If you are new to SEO, many of you will be asking what is link building?
While it may sound complex, it is in fact a relatively simple part of SEO. This guide aims to firstly explain what link building is and how it applies to your business digital marketing, and specifically search engine optimisation strategy.
Link Building essentially revolves around other websites linking back to your website or blog. This allows people on another website to navigate directly to your website by clicking the link. It is also an important ranking factor for search engines like Google when choosing which content to rank highly for particular search terms.
If you can master the art of link building, it will give you a massive edge on the competition.
WHAT DO BACKLINKS MEAN?
There are 2 primary ways in which search engines use external links from other sites.
- Discover new web pages
- Rank those websites/pages in their search results.
Google (and other search engines) bots will then crawl such web pages and rank those pages accordingly on factors such as content relevance, keywords and, you guessed it, the number and quality of back links.
The more links from referring websites you get, the more likely you are to perform well in search engine results.
BACK LINKS & GOOGLE
Interestingly, many websites and SEO’s in the early days of Google managed to trick Google into thinking that they had many legitimate ranks by utilising “black hat” SEO tactics to improve their rankings.
For example, in days gone by, you could simply submit your website to web directories, gaining a link in the process. This trick quickly became overused and abused to the point that Google no longer values such links.
With Google’s continued algorithm improvements and updates, it has become increasingly difficult (some would say impossible) to trick Google. Therefore, the only way to legitimately improve your Google ranking is to create search engine optimised content that always answer users search queries precisely by providing great value. This in turn makes it more likely that other websites will link to yours, increasing your authority.
In fact, Google has instigated several updates to identify and improve their search ranking, such as its Penguin update which was specifically implemented to stop companies abusing such link building tactics. While the world of link building is no doubt complex, one thing is for sure, that if you get “high quality links”, it will definitively help your website ranking better and get more traffic!
BACK LINKS & YOUR BUSINESS
We have gone over what link building is and how its ranking is measured by Google, now let’s move onto the more important stuff: How can link building affect your business?
Relationship building: As link building often requires outreach to other websites/blogs, you can aim to build long-term relationship with other key business and influencers in your industry which could have the knock-on effect of increasing trust for your business. The value of this cannot be understated!
Referral traffic: We have already discussed the importance of link building on your Google ranking, but another important factor is that it will also send you referral traffic from the website where the link is hosted. This also has the affect of increasing sales potential in and of itself.
Brand building: Link building also helps establish your business as an authority in your industry by illustrating you have expertise in that industry. Otherwise why would somebody link to you in the first place?
So there to have it! A quick guide to what backlinks are and how they’re important in your digital marketing strategy.
While they can be very important in improving your Google ranking and bringing in additional revenue, it goes without the saying that high quality content on your websites (including blogs, infographics etc) is what will ultimately lead to you gaining those highly sought-after backlinks!