Google’s algorithm has constantly evolved to improve search results. This makes it difficult for marketers and businesses trying to get their website ranked higher in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It is no secret that link building plays an important role in SEO efforts, but many are beginning to debate how much of a part does this strategy plays? Some consider themselves lucky if they have good content on their site while others spend 80-90% of all marketing budget just focusing on link building alone! Everyone has different opinions with contrasting views. However, one thing we can agree upon is that linking strategies will always evolve along with Google’s ranking algorithms thereby making them even more crucial than ever.
We will take you through everything you need to start link building.
What is Link Building?
Link building is having other websites link to your site in order to increase the rankings of that website.
It is a common practice among businesses of all sizes, from tech startups to food bloggers.
It is a popular strategy done by businesses big and small. When companies want to increase their market share, they often reach out to other websites for links with the hopes of increasing traffic and visibility online.
Why is Link Building Important for SEO?
Links are what make up the internet. However, it’s still not clear why they matter to Google.
Well, if you were building a search engine then one of your biggest priorities would be tallying how popular websites are and finding an effective way to measure that popularity! The best time-tested method is by counting all of the votes each site has gotten from other sources.
You can think of links as “votes” for your website. But all of your votes are not treated equally!
How Important Are Links?
Google confirmed that backlinks remain the #1 most important ranking factor in their latest Q&A. If you aren’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your link strategy!
Not All Links Are Treated Equally
How much it brings value if you create links in blogger, Tumblr, or in the world’s most popular social platform like Facebook. What if you create links in the comment section of a Time Magazine article.
Google is becoming better at finding links that link to websites other than the companies themselves.
We’ll go over all kinds of links and how they valued by google.
Different Types of Links (3 Examples)
We have divided into 3 categories of all links.
The Natural Category of Links
Natural links are ones that come from other sites automatically because they naturally want to link to your content. These can be called editorial links, and the simplest way is thinking of long-term value for what reasons you would get these types of links in the future.
The Outreach Category of Links
Outreach is when you ask others to link your site. The “outreach” category is asking people for links. You can ask them to do so either free of charge, or in exchange for money or some type of trading. This even includes the times you pay other people to acquire links on your behalf. This also includes times you hire others to do the work and acquire those links from other sites as well.
The Self-Created Category of Links
There are many kinds of links you can create yourself. The most popular style is local business citations, where you submit to many broad and niche directories. These links have a low barrier of entry so it means they hold less weight than the other strategies but are still useful for relevancy purposes which fall under best practice.
Follow vs NoFollow Links
When someone set a link on their website, it is dofollow by default. But they also have the option to set as “nofollow”.
The “nofollow” link is an easy way for webmasters to say that they do not endorse a website. In theory, it avoids passing SEO value.
There are no “dofollow tags” or any kind of tag that can be used to create a dofollow link. Someone referred to a link as “dofollow” when they meant that it did not have the nofollow attribute.
NoFollow Links. End of The World?
A no follow link is a type of link that does not count as a point in the page’s favor, doesn’t boost PageRank, or helps with its search placement. It’s basically like saying “Don’t Love Me”.
The sad existence of these links are created by an HTML tag called ‘nofollow’. This looks like: <a href=…’rel=’nofollow’>Link Text</a>. Essentially this says to Google and other Search Engines – don’t love me.
Do Nofollow Links Matter?
Think you have one site that has a few dofollow links. However, these are mostly from sites nobody’s heard about and the owner isn’t really an authority figure in their industry.
Meanwhile, another website doesn’t have any do-followed link but was posted on Forbes and Entrepreneur.com.
The second site is more authoritative because it has got links which are come from notable sources with plenty of credibilities.
Google has the freedom to apply its own intelligence when judging nofollow links by not just ignoring all of them.
Link Building Strategies
You’ll learn several strategies that can be put into action today to start getting links in. One of the most popular and effective methods is outreach link building, where people prefer starting because it’s quick to see results.
If you have the time, I recommend starting out doing guest posts. it’s easy to do because both parties benefit from a good relationship.
At first, write some good quality article.
A well-written article gets published on another site with backlinks that could help your own page rank for certain keywords in Google or even be used as evidence to show off your experience.
