The Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Link Building And How It Can Boost Your Site’s Ranking
Links are like a currency, and the more a website has, the more authoritative it is considered. Websites that do not have links do not get good rankings and get hidden in the back pages of Google search.
If you’re just starting out in SEO, figuring out link building can be quite a challenge.
In case you have just started with SEO finding out about link building could be challenging. Some SEO experts would say that you should first create valuable content and wait as the links come to you naturally. At the same time, some others would say that you have to use strategic link prospecting and targeted email outreach to get success.
If you are confused, too, we would like to tell you that there is no perfect approach to start with link building. The tactics you choose will depend on the industry, website, resources, and goals you have.
Link Building Basics
Let us start from the beginning then:
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process in which you get other websites to the pages of your own website. The main objective behind doing so is to boost the authority of your page in Google’s eyes. This will eventually make the pages rank high and get you more web search traffic.
This means that you can reduce the most basic ‘white hat’ link building strategies to just two simple steps that are:
- Create something noticeable and valuable (something that deserves to be linked to)
- Next show it to those who have their own websites (So that they can link to them)
Why Is Link Building Important?
As per Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, links are one of the three most important ranking factors in Google. Thus if you want that your website’s pages must show on top ranking in search, you seriously need links.
Google, as well as other search engines, look at these links as “votes.” The votes help them determine which page on a particular topic actually deserves to rank on top of the search results.
Therefore it is evident that pages having more backlinks will show higher in the search results.
Link building is also essential as it is a prime factor in how Google ranks all the web pages. Google specifies that:
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
Links Aren’t The Answer To Everything
From what we mentioned before, it may appear as if in order to rank in the top position, you have to build more backlinks than those websites which are on top rank. Though this may be true to some extent, things are much more detailed than just that.
Apart from the fact that all the links are not equally valuable, search engines notice many other variables when they rank the pages. A combination of these variables works, and this is dependent on the search query you want to rank on.
So, if you have built lots of links and the ranking is not improving, then look into the other ranking factors that are spoiling your rank.
Simple Link Building Strategies: How To Get Other Sites To Link to You
There are many link building strategies that we can employ to get the websites to link to your website:
Build Links For Free With Internal Link Building
There is a simple method to build the links to the pages you want to boost the rankings for. And that method is Internal Link Building. These are the key factors you must consider when you want your web page to rank:
Anchor Text – One of the very crucial things that search engines keep in mind is the text a linking page that you use to talk about the content. So if somebody links to the Good Guys Wind Turbine Parts website using the text “wind turbine parts,” the webpage will link highly for that phrase. However, if they had only use anchor text “text “Good Guys LLC” to link to the site, the website would not get the same rank as the phrase “wind turbine parts.”
Quality of the Linking Page – Another factor you can take into consideration is page quality. Search engines allow only high-quality links and trusted pages to increase the rankings as opposed to the sites that have low authority.
Page the Link is Aimed At – Most of the time, when people talk about the website, they will link to the home page only. This means that the other pages will not get high rankings which are not right.
These were the aspects that we could not control when trying to get the other sites to link with us. But we can control some elements when linking to the pages from our content. Things we can do are:
- Decide which anchor text is suitable
- Determine which page the anchor text should point at.
- Make sure that the content and quality of the linking page is high
Building the external links to the website is crucial. Bot, if you focus your efforts on optimization of the links, you can build inbound links to the appropriate pages that will give you a boost in the rankings.
Internal Link Building Tools and Tips
So how do you build these perfect internal links? Use the following steps and set up a system to do so:
- Keyword Research for Link Building – Use a keyword research tool that tells you the keywords that are suitable for your product and popular as well.
- Assign Keywords to Content – Then, you have to group all the keywords strategically this making your website architecture search-friendly.
- Link Pages Using Targeted Anchor Text – In the end, apply the keyword research to your interlinking. To do so, you have to link the content with the keywords that you have discovered.
- The execution of the third item is key. You have to ensure that you are linking with the correct anchor text and to the right page.
Here are some tips that you could use at this point.
