Link building is essential to any successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Creating high-quality, relevant backlinks to your website can demonstrate your site’s value and credibility to search engines.
Backlinks will, in turn, help improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search results. But link building is challenging – building a robust and diverse backlink profile takes time, effort, and a strategic approach.
This blog post will dive into link building, exploring the fundamental principles, best practices, and proven strategies for boosting your website’s visibility and authority. Whether you’re just starting link building or looking to take your efforts to the next level, this guide is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their website’s SEO.
What is Link Building?
Link building is acquiring backlinks from other websites to your own. Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are a crucial component of search engine optimization (SEO) as they signal to search engines the popularity and credibility of your website.
When a reputable website links to your site, it acts as an endorsement and shows that it contains valuable, relevant content. Such an acknowledgment will help improve your website’s visibility in search results and drive more traffic.
Link building can also help establish your website as an authority in your industry, boosting its overall trust and credibility with users and search engines.
Importance of Link-Building Strategies
One of the most crucial ranking factors used by Google is backlinks. Google and other top search engines view backlinks as “votes of confidence” for the websites receiving them. A page’s ranking might increase when more high-quality backlinks are added.
Each vote demonstrates how valuable, reliable, and practical your content is. Therefore, link building is necessary if you want your sites to appear highly in Google search results.
It is uncommon to outrank pages with many strong links unless you get an equal number of links. But links aren’t the only thing Google considers when ranking pages. If you create loads of links to your page but still perform poorly, look into other ranking variables that might hold you back.
How to Build Links
Most link-building techniques and methods fit into one of the following three categories.
Ask for Links
As the name implies, you contact the website’s owner and persuade them to link to you. You may request that they connect to the following:
- Blog entries
- Extensive guides
- Visual resources (like infographics)
- Your original study, data, etc.
That “compelling reason” is a crucial component of its success. Unless you’re a celebrity, the individuals you reach out to don’t care about you or your website. Therefore they have no reason to promote you or your content.
Therefore, think about what’s in it before asking them to connect to you. Some linking-build tactics and strategies include; guest blogging, broken link-building, testimonials, link inserts, etc.
It is called “adding” a link if you can visit a website that is not your own and manually post your link there. The following strategies fall under this category most frequently:
- Contributions to business directories.
- Creating a social media profile.
- Blogging comments.
- I was posting on message boards, social networks, and Q&A websites.
- Displaying positions for a job search.
Using those strategies to build links is pretty simple. For this reason, such links typically have little significance in Google’s eyes. They might even be marked as spam in some circumstances.
These links hardly give you a competitive advantage aside from that. Nothing prevents your rivals from doing the same if you can manually add a link to a website.
These links won’t directly benefit you but won’t harm you. Earning links is the best course of action.
When other websites connect to the pages on your website without your asking them to do so, you “earn” links. This certainly won’t happen until you provide other website owners with something truly exceptional that they will genuinely want to highlight on their websites.
People, however, are unlikely to attach to objects they are unaware of. Therefore, you must invest in promoting your page, regardless of how fantastic it is. Additionally, the more individuals who view your page, the more likely some may decide to link to it.
- Visual resources (infographics, charts, diagrams, etc.)
- Data and original research (industry studies, surveys, proprietary research, etc.) The following are some examples of the various content categories that get links:
- Website resources and calculators
- Detailed instructions and lessons
Examine the backlink profiles of your competitors to generate fresh article ideas. The others include:
We advise against purchasing links. If you don’t have much experience with it, you can spend a lot of money on pointless links that won’t help your ranks. You could suffer a penalty on your website.
However, if we don’t inform you that many SEO professionals “purchase” links in various ways and get away with it, we’ll place you at a disadvantage.
What Makes a Good Backlink
Nobody knows the procedure Google uses to determine each link’s worth. However, it’s crucial to understand what creates a good (or terrible) connection. So you can then concentrate on building links that will raise your Google rankings.
Here are a few general theories about link evaluation that the SEO industry takes to be true:
The term “authority” in SEO refers to a website’s or webpage’s overall quality. Google considers Links ” votes, indicating a particular page deserves to rank well. A link from a website with high authority is frequently more beneficial and can raise the page rank of your website.
For instance, a connection from The Wall Street Journal will have a considerably more significant influence than a link from an unidentified blogger.
Google, meanwhile, has repeatedly denied the existence of any system-wide website authority metric. However, many SEOs think the idea of “website authority” makes too much logic to dismiss it entirely.
The authority of the page connecting to you is more significant, though. It’s one thing to make a passing remark in a TechCrunch post; it’s quite another if the article “breaks the internet” is cited by dozens of major news outlets.
