve your site’s SEO, link building is an excellent place to start.
Why is Link Building Important?
There are a few reasons why link building is so crucial for SEO. Link building is the most critical SEO tactic because links signal to Google your website’s authority. The more high-quality links you have, the better your page authority and the higher your website will rank in SERPs.
In addition to ranking your website higher in search engine results pages, link building helps to drive traffic to your website. When someone clicks on a link to your website from another site, they are taken to your site. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more visitors your site will receive.
Link building strategies can also help increase the number of inbound links to a website, further improving its visibility and ranking. Inbound links are also crucial for SEO because they indicate to search engines that other websites are referencing a website. This helps boost the website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
There are a variety of link building strategies to get external websites to link to your site. However, not all links are created equal. The best way to get high-quality links is to provide valuable content to which other websites will want to link.
Create link-worthy content
To get high-quality links, you must create valuable and engaging link-worthy content. If your posts are informative and exciting to read, other websites may want to include a link back to your site. In addition to traditional blog posts, user-generated content can also be a great way to get linking websites.
Blog & Guest Post
Blog networking and reach
Many site owners allow guest blog posts on their websites. This is a way for other websites to share their blog post content with the agreement of allowing them a link back to their site in return.
PR and News Outreach
As long as you have an interesting story or piece of news, press releases can be a great way to get high-quality links from reputable websites.
Mentions and Reviews
Strengthen Your Link Profile
If a blog or website has featured or reviewed your business, you may be able to get an author bio link. Similarly, if you have been mentioned or reviewed on another website, there is usually the option for you to leave a link back to your site.
Link Building Campaign
Leverage Social Media
As social media becomes more popular, it is also becoming a valuable tool for link building. By sharing your content on social media, you can increase the chances of other websites’ opportunities to link to your site.
Quality Citation Sites
Connect with High Quality Sites
Citations are links on reputable websites that point back to your business. When creating citations, it is essential to look for high-quality sites with a strong link profile.
Create Resource Pages
Provide Value-Centric Information
One of the most effective ways to build links is to create resource pages on your website. A resource page is a web page that contains a list of helpful resources on a particular topic.
For example, if you have a website about gardening, you could create a resource page that contains a list of the best gardening books, websites, and magazines.
To create a resource page, you must first find high-quality websites relevant to your topic. Then, you can add links to those websites on your own website.
Be sure to include a brief description of each website and why it’s helpful. You can also add images to make your resource page look more appealing.
Integrate Your Website
Internal links are links that point from one page to another on your website and are very crucial to SEO. This type of link helps search engines better understand your website structure. In addition to this, the right internal link strategy, can help pass authority between pages on the site, which can lead to better rankings.
On the customer side of things, your internal links will improve user experience as it will let visitors find more interesting content that you offer. There are different types of internal links you can use as part of your link building strategy. They are:
– Navigational: These are links that make up the website’s primary navigational structure. Usually, navigational internal links are implemented site-wide and help users find what they need.
– Contextual: These are links placed within the main content of a page. Contextual links should be with natural anchor texts that show relevance between pages.
So, where should you add internal links to make the most out of them? You can add them to the following:
– Landing pages
– Blog posts
– New content
– Existing content.
Also, you need to start everything with quality content. Remember, all the links that you put in there will all be for nothing if you don’t have valuable, high-quality content to begin with. Don’t just randomly link pages—instead, spend time creating original and relevant content that will be valuable to your audience.
Another thing is that you should be mindful of linking. Make sure you only link related pages, and although this may seem a no-brainer, you will be surprised how things may get confusing when it’s time to link things together.
Consider the content type on the pages you want to use for internal linking. If they are directly related and provide a logical path for a user to follow to gain more information, then that link is necessary. On the other hand, if the pieces don’t fit together, then better find something more suitable.
It’s also crucial you keep users in mind as this is an effective way to make internal links natural. You need to ask yourself if those links make sense to connect the topics and if they benefit the user.
