What is link building and how does it work?
Link building is a huge factor in SEO. In fact, besides the actual content on your website, backlinks are deemed the second most important element for your SEO. So links are a huge deal!
If you want to rank high in Google search results, you need to create a link profile that shows Google and other search engines that your site is worth visiting and contains valuable content. Both external and internal linking provides more visibility while linking helps Google and other search engines crawl your site.
There is a limit to which site owners link to your site. If you are a new site, you need to build your reputation with time. Besides, it is essential to follow good linking practices in order to avoid penalties from the search engines.
What matters when it comes to link building?
The factors that influence how important a link is to your rankings include:
Global popularity: Many popular sites rank high in search results, like Wikipedia. They receive lots of links from other websites. So these popular sites will be ranked highly on most search engine results pages.
Local Popularity: Local popularity refers to the inbound links that come from similar websites. For instance, if you have a clothes shop, and a popular clothes blog links to it, search engines will pay more attention to it than if the link came from an unrelated website.
Anchor text: When people link to your shoe store using the term “clothes shop”, this lets search engines know that your website is a good source for clothes. However, if the anchor text that brings people to a page is too similar to the keywords that bring people to the page, it could indicate that you’re trying to manipulate search engines.
Link context: When links are related to the topic or topics of your website, they’re more valuable. The transition from one page to the next should be relatively seamless.
Where the link comes from: Links from reputable sites are generally more trustworthy than those from less-reputable sites. For instance, a link that comes from a Google official blog will carry much more weight than one that comes from a personal blog on WordPress. Search engines have methods to sort through spam and irrelevant content, and Google has a rating system that grades individual Web pages based on their reputation.
How does link building work?
There are essentially two ways of link building on your website: internal and external. External links are more difficult to obtain than internal links because they come from other websites. But it doesn’t take much effort to start building links within your site, and that will lead to higher search engine rankings.
It’s very important to have good internal linking throughout your site. Every page on your site should be reachable from at least one text link. Link to relevant blog posts and product pages, and not just your homepage or contact page.
Blogging is an effective way to increase internal links by allowing you to provide more opportunities for you to link back to specific products, product categories, and other internal pages. Don’t forget to link from social media platforms, and include a tweet, status update, and post to social media on your blog.
If you want to gain external links, you should write excellent content. You can also reach out to bloggers and influencers to ask if you can guest blog on their sites. Do not resort to black hat SEO tricks, like paying for links. These backfire because they can come from spammy websites.
What types of external links are there?
When a link comes from an external site to your website, they essentially come in two forms:
Do-follow links – These are the standard links that tell search engines like Google to “follow” the link, it is in fact telling the search engine that the link is good and considered to have important information. Do-follow links are very good for your website because you obtain what is commonly termed “link juice” from it, it is sending a message to search engines that your content is valuable and therefore the ranking of your page will increase in the eyes of search engines.
No-follow links – This is effectively the opposite of do-follow links, although you do still get a link to your website, the link is effectively telling the search engine that the source content is not valuable and therefore your page rank will not increase. Why would other websites use no-follow links? The best example would be in a comments section of a blog. People will leave a comment in a blog with a link on it. The website owner does not know whether this link leads to valuable information or not as he has not written it himself. So he would set all links in the blog comment section to no-follows.
Why are links so important?
Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo rely heavily on the number of links pointing to your website to determine its ranking. This is why it is so important that your site has high-quality, RELEVANT links.
You will notice the word RELEVANT is in caps and there is a very good reason for this. Many people are of the belief that any link is a good link and the more links one has the better their website will rank. This is not true.
Search engines use very sophisticated algorithms to determine the relevance of links pointing back to each individual website. Irrelevant links get a very low score, while relevant links get a very high score.
You have many options for getting relevant links to your website. You could ask your suppliers to include links to your website on their site. Or you could get links from your customers who may have relevant websites to your industry.
Relevant Blogs and Forums provide an excellent opportunity to promote your business by commenting on the content posted by others. Make sure you only include links to your own site in your comments. Make the most of it and don’t be tempted to use them as a vehicle for spam. If they judge your comments to be spam then the other members of the forum may unfriend you, and that could cost you your business.
A business directory is also a great source of relevant links but make sure your business is listed under the correct category.
Always remember the word RELEVANT and always try to secure these types of links. These will be the most powerful links to your website and the ones that will benefit your website the most.
Apart from quality content writing and link building. On-page SEO is also crucially important for the overall SEO performance of your website.