In other words, a page with some significant votes will vote more forcefully than a page with no voices. This straightforward idea is the basis of Google’s well-known PageRank algorithm.
The relevance of the site matters when it comes to links. The “how search works” website of Google provides evidence for this:
“Beyond keyword analysis, our systems can determine if the information is pertinent to a query in other ways. Understanding whether other well-known websites link to or reference the content is one indicator we use to assess this.”
It implies that:
If you’re in charge of a website that provides SEO advice, a trustworthy yoga website links to your website. That’s awesome! However, it’s possible that your rank won’t change.
A solid indication that the content is quality is if the page is linked to other well-known websites. Links from websites related to your own are more valuable than links from unrelated websites. And when ranking pages, Google appears to take that into account.
It would be better if the link came from a reputable SEO, consultancy, or marketing website. The better your SEO, the more relevant.
When placing links, it’s essential to consider both the quantity and quality of the links and the context in which they appear. For example, links embedded within relevant and informative content are more likely to be clicked on by users. As a result, they significantly impact search engine rankings more than those placed in less suitable locations.
Additionally, placing too many links close together can be viewed as spammy by search engines and harm your website’s ranking.
As an extra nugget, studies have related the possibility that a reader will click on a link based on where it is placed. The more authority a link holds, the higher the chance (often higher on the page).
If you’re unfamiliar with the word “anchor text,” it refers to a clickable text passage directing you to another page. Because it tells users and search engines what a linked page is about, anchor text is significant. It frequently provides a summary of the topic of the linked page.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Google uses the terms in the anchor text to comprehend better the cited page’s subject matter and the keyphrases for which the page should give its preference in search results. This is covered explicitly in Google’s original PageRank patent:
Google uses a variety of strategies, such as page rank, anchor text, and proximity data, to enhance search quality. So how do you use anchor text to your advantage while creating links?
Well, it’s best if you don’t. Google may detect manipulation and penalize you if you try to manipulate how other pages link to you by stuffing all the “correct terms” into the anchor text of your backlinks. Therefore, allowing the connecting website’s author to choose how to reference your page is preferable.
Nofollow vs. Follow
The link attribute “nofollow” instructs search engines not to follow the outbound link. When website owners want to link to another website but don’t want to suggest any endorsement, they frequently employ them.
Google claims that nofollow links typically don’t pass authority. However, they can still drive referral traffic and brand recognition. On the other hand, follow links are standard links without properties. It can convey ranking credit and endorsement.
There are two other qualities that website owners can apply in addition to nofollow:
- To distinguish links made as part of advertisements, sponsorships, or other contracts, use the rel= “sponsored” attribute.
- rel= “UGC” distinguishes links within user-generated content, such as forum posts and comments.
All link properties are viewed as cues to Google’s intended link interpretation. Since these links are meant to cast the most potent votes, you should aim to obtain “followed” links (i.e., links without previous properties).
However, you must seize the chance if you can gain a followed link from a relevant, high-authority source.
There are three places you can direct links when developing links to your website:
- Home page.
- Your linkable resources.
- The actual pages that are required for high Google rankings.
Additionally, gaining links to the pages you need to rank effectively is frequently tricky. Most people prefer to link to information pages where their audience can gain value for nothing instead of commercial pages where they are more inclined to part with their money.
Thus, “How to gain links to boring pages” is one of the most frequently asked issues in SEO.
Best Backlinking Strategies
There are numerous methods for building links. But these are a few of the most efficient.
Researching Competitors’ Backlinks
One of the essential aspects of link building is competitor link research. The goal of this tactic is to adapt and imitate the link-building tactics of your competitors.
Reverse engineering the backlink methods of your rivals can reveal:
- What types of content are most likely to generate backlinks?
- Who links to authority figures in your industry?
Analyze it. Your ideal search result’s top-ranking page contains all the necessary links, which convinced Google of its excellence. You may therefore choose what strategies to employ by looking at its links to obtain close ties and outrank that page.
Your two options are as follows:
- Get links from the websites that link to your rivals.
- To receive more connections than your rivals, research how those links were accepted and employ the same strategies.
Creating Linkable Assets
In SEO, we refer to content intentionally created to attract links as “linkable assets” or “link bait.” Content known as a linkable asset tends to acquire backlinks independently.
These frequently include resources like
- Website resources and calculators
- Infographics GIFographics, and “Map-o-graphics”
- Original research
- In-depth guides.
However, before you produce any assets, you must know what people in your niche are linking to. To do that, look at the backlink profiles of your competitors. You’ll find a ton of content inspiration.
