A strong link building strategy can transform your web presence completely. With Google algorithms constantly changing and having a high-performing website an essential for business, it’s never been more important to build natural, high-quality links.
What is link building?
Link building in the simplest terms is the process of gaining or ‘building’ links from other websites that link through to yours. Links are a way for users to move from one webpage to the next and navigate their way through information online.
Links are one of the main ways that search engines such as Google evaluate your website in order to decide how to rank it in results. The theory is that if a website has a lot of other, high-quality and respected sites linking to it then the pages and information must be useful, which in turn will result in more authority for your website and a higher ranking position in search results.
There are various ways that you can build links to your website and if you find the perfect one for you then you’re likely to see a huge improvement to your website’s SEO performance. SEO professionals, bloggers and business owners all put a lot of time, effort and money into link building campaigns as it’s crucial that it’s done right. Bad links and a poor link building strategy can result in the opposite and end up having a negative effect on your website’s performance.
Why is link building important for the SEO of my website?
It can be easy to think that link building isn’t that important but you’d be wrong. Following its Penguin update, Google announced that link building was now one of its top three ranking factors so if you want your site to rank well in Google results then you need a strong link building strategy.
The more links you have that direct to your website, the higher your authority will be. It’s important though to bear in mind that quantity doesn’t out-value quality here. You could have hundreds of links pointing to your site but if they’re low quality, irrelevant or spammy you will end up negatively impacting your site authority and performance.
Instead you need to be building relevant links from high-authority websites that are relevant to your niche, industry or location. Google’s algorithms are clever and they can spot a spammy link from a mile away.
Google looks at links in two different ways, firstly to discover new websites and secondly to help them decide how well a page should rank within their search results.
How can I build links naturally?
Once you know how important links are to the SEO performance of your website you might be fooled into trying to find the quickest and easiest way to build as many links as possible. However, Google actively penalises websites that use tactics they deem to be playing the system. Web directories were once encouraged by the search giants, you submit your website and get a link in return, but now they advise webmasters to avoid them at all costs.
So how can you build natural links to your website?
Natural links are links that are in a natural context and don’t look out of the blue on the page, provide actual value to the user and include an anchor text rather than the full URL, allowing them to be fully integrated into the page.
Creating meaningful content on your website is a great way to start building links. If you have content that’s useful and relevant then people are likely to start linking to it. You can also create content for other websites, e.g. through a guest blog, for an easy way to link back to your own site.
It’s important that your links add value to the user so creating on site content that they will find useful is essential.
In order to create content that people will link to you need to firstly think about what kind of content your target audience wants to see. Don’t just recycle the same content that is already out there, you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.
Once you’ve created this content don’t forget to share it. A mistake many people make is that they create an amazing piece of content and then just expect people to know it’s there without telling them. Promote the content through your own channels and reach out to industry peers, if you’ve created great content then shout about it!
Collaborating with other websites who have a strong authority is a great way to build links. Whether that’s through guest blogs as we mentioned before or via influencers in your field. Influencers can be anyone who has a degree of influence whether that’s an individual or business. Introducing them to your brand and content is a great way to help prompt links naturally.
Link building is a crucial part of SEO so it’s important that you create a strong link building strategy that works for you and results in relevant, high quality links to your website.