Link building is a crucial part of SEO. If you want to rank high in Google, you need to build links to your site, and this is often seen as the number one rule for SEO and boosting the presence and profile on your site.
But what exactly does link building mean, and what does it look like in practice?
In the simplest terms, link building is the practice of creating backlinks to your website.
Backlinks are links from other websites pointing to yours, and these are important because they improve your ranking in search engines.
If you are just getting started with link building, or simply looking to boost your online presence and increase rankings, read on for the ultimate guide – we have everything you need to know.
What Is SEO?
For total clarity, it is best to start at the beginning: so just what is SEO, what does it look like, and how can it benefit your business?
SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation, which is essentially improving the visibility of your website within the search results pages of major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The reason why people use search engines is that they want to find information about products and services quickly and easily.
When someone searches for something specific, they will type into the search bar a keyword phrase, which is then used by search engines to find relevant sites.
The idea behind SEO is to make sure that when someone types in a certain word or phrase, your website appears near the top of the list of results.
This means that if someone wants to buy a new washing machine, for example, they might type ‘washing machine’ into their search engine.
They would then see your product appear on page 1 of the results, meaning that they can click through to your website and learn more about your product.
How Does SEO Work?
So how do search engines work? Well, firstly, there are two main types of search engines: paid search (like Google Adwords) and organic search (also known as natural search).
Paid search involves paying money to be listed higher in the search results than your competitors.
You pay per click, but not every company has the budget to spend big money on advertising, so many turn to organic search instead.
Organic search is free and works by using algorithms to determine where your website should appear based on the keywords used.
There are also different ways to optimize your website for organic search, and some of the most common include:
Keyword research involves finding out what words people are searching for when they googled your product or service.
It is essential to get this right, otherwise, your website won’t show up when people are actually looking for your product.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you find popular keywords related to your product or service.
Creating content is another way to improve your organic search rankings. The better quality your content is, the more likely your website will appear in the search results.
This could involve writing blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, etc., all of which require time and effort. However, if done well, it can really pay off.
Links are one of the most important factors in determining whether or not your site appears high up in the search results.
In order to build links, you need to create great content that other websites want to share.
This usually involves asking influencers to write guest posts, sharing useful resources, and offering giveaways.
In addition to building links naturally, you can also purchase them from companies that specialize in link building.
These are often referred to as ‘link farms’, and although they don’t always offer good value for money, they can sometimes be effective for getting your site noticed.
Once you’ve created great content and built links, it’s time to put everything together with an SEO strategy.
An SEO strategy includes tactics such as creating unique titles and meta descriptions, ensuring that your content is easy to read, and making sure that your pages load quickly.
How Do I Create An SEO Strategy?
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your own SEO strategy, here are some tips to get started:
Use Keyword-Rich URLs
When you add keywords to the end of your URL, it makes it easier for search engines to understand what your page is about.
For example, if you sell washing machines, adding “washing machines” to the end of your domain name can make it much easier for a user to navigate to your homepage.
Create Unique Titles & Meta Descriptions
The title tag is the single most important piece of information for users when they visit your website.
Make sure it contains your target keyword(s) so that it appears at the top of the browser window when someone clicks on a link.
Meta description tags appear below the title tag in many browsers, so use this space to briefly describe your page. Include your primary keyword within the first 150 characters.
Images play a large role in how well your website loads, but don’t forget that they also help users identify what your page is about!
Try using descriptive alt text (alternative text) for images. Alt text should contain your main keyword or phrase, and ideally, it shouldn’t exceed 100 characters.
Add Schema Markup
Schema markup helps search engine crawlers better understand the structure of your webpages.
It allows search engines to index your pages more effectively, and it provides a visual indication to users that your page is structured properly.
Improve Your Content
Your content is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. If you want to rank higher in Google, you need to create high-quality, useful content that people will share.
You can start by brainstorming topics that you think would be interesting to readers, then write a few blog posts around those ideas.
