Why do you need link building?
Many ask why link building still is one of the most important skills in the SEO industry. If you keep reading, you’ll understand it soon enough.
If you’ve been doing SEO the old fashioned way – probably something that looks like this:
- You’ve done your on-page SEO, i.e. changed your title tags.
- Interlinked your pages correctly.
- Inserted keywords in the proportions in the page.
And many other technical aspects directly to do with your website. Well, but then…. what do you do next? I mean, you can only optimize your pages for SEO so far.
You just need to build more authority right?
So the question is – How are you going to do this and get more traffic?
The answer is simple: link building.
What is link building anyway?
Think of high quality links almost as a “vote” for your site. The more of these votes that search engines see linking to a site, the more likely it is that the site will rank for a particular search query.
And therefore, the higher your pages rank, the more organic traffic you will get.
But note, I did say high quality, that means you need to emphasise quality rather than quantity.
Not every link is equal. That is why you can rank a page at the top with a handful links, above a site which has thousands of (low quality) links.
You can #rank a page in Google's top results with just a handful links, above a site that has thousands of (low quality) links. Click To Tweet
The subject of assessing low and high quality content is a discussion for another article but, put simply, you just need to adopt the basic principle that you want a link from a page which is relevant to your site and is likely to have an audience who would also be interested in your content. It’s that simple!
I would add this – as it gives the reader a (sentence) obvious continuity.
So, follow this S.M.A.R.T framework that will allow you to quick-off a high quality link building strategy. Whether you work on a new project or existing ones, here’s how to go about:
Here are a few items you need to integrate/prioritise when choosing link building techniques. At the beginning of your process revise and ask the following:
- What are the goals of the business?
- What types of links you need? (based on your profile)
- Which relevant links will you need in order to compete, based on the link profile of your competitors?
- What are the resources you have available to you?
- Who is doing it and/or am I capable of implementing this on my own?
- When can you do it?
- How much time do you have? (do you do it yourself or delegate)
Tip: At this point, you should prioritise your techniques based on time and resources, as it isn’t practical or sensible to try and implement them all at once.
These questions will help you filter out the main techniques that you can and can’t use – but also will help you prioritise your list of techniques. And that’s what you need in the end.
The great benefits of links
Yes, so let’s have a quick look to the benefits when you build up on high quality and relevant backlinks:
1. A higher rank on search engines
Naturally, these search engines will want to rank the most authoritative among the niche group and push it up to the top of the search results list.
When Google’s crawl bots find your site, they will try to assess whether you have contextual backlinks linking to it. If it does, then the rest should fall into place and you will get higher rankings,resulting in more traffic to your website.
2. Direct traffic from the links
Good backlinks is a very effective way of driving traffic, not just indirectly by improving rankings, but sometimes even more useful if the direct traffic comes to the site via these particular (quality) links.
3. Brand awareness
Not much of a major concern especially at the start of your link building campaign, but as time goes on and you build relationships, your reputation enhances within the industry, brand awareness comes into play and this will be an important factor in becoming an authority.
How to build links properly?
The first stage to building links, is to understand them.
The next step, is to actually understand that it’s not an overnight process. And in order to build a truly natural and high quality link profile – you will need to build relationships within your industry..
In a nutshell, here is the process behind a solid white hat link building strategy:
- Create great quality content, which isn’t an advertorial or too “salesy”. It needs to address the problems faced by your audience and above all – be useful and interesting.
- Build relationships with bloggers, website owners and/or editors and show them this epic content you’ve created. The aim here is to get a link from them or to collaborate in some way, so you can drive traffic to your site.
- Follow up! Especially if you’re contacting website owners via social media or email, you won’t always get a reply the first time. It always pays off to be persistent – but, if someone keeps ignoring you, – then, it’s time to move on.
- Rinse and repeat. Not all the content you create will hit the right mark. It’s a case of testing and seeing what content works best. But with enough patience and persistence, you will begin to get an idea of exactly the type of content you should be creating.
The key thing is, don’t overcomplicate it.
SEO is about so much more than just the technical aspects of on-page. It is about how you create and deliver content to your audience, not search engines. The more value you provide throughout your content, the more they’ll consume.
But also, it will pay off in dividends when you start to build professional relationships whilst doing link building.
These links will then start to bring in effective and relevant traffic, which is so much more efficient than just doing on-page SEO alone.
Remember that for your website to rank and/or be considered by Google ( to be found), it has to offer:
- High quality and/or up-to-date content. (Trust)
- Good internal and external links (Diversity)
- Authoritative links (Authority)
- Relevant and credible sources. (Relevancy)
With an effective link building planning to organise and structure your links, it’s easier to convince and get third-party web pages to link to your site.
Revise and/or apply the above and feel free to ask us any question you may have.
This post was put together by Amit and Paul. Amit is a freelance SEO/link builder expert. He has this ability to delve into the specifics.
Thanks for reading.