Broken Link Building
The process of locating broken external links on other websites in your field is known as damaged link building. Following that, get in touch and suggest they link to your material instead.
Because nobody wants to direct people to malfunctioning pages, it works incredibly effectively. And you’re providing a good substitute.
Finding broken pages on rival websites is a simple method to start with broken link building.
Become A Source
Becoming a source for reporters, journalists, and bloggers is a fantastic method to develop high-quality links. You can use Help a Reporter Out (HARO), one of the most well-known services.
People who require sources (authors) can connect with people who seek linkages and exposure through services like HARO (you). You’ll receive daily emails with a list of authors and companies looking for knowledgeable sources.
Large media organizations like New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and Business Insider are a few examples that also use these services.
No matter how “linkable” your pages are, nobody can link to them without first finding them. In other words, link building requires promotion even for the most linkable assets.
In general, there are just three methods of content promotion:
- Communities and influencers
- Increasing the size of the audience
Community and influencers
“Who will make this louder? Then why? The response to this query, in the opinion of Rand Fishkin, defines the degree of exposure your piece of content is likely to receive.
“Who” refers to influential individuals and communities in your niche who could aid in promoting your material to a broad audience. And “why” refers to the qualities of your material that make it deserving of promotion.
You can easily attract visitors to your material by advertising on websites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Alternatively, you can collaborate with specific content producers and influencers in your niche and pay them to spread the word about your material to their audience.
However, some people need help discovering a good reason to invest money in content promotion. Naturally, this raises the question of how they could have justified making an effort to make it in the first place.
If you design your content with your company objectives, you shouldn’t have trouble defending the cost of advertising it to consumers.
Broadening the Audience
You will get in contact with sure folks who will benefit from your material every time you publish and promote it (or enjoy it). And parting ways with them and never being able to contact them again would be a tremendous shame, wouldn’t it?
It would be best if you attempted to increase your audience. Which can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
- Request that they join your email list.
- Request their followers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok.
- Invite them to join your exclusive Facebook, Slack, or Discord community.
- Retarget them with Google, Facebook, and Twitter advertisements.
Your audience should expand as you publish more and more exciting content. Additionally, the more people follow your work, the less effort you’ll need to advertise it manually.
Guest posting is the third most popular link-building technique among seasoned SEOs, according to a survey carried out by Aira in 2022.
As previously said, requesting links without providing value in exchange hardly functions anymore. Guest blogging is different from that. You provide that in exchange for the chance to link to your website from that high-quality content.
Recover Missing Backlinks
Links can be lost just as quickly as you can gain them. It frequently takes place.
Several factors can cause a connection to break:
- The hyperlink disappears from the connecting page.
- The linked page disappears.
- The linked page is then forwarded, and so on.
Your task at this point is to take it back. Recovering broken links is frequently more straightforward than creating new ones.
How to Keep Track of Your Link-Building Effort
Link building requires patience, persistence, and time. We advise conducting periodic audits to prevent it from all going to waste. This will make it easier for you to monitor overall backlink quality, earned and lost links.
Automation of these audits makes the process even better. The Backlink Audit tool from Semrush makes it simple to set them up.
Link Building Tools
Although it is technically possible to develop links with only a mental effort and a Gmail account, several link-building programs will help make gaining connections much more accessible.
These are a few
- Ahrefs Webmaster Tools – Displays all links already pointing at your website and allows you to sort and filter them based on various crucial SEO factors.
- Google Alerts – When a particular word or phrase appears on a freshly published page, Google Alerts will let you know. It is an excellent method for finding quality link prospects.
- Ahrefs’ Free Backlink Checker displays the top 100 links pointing at any website or URL
- Semrush Backlink Audit Tool – used for reclaiming lost links
Frequently Asked Questions on Link-Building Strategies
- Is link building still relevant to SEO 2023?
Yes, google’s algorithms are continually modified to guarantee that the results it displays to users are pertinent to their search inquiry. The strength and quantity of a website’s backlinks will affect how relevant Google views it.
- Is link building worth it?
Link building is crucial to SEO and can greatly benefit your website. High-quality backlinks from reputable sources can improve your search visibility, drive traffic and establish your website as an authority. However, not all links are equal, so focusing on quality over quantity and avoiding unethical tactics is essential.
- What is website link building?
Link building is the marketing strategy used to obtain links pointing to your website from other websites. It is regarded as one of the most effective methods for achieving better search engine rankings.
- What is the Difference between Linking Building and Backlinks
Link building is acquiring backlinks for your website, while backlinks are links from other sites to yours. Search engines use backlinks to gauge the popularity and relevance of a website, so a strong backlink profile can significantly benefit your search visibility and establish credibility.