In short, link building is the process to get other websites to link back to your website. This is essential to marketers and business owners to drive referral traffic and increase their site’s visibility.
Why is link building so important to SEO?
It’s important to build links if you want to rank high in Google search results. Google’s algorithm is complex and ever-evolving so that users are able to receive the best information they’re looking for.
Building links is a key factor that determines how search engines rank articles for various keywords. It’s a tactic in search engine optimization to signal to a search engine that your article and site are a trusted source of information. Thus, if you incorporate links, you are more likely to rank higher on Google. Simply put, link building is the belief that search engines equate more links with site popularity, which means the more quality content you have.
Quality of Links
Though the concept seems relatively easy, links are not all created the same. A smart, effective link building campaign needs to be well-researched. As we’ve mentioned, Google’s algorithm has become complex since many people would love to know exactly how to manipulate the system to always rank the best. You can no longer just get as many links as possible to cheat the system. In fact, Google will remove link offenders or have web listings suppressed.
Instead, Google cares about the quality of the links that you receive organically. For example, if you are a practicing chiropractor, here are some quality links that you would want to refer to your website:
- Organizations like the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine
- A chiropractic school in your state
- A local organization or club for chiropractors
- Other local businesses that would endorse you
Simple Link Building Strategies
There are numerous ways to have an external website link to yours. A few strategies we find are helpful can be content creation, reviews and mentions, and links from friends and partners.
Content creation should involve compelling and unique imagery or content. When you have a piece of content that people can’t ignore, they must share it with others because it’s that good. Always seek to put your own high-quality stamp on your work.
Reviews and mentions involve word-of-mouth discussion of your product or service. Partnering with trusted influencers, popular bloggers, or tastemakers in your industry puts your business at the forefront of your target audience.
Ask your friends and colleagues to link to your site. Targeting relevant industries are more favorable than random, generic sites. Try attending networking events, sponsor a local charity or club, leverage alumni links, or comment on other blogs and articles to build necessary relationships.
How to Build Links Internally
While external links are a major factor in link building, internal links are an underrated yet effective strategy to keep in your SEO toolkit as well. In attempting to get a specific site or web page to link, you might as well utilize a method you do have control over.
Before you begin, research keywords that you can incorporate wisely. They should have a high search volume that you can include in your article. Doing so will increase the likelihood of having a high ranked page.
While internal links should flow naturally, you can steer content in the right direction when using keywords that you can interlink pages.
Use Anchor Text
Use your own site search to link to other relevant pages. When creating new content, you can refer to another article that mentions keyword variations and link to that page. The key is to be as specific as possible and link back to the relevant subject matter.
Use Links that are Natural to the Reader
For example, if you have a social media management website, then a link to another article about social media advertising would be more valuable than a link about radio advertising.
While we’re on the subject of links, you should never just include a generic “click here” link within a post. It doesn’t create any value for people to click on it. It is best to use the term you want to associate with that link such as “cat videos.” This type of anchor text serves as a guide to the link itself and thus, assigns some value to that link.
Use a Reasonable Number of Internal Links
One of the mistakes beginners make with link building is overloading their page with links. Rather, keep the links to a reasonable number. What exactly is a reasonable number? It really depends on the length of your post.
There is no magical number that everyone should strive to reach. The most important is that you use your discretion and make sure you have enough to get your point across to the user.
Though these tips seem pretty straightforward, it’s important to mention that these suggestions are just the starting point for link building tactics.
Guest posting can be one of the best ways to boost your SEO and build powerful links. You write a blog article according to the requirements of a particular blogger and receive a backlink in return. This essentially is a “win-win” for both website owners to attract new users and attract new audiences.
Guest blogging can be a great source for valuable content for a blogger’s page. However, bloggers should discern which links are quality and which are unnecessary. As part of editing any outside contribution is reviewing the links in the content to ensure they actually link to quality websites that add value to the post and the web.
Finding Sites that Accept Guest Posts
There are two predominant ways to find sites that accept blog posts: doing a general search and using websites that connect other bloggers.
A general search can be done on search engines like Google, checking social media, and mining resource lists. The prospective search is quite obvious to search using phrases like “Top (your industry) Blog Posts.” In this way, you can scope through well-known blogs who may be willing to accept guest posting services.
There are various sites that can connect you with other bloggers as well. If you use social media to connect with other bloggers, make sure to follow people or companies that actively guest blog. Be aware of those sites that don’t solicit guest blogs at all. They may not be open to contributions because they get flooded with inquiries about blogging about generic topics. Be sure to pitch topics that are personalized that offer explicit value to other pages.
The main effect guest blogging will have on your site’s SEO is through your site’s link profile. As you contribute, you should secure new links on the websites that you contribute to.
Ideally, your link will be included in the article and placed when relevant to the surrounding article, actually supporting the written content. This creates a more natural link that serves value to the post.
Guest posts commonly have a biography of the author on that discuss your background, introducing the readers to you. It is also common to include a link to your blog within the biography, but natural links tend to be more effective.
Anchor Text in SEO
Anchor text connects the HTML link to the written content. There are a few different types of anchor text. These include:
- Branding content: using your brand name to link to your site
- Using keywords: using specific keywords you want to rank for
- Partial match: using a part of the keywords you want to rank for
- URL: Including the actual URL link within the text
- White noise: Using obvious words to direct users such as “the, here, click here, etc”
Anchor text directs users where you want them to go. It works to clue search engines and users into what the page is about and can have a significant impact on how your page ranks.
In this way, guest posting can rank your site and increase your brand awareness through backlinks, link placement, anchor text, and keyword-rich anchors.
A Word of Caution: Beware Dropped Domains and Private Blog Networks
While searching for blogs, you will most likely run across blogs built on dropped domains and PBNs (Private Blog Network). This means that SEOS are buying links with expired domains, who then add low-quality content, then turn around and sell the links. This is referred to as a “black hat SEO” tactic that is used to increase the site’s page ranking factor for a quick buck.
There is nothing wrong with buying an old, expired domain for your needs, but it requires hard work to make it an authority website. Also, it’s necessary to make sure the old links really affect the site’s rankings.
Simply put, PBNs are websites that were built privately (meaning, Google shouldn’t know there is a single owner). The goal of a PBN is to serve as a source of backlinks for the main website. SEOs building such networks are breaking Google’s Guidelines, and Google has a history of finding and punishing PBNs.
Link Building with True North Social
If you are looking to build your business, you need a targeted link building strategy to get your website noticed. Your business is unique and you need a specific plan to optimize your website and stand out from your competition. This involves detailed search engine optimization planning with high-quality links by a team of SEO experts.
At True North Social, our SEO team can increase your blogger outreach with your content posted on relevant sites that link back to your landing page. We can exponentially increase your website traffic and overall exposure to your target market. Contact us today!