The virtual world is a unique space for everything to co-exist.
You can access anything online these days. There is no limitation to what type of information you choose to expose and get yourself acquainted with.
Have you ever wondered how this system works? How does one page lead you to explore another page entirely different from where you are browsing currently?
You are experiencing a link building phenomenon.
In this article, you will learn something about link building. What it is, how it works, and why you need it for your offpage SEO.
The Definition of Link Building
Link building is the practice of earning links from other websites. We call these links that you acquire backlinks.
Google made a clear point about the significance of checking which websites you should get your links from. They mentioned that it matters for such websites to maintain relevancy and trustworthiness on the web by “understanding if other prominent websites link or refer to the content.”
Link building is not purely about getting links but being mindful and strategic enough to acquire high-quality links from reliable websites. Notable sites can pass authority to your page, help you attain a favourable ranking position in search engine results (SERPs), and attract organic traffic.
How Does Link Building Works
By the looks of it, you seem to understand links right away.
Links make the internet an adventure with every surf and browse. It serves as a doorway from one space to another place.
Billions of links across the web exist today, but do you know how links work?
If a visitor clicks a link that leads back to your website, that action will earn you one backlink. This scenario exists between two websites and does not involve the links associated with social media platforms.
Links from social media channels are special cases, as SEO performance tools will classify them as different sources and not backlinks.
Many criteria link builders use to evaluate a link.
Some groups would pursue and take links anywhere they felt right. However, there are link builders that would rather research first and meticulously check potential opportunities from those links.
The anatomy of those links matters as it can serve as your metric when scrutinising an offpage link building campaign.
Anatomy of a Link
- Authority Score
Authority score helps you measure how impactful a website link is. With this, we can assume that the higher the Authority Score, the more reliable your domain is.
If you want to determine the authority score, there are SEO tools like Ahrefs, Ubersugget, Moz, and a whole lot more to assist you with this.
Keep in mind to pick always the site with a high authority score to start your link campaign with.
- Anchor Text
You are familiar with this second element. Anchor text serves as a path that links one page to another. Google utilises anchor text to indicate what a page is about and the content.
Ensure that you use your targeted keywords to place your anchor text. Make it natural, so readers won’t have to think you are running after the backlinks.
This will signal that you are not putting much value on your content but links only.
- Location or Placement
The best placement or location for links is in the upper portion of your content.
Where you position your links speaks volumes because it can affect or influence your link’s performance. Avoid using links in sidebars, on the footer or even on the lower body of your content, as your visitors may not notice or reach it.
Build the right links.
Relevance is essential to your link building campaign. You have to keep in mind that you must work on the content that relates to your niche and serve your prospective audience.
Link building harnesses your relationship within your industry. To create a meaningful and sustainable community through link building, ensure you earn links to relevant sites in your industry.
If your business falls under cosmetics or skincare products, might as well build rapport to blog sites that feature skincare products or sites run by skincare enthusiasts.
Some factors affect the trustworthiness of a website:
- Monthly traffic
- Social media activity or presence
- SSL (secure socket layer) component
- The lifespan of the website
If you think such a website carries these, it is likely a good link source.
Benefits of Link Building from an SEO Perspective
Why are links so essential to your business’s SEO campaign?
Links are your gateway to the world wide web. If you want to expand and reach people within and outside your borders, you have to invest in link building activities.
Here are eight advantages that link building a worth it investment.
- Provides authoritative strength
Part of your goal in your chosen industry is to become one of its front runners. Gaining credibility will lead you to experience better sales and revenues because people in and out of your circles can see that you are a business worth of trust and confidence.
Having a strong authority voice for your company is something that can help you dominate the conversation within your field.
- Search engines use links to rank your website.
Domain Authority, Domain Rating, and Page Rank, all these words and other SEO related terms are enough to make you reflect on all the strategies you have implemented.
These are metrics that inform you of your current SEO standing in search engines. Link building enables you to increase these metrics and benefits your website greatly health, search visibility, and online exposure.
Links are integral for Google. It helps them rank your site and ensure visibility for users. No matter how prolific the pieces of content you have on your website, Google can’t rank and acknowledge them if you lack links.
You need to acquire good quality links to get ahead of your competitors. Build links on your content that you trust, diverse to cater for the market you want to serve, and relevant to online users.
- Increases your web traffic (backlinks)
Organic traffic means people naturally visit your website. They make queries on search engines and click on the results that they find align with what they are looking for.
The more quality links you have pointing back to your site, the higher chances of it ranking well on search engines. Organic traffic is different from paid traffic.
- Opens opportunities for lead generation and conversions
A trustworthy website increases the conversion rate. If you have a credible source linking to your website, it introduces you to a segment of your target market that is engaging, receptive, and widely attracted to your products and services.
If one of these websites has a huge following and traction, your organisation’s page will benefit from it too.
- Solidify relationships within your industry
Link building is not only about your website getting the attention it needs online, but it involves reaching out to other websites within your niche.
One of the best things link building campaign gives you is the opportunity to share your content, promote your product, and offer your services to a much wider community online.
