The internet is an incredibly valuable and powerful tool, allowing both small and large businesses to flourish. But it’s not enough to simply establish a website and wait for customers to show up. If you want to drive traffic to your site and see consistent sales, you’ll need to invest in digital marketing.
Search engine optimization, or Link Building Strategies, plays a crucial role in allowing brands to connect with customers. Through search engine optimization, you can make it more likely for your target audience to find you and engage with you online.
You might already know that adding relevant keywords to your website copy and improving your web design can help in this regard. But you’ll also want to focus on off-site optimizations to improve your website’s authority in the eyes of Google.
Link building strategies can ensure your site is seen as authoritative – and that, in turn, can make your brand appear more prevalently in search results. Let’s take a closer look at what is link building, why it matters for SEO, and how a variety of link building services can help you make an impact in SERPs.
What is Link Building?
First, let’s talk about what link building is. Moz puts it simply: “link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.”
These links are sometimes referred to as backlinks or external links. They are placed on a completely different site and contain a URL that goes to a page on your site. (The hyperlink from Moz above is actually an example of a backlink from our site to theirs!)
In many cases, link building is intentional. But in other scenarios, you can acquire backlinks naturally and without any real effort. When we refer to link building, we’re typically referring to the former – the conscious, strategic effort that results in new backlink acquisitions for a website.
Why Do You Need to Build Links to Your Site?
The concept of link building is simple enough. But why do we do it?
The simple answer is that search engines like to know that your site is considered to be valuable by other reputable websites.
When a site like the New York Times or Forbes includes a link to another website, search engines will typically consider that linked site to be worthy of respect. Backlinks are basically seen as a seal of endorsement or a sign of approval. The more high-quality backlinks a website or webpage receives, the more worthy Google considers that source to be.
Having a website that provides good content and a good user experience is only the beginning. Google will usually want evidence that other website owners view your site as reputable. If Google sees that your site is receiving endorsements from other sites it trusts, you’ll benefit from those endorsements.
That’s because backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking signals. On-site SEO will only get you so far. If you don’t acquire backlinks from other worthy sites, Google may not completely trust your website – and that may mean you won’t see much movement in your rankings.
But if you do start to receive the proverbial thumbs-up from other websites, you’ll probably be rewarded with progress in search engine results pages. While this isn’t the only thing you’ll need to improve your rankings, link building can make a big difference in where you appear in SERPs.
What Are the Best Link Building Strategies to Use?
With that in mind, it makes sense to include link building as part of your marketing strategy. But how can you start acquiring backlinks for your site?
Before you get started, it’s important to know that not all links are created equal. While there was once a time when quantity mattered more than quality, the opposite is now true. As such, you’ll want to evaluate potential link building opportunities before you start building.
To determine the quality of a link, you should look at:
- Domain authority
- Page rank
- Site relevance
- Link position and placement on page
- Anchor text
- Link attribute (do-follow versus no-follow)
For a quality link building opportunity, you should seek out a site that’s relevant to your business or your audience with a relatively high domain authority and page rank. Look for chances to naturally incorporate your link and include anchor text that makes sense for your brand or keywords. And if you’re trying to build links for SEO, make sure to prioritize do-follow links; these kinds of links pass on “link juice” from one site to another, while no-follow links contain no endorsement.
Now that you know what makes a good backlink, let’s talk about a few link building strategies you can use for better SEO.
Search For Broken Links
Sometimes known as broken link building, this technique can be a great way to connect with other website owners and usurp older opportunities from competitors.
Once you locate a relevant website with a good number of outbound links, you can check to see if any of them are “broken.” If these links lead to 404 errors and you have a great page link that would add value to the site in question, you can email the site owner. Alert them that the link is broken and that you have a solution on your website they can link to instead.
Since removing broken links can help out the site owner’s own rankings, they might be willing to do something nice for you, too! Even if the site owner doesn’t decide to include your link for whatever reason. This can allow you to make a mutually beneficial connection you can use in the future. And if they do decide to include your link, that’s a great way to add to your backlink profile.
Create Valuable Content
You’ve probably heard the expression, “content is king.” That holds true with link-building.
Creating awesome content for your site or for another site is one of the best ways to acquire backlinks. You can add onto some existing content to create a “skyscraper article,” develop an infographic, or create a guest post for another site owner to publish.
In any of these scenarios, you’ll encourage others to link back to your site due to the incredible content you’ve created. Whether that happens naturally, through social media promotion, or via an outreach email is up to you.
Establishing your brand as a trusted leader in your industry can garner positive attention from other site owners and convince them to link to your site as a resource. Plus, it can benefit your audience (or the other site owner’s audience) because Google always loves fresh content!
Buy Quality Backlinks
It’s worth noting that searching for broken links and creating content can be time-consuming. What’s more, your efforts might not always pay off – especially if you’re not taking advantage of professional link building services.
Another idea is to buy backlinks for SEO. As long as you buy quality backlinks from well-respected sites that are relevant to your audience (and you don’t abuse this method). This can be a viable way to supplement your link building strategy.
It’s worth noting that purchasing backlinks does go against Google’s guidelines. If you’re going to buy backlinks for SEO, be sure to go about this process carefully. Make these links as natural as possible and aim for high quality sites.
It’s much better to buy a couple of great backlinks that make sense for your brand than to buy hundreds of low-quality links that all go live at the same time.
Some people will want to steer clear of this strategy entirely for the sake of following the rules. There’s nothing wrong with that – and some would even say that’s the safest route to take. However, buying backlinks can allow you to acquire links more quickly (and often more affordably) than you’ll experience with other link building strategies.
Start Building Links to Your Site and See Results in SERPs
Despite the work you’ve put into optimizing your site, you may not see notable improvements in your rankings without link building. Whether you search for broken links, create incredible content, or choose to buy backlinks, you’ll begin to see changes when search engines understand the value of your site – and that happens when other sites express their support for yours. Once you leverage the power of link building, you can optimize your site in new ways and reap the rewards in SERPs.