Monitor Competitors’ Rankings
It’s important to monitor competitors’ rankings because it gives you insight into what’s working and what isn’t.
Learn from their mistakes and take note of their strengths and weaknesses. This way, you’ll know what changes you need to make to stay ahead of the competition.
Track Social Media Engagement
Social media engagement is another great way to boost your traffic and increase brand awareness.
Find out which social networks your customers frequent, then join these platforms and start interacting with your followers.
Promote Your Site
Once you’ve optimized your site, promoted it on social media, and built some backlinks, you’re ready to promote your new site.
Start by sharing your content across all available channels. Then, let others know about your site by writing press releases, participating in online forums, and posting on industry-related groups.
Analyzing data is an ongoing process that requires patience, persistence, and knowledge of how to interpret numbers.
Use tools like Google Analytics to track visitors to your site, as well as their behavior once there.
Look at trends over time to see if certain activities lead to conversions, and use conversion tracking software to measure the impact of specific marketing campaigns.
Links are one of the best ways to improve your rankings in search results.
They show Google that other websites believe your content is valuable, which increases its chances of being featured in organic searches.
To build links, try contacting other bloggers who might have similar interests.
Offer them guest posts on their blogs, and ask them to include a link back to your site. Also, look into joining relevant communities online where you can post helpful articles.
Link building is the practice of getting other sites to link to yours.
There are two types of links: internal and external. Internal links connect pages on your own site; external links connect to other sites.
- Internal links help your website crawlable by search engines. A visible connection between two pages lets spiders follow the trail of text from one page to another. The more trails they can find, the easier it will be for them to index your entire site.
- External links tell visitors where else they can go to get the information they seek. If you want to rank high in search results, you need both kinds of links.
Backlinks are hypertext references to web pages hosted elsewhere on the Internet.
Search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence, giving weight to the importance of the page being referenced.
A high number of quality backlinks indicates greater authority and trust for the site they point to.
How Do I Build Links?
As we have seen, link building is a crucial part of a positive SEO strategy, but you may be wondering just how you achieve this, and why it benefits your strategy.
As we have mentioned, link building is essentially the process of acquiring backlinks – these are links on other websites that point towards yours.
When someone visits a website, the web server looks at the anchor text (the text next to the link) and decides whether or not to display the linked page.
If the page has been linked by a relevant page on another website, then the visitor will see it. There are two ways to acquire backlinks:
- You can ask other websites to include a link to your website.
- You can find sites where people are linking out to and request that they do so.
Both methods are equally valid, and both take time and patience. You should try to focus on acquiring links from reputable sources, as this will help boost your ranking.
It’s best to avoid using spammy techniques like buying links, as Google can penalize you for doing this.
Instead, use more legitimate methods like guest posting, submitting press releases, or even contacting bloggers directly.
Now that you know what link building is, how to get started, and why it’s important, let’s look at some practical examples of how you might go about achieving this goal:
Create Good, Useful, And Quality Content
Creating content is a great way to start building links, but it can take time to build up and establish, so it is a good idea not to expect to get any instant results.
Instead, turn your focus on creating high-quality content that people want to share – this is a great way to play the long game, and make sure that your content and site have a reputation for providing high-quality, accurate content that people really want to read.
Guest blogging and posting is one of the easiest ways to build links because all you need to do is write a post and submit it to a blog.
This gives you the opportunity to create valuable content, which will hopefully lead to a link being added back to your site.
Once they publish your article, you’ll be able to track how many times it’s been shared.
To maximize the chances of getting a link, you’ll want to ensure that your article is well-written, interesting, and provides value to the reader.
It’s also worth noting that guest posts are often published in directories, so you’ll want to check that any blogs you approach are active members of those directories.
Submit Your Content Directly To Directory Sites
Submitting your content directly to directory sites such as Dmoz (a search engine) can also be a useful method of link building.
These directories are designed to help users find relevant information online.
By submitting your content to them, you’re making it easier for people who use those websites to find what they’re looking for.