You should also consider linking to more landing pages instead of only focusing on homepages and other pages on your site. Vary links between category pages, blogs, and product pages with the right anchor texts.
Invest in Content
Create Infographics and other visuals that people want to share. Infographics are a great way to attract links because they are easy for people to share. When you create an infographic, include a link back to your website.
Remove Broken Links
Invest in Content
Broken links don’t work, meaning they have no business being on your website. As part of your link building strategy, you need to include removing broken links because they can be a real pain for your site visitors. In fact, broken links can also impact your website’s reputation.
A fast way to remove broken links is to use a tool to generate a report for broken links. This way, you get everything in one place, and you can remove them quickly.
Dealing with broken links is easy—you only need to take the time to do it. Although these links are very common online, you don’t want them on your site. Catching and removing them quickly should be a part of your link building strategy.
The Benefits of Link Building
Outreach is important to link building, and the benefit to this isn’t only about getting links. It can also help you establish long-term relationships with authorities in various industries, along with key influencers in your niche or industry.
What does this mean to your business?
This increases your chances of being a trusted and highly regarded company in your industry, which is extremely valuable. Even if you don’t think about getting links for your business, you can still get a lot of out of your outreach.
In some situations, you may even be able to build relationships with writers and other site owners who may turn into customers.
Increase in Relevant Organic Traffic
With the help of outreach, you can also get more relevant organic traffic to your website. This is especially true if you send your outreach emails to influencers and other thought leaders in your industry.
In fact, one of the biggest ranking factors is the high quantity of links and the diversity (or diversity of anchor text) they have. Thus, if you have a large number of links and they’re coming from a diverse number of sources, chances are, you’ll rank higher in the organic search results. This means you will get more leads and customers through your site, which can help you grow your business.
Build Your Brand
Businesses that are in this for the long haul want to make sure they’re building their brand. By reaching out to influencers, you are not only connecting with people you can potentially link to, but you’re essentially showcasing your business and letting others know what you’re about.
Doing so will help you gain credibility and trust in the niche and among potential customers. Moreover, this will make you more memorable as well.
Let’s say you want to expand your scope of business and start producing videos for local businesses. As you build a network, you can start getting people to work with you, offering them great quality while showing off your skills.
In the end, they will likely to talk about your company, which will do wonders for your own brand. You achieve this through a series of small steps, each one building on the previous.
With these factors combined, you can grow your own business more easily by having a strong position in your niche.
How to Find High-Quality Links
Finding high-quality links for your link building isn’t easy as taking it at face value. Search engines, specifically Google have released an update, the Google Penguin that targeted link schemes. Therefore, when link building, you need to be conscious of which types of links are not good for your website.
So, how do you determine high-quality links? There are crucial elements to consider:
- Content: Check the written and visual content on the website.
- Link profile: See the kind of links points to the website.
- Content owner: Know who is responsible for the main content and support.
- Reputation: Evaluate the website’s reputation.
- Technical: Understand how users find and engage with the website or content.
Different Types of Link Building Tactics
In link building, there are three types of links:
Nofollow vs. Follow
What are nofollow links? These are natural links that are used when you want to link to another website but you don’t want Google to crawl that site. It will inform Google that it shouldn’t pass PageRank.
Using a nofollowing link is helpful when you need to link to a website but you don’t want to promote it. Another way it is helpful is when the link is profitable as Google wants users to use rel=”sponsored” as a backlink attribute for paid or profitable links instead.
One thing you should remember is that nofollow links don’t pass authority directly. However, it will still deliver brand recognition and referral traffic.
On the other hand, follow links are regular links with attributes that inform Google the link should pass PageRank. It is used to pass on authority to a trusted website and help bots understand what the content is all about.
Simply put, a follow link sends a signal to Google to crawl a website, while nofollow links don’t.
Links from Users
Links from users are often low quality, and they are the ones that Google doesn’t count. They are not editorially given, which means they have less weight compared to other types of links.
Before, the use of links from users has been useful. However, it’s important to be cautious now as Google may penalise your site.
