Search engine optimization (SEO) is a never-ending and multi-dimensional battle of constant change. There’s always one thing after another, and just when you think you’re done with it, you face another challenge that’s vast and intimidating on its own.
Does link building feel that way to you? As a significant ranking factor, you might think that the steps and knowledge involved are manifold. Well, you’re right. But that doesn’t mean understanding it is impossible and adopting it should be ruled out.
Here, let us break down the intricacies of SEO link building into bite-sized pieces and take it step by step.
What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring high-quality inbound links from external websites to your own. These hyperlinks pointing to your website help search engines like Google discover, assess and rank your website’s pages.
Remember that quality matters. Getting links that come from reputable websites will be beneficial to your SEO, whereas links from dubious websites can severely undermine your SEO efforts.
When done right, link building provides your brand with a step up in authority, helping you rank better on search engines and invite more traffic.
How Will Link Building Help Me?
As mentioned before, link building is a powerful strategy that enables search engines to rank your website higher. But there are several hidden perks to link building that can help you in the long run. While they may not be veritably noticeable, or at least not at first, these benefits set you up for better success and also make it easier for you to implement other tactics for your total SEO.
Some ways in which link building can help your business or brand include:
Better Brand Awareness
We all have to start somewhere. It takes one to be recognized before they are seen as a reliable figure in the playing field. Link building helps open up consumers’ eyes to a brand that’s relevant but previously unknown to them. By establishing a ground of familiarity, link building can aid in creating brand awareness, paving the way for brand recall and finally, a top-of-the-mind status.
More Credibility and Authority
No one willingly links to sources that they find fishy. Being associated with reputable websites or industry leaders through hyperlinks can put you on equal or elevated standing. That said, it is incredibly important for brands to only connect with websites that are trustworthy. Acquiring inbound links from these sources characterizes your website as one that’s valuable and valid to crawlers and consumers alike.
Increased Visibility and Traffic
Getting mentions from other brands who view you as a relevant and quality figure means that their users will, too. This automatically directs some of the traffic they receive to you, even if they’re not actively looking for the product or service you’re offering.
Besides, all that credit puts you higher on search engines like Google, giving you better exposure from organic search. Ultimately, it all comes down to traffic, and we all know how crucial traffic is to leads and sales.
What Link Building Strategies Can I Use?
There are tons of link building strategies to adopt (especially if you aren’t fussy, are a go-getter or hugely resourceful). However, at the end of the day, what you’re looking for is to achieve natural-looking and useful “references” from high-quality sources, whether it is by organic means or methods of outreach.
Organic Link Building
This mode of link building does not involve any intervention or outreach by either website. Choosing instead to “earn” backlinks, organic link building is a passive approach that attracts other websites to link to you of their own accord.
It frequently emphasizes on creating valuable content and finding ways to promote that content without reaching out to businesses directly. In other words, a large part of organic link building is content marketing!
Produce High-Quality Content: It’s difficult to gain backlinks for product pages if you’re not well-known or offering something never-before-seen. One viable way to make up for that is to acquire editorial links with helpful informational content and linkable assets. Think infographics, guides, tutorials, case studies, statistics, and how-to videos.
Social Media: So you’ve got the content – now all you have to do is let people know about it. Social media provides a platform for you to broadcast and showcase your works. By sharing on social media, you are informing others that you have high-quality and possibly fresh content worth checking out or linking to.
Online Community Engagement: We are living in an increasingly fragmented world that doubles as a global village. This means there is a community for virtually anything out there, including your niche! Actively participating in related discussions and forums allows you to demonstrate your expertise. And when others get to know you, you’re nurturing an opportunity for natural and organic backlinks in the future.
Local Citations: Links on local directories count too. Ensure that you’re optimized for citation by including your business name, address and phone number (NAP) on your website. This is particularly important for businesses operating locally. Furthermore, it can help search engines better understand and categorize your business.
Outreach Link Building
Outreach link building, on the other hand, takes on a more proactive approach towards acquiring backlinks. It is what you think it is – contacting external domains directly to secure links from them. Compared to organic link building, this method is definitely less subtle and requires more finesse. Instead of “earning”, you’re “asking” (in various ways), which means it can be a lot faster and adaptive than its organic counterpart to boot. Here are some forms of link building that require reaching out to others.
SEO Outreach: The crux of outreach link building – SEO outreach. SEO outreach involves making contact with parties such as bloggers, thought leaders and suppliers to link your website on theirs. Ensuring they are authoritative and relevant to your niche is critical. Consider using specified tactics like the Skyscraper technique and Moving Man method to guide your strategy.
Collaborations and Partnerships: Know someone who could use an additional boost? Business partners or parties operating within the same or a related industry can provide mutual assistance by linking each other on their respective websites.
Broken Link Building: Also known as dead link building, broken link building is a practice that scours the Internet for broken links to replace them with working links from your site. Broken link building can be a brilliant way to propose a solution for others that segues into a mutually beneficial relationship, opening the door to stronger connections on top of increased exposure.
Press Releases: Press release link building can be a little tricky to navigate, but not so much with your heart in the right place. The general rule of thumb is to avoid being flagged as spam by creating actually newsworthy content and only disseminating to a selective but effective target audience. Keep your eye on the ball here – your main focus is to have other domains link to you. That said, steer clear of link-stuffed press releases and consider incorporating the “nofollow” attribute (sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not!).
Link Reclamation: Link reclamation acts on the basis of “Hey, so we’ve noticed that…” and is the process of identifying and replacing links that originally point to a valid page on your site, but no longer does because it has been lost or broken. You can also reach out and request for brand mentions to be hyperlinked.
Combination of Both Organic and Outreach
There are various link building strategies that can be both organic and intentional. Integrating them into your overall SEO efforts can provide you with a multi-pronged and more well-rounded approach towards building a strong backlink profile.
Guest-Blogging: Creating content beyond your website can reap incoming links by enabling others to discover you through quality content. While you may wish to signpost or direct others to your website’s pages, engaging with an audience without being incentivized by exposure and fostering authentic relationships with the community can also position you as a reliable figure that prioritizes value above all else.
Building Relationships: Building relationships using non-organic methods as a starting point can also pave the way for natural backlinks in the future. This will involve maintaining a truthful and collaborative relationship with the organizations you sought backlinks from, such that they will think of your brand and automatically link to your content when they need it.
Content Promotion: Content promotion can take place passively or actively depending on your execution. For instance, sharing your creations on social media, community engagement, content syndication are categorized as organic link building; whereas influencer outreach, distributing press releases, and exploring collaboration opportunities with bloggers, industry partners and more to cross-promote fall under outreach link building.
In our grand pursuit of high-quality backlinks, it is important not to lose sight of what matters. Maintaining your integrity and professionalism as you establish and strengthen your backlink portfolio is crucial, and that includes not succumbing to black hat SEO practices. Thankfully, there is an assortment of strategies to adopt. Moreover, they can be handpicked to the unique preferences and personalities of brands – making them all the more effective and exciting to be mixed-and-matched!
This guide strives to provide businesses with the fundamentals to embark on their own link building journey. With the definition, benefits, and strategies covered, individuals or business owners like you are now equipped to put this robust facet of SEO into effect. However, if you’re still on the fence, a bit unsure, and need a little support, we get it. That’s why Miron Digital is here. With our in-depth and extensive expertise, we can help you build a healthy backlink profile founded on complete white hat SEO, leaving no room for violations that could result in penalties and irreversible damage to your reputation.
To experience the change, contact us today.