Use Social Media
Social media is a fantastic tool for link building. It’s easy to create profiles on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and once you’ve done that, it’s relatively simple to connect with other people and exchange links.
Ask For Links
If you know anyone else who runs a website, ask them if they would be willing to add a link back to your site.
This works best if you already have a working relationship with the person, or if your content could offer some benefit to their customers and readers.
Write Articles About The Websites Of People Who Have Links Back To Your Website
This tip is similar to the previous one, except instead of asking people to link back to your site, you’re writing about the websites of people who have linked back to them.
This is a great way to gain links from authoritative websites, which are generally considered to be very valuable by search engines.
Comment On High-Quality Forums And Communities
Commenting on forums and communities is another great way to build links.
If someone has asked a question on a forum, feel free to answer it, and include a link to your website to boost your presence.
Create A Resource Page
A resource page is a page on your website that lists all of the different types of content you provide.
When someone visits your resource page, they’ll see all of the different things you do, and can easily click through to learn more about each section.
Start An Email List
Starting an email list is a great way to build links to your website.
Whenever you send out an email newsletter, you can always mention that you’d love to receive feedback from your subscribers.
This is a great opportunity to request a link back to your website.
Another good way to get links is through press releases. A press release is basically a news story that you send to media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV channels, etc.
The idea behind a press release is to get coverage in the media, and therefore attract traffic to your website.
If you’re looking to get coverage in a newspaper, you’ll need to contact them first and explain what you’d like to do.
They’ll usually say yes if they think there’s something in it for them.
Once you’ve got their attention, you can pitch your ideas, and they’ll decide whether or not to publish an article based on that.
If you’re looking to get covered in a magazine, you’ll need to make sure that the publication is interested in covering your topic.
Most publications won’t cover anything unless they think there’s a chance of making money from it.
Building relationships with other bloggers is also an effective strategy for link building.
This is because if you’re known as a reliable blogger, chances are that other bloggers will want to include you in their list of recommended resources.
When contacting bloggers, you’ll need to be prepared with a list of questions. These could include things like:
- What are your interests?
- Who would be interested in reading my articles?
- How much time do I have to dedicate to writing?
- Do you accept submissions?
Once you’ve made contact with the blogger, you’ll need to provide them with relevant information. This could include:
- Links to other websites that relate to your niche
- Articles that you wrote
- Images that illustrate your point
- Videos that show off your product/service
The best type of link to get is one that comes from a trusted source. If you’re writing a guest post on someone else’s site, you’ll probably receive a reciprocal link.
Reciprocal links come at a cost, however, as they require both parties to agree to share their link.
You can also find free ways to build links by using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
You can even buy paid advertising campaigns through companies like AdWords and Bing Ads. But before you go spending money on ads, consider what kind of results you expect.
It might take longer than just buying a few links, but if you’re patient, you’ll eventually see a return on investment.
What Are The Benefits Of Link Building?
Getting links for your site can be a time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort. There are a number of advantages to link building. Here are just a few of them:
Your Website Will Be More Visible
One of the main benefits of linking out is that it makes your website more visible.
If people see your website listed as a resource on another website, they’ll assume that your website has some sort of authority in its field.
As a result, they may choose to visit your website instead of the original source.
You Can Get Traffic To Your Site
Another benefit of link building is that it can help drive traffic to your site. When someone clicks on a link, they will be taken to a new page.
That means that they’ll either leave your site or click on one of your internal pages. Either way, this results in traffic being directed to your site.
You Can Increase Page Rank
By getting links from high-quality sites, you can improve your search engine rankings.
Google and Bing use these factors to determine where your site should appear in search results.
Another advantage of link building is that Google considers external links to be a positive signal when calculating your page rank. So by building links, you can increase your page rank.
It Makes Your Content Easier For Readers To Find
If you get links from authoritative websites, then your content becomes easier for readers to find.
They won’t have to spend hours searching through thousands of irrelevant web pages to find what they’re looking for.