Having other websites as collaborators for this will bring you more viewers to support and avail your products.
- Push for organic search engine visibility
Brand visibility is crucial for your business to thrive both online and offline.
Every time your link your content or page to another website, you are paving the way for others to see and get to know your brand – exposing your business to hundreds or thousands of potential clients who will discover you through those links.
- Influence SEO scores and metrics
Site authority and page authority are two vital components to identify how trustworthy and credible your website is.
These scores gauge how search engines see your webpage and how audiences perceive your content. Though these scores are only estimates, and Google dont pay much attention to these still, it is an edge to have indicators you can check to see your standing.
SEO scores and metrics are valuable factors that give you information that deserves your full attention. Data generated from these will help you direct the next step for your SEO campaign.
It will be easier for your to gauge your SEO performance and progress if you have these scores and metrics.
- Lower site’s bounce rate.
Bounce rates are “the number of single-page sessions,” as defined by Google.
It means that the visitor only views one page of your site without spending time browsing or looking around the rest of your content.
Link building practice helps you understand the power of having a mixture of inbound links and internal links – having this dynamic on your page creates a more organic impression for your audience.
Internal links push for a better user experience because it makes navigating your site straightforward. This practice helps your audiences find the content they want and entices them to stay longer on your site, reducing bounce rates.
Three Types of Links
Just like your content, links come in different variety – different ways, different forms.
To cater more to what you need for your link building, it matters that you know how to use these links appropriately to boost your site’s search ranking.
- Backlinks (Inbound Links)
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that point back to your page.
Do you know that backlinks are one of the 10 most essential ranking factors for Google?
We understand that because of this revelation, SEO experts focus their attention on getting as many backlinks as they can get, but unfortunately, that is no longer the case now. Quality matters when it comes to backlinks and link building.
Simple Tips to Earn High-Quality Links:
- Pay Attention to Link Diversity
- Aim for High-Authority Domains
- Remove Bad Links
- Check out good linking websites and ask them to be part of your link building campaign.
- Produce valuable, insightful content for your visitors.
- Outbound Links
Outbound links are links from your website to other sites. Aside from backlinks, another important type of link that you should have is this.
Assess the content that you have created and check where you can place an outbound link that is valuable to your site and visitors.
Creating outbound links balances your link building campaign for your site. This practice provides value to your visitors and your site’s authority, too.
Check out what Google has to say about outbound links here.
- Internal Links
Internal links are the most common form of link that should you have on your site.
This type of link tie together all the pages you have on your website to create a systematic flow of content that your visitors can use when navigating your website.
With that said, internal links help you reduce bounce rates, and boost your search rankings because it enables users to find related content right away.
For you to have a solid internal linking strategy, you must perform a content audit to capture which pages are popular and insert links on those pages to other low performing pages you have. It will spread the authority to your site.
How to Check Your Website Backlinks
If you are in the initial stage of implementing your link building strategy, here are some ways to find backlinks on your website.
- Go to Ahrefs Site Explorer;
- Paste in any URL or domain (e.g., https://competitor/blog/blog-post/ or https://competitor.com)
- Select the “exact URL” (for web pages) or “*.domain/*” (for websites) mode from the drop-down;
- Go to the Backlinks report (on the left-hand menu)
You will be provided with the following data:
- Referring page
- Anchor text
- Estimated Google search traffic to the linking page
- When was the link first seen
Checking backlinks of your competitor: (Ahrefs’ free backlink checker)
- Enter a domain or URL
- Hit the “Check Backlinks” button
- You will see the following data:
- total no. of backlinks,
- referring domains, and
- the top 100 backlinks of the site.
- For each backlink, you will be provided with these details.
- Referring page
- Domain Rating (DR)
- URL Rating (UR)
- Anchor and backlink
Google Search Console
Google Search Console can help you check backlinks on your website. All you have to do is:
- Sign in to your account
- Once signed in, click LINKS on the sidebar
- You will see an “EXTERNAL LINK” heading that shows the total number of unique backlinks to your website.
- Google Search Console Link options will provide you also with these reports:
- Top Linked Pages
- Top Linking Sites
- Top Linking Text
If you are comfortable using SEMrush for this campaign, here are the steps SEMrush have provided to make your link building audit fast and easy.
- Open Up The Semrush Backlink Analytics Tool
- Enter The Domain Whose Link Profile You Want To Analyse
- Open Up The ‘Backlinks’ Tab To Dive Deep Into The Links
- Analyse Anchor Texts On The ‘Anchors’ Tab
- Find Unique Referring Domains That Link On The ‘Referring Domains’ Tab
- See Which Pages Are The Most Linked To On The ‘Indexed Pages’ Tab
- Compare The Link Profiles Of Up To Five Domains
How to find backlinks using Moz? Here are the steps according to Moz.
- Navigate to Link Explorer
- Enter your competitor’s URL
- Navigate to the “Inbound Links” tab
- Export backlink data into .csv
- Compile backlink .csv results from all competitors
- Sort all backlinks by Page Authority
- Review all linking sites for opportunities
Best Practice to Do Link Building
Strategic Guest blogging is not dead.