Use Your Site Search
This is relatively easy, and you could use it for a variety of purposes:
Finding pages on your site to link to a new page – When you add more content to your website, make sure that you have added variations of similar keywords, which will make your website appear when these variations are searched.
Finding a page that’s been created to link to: Your site could have content written by multiple people. So it is better to enter your keyword for searching in Google. That way, you can find more content that matches with the keyword, and you can then link to that particular page.
Asking For Links
As it is evident, this is when you contact the website owners and tell them why they should link to you.
You have to give a “strong reason” for them to link with your website. This is necessary for link-building tactics to be successful. Website owners will not bother about your website until you give them some motive behind helping you out.
So before you contact them for linking, ask this question “What’s in it for THEM?”
Mentioned below are some of the link-building strategies that can come under this category and a “strong reason” telling about them.
- Guest blogging. You can create great content for the website
- Skyscraper technique. Show them better content than the one they are linking to at present.
- Link inserts. You could show them a resource that has more information on a topic that they have briefly talked about.
- Ego bait. Write about their work in your content in a positive manner.
- Testimonials & Case studies. Provide a positive review about their product or service.
- Link exchanges. You can offer to barter a link, meaning offer to link back to them if they link to you.
- Resource page link building. Present a good resource that will fit their content well.
- Broken link building. You can help them in fixing a ‘dead link’ that is present on their page.
- Image link building. Ask them if they can give you credit for using your image.
- Unlinked mentions. You can ask them to make your brand mention “clickable.”
- Link moves. Make any changes to an existing link.
- HARO & journalist requests. Give an “Expert Quote” for an article they published.
- PR. Offer them an intriguing story.
All the strategies might appear quite interesting in the beginning. But the moment you send the first email request, you will have to face reality. Maybe your “strong reason” is not as impactful as you think:
Here we are not recommending you to buy links!
You might end up wasting money on bad links that may not even boost your ranking, and this could lead to your website getting penalized.
But the truth is that many SEO industry professionals actually “buy” links to boost rankings and are not even penalized for it.
So if you are ok with taking the risk of hurting your website, then you can buy links. But do that safely; otherwise, the consequences could be harmful.
You earn the links when other website owners link to your web pages, even without you asking them to do so. But this does not happen unless you offer great content that they want to show on their websites.
People will not link to something until they know that thing exists. So however good your page unless you promote it, all your efforts are wasted. The more people that see the page, the greater is the chance that they will link to it.
Here are some strategies and tactics that you can use :
- Add infographics, Linkbait content, data studies, maps, awards, and surveys.
- Use interviews, podcasts, and expert roundups.
- Promote the content
- Earning links is an effective and reliable method of getting yourself links.
Pursuing Competitor’s Links
Competitor link research is an important activity in link building. The top-ranking page in your search query offers all the links which show Google how valuable and superior it is. If you study its links, you can know which tactics you can use so that you could the links and get a better ranking in it.
You can use a tool like Ahrefs to do this effectively.
Add the keyword you wish to rank for in the Keywords Explorer and go down to “SERP Overview.” This will reveal how many backlinks and linking websites the top-ranking page has got.
Creating Linkable Assets
You can quickly build links to any page, but it is better that you offer something that will make people want to link to it.
When we talk of linkable assets, people think of things like:
- Online tools & calculators
- Infographics, GIFographics & “Map-o-graphics”
- Awards & rankings
- Studies & research
- “How to” guides & tutorials
- Definitions & coined terms
In your niche, the linkable asset that is prominent could be different- surveys, ego bait, online tools, infographics, etc. You will find out which one it is and then use that information to create some linkable content for the website.
Every blogger wants to create high-value content that is of use to his audience. But it is not easy to do so. This is one reason why blog owners wish guest articles to be posted in their blogs.
Guest blogging is quite popular, and people have even exploited it to quite a large extent. But you have to remain in Google’s good books. Pick up only legit blogs and publish content that has something worthy to offer. You may offer someone $10 for 500-word content, but if you post it in a third-rate blog that has zero traffic, then your effort goes waste.
Again all the legit blogs are doing pretty good on their own. Why would they need any guest articles to boost their credibility? You will have to give them valuable content, and this added with your experience and copywriting skills should prove helpful.