Instead, they’ll simply type in keywords into a search box and they’ll be presented with your article.
It Is A Good Way Of Promoting Your Business
If you want to promote your business online, then getting links is an effective way of doing so. By getting links, you can create awareness about your brand.
People who read your content will become familiar with your company. As a result, if they ever need something similar, they’ll know how to reach you.
It Creates Long-Term Relationships
When you get links, you can establish long-term relationships with other websites.
These relationships can lead to reciprocal links. In other words, you could share backlinks with them. This helps you both because it creates a network effect.
By getting links from reputable sites, you can build trust with those sites.
This means that they’ll feel comfortable sharing your content with their readers. As a result, you can gain access to a larger audience.
It Boosts Social Media Presence
Getting links can also boost social media presence. By having a large number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can show off your expertise. This can make potential clients more likely to follow you.
It Increases Brand Awareness
Getting links increases brand awareness. When someone sees your name linked to a reputable website, they’ll associate your name with the same thing.
As a result, they’ll think of you whenever they hear your company name.
It Shows Off Your Expertise
If you’ve got lots of relevant links pointing to your site, people will assume that you must be an expert in your field. As a result, this will help you stand out among your competition.
It Increases Traffic And Conversions
Getting links can increase traffic and conversions. When people see your name associated with a highly ranked website, they’ll click through to check it out. As a result, when they land on your page, they’ll be much more likely to convert.
It Builds Trust With Visitors
Visitors are often skeptical. If they come across a website that has no trustworthy links, they may not even bother visiting.
However, if they see a website that’s been linked to by many other trusted sources, then they’ll be more inclined to visit.
What Should You Avoid When Link Building?
There are a few elements that you should try to avoid when you are looking to build links and backlinks, and these include:
Avoid Buying Links
One of the main “don’ts” when it comes to link building is to avoid the temptation to buy links, though this may seem like a good idea at the time.
The problem with buying links is that it can damage your reputation as well as your rankings. Google can easily detect paid links and penalize or demote your site.
Another common mistake is to use link farms. Link farms are groups of websites that have all been created for the sole purpose of creating thousands of low-quality links.
They’re easy to spot because they usually only contain one type of anchor text (usually keywords).
Black Hat SEO
Another big no-no is black hat SEO. Black hat SEO involves using techniques such as keyword stuffing, hidden text, cloaking, and so forth.
While some of these tactics do work, they can quickly destroy your rankings and hurt your business. Examples of Black Hat SEO include:
- Keyword Stuffing -this refers to adding excessive amounts of keywords into your pages. For example, a page about dog training might have hundreds of variations of the word “dog.”
- Hidden Text -this refers to hiding important information within images. For example, a picture of a car could have the words “BMW” written inside the image.
- Cloaking -this means hiding content from search engines. For example, a website could hide its home page from search engines by putting a special code on every page except the homepage.
Other tips to avoid when building backlinks and links for your site include :
Avoid Spammy Anchor Text
Anchors are the little things that link to another webpage. You want them to appear natural, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to get visitors to click on them.
One way to make sure that you don’t end up with spammy anchors is to focus on writing unique titles for each page. This makes your anchor text look less like a robot wrote it.
Use The Right Kinds of Links
When it comes to building links and links for your website, you need to think carefully about what kind of links you’re going after. There are two types of links:
- Internal Links -these refer to links that point to pages on your own site. These are also known as inbound links.
- External Links -these refer to external sites that link to your site. These are also called outbound links.
You should always strive to create internal links whenever possible.
When someone clicks on an internal link, it will take them directly to the page where they were originally searching for.
External links are great for getting traffic, but they won’t help you rank very high.
- Always Use Quality Backlink Sources– There are many ways to build backlinks, but not all sources are equal, and some are much better and more reliable than others. Make sure that you choose reputable sources that have a good reputation, or you risk causing damage to the standing, ranking, and reputation of your site.
How Can I Find High-Quality Links?
