We started offering SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as a service over a decade ago, and it is still a fundamental practice for digital marketing. SEO is made up of a variety of activities, all with the aim of improving a website’s online visibility and search engine rankings. One of the cornerstones of SEO is link building. It’s an ongoing practice and one we get asked about a lot, so we thought it was time to create a quick guide to the world of link building in SEO, why it’s crucial, and how to do it effectively.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is just as it sounds – building a bank of links from other websites back to your own site. These links are like endorsements from other websites, indicating to search engines that your content is valuable, credible, and useful.
Why Is Link Building Important?
Search engines, particularly Google, consider backlinks as a primary ranking factor. The more high-quality backlinks a page accumulates, the higher it is likely to rank in search results.
How Do You Build Links?
First – the bad news. There is no quick fix. Link building is a long-term strategy that takes time, effort and patience. Generally, there are three main types of link building strategies: Asking, Adding and Earning.
Asking for links involves proactively reaching out to other websites and requesting them to link to your content. You can target various types of content, such as blog posts, in-depth guides, ebooks, visual assets like infographics, case studies, and original research.
Adding links is when you manually add your website’s links on other platforms, such as social media profiles, business directories, forums, blog comments, and user profile pages. However, it’s essential to note that these links, while easier to get, are often considered lower quality by search engines.
Earning links is considered the ‘best practice’ approach. This is when other websites link to your content without any direct request from you. This typically happens when you create high-quality, valuable content that naturally attracts links. Types of content that often earn links include infographics, original research and data, online tools and calculators, and comprehensive guides.
What makes a “Perfect” Link?
When you are working out if a link is worth your effort, there are some things to consider:
1. How Much Authority Does it Have?
The authority of a website or webpage is the most critical factor in weighing up whether to go for a link or not. A link from a high-authority source can have a significant impact on your SERP rankings.
2. How Relevant is it?
Relevance matters. You should try to get links from websites that are related to your content. This raises the value of the link and its impact on your SEO efforts.
3. Where is the Link?
The position of a link within a webpage also matters. Links placed prominently within the main body of a page tend to carry more authority. Links buried in sidebars or footers may not be as valuable.
4. What is the Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable text of a link. It should be descriptive and relevant to the linked page’s content. This helps both search engines and users understand the context of the link.
5. Is the Link Nofollow or Follow?
This is a bit techy, but stick with me. You get different types of links where the code has attributes like “nofollow,” “sponsored,” or “ugc” (User Generated Content). “Nofollow” links don’t pass authority onto your site, but can still help with brand recognition and referral traffic. “Follow” links imply that the website endorses you, gives your site credit in the eyes of the search engines.
SEO link building is key to improving your website’s visibility and search engine rankings, and by creating a strategy, and focusing on high-quality, authoritative, and relevant links, you can boost your website’s online presence and ultimately drive more organic traffic to your content.
For help developing a backlink strategy for your website, get in touch.