Many links online are done without someone having asked for them. In link building, getting high quality links from relevant sites that you didn’t ask for is a good thing. However, it’s not easy to achieve unless you’re a big brand.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a big brand, and for the most part, links like this can be generated only when you have a product and/or website content that is link worthy. Additionally, it’s only when your content has caught the attention of many people.
Basically, successful link building is about evoking a sense of authority on that specific niche or topic that will make people actually link to your site.
That said, building a content-worthy site will take a lot of work. In addition to that, it will take some time before others link to your site. Nevertheless, the hard work will pay off—because this kind of link can stand the test of time.
Link Building Tools
It’s true that link building has changed significantly over the years. Back in the days, building link farms was a thing, but Google has become smart enough to detect and penalise websites that do this. Also, adding too many links or irrelevant links just for the sake of adding links is not allowed.
Today, it’s all about ethical link-building practices. With that, you have to earn the backlinks instead of getting them the easy way. An effective way to acquiring links is to reach out to other websites in your industry and look for link-building opportunities.
Without any link building techniques, this can be daunting. Fortunately, there are tried and tested link-building tools you can use today. Here are some of them:
Ahrefs is one of the most powerful link-building tool today, with a backlink index that contains three trillion live backlinks alone. This makes Ahrefs a crucial tool to reall make link building work for your website.
It is easy to use, which is perfect for non-technical people. With a suite of SEO tools, you can use them depending on your needs.
For example, you can use the broken link checker to check for broken inbound and outbound links on your site. This will help you fix any broken links easily. You can also use the tool to check for broken links on sites in your industry. It will also let you run daily, weekly or monthly crawls to help with broken link-building efforts.
Another feature is the content explorer which is great for link worthy content research. However, it’s also helpful in finding linking prospects. This will help you find outdated similar posts you can take advantage of to promote your updated blog post allowing you to earn more backlinks from pre-existing content. .
Ahrefs is free, but if you want to make the most out of its features, you can get the pain plan that starts at $82/month.
Another popular link building tool is Majestic SEO. It has two indexes—Fresh Index and Historic Index. What’s the difference between the two?
Fresh Index has a list of pages and links it found in the past 120 days, along with links that you might have lost in that period. It is helpful to understand how your current link-building campaigns affect your rankings.
On the other hand, Historic Index is a huge database that spans the last five years with trillions of unique URLs. With this, you can measure your site’s SEO performance over time.
You can also take advantage of the Topical Trust Flow, which is a metric that measures the number of sites linking to your website from highly-trusted seed websites.
Majestic SEO is available for free with an option to upgrade to get access to all of its features. You can start off with the Lite plan at $49.99 a month, while the most expensive is $399.99 for the API plan.
Linkody is a simple link-tracking and backlink analysis tool that will enable you to analyse backlink profile and disavow bad links. It is user-friendly and is one of the most affordable link building tools today.
One of its great features is the Top Pages that shows you the exact pages that get the most links. With this information, you can reverse engineer what’s working for a competing website or boost what’s already working for you.
Linkody offers a 30-day free trial, and you don’t have to provide your credit card details for it. Should you choose to continue with Linkody, the price starts at $14.90 per month.
MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you conduct backlink research and view metrics from the search results. Once it’s installed on the browser, you only need to enter a keyword, and you will be able to analyse how competitive that keyword is.
The Domain Authority is helpful, which is a metric that measures the site’s overall strength and its ability to rank in search results. There is also the Page Authority, which is a metric that measures a specific page’s ability to rank in the search results for a keyword.
It also has the Link Explorer feature that you can use for your link research and view other SEO metrics to see how sites on the first page of Google are achieving their rankings.
It comes in a free version, but only with limited features. To make the most out of it, you can sign up for Moz Pro in different plans that starts at $99.
Outreach is crucial in building backlinks, and Hunter.io tool can help you with that. It helps you find email addresses associated with any website easily. Moreover, a handy feature is that is has an email verification that tells you when an email is active and in use.