As we have mentioned, it is important that the links that you choose to use for your site are of the highest quality – but knowing how to check this can be a little confusing. Some of the best ways to find high-quality links include:
Check Out Your Competitors’ Sites
If you know what kinds of websites your competitors are linking to, then you’ll be able to see which ones you should be targeting too.
If you notice that one competitor has a lot of links coming from the same few websites, then you should consider contacting those websites and asking if they would be willing to link to your site instead.
If you notice that your competitors are having success by marketing their products through similar websites, then you might want to try doing the same thing yourself.
It may seem strange at first, but once you start seeing results, you’ll realize that it works well.
Search Google For Keywords Related To Your Industry
One of the easiest ways to find high-quality backlinks is to simply search Google for keywords related to your industry.
You can do this by typing in your keyword into the search bar, and then adding “site:” before the keyword.
So, for example, if you wanted to find out who was linking to your site, you could type in “site:www.example.com” into the search bar. Then, just sort through the list of websites that come up.
Check The Authority Of The Page
Another easy way to find high-quality backlinking is to check the authority of the page.
A high authority page means that other websites trust the content being published on the page.
This makes it easier for Google to determine whether or not the page is relevant to the user’s query.
BAcklinks from this page, therefore, tend to carry more weight than those from low authoritative pages.
Check The Authority Of The Site
The same goes for checking the authority of the website itself. A higher authority website means that other people trust the information being published on the site.
As such, these types of pages are usually considered to be more trustworthy than lower authority pages.
There are two main reasons why getting links from high authority sites is beneficial:
There are two main reasons why getting links from high authority sites is beneficial:
- They are considered to be more trustworthy
- They carry greater weight with the major search engines
So, when you’re looking for backlinks, make sure that you only target high-authority pages.
These are the pages that have been around long enough for others to trust them, and they’re also the pages that other people think are important.
You can use tools like SEMRush to identify the most popular pages within a specific niche.
Once you’ve found some pages that you believe are worth targeting, you can use the tool to find the top 10 ranking pages within that niche.
If you can get your page linked to a high authority site, then it will likely help boost your SEO efforts. As we mentioned, the authority of a site can be checked using tools such as
SeEMrush, which allows you to enter the root URL of a site and check the “Authority Score”.
The higher the authority score, the more trusted the site is deemed to be.
Checking the authority of a site isn’t always an exact science though, so don’t expect to get 100% accurate results every time.
However, it does give you a pretty good idea of the overall reputation of a particular website.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the best places to look for high-authority backlinks is from high-authority pages.
But how exactly do you go about finding these pages? Well, there are several different methods available, including:
Using Social Media Sites To Find Links
Using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to find links can be quite effective.
All you need to do is create a post containing a link to your own site, and then wait for someone else to share it.
If you’re lucky enough, they’ll include a link to your site in their tweet or status update.
This method works well because it gives you access to a large number of potential backlink sources.
And since many users aren’t aware of what they’re doing when they share something via social media, you could end up getting hundreds of links if you keep at it!
Another way to find backlinks is by searching through other websites. There are plenty of free online tools that allow you to search through thousands of web pages to see who’s linking to whom.
Some of the most popular ones include MajesticSEO, OpenSiteExplorer, Ahrefs, and MozBar.
These tools all work differently, but they all allow you to perform searches based on keywords, domain names, and even IP addresses.
You can then view the results and sort them into categories to see where the links came from.
Once you’ve identified the source of each link, you can contact the owner directly and ask them to add a link to your site.
This approach has two benefits. First, it shows that you’re not just trying to game the system – you genuinely want to build relationships with other businesses. Second, it provides you with another opportunity to promote your business.
Once you have a list of relevant websites, you can start contacting them. In order to make this process easier, you should try to identify the person behind the website, allowing you to make personal, authentic contact and maximize your chances of success.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when looking for backlinks is focusing too much on irrelevant sites.
While it’s true that some low-quality sites may provide backlinks, these tend to be very thin content sites that offer little value.
Instead, focus on building links from relevant sites that offer great content.
