The Basics of Link Building
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The Basics of Link Building

The chances are that if you are at all concerned in the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), that you have heard of the terms “link building”.

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The Basics of Link Building

The chances are that if you are at all concerned in the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), that you have heard of the terms “link building”. The information below is meant to provide you with a foundational understanding of what link building is, why it is important for your business or website, and how to do it.

What is Link Building?

Link building is the process of building hyperlinks back to your site. By and large, it is when a site links to you from their site. There are several different types of link building strategies from content marketing to email outreach.

Hyperlinks

A hyperlink is an icon, text, or image that links to another site. Hyperlinks allow one web page to connect to other web pages. When you click a hyperlink, you navigate from the current page you are on to find additional information on the linked page.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the visible text found within a hyperlink. The text is generally formatted in one way or another to highlight it from surrounding text – in most cases, the anchor text is underlined and in blue font.

Why Are Links Important?

Links are very important. In fact, statistics show link building is one of the most important SEO factors to consider. That said, links are important for a few different reasons.

For Search Engines

For search engines, links are used in to different ways:

  1. To identify new web pages: Not all pages are discovered the second they go live. They are indexed by Google once they have crawled the site. Google’s index is essentially a massive digital library full of different pages that relate to different search queries – so that when someone searches for a specific query, Google can match it with the best result. When an indexed site links to a new one, search engines will use this to identify and index said page;
  2. To determine rankings: Links act as a vote of confidence from a site. When a site links to you, or the content on your site, they are essentially saying that you are the best source for talking about specific topics. That is why links are part of your ranking factors – in other words, how well you rank in the search engine results pages. Search engines take a look at your backlink profile when determining rankings, so it is important to have quality backlinks pointing to your site.

For a Business

As mentioned above, links act as a vote of confidence for the information on your site, a particular product or service you offer, or your business as a whole. They can potentially increase new leads or conversions for your business. This helps with building your branding and getting your name out there.

Secondly, when your rankings improve, your traffic generally improves as well. Getting traffic to your site is huge, and by getting links, you can get referral traffic, but if the links you receive to your site help improve your rankings, this can also increase your organic traffic. This is the ultimate goal and improved visibility generally helps increase both leads and conversions consequently.

How to Find High-Quality Links for Your Site

Any old link will simply not do, you need to make sure that the sites you are getting links from are high-quality to ensure that there is value stemming from them. To elaborate, if a site is known for hosting poor, spammy content, you don’t want to seek out links from their site, as it likely will not help – and may even hurt your site. This will take a little manual, intentional effort, but there are SEO link building tools that are extremely helpful to keep handy. Consider the following when finding high-quality links for your site.

Authority: There are several different ways to determine the authority of a site, or even the specific page you are wanting a link from. One of the most commonly used is the Moz domain authority (DA) score. This scores a site from 1-100, 100 being the best. This is not an end-all, as some government sites are the authority on a topic but they have a low authority score for poor user experience, but overall authority is a good starting point to determine whether a site is quality;

Relevancy: Be sure that the site you are trying to get a link from is relevant to your niche. It wouldn’t make sense for a site offering business advice to link to a page offering different recipes. When you analyze relevancy, you want to consider the page relevancy, and the relevancy of the site as a whole as it compares to yours;

Other Links: At this point, it is pretty hard to find a valuable article without any other links in it. Be sure to take a look at the links that surround where you imagine yours. Would there be competitor links before or after yours? Are the links in the article spammy or irrelevant?

●No-follow vs. do-follow: While no-follow links still guide readers to your site, they do not pass on any link juice to your site as they tell search engines that although they are linking to your site, they do not endorse your site. Check to see if the links on the page you're interested in building a link to are do-follow and not no-follow. Or you can clarify this in your outreach to the webmaster;

Traffic: Take a look at the traffic that a site has. Although the link can still offer value to your site with minimal traffic, the more traffic there is, the greater the potential for referral traffic. Largely, you don’t want to spend your time building links to a site that no one visits;

Quality: Take a look at the quality of the content a site has. Are there tons of grammatical errors? Are there headers helping break up large walls of text? Be sure that you avoid building links to sites that do not have quality content.

Link building can be complex for many who are detached from SEO in their day-to-day life. While some businesses or site owners have the time to spear head such a big avenue, others may benefit from outsourcing their work to SEO professionals. That way, you know you are getting the best work and you are up-to-date with the latest SEO and link building trends. Remember, link building is an ongoing, and ever changing process that requires intentional time and effort.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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