What Exactly Is Link Building? An Explanation
Simply put, link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to yours. All marketers and business owners should be interested in link building in order to drive referral traffic and increase the authority of their websites.
Why should you create links? Backlinks continue to be an important factor in how every search engine determines which sites rank for which keywords, despite the fact that Google’s algorithms are complex and constantly evolving. Building links is one of the many SEO tactics used because links indicate to Google that your site is a valuable resource worthy of citation. As a result, sites with more backlinks tend to rank higher.
There is, however, a right and wrong way to build links to your site. If you are concerned about the long-term viability of your site and business, you should only engage in natural linkbuilding, which is the process of earning links rather than buying or otherwise obtaining them through manipulative tactics, also known as black-hat SEO, a practice that can result in your site being effectively banned from search results.
Natural, organic link building, on the other hand, is a difficult and time-consuming process. Not all links are created equal: A link from a reputable website, such as the Wall Street Journal, will have a greater impact on your SERP rankings than a link from a small or newly built website, but high-quality links are more difficult to obtain.
This guide will show you how to create high-quality links that boost your organic rankings without breaking Google’s rules.
Keep in mind that link building is essential for achieving high organic search rankings.
Why Is Link Building Necessary for SEO?
Link building is important because it influences how Google ranks web pages. According to Google:
“In general, webmasters can boost their sites’ rankings by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
Assume we own a website that promotes the wind turbine equipment we sell. We are in competition with another manufacturer of wind turbine equipment. Link popularity is one of the ranking factors Google will consider when determining how to rank our respective pages.
While the preceding example provides a general visual understanding of why link building is important, it is extremely simplistic. It omits critical elements such as:
- The authority and trustworthiness of the linking pages.
- The respective sites’ SEO and content optimization.
- The incoming links’ anchor text.
Read the following resources for a more detailed explanation of how PageRank is calculated:
- The first Google PageRank paper
- An in-depth examination of the PageRank formula
- Wikipedia’s entry on the subject
The most important concept to grasp is that, according to Google, if you can get external websites to link to your pages, your content is more likely to rank higher for the keywords you’re targeting.
How to Get Other Websites to Link to You Using Simple Link Building Strategies
There are several link building strategies that can be used to get other websites to link to yours:
Content Creation and Promotion – Create a compelling, one-of-a-kind, high-quality content that people will naturally want to reference and link to, and then spread the word about it. Before you can expect anyone to find your content and link to it, you must first spread the word!
Reviews and Mentions – Get your product, service, or website in front of industry influencers like popular bloggers or people with a large social media following.
Links from Friends and Partners – Request that people you know and work with a link to your site. Keep in mind that relevance is important; links from sites in the same general industry or niche as yours will be more valuable than links from random, unrelated sites.
It may take some time to build a large number of links, but be patient and keep in mind that shortcuts such as buying links are against Google’s guidelines and can be disastrous for your SEO. Take no chances.
Internal Link Building allows you to create links for free
There’s a simple, underutilized method for building links to the pages you’re trying to improve in search engine rankings. And it’s a method over which you have complete control: Creating internal links.
There are a few key factors to consider when attempting to rank a Web page:
Anchor Text – The actual text a linking page uses to talk about your content is one of the most important factors search engines consider when ranking a page.
Quality of the Linking Page – Another consideration is the quality of the page sending the link; search engines allow links from high-quality, trusted pages to count more in boosting rankings than links from questionable pages and sites.
Page the Link Is Aimed At – When people talk about your site, they frequently refer to the home page. Individual pages struggle to achieve high rankings because it is difficult for them to generate their own link equity.
All of these are factors we have no control over when attempting to get other websites to link to us. However, we have complete control over all of these elements when linking to our own pages from our own content. We are able to:
- Decide on the anchor text to use.
- Choose which page to direct that anchor text to.
- Make certain that the linking page has a high level of quality and content.
Building external links to your site is important, but by focusing more of your efforts on internal link optimization, you can build quality inbound links with rich anchor text to the appropriate pages, providing you with an unrivaled ranking boost.
Internal Link Building Resources and Advice
So, how do you go about creating these fantastic internal links? In a few simple steps, you can set up a system for interlinking your pages:
Keyword Research for Link Building – To begin, you should use a keyword research tool to get a list of relevant and popular keywords suggested to you.
Assign Keywords to Content – Next, create a search-friendly information architecture by strategically grouping your keywords.
Link Pages Using Targeted Anchor Text – The final step is to apply your keyword research to intelligent inter-linking, which you do by linking to content that contains the keywords you discovered.
The third item’s execution is critical. You must ensure that you are linking to the correct pages with the correct anchor text. Here are a couple of quick tips for doing so effectively:
Utilize Your Site’s Search
This one is fairly simple and can be used for a variety of purposes:
Finding pages on your site to link to a new page – When creating new content, make sure you can search your site for mentions of similar keyword variations to which you may want to link.
Locating a page to which a link has been created – There could be multiple content authors on your website. In this case, you may have a hazy notion that a page titled “wind turbine rotors” has been created, but you don’t know the page title or URL. In this case, you can either type the keyword into your site search or use Google to find the corresponding page.
As you can see, each page is linked to a number of keywords. By making this document available to all of your content writers, they will be able to quickly see which pages are targeting which keywords, as well as check your SEO wireframe to see which keywords have been targeted.