After all, what is link building for SEO? It is the process of getting other websites to link to your website with the aim of increasing the website’s authority and gaining referral traffic. Quality links come from high-quality sites. Links are of three types – Internal, Outbound, and Inbound Links. Internal Links send users from one page to another on your site. Outbound Links send users to other websites. Inbound links, users are directed to your site from other websites. A natural link is a type of backlink when other sites point to your content. A manual link is gained by contacting other websites with a request to point to your site. Created links can be generated by adding backlinks on forums and comment sections. Natural links materialize organically whereas unnatural links are paid for. There are also good links and bad links that depend on local or international SEO.
In Search Engine, back-links are very important as it impacts the prominence of the website and thereby improves SEO rankings. Ensure there are no broken links to your site as it affects UX. Use an SEO tool to find broken links on your website and optimize your content. Backlinks affect your page ranking and indicate that your content is relevant.
Link Building Basics
Google considers links as a sign of relevance and authority which can send traffic from one website to another
Never go for buying any links nor linking with sites that do not have a good reputation. Try for “do follow” links with a mix of PR domains eg- PR of 0-1 is low, 2-3 is acceptable and > 4 could be considered good.
Link within the niche relevant sites and use anchor text with the target keywords instead of click here…
Never cultivate a link farm on your site which could attract penalties from search engines. Educate yourself about the link building myths so that you have a rewarding experience in your online marketing endeavors.
Search results are displayed after search engines calculate rankings based on various factors.
High-quality links are a valuable resource and help getting indexed quickly in search results thereby remaining competitive.
Link Building Strategies
Links from Friends & Partners
Ask people who work with you in the same industry or niche to link to your websites.
Relevance counts and such links have more value than non-related links.
Mentions & Reviews
Mention your website to Influencers in your Industry such as people who have a large following, well-known bloggers, and get reviews for your site. Read more by clicking on Influencer Marketing.
Create Content and Promote
Valuable and interesting content will automatically get the audience to refer and link to your website.
Boost your content so that your target audience can find it by spreading the word through social networks or advertising.
Link Building Myths
Some common link building myths are:
- link building is the only online marketing requiring (a) good content for the natural flow of links (b) expensive tools and extensive knowledge (c) metrics such as page rank and domain authority is good enough
- the more the links the better.
- penalization for building links
Do not try to influence search rankings by going for quantity. Instead, opt for the quality of links that are important to search engines.
A link network websites ignore this very principle of high-quality links by generating a lot of artificial links on a large number of websites they control.
Links that are relevant and formed through a natural process over a period of time are the best.
Link Building for SEO
When website marketing is done using social media, article writing, reviews, directories, guest posting, press releases, etc, links from relevant niche-specific website owners are possible.
- Social media are indirect opportunities for link building. It is all about building a relationship and over a period of time helps link building and improve rankings.
- Article Writing submissions are done through services such as ezinearticles.com and squidoo.com
- Testimonials or reviews add credibility that can influence potential users and allow search engines to know that the website has been updated giving opportunities for the page to be crawled and get higher rankings. Exposure to their company through links and mentions is made possible for users reviewing such sites.
- A collection of quality links can be had by locating high-quality directory links for your site that are relevant and industry-specific eg Yahoo directory submissions, Yelp, Hotfrog, Manta
- Guest Posting’s good practices such as posting blogs and editorials on reputed websites having the authority and great content can earn value.
- A press release is the media coverage earned for your website published online through maybe a popular blog or a newspaper’s website. Ensure that such published articles contain links to your website.
In link building AVOID mass reciprocal links & directory submissions, buying links & linking to networks, article spinning and marketing, sidebar and site-wide footer links, spam in blog commenting & forums, and exact match anchor text, stuffing links but not building them.
Keyword Research For Link Building – was once considered a significant step in the link building process not so anymore.
Anchor text diversity – was earlier considered a great way for link building. But now Google interprets such exact match anchor text as a mechanism to manipulate its algorithm.
To analyze a link consider its relevance, type, authority, location, and smell test. A smell test is based on your experience on link building measures and provides answers to queries such as
- Has the website mentioned the site’s owner and his/ her background?
- Is the website having an About page?
- Does the website have a Blog and is it up-to-date?
- Do they have links to bad reputed sites?
- Have they provided credible contacts on their Contact page such as address/email/telephone etc?
A Back-link Analysis is a fundamental approach in a link building campaign that draws upon your knowledge of links, link building strategies, and quality of links.
A Competitor Back-link Analysis involves finding who your competitors are, finding link opportunities by doing a competitor backlink analysis, and mining of back-links. Use tools such as Similar Site Search for finding similar sites, Ubersuggest for query suggestions, and Mozbar for qualifying prospects.
Link Prospecting is finding relevant websites that might link back to you, and involve doing things at scale, analysis of back-links, prospecting for outreach, finding link contacts, tracking & reporting through the use of below tools that cover these areas.
Link Building Tools
- Buzzstream, Link Prospector, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs for link prospecting at scale
- Majestic, Ahrefs, SEMRush for analysis of backlinks
- Buzzstream, Ahrefs, Pitchbox, BuzzSumo, Ninja Outreach, Google Sheets for prospecting outreach
- Ninja Outreach, Buzzstream, BuzzSumo, Google, Linkedin Sales Navigator, Twitter, Hunter.io for finding link contacts
- Buzzstream, Google Search Console, Pitchbox, Ahrefs for link tracking & reporting.