If you want to have a solid understanding of link building basics…
Don’t go anywhere! This post is for you.
By the end of this article, you’ll know:
- Why you should use link building strategies
- What the composition of a good link is
- How to build links that matter
Let’s get started!
What Is Link Building?
Link building is an SEO strategy used by many site owners to increase traffic and rankings.
One of the biggest misconceptions about link building is that it’s a short cut to success, but… it’s not.
To get results, link building must be done after a good SEO foundation has been established, unique quality content published and on-page SEO completed.
Without these elements, you can build as many links as you want; but it will be very difficult to move the needle.
What Is A Link?
Links (hyperlinks) allow visitors to jump from the page they’re reading to a new page (or a new site) when clicking on it.
Their main goal is to help people navigate their way around the internet and find the content they’re looking for- quickly- without much effort.
Links can be attached to:
…depending on the context.
So now that you have a clear vision of what links are, let’s go a little deeper into link building basics.
Link Building Strategy
Link building is the process of getting links placed on other websites that point to your site.
Links can be viewed like ‘votes’. And for a long time, the more votes/links you had pointing to your content, the better you ranked.
The problem is that people abused this system by building ‘poor quality/spammy links’ to get ranked…
… which didn’t please Google.
So now, Google has changed its algorithm to favor the quality of the links over the quantity.
In other words, if you don’t want to get into trouble with Google, you need to build high-quality links only (of course the more high quality links you have the better).
And by ‘high-quality links,’ I mean:
Placing your links on high-authority sites that have high organic traffic and are relevant to your niche. You also need to avoid any sites that advertise the sale of links or blatantly offer guest contributions (write for us pages) as this is like a shining neon light to Google that the links on this site are unlikely to be genuine.
Types Of Links
Before telling you why links are vital to reaching online success, it’s essential you understand the two categories of links and that both are equally important.
External links (or backlinks) are the links that point to another page on a different website/domain.
I’ve been speaking about these links most of this post, so now I want to focus on the other type of links: internal links.
Internal links point from one piece of content to another within the same site.
In other words, internal links help visitors to jump from the page they’re currently on to another related page within the same website.
Internal links have a number of huge benefits. They help Google find newly published pages, they can spread ‘link juice’ from higher authority pages to weaker ones and they can guide your visitors to your power pages (money pages).
But that’s not all.
Famous e-commerce stores use internal links to boost sales.
By suggesting related or complementary products or services to visitors.
Just take a look at Amazon as an example:
See how they use internal links?
The ‘Frequently bought together’, and the ‘Products related to this item’ sections are full of internal links.
And if Amazon is making tons of money using internal links, it would be stupid not to follow by their example.
Why Do You Need To Build Links?
Link building is mandatory for growing most kinds of online businesses – from SaaS companies to growth hacking agencies.
Because links (whether internal or external) maximize your SEO results.
This means that link building can help you increase your:
- Online visibility
- Search traffic & rankings
- Revenue & sales
Links are also perceived as a ‘trust signal’ for Google and humans. For Google, having links pointing back to your site is a positive ranking signal. It means that your content is relevant, valuable to visitors, and can be trusted.
And if Google trusts your site, it’ll send it up the SERPs and rank it well.
But that’s not all:
People tend to trust well-ranked sites over low-ranked sites.
But whether you decide to build your own links or hire someone else to do it, there is one more topic we need to cover to complete the link building basics.
All links are not equal. There are both good and bad links out there. And links with stronger SEO power than others.
But how to recognize the quality of a link?
Well, you can distinguish a high-quality link from a lower quality link by simply looking at its anatomy.
Indeed, a good link will follow these four principles (when a bad link won’t):
Good links are placed on relevant pages/websites within your niche.
For example, if your content or site is about cooking, you want your links ideally to be placed on other cooking sites. Or at least sites where cooking is a main category.
2. Domain Strength
Ideally, you want your links to be placed on high authority websites.
In other words: if you manage to get a link from, let’s say, the BBC, it would be worth a lot more than a link from your local newspaper.
A natural backlink profile will be made up of links from all DR (Domain Rating) ranges but lower authority links will come in naturally, so it’s a pretty safe bet to target high authority sites when you are building links.
3. Page Strength
The page where your link is placed plays a significant role.
You want your links to be placed on pages with high search traffic and a decent UR (URL Rating) to get the maximum SEO benefits from the link.
4. Anchor Text
The anchor text is the text your link is attached to. It is always recommended to have a variety of anchor texts-
…as this builds a more natural-looking profile.
When you reach the first page of the SERPs you can even go one step further and analyse your competitors anchor texts to see which type Google favours and use that data when deciding which anchor to use during your link building campaigns.
These link building basics are going to help you reach SEO success.
All you have to do is follow this advice and you will be able to start building your own links, or at least have the knowledge to not get tricked by low-quality link building services.
Remember, poor links can get you penalized, so you must focus on your links’ quality rather than quantity.
And one last thing:
I know we spoke mostly about external links but, please, don’t forget that internal links are just as important- if not more- depending on your business.