If you’re looking for a way to expand your brand presence, drive traffic to your website, increase sales, or just grow your business in general, link building promises all of that and more.
However, it’s an element of marketing that very few business owners are actually familiar with.
In this article, we’ll explain what link building is and how it can be leveraged within your own strategy.
What is Link Building?
Link building is basically the process of getting other websites to point links back to individual pages on your website.
This is typically done by hyperlinking text within articles and blog posts and directing people to your own content.
“Google’s algorithms are complex and always evolving, but backlinks remain an important factor in how every search engine determines which sites rank for which keywords,” WordStream mentions. “Building links is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimization (SEO) because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. Therefore, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings.”
The benefits of link building reach far and wide.
First and foremost, it increases your organic searchability. This also has the added effect of enhancing your authority and credibility.
As a result, you can expect increased traffic to your website, resulting in more customers, sales, etc.
7 Link Building Tips & Strategies
Link building is not a perfect science. It’s constantly evolving as search engines make tweaks to their algorithms.
However, if you commit to the process and respect the fundamental principles, success is likely. Keeping this in mind, here are a few tips:
Create Quality Content
Don’t jump into link building too prematurely.
While links are shiny and attractive, they won’t do much good if you don’t have quality content. This is why it’s always a good idea to begin with some onsite content creation.
You don’t need to publish a dozen blog posts a week or have thousands of pages on your website. You do, however, need a handful of high-quality onsite resources that you can link to with confidence.
While this article isn’t focused on onsite content strategies, we would recommend looking into a pillar strategy.
A good content pillar strategy combined with a strong link building strategy will yield fruitful results in any industry or niche.
Know Your Audience
Anyone can go out and acquire a bunch of links fairly easily.
But if you’re interested in doing link building right, you also have to consider the publishers you’re choosing.
There needs to be a good alignment between the publisher, your website, and your audience.
If you run an HVAC company, for example, you’ll get the most benefit by building backlinks from home maintenance websites and DIY blogs.
You wouldn’t get nearly as much value from financial websites or political blogs.
Use Anchor Text With Care
Does it really look natural to include the exact anchor in every guest post, press release and off-site article you produce that links back to your services page(s)?
Google doesn’t think so.
When it comes to the anchor text you use, there should be diversity and variability.
In fact, here’s the right mix based on assessments of sites whose pages rank in the top 10.
Anchor text should be mixed in the following fashion. These are the averages for all top 10 results across all sites.
Building keyword specific anchor text to your homepage should be very different than your inner pages.
Your homepage is also a different monster when it comes to how you should be looking to build links to it.
Use the Right Link Velocity
If your site or page receives 10 links one day and 10,000 backlinks the next, do you think that looks natural?
Link velocity is defined by the number of links over a specific time horizon.
It would be more natural for a site to get 10,000 links in a week if the previously week it had an influx of say 8,000 or 9,000.
Let your links build on each other over time.
Viral links come into play and can be considered “natural,” but such instances are more the exception than the rule.
If you are able to acquire 50 links in a single month in a natural way, focusing on outreach strategies, then next month shoot for 60 and so-on.
Eventually your link momentum will shift and you’ll start to see an impact on your rankings.
Remember, what is a good link velocity for one site, may be a horrible velocity for another.
Hire a Link Building Service
Trying to do 100 percent of your link building on your own can be exhausting.
And unless you have some experience with SEO and content strategy, it won’t go very well.
This is why we recommend hiring a link building partner to facilitate link building on your behalf.
When researching link building services, look for companies that have established relationships with publishers.
You don’t want to use a company that’s only been in business for a few months.
There’s a lot of turnover in this industry and most services don’t last.
Choose a company that’s been around for a minimum of 10 years and that practices white-hat link building.
Stick With It
Link building takes time. It’s not something you do once and then expect immediate results. It’s an ongoing investment that gives you ongoing results. At a minimum, you should be investing in two or three quality backlinks per month as part of your standard marketing strategy.
Don’t Just Focus on Link Building
If you have the same number of backlinks and authority as competing pages, but they are outranking you for the terms you want, then it might be time to take a look at other areas that may be impacting your site.
While link building has a strong correlation to ranking in Google and other search engines, it does not have the highest correlation.
Diversity among factors is the best signal to Google for improved rankings.
Take the time to diversify away from just building links for SEO.
Enjoy the Benefits of Link Building
Link building requires resources. You must be willing to fork over some time, effort, and (in many cases) funds. But this isn’t an expense – it’s an investment. And like any good investment, you can expect a positive return on investment. You don’t have to build out thousands of links at once.
Start small and go from there. Your progress will compound and you’ll eventually enjoy the full complement of benefits that link building has to offer.
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