Link building is the process of building the number of websites that link to your own website to help SEO ranking and to increase traffic. When users are on one site and click on a link to yours, they are likely interested in the content or products that you are offering. If you are able to gain their interest on the first page, they may click through to other pages. This could lead to a repeat visitor or customer, which is our main goal in running a website or blog. Additionally, link building is one of many important factors in Google’s ranking algorithms. The more links you have to your website, the better it looks to Google’s algorithm.
Key Elements of a Successful Strategy
One important thing to consider when starting your link-building strategy is the weight of the links you are seeking out. Not all links are equal. There are some key things to look into when deciding what makes a good link.
- Links that are in the main body of the text (rather than in a footer) and stand out from the main text are higher quality links. They invite users to click on them, rather than blend in with the text that they are in.
- Editorially placed links, or links that the outside website chose to place on their own, are considered to be higher quality. This means that you did not pay or encourage the link to be added to increase your rankings.
- Links from new domains are better than continuous links from the same domain. Basically, Google wants to see that a large variety of websites are linking to you, rather than the same few websites linking repeatedly.
- Relevance is important. Links are meant to lead viewers from point A to point B. This means that you would want a workout blog linking to your sports blog, but not necessarily a pet blog linking to your sports blog. Links from similar and relevant websites are considered higher quality than random links.
Internal Link Building
Internal link building is one of the first steps you can take on the long road to a successful link building strategy. There is so much work that goes into gaining quality links, but you have complete control over your internal links.
How to Get Other’s to Link to You
Guest blogging is one of the most popular ways to get other’s to link to you website. Just as with any other option, there are pros and cons. This is a solid way to begin link building and to gain additional exposure, but if it is easy for you then it is also easy for competitors. This method will help you gain some reach and a link, but it won’t set you apart from the competition.
Digital PR campaigns involve creating content and using PR pitching strategies to persuade journalists and other websites to cover the content and link back to the source. There are multiple approaches to digital PR: data-driven studies, infographics, surveys, and interactive assets.
If you offer a resource that is helpful to a website, you may be able to have you site featured among others that offer that particular service or resource. Competitor analysis can often help you find websites that are linking to similar services or resources. This will give you a starting point on what types of sites could benefit from yours.
Case studies and testimonials are a way for two brands or companies to help one another. By completing case studies and testimonials, you are sharing information with your followers that could help out a partner. This normally ends in a link to your post.
There are many other ways to gain links from outside sources and this is where most of your attention will be needed. It is important to note here that shady, black hat methods of gaining links are not worth the cost. Paid links that pass Page Rank, comment spam, hacked site links, and other tactics like this can get you banned from a search engine’s results and could hurt you more long-term than any short-term benefits you would gain.
Alternatives to Links
As algorithms develop and new strategies come to light, links may gain some peers. Mentions, reviews, influencer marketing, and social media interactions may increase in importance. It is best to be working on these areas now, gaining a head start while increasing your reach. This doesn’t mean you want to neglect link building, but keep these additional areas in mind when are working on SEO and creating content.
Mentions are when customers or others mention your company or brand (hopefully in a positive light). These mentions drive traffic to your site and lead to people searching your site on search engines.
Reviews are one of the best things to convert potential customers into returning ones. Positive reviews help potential customers hear first-hand what others think of your brand or business. Reviews are one of the first things people search before investing in a brand or company, especially one that they’ve never heard of before. Even negative reviews can help you convert customers if you act on them and maintain a professional and helpful tone when responding. This shows that even when customers have negative experiences, you are there and willing to make things right.
Influencer marketing is another way to gain the attention of your target market. Influencers already have the trust of their followers and can get your brand or product out there in front of very specific audiences. This leads to interest in your product and potential searches on search engines.
Social Media Interaction
Social media is a must for any business that is looking to survive. Using social media marketing can help drive conversion and interaction with customers can help build a relationship. This relationship will help increase continued business and “shares”.