If you’re unsure whether a particular website is relevant, use Google to check out its rankings.
The higher it ranks, the more likely it is to be a relevant site. Once you’ve found a few good candidates, reach out to the owners and ask if they’d be willing to exchange links with you.
If you’re unsure whether a particular website is relevant, use Google to check out its rankings. The higher it ranks, the more likely it is to be a relevant site.
Once you’ve found a few good candidates, reach out to the owners and ask if they’d be willing to exchange links with you.
What Are The Different Types Of Link?
Not all links in the world of backlinks and link building are created equal; there are several different types of links available, and these include:
These are links that point to pages within your own site. They are often used as navigation elements, so they’re an important part of your overall page structure.
Internal links also help visitors navigate around your site easily, which means they’re essential for SEO purposes.
Links pointing to external websites are known as external links. These are usually included in blog posts, press releases, and articles.
External links are useful because they give readers a chance to learn about new products or services without leaving your site.
Do-Follow Vs No Follow
When you create a link, you need to decide whether you want it to be followed (or ‘do follow’) or not (or ‘no follow’).
A do-follow link will pass any authority it receives onto the linked page, while no-follow links don’t.
Of these three types of links, the best option depends largely on the needs of your business and website, and a combination is often the best choice.
Tips For Great Internal Link Building
As we have mentioned, internal link building can be a great way to improve your SEO, but it’s important to know how to go about doing it correctly. Here are our top tips for creating effective internal links:
It might seem obvious, but using keywords in your anchor text is one of the most important things you can do when building links internally.
Make sure you use your target keyword at least once in every URL, and preferably twice.
Keep It Short
If you’re linking to a long article, it’s probably better to break it up into several shorter ones instead. This makes it easier for search engines to index each section individually.
Don’t Overuse Images
Images are great for adding visual interest to your content, but they shouldn’t take up too much space. Try to keep them to under 100kb per image.
Make Sure You Use Proper HTML5 Tags
HTML 5 tags are now supported by all major browsers, including Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox 3+, and Safari 4. HTML 5 tags are similar to HTML 4 tags, but they add additional functionality. Some of the main uses of HTML 5 tags include:
- Adding alt attributes to images to make them accessible to screen readers
- Making it easier to style web pages with CSS
- Creating responsive designs
You should always try to use HTML 5 tags whenever possible, even if you’re not currently supporting IE 8+.
Avoid Using Too Many URLs
While it’s tempting to create lots of short, descriptive URLs, this isn’t recommended. Each time you create a new URL, it takes longer for users to find what they’re looking for. Instead, stick to just two or three short, descriptive URLs per page.
Include Related Pages In Your Content
One of the easiest ways to build links internally is to simply mention related pages or other resources in your content.
If you’ve written a guide on how to install WordPress, for example, then you could include a link to another relevant post on your site.
This works well for both internal and external links, so it’s an easy way to get more traffic from existing pages.
Create Useful Resources
Another good way to build links internally is through creating helpful resources.
For example, if you write a tutorial on how to install WordPress, you could also provide a link to a list of free themes that you think would work well for beginners.
By providing useful resources like this, you’ll help people who visit your site discover new information and products.
They may end up buying something as a result, which means you’ll earn some affiliate revenue.
Consider Adding A Comment Box To Your Page
A comment box is a great way to encourage visitors to leave feedback on your site.
When someone leaves a comment, they give you a link back to their website, which helps you gain visibility in their niche.
The best thing about leaving comments is that you don’t need to worry about getting permission first.
So feel free to leave a few comments on other sites without asking for permission.
Use Social Media Sites Like Twitter And Facebook
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook allow you to share content directly with your followers.
By sharing interesting articles and blog posts, you can promote yourself and your business.
Links are a crucial element of boosting your website, improving SEO performance, and increasing traffic and conversions, so it’s important to understand how to build links effectively.
The tips above will show you how to maximize your SEO success, and you are sure to start seeing massive improvements in your business in no time.