SEO (search engine optimisation) is a powerful strategy for organically increasing your visibility online. Rather than a one-off activity or a short-term campaign, SEO done properly is an ongoing effort and a complex puzzle with many pieces. Some of this takes place on your website; much of it off your site. One of the most important activities within the realm of SEO is link building.
What is Link Building?
Links are the cornerstone of SEO.
A hyperlink (or link) helps internet users navigate between web pages. Search engines like Google use links to crawl the web, and they not only crawl the links between the individual pages on your website but also between different websites. As such, having quality, crawlable links is critical for your website to be ranked online in search engine results pages.
Link building is the process of actively acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. This means that other websites link to your landing pages and this helps your pages rank more highly in search results.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and so is the link-building and SEO landscape. Building high-quality links has never been more important than it is right now.
The Importance of Link Building for SEO and Why Content Matters
Search engines use links to discover new pages on the web and to determine the ranking position of a website. When the search engine has crawled the web, it extracts page content and indexes it. If the search engine determines that a page is worthy of being ranked highly for relevant keywords (or meta tags) it will be placed higher on search engine results pages.
Without content, the Google algorithm literally has nothing to link. As such, you need to create quality, high-value written content on every landing page on your website – including your home page. This content needs to be worthy of a link; thereafter, it must be made visible to other website owners so that they are compelled to link to it.
Search engines determine page ranks based on both page content as well as external links – great content on its own, while crucial, will not do the trick. You also need several links pointing to your page from external websites – and the higher-quality and authority of the website that links to yours, the better your search engine ranking results will be.
Think of quality external links as a “vote of confidence” for your website.
Benefits of Link Building
As well as benefitting your search engine results, link building is also valuable for:
- Building relationships with key industry influencers
- Sending referral traffic for lead generation
- Building your brand and your unique authority in your niche
Great external links:
- Come from a high-authority source
- Are highly relevant
- Include keyword-focused anchor text
- Appear higher in the content of a page
- Are limited to just one or two per page
- Point to your home page, landing pages, or linkable assets
Link Building Tips
Link building itself and the Google algorithm are extremely complex and there are several ranking factors that Google uses. These include everything from anchor text distribution to social metrics, domain-level keyword usage, domain name metrics, meta title and description, H1 tags, content length and readability, and much more.
There are numerous ways to build links from other websites:
- Manually add links to other websites – this can be achieved via, for example, your social media profiles, commenting on others’ blogs, posting to forums, business directory submissions, and more. While these can be beneficial, they are generally considered by Google to be lower-value links and you need to be very wary of not overdoing it, lest your activity be flagged as SPAM.
- Outreach – ask quality website owners to add a link to yours, providing compelling reasons for them to do so. There needs to be a demonstrable benefit to the other party for adding your link – it could be that you are creating useful content for their website, improving their resource pool, giving them positive feedback or boosting their ego, exchanging links, or providing them with a PR incentive. You may, for example, provide them with a guest blog, allow them to share your image, make your brand mention clickable … the options are wide and varied. The key is to offer exceptional, relevant content of some form and which they can’t refuse.
- Organically earn links by creating exceptional content – providing unique, high-value content encourages others to spontaneously link to your website or page. Create valuable, informative, engaging, authoritative, and shareable content and share it via your blog, social media profiles, email newsletters, and other avenues.
- Preserve existing links – links are not forever; you must preserve them as pages get de-indexed, updated, or deleted. Fix any 404 pages and redirect them to pages with active links.
Every link-building campaign requires content worth linking to. This includes your:
- Home Page
- Focus Landing Pages
- Onsite Blog
- Original Graphics
- Research Studies
- Original Video Content
WARNING! You shouldn’t purchase links! This can result in wasted money on poor quality links that do not deliver for your rankings, and you may even be penalised by search engines for doing so. Actively avoid Private Blog Networks and Link Seller SPAM emails.
Choose Sparx for Help with Link Building
Search engines consider many variables when they rank web pages – and link building is just part of the SEO puzzle. Regardless of what other SEO actions you invest in, high-quality internal and external links will help to increase your search engine ranking and increase your visibility online.
Sparx can help with onsite optimisation and link building to boost your SEO.
We are a modern, dynamic boutique digital agency and we work with clients throughout Australia. The simple digital marketing solutions we offer deliver real results for the growth and success of your business.
From website design to lead generation and boosting your conversion rates, build your revenue, and everything in between, we can help! Our creative team of thinkers and tech experts are ready to work with you and get you seen online – how, when, and where you need to be!