The online business environment is viciously competitive and to stay afloat, you have to outthink your competition. Of course, every business now seems to have a website and this alone will not give you the much needed competitive edge. This is where the fundamental role of search comes in handy. If you have not added search engine optimization (SEO) to your marketing campaign, you are bound to fail. Among the most effective SEO techniques is link building and if you get it right, this can propel your business to greater heights.
To appreciate how SEO is so closely intertwined with your business success, consider the fact that 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. It gets even better; search remains the top driver of traffic to content websites, beating social media by over 300%. The first organic search on any search engine result page (SERP) for a target keyword receives nearly 33% of clicks according to search engine watch. The same study shows that 70% of all links search users click are organic.
From these numbers, it becomes clear that you have to rethink your online marketing strategy in order to incorporate search engine optimization. In essence, you have to use techniques acceptable under the Google Webmaster Guidelines in order to increase the visibility of your brand on search engine results. Among the most effective techniques used by webmasters is link building.
If you are finding it hard to leverage the growing internet marketplace, it is time you learned more about how to build these links in order to boost your business performance. Whether you are using an SEO expert or not, it is imperative to learn about the impact link building will have on your business.
Backlinking and its Benefits in Online Marketing
A backlink is simply a link from another website to yours. This incoming link has been there in the SEO industry for long and initially, it used to be the most important metric in web page ranking. In essence, the more backlinks your website had, the better its ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).
This has obviously changed with Google and other search engine algorithm updates, virtually redefining how backlinks are used. Among the benefits of using earning backlinks are:
- Increased flow of referral traffic
- Creating new relationships
- Brand promotion and increased recognition
- Building brand authority
- Long term ranking through directories and online resources
There are many other reasons to use backlinks in your marketing campaigns but these provide the best overview. In essence, a backlink serves as a form of recommendation which sends a signal of importance to both search engine crawlers and visitors.
If your website has several backlinks from authority websites and blogs, you can bet the visitors coming to your site will be more interested in what you are selling. Such high-quality links will also boost your ranking on SERPs. Truth be told, websites with high-quality backlinks today still perform better than those without. The never-ending debate among SEO experts on the place of link building can simply be resolved by focusing more on quality than quantity. If you are struggling with your SEO efforts, this complete guide for natural backlinks will come in handy. Keep reading.
What is a High-quality Link?
To determine whether a link deserves the label of a high-quality link, you have to consider the following:
- Authority – The linking page and the linking domain must be high authority.
- Follow vs. Nofollow – For a rel=”nofollow” attribute, it signals Google that the site should not receive a boost in ranking from this backlink. However, this should not dissuade you from securing them if they can help you achieve your business goals.
- Where the link is placed – Link placement matters a lot and the idea here is to ensure that the link is in a clickable section.
- Anchor text – You should avoid over-optimizing your anchor text when building links. Your focus should be on what is going to make a reader click the link instead of the SEO benefits alone.
- Link relevancy – The links must be relevant to your website and the targeted keyword. Your goal should be to get links from websites with a low number of outbound links.
Techniques to Use in Link Building
If there is one SEO technique that has received close attention over the years, it must be link building and for many good reasons. The fact that the quantity rather than the quality of links had initially been used in boosting ranking made it possible for SEOs to manipulate the system using black hat link building techniques.
However, with Google releasing more logarithm updates, the latest one being Penguin, things are harder. This means you have to use white hat link building techniques which will not lead to penalties by Google.
The question today is not whether link building works but instead how to adapt your link building strategy. You have to be analytical in your link building processes, leverage your creativity, understand the human psyche and communicate with your target audience on a human-human level.
Among the steps you should use in link building are:
- Research – Check your backlink targets and identify link building strategies from the completion.
- Outreach process – This is where the action is and it can either be structured or unstructured.
There are many white hat link building strategies that can help you achieve your SEO goals. These include link magnets and ego baits, interviewing, link reclaiming and broken link building, guest blogging, image linking, content repurposing and syndication, directories, press releases, local citations, blogs, forums, and community participation among others.
Of course you can use different tools to help in link building; for competition and link research (Ahrefs, Majestic SEO and OSE from Moz), content research (Buzzsumo and Ahrefs Content Explorer), and web monitoring (Google Alerts and Mention) and outreach (Buzzstream and Ninja Outreach, Yesware and Mailshake).
Link building is without doubt one of the most misunderstood SEO concepts yet it is also one of the most effective. With high-quality backlinks, you will attract relevant traffic, boost conversion on your website, build lasting relationships and enjoy high ranking on SERPs for target keywords. By following these techniques, you will be able to leverage this SEO strategy without falling foul of Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Author Bio: Derek Iwasiuk is an SEO consultant who runs http://www.derekiwasiuk.com/, a highly informative digital marketing tool. He has over two decades’ experience in the industry. Currently, Derek lives with his family in New York.