Link Building: The Newest Tactics That Bring the Best Results
Developing effective link building practices should be an important part of any website’s overall marketing strategy. Essentially, backlinks indicate to search engines, like Google, which websites contain high-quality content that others want to mention. While links have different weightings when it comes to SEO, in general, the more backlinks a website has, the better its web authority. Therefore, link building can have a direct impact on a website’s ranking. This is important as the higher the ranking, the more visible a site is. And, the more visible a site is, the greater the traffic, with larger visitor numbers typically leading to more conversions. In short, link building is a vital tactic for most successful websites.
What Is Link Building?
A link, short for hyperlink, connects two webpages, either on the same website or on two different sites, for convenient cross-page navigation. Link building refers to the methods used to gain more links to a website’s pages and enhancing the quality of links. Backlinks from popular reputable websites with good web authority are typically more useful than links from newer sites with low visitor numbers, little content and low domain authority.
Why Is Link Building Important?
While Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, thus forcing markets and website owners to continually re-think their SEO strategies, backlinks have consistently remained important.
Websites that are successful with SEO typically have robust link-building practices. Links, or the lack of, can have a huge impact on a website’s rankings. This means links have the potential to help a website feature on the first page of a search engine. Similarly, links can be the reason a site remains invisible in obscurity.
The vast majority of internet inquiries begin with a search engine. People typically look at the top few returned results; it’s rare for searchers to scroll through pages and pages of results.
Furthermore, link building helps search engines to actually find new websites. It’s never to early, therefore, to start focusing on link-building efforts.
As well as being a key part of SEO success, building links is also important for other reasons:
Building good relationships is a key tactic for obtaining backlinks. Similarly, good link-building strategies can help to foster good working relationships with others in your niche or industry.
Online communications, and therefore also backlinks, can take place in various forms. Mutually beneficial partnerships and respect can go a long way when it comes to online success. In essence, a mention from another person, especially somebody trusted and popular in their field, is like a referral.
Nurturing relationships can become beneficial in a host of ways beyond exchanging links. For example, good relationships can help you grow your social media following or provide a valuable resource for guidance and advice.
Backlinks can help increase the number of visitors to your website, some of which may lead to conversions, either now or in the future. Websites with a large amount of traffic themselves are ideal targets if you wish you obtain good-quality links; after all, the more visitors they have, the more people will be exposed to the link to your site and thus there are more people likely to click and visit your website.
Whether you’re selling a product or service, whether your website focuses on affiliate marketing or advertising, whether you run an official website geared toward providing information or whether you have a different conversion goal, link building can increase your conversions. As previously mentioned, the greater the number of people who visit your site, the greater the number of people who will take the action you wish them to.
Link building can help to create greater awareness of your brand. Even if people don’t follow links the first time they see them, after repeat exposure they will likely remember your brand. Especially if links are for relevant related content and on trusted websites, internet users may start directly visiting your site for convenience and dependability.
In brief, quality backlinks can ultimately over time increase your branded traffic as well as visits from un-branded traffic that has simply clicked on a hyperlink.
How Are Links Interpreted by Search Engines?
Search engines follow links to find content on websites. If a particular page has lots of good-quality links, it indicates to the search engine that the page offers good-value content. They subsequently use this information to rank the content in search results. For Google, a bot named Googlebot crawls websites, following all the links.
While Google considers both internal and inbound links, external links have much more weighting than those within your site.
Other factors that influence the value Google gives to links include:
- The anchor text, or phrase that is linked
- The placement of the link on the page
- The type of link
- The link’s relevance
- Whether links are labelled dofollow or nofollow
- The website, or domain, authority
- The PageRank
- The TrustRank
- The relationship between link sources and targets
- Whether links from various sources
- The region a link comes from
- Other links on the same source page
- Age and timing of links
Additionally, organic links attract greater value while artificial links can adversely affect a page’s ranking.
How Do Links Contribute to Page Authority?
Different to domain authority (DA), page authority (PA) shows where a certain webpage will rank on search engine listings. Calculated using a 100-point scale, the higher the Page Authority, the easier it is for a page to rank and the higher a page will typically rank.
Page authority has three facets:
- Page trust, with good quality content and organization
- Time between last page update and present day
- Contribution made by links
Part of good link-building exercises should be assessing how links contribute to page authority. This involves reviewing all backlinks, taking into account the number and quality, and checking internal links.
Internal links should be relevant and provide value to the reader; it’s not valuable to stuff a page with unrelated links.
Links automatically have a certain value of authority, which can impact the overall page authority. While good-quality links can increase page authority, poor-quality links often have little effect. Links that are spammy, on the other hand, can directly harm the page authority.
The Best Ways to Build Links
Approaches to link building have changed greatly over the years. Good practices several years ago may be outdated today. It’s also important that link builders are aware of good practices when it comes to building links to avoid having any unwanted negative impacts on a website. For example, using black hat SEO practices, such as paying for links or obtaining links through manipulation or coercion, are detrimental to a site. Top ways to build high-quality links include:
Useful, interesting, unique and readable content remains a major way of obtaining links naturally. Essentially, you should create content that others want to link to. New research is particularly attractive when it comes to link building. Infographics are also popular, as are exclusive videos, images and interviews.
People need to find your content to link to it. Actively promote your content using various methods, for example through several social media channels, to your email list and via professional networks.
Leverage relevant connections to obtain links back to your content. As previously mentioned, the value of relationships can’t be underestimated. Engaging with others in your niche, or related fields, can encourage them to link back to your content. Flattery and recognition can often go a long way when it comes to productive link building.
Outreach is where you essentially contact a website owner, manager or similar and simply ask for a backlink. Sometimes, targeted requests will be successful. However, having some previous contact often helps, connecting back to the importance of building relationships.
Offer Free Tools or Templates
Providing useful tools or templates for free can encourage users to provide a recommendation through a backlink. You can also ask people directly to link back to your product if they are satisfied with it.
Analyze Existing Links
Links that no longer work correctly provide no value to your site. Although the process can be tedious, checking for broken links and having them fixed, providing sites with updated links and similar means of fixing problematic links can restore connections between your site and another.
There are plenty of places you can obtain backlinks with relatively little effort, although you’ll need to put in the time for research. Find, for example, industry magazines, association websites, directories and similar where you can build a link. Relevant comments on blog posts, videos and articles can also be useful if you’re trying to increase your backlinks.
Link Building Services
As shown above, link building is important for building web and page authority, rankings and the overall success of a website. Building quality links can, however, be challenging. It can certainly be a drain on your time and energy, too.