As a business online, having a website doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’re going to be seen by your potential clients and so you’ll need to put in time and effort into improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if you want to make it to the first page of Google’s search results. SEO is a broad field and many SEO experts agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their craft. So here’s a brief guide to link building and how you can get started with your first campaign.
What is link building?
Link building quite simply means building a bank of back-links on reputable sites that ultimately lead back to your website. There are a number of different techniques used by SEO experts to help companies build links, many of which take a lot of time and effort. It’s very important that the sites you choose to host your back-links are of high quality and reputable, as having a backlink from an untrustworthy site can negatively impact your SEO.
Why does building links matter?
Search engines use links to help them discover new web pages and also to determine how well a page should rank in their search results. Search engines such as Google send out things called ‘crawlers’ to crawl through web pages in search of links, extracting data about the page and adding it to their search indexes. When high-quality and high ranking pages link back to your website, Google sees this as a positive factor, improving your own ranking within their results.
How can link building benefit a business?
Aside from helping a website to increase its ranking in search engines, link building can also benefit a business in a number of other ways including:
- Building relationships
Link building involves a lot of outreach to other websites and page owners. Although the primary goal of this outreach may be to embed a link in one of their posts, it can also be a great chance to build lasting relationships leading to reciprocal guest content and the creation of brand advocates.
- Creating referral traffic
The links placed on 3rd party websites aren’t just accessible to search engine crawlers, and anyone can follow them back to your site. This means that if they have been embedded on a page with high traffic a percentage of the page visitors may click the link coming to your website themselves. If sales or referral traffic are what you want, then it’s important not to be blinded by the number of visitors to the host website alone. A passionate and engaged but smaller audience is worth a lot more than a large uninterested one.
- Reinforcing a brand
Whenever your website is mentioned online, whatever is being said about it, or the context that it is mentioned in is inadvertently helping to build your brand. Who you choose to link build with and the context of your link building campaign can help to set you apart as a thought leader or a key player in your field.
When conducted correctly a link building campaign should be able to provide you with all of these benefits.
Why is link building difficult?
Link building is extremely difficult for SEO’s because Google and other search engines are constantly releasing updates to try and catch websites that have gained popularity from link building alone, meaning that SEO specialists have had to get more creative with the way they create their link building campaigns. Whereas once, getting your link placed in an online directory may have been enough to boost your rankings, now your link will need to sit organically in high-quality content.
No-follow and do-follow explained
To make things harder, links in 3rd party content can be either no-follow or do-follow. No-follow links stop search engine crawlers from following them, having no impact on the other websites SEO. No-follow links are increasingly used by forums and in editable wiki pages to stop spammers from spamming their own links, but they are also used by advertisers for commercial purposes.
How to start a link building campaign
When conducted correctly, link building can be hugely beneficial, which is why it is important to get it right. Here at Breakaway Digital we are a digital agency specializing in SEO and can help you to devise the right links for your business.
Get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call to chat more about link building campaigns and the services we offer.