You may argue with us on this, but guest blogging is still one of the best link building practices you may find beneficial today. Of course, when done strategically, you will reap its rewards.
Ensure you are creating unique pieces of content that match perfectly to the niche of another site. Check the website you want to post content to if it is relevant, authoritative, attracts the right audience, and produces valuable content as well.
Search engines are smart enough to detect if your intention doesn’t align with the standards they set content-wise. They will know if you don’t curate valuable, relevant content.
Adding Link on Listing Pages
Another useful thing to do is to submit your company’s information and web address to listing sites.
By doing this, you are exposing your website to the potential user to discover your organisation.
Some sites and services help you buy text links on other sites that pass SEO credit.
Unfortunately, buying links have been used by the black market for professional gains.
This is the most tempting link building strategy because you have the control to pick what sites you are getting links from. You have the freedom as well to position links within relevant content and use anchor text for a specific keyword you are aiming to rank for.
Google released on their Webmaster Guidelines that any attempt of those SEO experts who practice this illegal link buying activities to manipulate PageRank is a violation.
We don’t think that this is something that you want to have on your website; thus, we dont advocate for this. Aside from it being part of a black hat SEO practice, it is an expensive investment that brings your reputation at stake.
To build a high-quality link to your profile, you need to work on earning links.
Link earning is about producing valuable, relevant, and engaging content.
Why do you want to earn links?
Earning links can increase traffic, build brand awareness, and strengthen your site’s search engine visibility.
How to earn links?
It takes a lot of effort to gain organic links, but the moment you start with the right strategy and execute it you will reap the benefits of this practice.
To earn links, you may develop this strategy:
Research is vital in our SEO strategy implementation.
Developing a strategy is not an overnight process; thus, it requires researching and gathering data-oriented information.
Determine your top competitors and run research on how they establish their link campaigns. You may use SEO tools online to conduct this.
Produce pieces of content that you are proud to share and expose online.
Ensure that you create content that is suitable to your niche, flexible to be shared with other mediums or platforms in your industry, and something that will hook your audiences.
One of the biggest advantages of well-thought-out content is its shareability.
If you are confident with the information your articles carry, you will not have a hard time promoting them online.
This is where your chance for guest posting comes in. many opportunities will open up for you if you spend time crafting content that is significant and relevant to the need of your industry and the online community.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. These strategies should give you something in return.
Ensure that you have tools to track your progress. It would help if you can categorise your metrics by:
- Engagement (downloads and views)
- Lead Generation
- Sales Conversion
How to Find Backlink Source
Take a Look at Your Competitor Link Building
You understand that the online world is full of competition, and you know the game to ensure you keep up in this race.
Here’s to find your competitor’s backlink:
- Identify Your Main Keywords
- Identify Your Main Competitors
- Analyse their Domain Level with a Backlink Checker Tool
- Investigate their Page-Level as well
- Check Semantically Similar Keywords
- Take note of the Competitor’s Top-Referring Sites
Use Backlink Generator Tools
If you want to skip the step-by-step guides, there are tools online that will get you more backlinks:
- Broken Link Builder
- Monitor Backlinks
What is Broken Backlink
A broken link is an incoming link directing to an “error 404” page instead of the desired website – the reason could be that the pages might have been removed or moved completely.
Reclaim Broken Backlink
We understand that it matters to earn new and fresh links to explore more opportunities for your business online but it can also be helpful to reclaim lost backlinks.
Reclaiming links can also mean finding, fixing, and replacing broken links present at your site.
Why does it matter? Link reclamation ensures that you don’t waste link juices due to broken links, faulty URL canonicalisation, and moved pages.
This means that link reclamation can also work to your advantage as it will direct you to spot defective pages, duplicate content and other internal linking issues or site navigation problems.
Things to Avoid on Link Building
Since links can be a great fuel to one’s website, many resorts to black tactics to win the competition.
You need to avoid these link building practices to free yourself from an unfortunate situation.
- Spamming link building
- Purchasing Links
- Ignoring Links outside your Niches
- Prioritising Quantity over Quality
- Acquiring High-velocity links
What is Link Building?
This is the practice of acquiring links to your website from other reputable online sources. In SEO, we often refer to this as backlinks.
Link building is the currency of the internet. They can make or break your online reputation as they gauge one’s credibility and trustworthiness.
What is Backlink For?
Backlinks are one of the most valuable factors that your website must have to attain a favourable ranking position on Google.
It is the voice of confidence for your site. The more high-quality backlinks you have on your site, the more visible you are to Google and the online community.
What are some strategies to do Link Building?
There are many ways to acquire links online. Here are some of the most common yet effective strategies.
– Checking competitor’s backlinks
– Manual outreach
– Social media promotion
– Guest blogging
– Fixing broken links
Link building teaches us the importance of a harmonious relationship that exists between our business and the virtual community.
At Roots Digital, we value the relationship we have with our business partners, clients, and the SEO experts we get to bounce some ideas off over the past years.
We rooted our SEO services on a holistic approach for a more sensible and sustainable SEO campaign for your website.
Are you ready to start link building with us?