Link building is an SEO process that involves having other websites to link to your own for you to increase visibility and page ranking on the SERPs. This article will explain further how link building can bring an SEO edge to your small business.
As website owners, you probably know by now that you can’t simply create a website, upload content and wait for things to happen. It’s important to have a solid understanding of how SEO works to be able to grab the attention of your target audience and thrive above the competition.
The world of SEO rarely ever stays the same. What works today, may not work tomorrow. However, what remains the same all throughout these years is creating high-quality link building strategies.
After all, links are the lifeblood of every digital assets on the Internet. So, in today’s post we’d like to share this guide on how to build quality links for a massive search engine traffic.
What is Link Building?
Link building is one of the crucial skills you need to master in SEO. It’s the process of having other websites link to your site. The focus of any link building success is quality over quantity. So, it make sense to prioritise building a few high quality links than a thousand spammy ones.
The best way to encourage more authoritative sites to link to your website is to always produce relevant, high-quality content that’s worth sharing to their own audience.
Why is Link Building Important?
One of the factors that Google considers when ranking web pages across the web is link popularity. The more your content is linked to high-quality websites, the more Google recognizes this as a vote of confidence that you have an authority website. This leads to a higher search ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Essentially, link building should be treated rather as a way to build relationships over time. In theory, if someone shares a link to your content, then it’s telling others that your site is a good resource.
High authority sites will most likely not link to a website if it feels it doesn’t deserve it. In the same way, you wouldn’t recommend an inferior product to your friend, right?
What Makes a High Quality Link?
Here are some tips on to spot a high quality from bad links.
It matters that a website is not only authoritative, it should be relevant to yours, too. These authority sites should be closely related to your niche. If you’re a travel site, you would want to get linked to another travel-related website.
PageRank is a tool Google uses to evaluate the importance of web pages. While Google discontinued showing PageRank numbers publicly, they still use it to base their decision on which pages to rank.
Linked shared by authoritative sites adds credibility and authority to your site. To check out a site’s proxy Page Authority, you can use Moz Open Site Explorer.
It also matters that your links are strategically placed in a content. If it’s hidden away on sidebars or footers, then it’s pretty much useless since people might not likely see it. You would want your links injected right in the body of a web page where it’s visible and clickable to readers.
When people link to your site because they think that you create great content, your link is said to be an editorial link. According to Google, building links that aren’t editorially placed are considered unnatural and a violation of their link building guidelines.
An anchor text is a clickable text of a hypertext link. This is an example of an anchor text: Managed WordPress Hosting. It tells Google what the page is about and whether to rank it for.
Just like anything in SEO, the anchor text was long abused. Too much exact-match anchor texts might flag your web page as spammy. So, keep all your anchor texts natural and diverse.
Dofollow and Nofollow Links
Dofollow links are links allowing search engine crawlers to follow and push link juice from them, helping the linked-to site to increase its ranking in the SERPs.
On the other hand, Nofollow links do not count as a link point in the said web page’s favor and will not have any bearing in the search engine page. Nofollow links was created after a series of abuse from spammers and black-hat SEOs.
The best way to get dofollow links is to always do it the natural way: create awesome, relevant and original content that people would want to share to boost your referral traffic.
Link Building Strategies
Set Link Building Goals
Setting the right goals paves the way for you to create strategies that give you a better chance at success. Your goals should be something that aligns to your overall business goals.
Since it takes time to see positive results with your link building, it’s best to be more realistic about it. As an example, you can aim to boost organic search traffic as a way to increase sales. This focuses on a more natural method for long-term success rather than short-term wins.
List your link targets
Rather than contacting random people, target your links to those who might be interested in your content. Why? Because your response rate will be a lot higher and it’s easier to convince your link targets to take a look at your content.
Here are the possible link targets you can contact:
Search for a list of bloggers in your niche on any search engine. The great thing about this is that someone might already have curated a list for you so it should be quite easy.
To export all their blog URLs, you can use a Google Chrome plugin like Scraper. Export a CSV file of your list to a spreadsheet, scan web pages relevant to your content and list down their contact details.
- Resources Page
Use these advanced search strings to filter for websites with Resources page.
- Keyword + inurl:resources
- Keyword + inurl:links
The inurl:resources and inurl:links parts of the search string tell Google to filter its search targeting sites with the world resources and links in their URL. Make a list of potential sites with resources pages, check if it’s an authoritative domain, contact their owners and ask them to add your link as one of their resources.
- Competitor’s Link Profile
See who’s linking to your competitors by checking out their link profile. In this way, you want to see if you can replicate their link building strategies.
To do this, use Ahrefs to download all your competitors’ backlinks. Export them to a CSV file and save on an Excel spreadsheet. Sort them according the metrics you set to find the best link building opportunities.
Broken Links Page
Broken links may happen for several reasons such as:
- linked web page was removed from the destination website
- destination website moved to a new domain
- URL entered for the link was incorrect
- link was blocked by the user’s firewall.
When you look at it on a different perspective, a broken link is your chance to inform the website owner to replace the broken link with your own.
To check for broken links, first install broken link Chrome plugins such as Check My Links or LinkMiner. Run the plugin and check out all the broken links on a specific page. Chances are that the more outbound links a web page has, the more broken links it might have.
Once you’ve spotted all broken links, email the website owner about them. This is the perfect time to pitch any helpful resources from your website as a replacement.
Your Own Link Profile
Another place to build links is through your link profile. You probably have tried signing up to join a forum, membership or social networking site. Some of these sites allow members to add their website links while some might not.
For example, on Facebook Page’s About page, you can add a link to your website. Your Twitter bio also allows you to insert links but these are nofollow.
Your Website’s Search Function
This is as simple as doing a quick search on your site’s search bar for relevant web pages you can interlink with. When producing a new content, search for any mentions of similar keywords on web pages you can link to.
You might also vaguely remember another similar content created but you just don’t know the title or the URL. You can either do the step mentioned earlier or search it on Google. To do this, just type this string on the search bar: site:[website URL], or type intitle:[keyword]. This should list all the indexed web pages that has this keyword phrases.
Reverse Image Search
There might be sites that use your images without any attribution. Don’t be mad and use this instead to further your link building goals. To search for images and their image files without any keywords, you can use a Reverse Image Search tool like Small SEO Tools.
A Reverse Image Search allows you to search for web pages using the same images. You can search by uploading an image from your desktop or entering its image URL. This is useful for link building if you want to search your images and have them linked to your website.
Reach out to site owners through an email and politely ask them to link back to your site. Some might oblige but for those who don’t, inform them that this could be a case for copyright infringement.
How long does it take to see any positive impact from your link building effort?
The length of time before you can get any success with your link building strategy will depend on these factors:
- Competitiveness of your keywords
- Competitiveness of your Niche or Industry
- Your competitor’s link building strategies
- Your Domain authority and history
This may mean that it could take weeks or months to achieve an increase in page ranking. You should include them whenever you set goals and make sure that all your team members are aware that positive results might not occur immediately.
A more realistic goal would be to see an increase in web traffic as you work on improving your link building strategies. Don’t’ treat link building as a one-time thing; it should be something that you do constantly together with content creation, keyword research, social media marketing and others. All of these activities can help you move effectively towards your online marketing goals.
We hope that you have found this guide helpful with your own link building strategy. If you want to share any tips on your own, please feel free to comment below.
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