Blogger outreach is a great way to get links back to your website without getting penalized by Google. Blogger outreach is exactly the same thing as guest blogging, from you reaching out to a site all the way publishing an article they wrote on their platform. The difference between both practices lies in that under blogger outreach there will not be any author bio or link pointing back at you other than linking it over.
Niche edits are just as simple as reaching out to website owners in your industry and asking if they’d link to a relevant post of yours.
Unfortunately, it has quite a low conversion rate during the first attempt.
Brian Dean made popular the skyscraper outreach. This strategy is similar to niche edit. Where it differs is in the sites you reach out to.
By using a backlink analysis tool, you can find a competitor’s article that meets these criteria:
- Many dofollow links received by it
- You can put together a better version of it
After determining the value of your piece of content, craft an email to convince people to link out to it. This is a variation on niche editing that could increase the conversion rate.
Guestographic (Infographic) Outreach
To up your outreach game, try guestographics. Find a relevant article and pitch an infographic to include in the piece along with showing how it will benefit readers of their site. Then offer writing some text describing your graphic as well.
Syndicated content is when web-based articles are republished on a third-party website. It’s like doing business in that the website receiving this free content gets exposure while the creator of it receives backlinks to their site which boosts organic traffic for them as well.
Syndication is not only beneficial for SEO, but it can also get your content more views by publishing on popular sites.
Local Business Citations
Citations offer both broad and targeted links through safety.
Citation creation for local businesses is very important. If you’re new to this process of link-building it might be best to outsource the work rather than have no foundation at all.
Citations are difficult. However, they can help bring targeted and broad links back on-site without much time requirement from the business owner itself-especially when outsourcing such tasks proves beneficial.
Press Release Distribution
The process of creating and distributing newsworthy announcements to journalists, online news outlets, or the press is called “press release distribution.”
This method encourages journalists to come to your company. For this reason, it may be less labor-intensive too! With traditional methods, a reporter might ask you one question after another, but with this way, they do all the writing themselves–which means your time isn’t wasted on repeating yourself for different people.
Link Building Metrics & Tools
SEOs have three favorite link metrics that they use to adjust their websites. All of these help SEOs establish how well-linked a webpage is, but each metric calculates the value differently.
The SEO tool Ahrefs is probably the most popular on the market. It has a large amount of backlink data, which can help you find those that other tools miss.
Ahref’s two metrics are Domain Rank and URL rank, both ratings on a scale from 0 to 100 for how authoritative they judge websites or URLs as being.
Domain Ranking (DR) measures an entire website based off their authority while URL Rating (UR) does this with specific webpages/URLs instead of whole sites.
Moz (Formally SEO Moz)
Moz is a powerful SEO tool that allows you to use their free tools which include the Open Site Explorer and Mozbar. Both allow for quick metric measurements of domains. Their Mozbar allows you to view metrics on authority-level sites which will help with your research projects.
Moz’s metrics, Domain Authority(DA) and Page Authority(PA) are similar to Ahrefs’ but they use a different algorithm.
You will see DA and PA referred to more in the SEO world as it is used by most websites when ranking their link authority.
SEMRush is the better option for paid traffic data, but Ahrefs has more backlink information which makes it a popular choice among SEO professionals. With both tools, you can pay $99/month to start. However, with SEMRush if have access to every feature that’s available while on Ahrefs there are some limitations based on how much money your company spends.
Authority Score is a scoring metric of SEMRush.
SEMRush created a single metric, instead of two metrics like Ahrefs and Moz. It’s a score between 1 and 100 that measures how strong backlinks are on a domain or URL.
How To Track Link Building Success
There are many ways to measure link-building success. Some people have their own metrics, while others value relevancy more than anything else.
In order to track link building success, we suggest you monitor the following four metrics:
- The volume of links which you are getting
- From those website you are receiving links, the metrics of them
- Your keyword ranking improvement
- Groth of organic traffic
Tracking your search engine ranking positions is probably the most common way to track SEO and link-building success. Here are a few reasons why:
Higher Ranking on a search engine means more visibility, traffic, and better conversion rates
Gaining or losing ranks can change drastically when you apply changes to your website model or receive links from other websites
Positions may fluctuate throughout time because of these two factors alone.
The struggle of link building is real, but it’s all worth the effort in the end! It may be frustrating and difficult to get a good start at first. But you better believe that there will soon come along an opportunity for success if we stick with it!