Another useful feature is the Google Sheets add-on. You can use this when you have exported some link prospects from Content Explorer and imported them into Google Sheets. You will notice the export file has the associated author name and with the add-on, you can find matching emails for these prospects in one click.
You can get this free that will give you 50 free searches a month, but you can always upgrade to a premium plan.
Pitchbox is another link-building tool that is best for link outreach, link prospecting, and link vetting. The tool is an influencer outreach and link-buiilding platform that is suitable for businesses.
Use the tool to find and connect with top influencers and publishers in your niche. Furthermore, you can reach out to them for link-building opportunities through their outreach templates.
Another great thing about this tool is that it can be integrated with other tools such as, SEMrush, Moz, and Majestic. Therefore, you can gather SEO metrics for link vetting.
However, they don’t offer a free trial. You can get pricing information upon request.
BuzzStream is a great outreach tool and prospect manager. It will help grow your email outreach as it lets you personalise, manage, organise, track, and send emails all in one place. You can also add multiple users to your account and assign tasks between them.
Additionally, you can import Ahrefs CSV exports. One of its best features is the Buzzmarker, a Chrome extension that will help boost the link prospecting. From here, you can find contact information, add prospects to campaigns, and compose emails from templates as you search the web. You can also compose and send an email by using their templates in the browser window.
Another thing you can do is to find and collaborate with influencers that will help you build quality backlinks. You can try it for free, or you can upgrade starting at $24 a month.
HARO is suitable for journalists who need insights, opinions or advice from industry experts for their content. The tool will ley you connect with industry experts via daily emails.
So, how does it work? You can submit the source requests to the tool. From there, the tool will send three emails every day to its users. You will pitch the relevant requests to obtain media coverage.
A great feature is the Keyword Alerts that lets users subscribe to the relevant ones. However, you can get the most out of it with paid plans to filter for opportunities by keyword. You can get it for $19 per month.
URL Profiler is another powerful tool that will let you pull a wide array of metrics and data related to URLs. All you need to do is put in your URLs, check the boxes for the data that you need, and click go.
The Contact Scraping feature is useful for link building, where you can pull link prospects. With this, you can enrich link prospects.
You can use this for free for 14 days, and should you choose to upgrade, it’s available for $19.95 a month.
How to Choose the Best Link-Building Tools
Now that you know some of the best link-building tools, how do you determine the right one for your needs? There are a few considerations that you have to take:
The price of the tool is important when you are looking for link-building tools to use. Comparing the prices of different plans will be incredibly helpful to your search. Different companies offer other plans, and each one will be different depending on the number and authority of the links you aquire. Therefore, you should find a plan that suits your needs and budget.
For example, some companies offer a package with a certain number of links for a fixed price. While some provide a specific number of connections of several months.
The Number of Users Who Need to Use the Tool
How many people do you need to use the tool? If you’re the only one who will be using it, then you don’t have to worry about the number of users a tool can accommodate at the same time. However, if you will use it with many people, then you will need to find a tool that can accommodate the number of people who will need to use the tool.
The Number of Links You Can See
Some tools will give you the most competitor link data, while others may seem cheaper, though, but the links you will see may be limited. Additionally, you can get what you pay for.
Let’s say you’re reporting to clients, then you need to make sure the tool will provide you with accurate reporting will let you provide clear insights and data to your clients. As much as possible, ensure the tool can provide you with detailed reporting as this can be helpful.
The bottom line is that link building is an integral part of SEO and should be a priority for any business looking to improve its online presence. By creating valuable content and using the right link building strategies, you can increase your website’s ranking in search engine results pages. And as we’ve seen, there are several different ways to link building.
So what link building strategy is best for your business? It depends on your goals and where you’re at in the SEO process. If you’re just starting out, you might want to focus on building links through guest blogging and other forms of content marketing.
Remember that link building is a marathon, not a sprint, whichever approach you choose. It takes time and effort to see results, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run.
So, what are your favourite link building strategies? Share it in the comment section below.
If you need high quality links, we can help you here at Evolving Digital. Get in touch with us today.