In digital marketing, the term 'Link Building' has been acclaimed as dead for many of years.
Nevertheless, the rule for link building altered in 2003 thus meant that individuals who utilise links for SEO had to learn and adapt to these new rules.
Those who failed to do so ultimately had to forego their tactics in link building.
Google has noted on numerous occassions that links are imperative. In fact, they are the #1 ranking factors and have claimed that ranking on Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs) is exteremly difficult.
Google along with alternative search engines utilises algorithms when deciding what websites should be ranked. Linking is a crucial element within these algorithms.
Want to learn more about SEO, I recommend reading these pages:
- How to boost your SEO prospects without paying for the lies
- SEO made simple: A step-by-step guide
- What happens when SEO and CRO conflict?
- 11 SEO tips & tricks to improve indexation
- Image SEO: alt tags & title tag optimisation
- Why SEO is important: 8 undeniable facts and case studies
- Why link building alone is not enough to rank well
What is meant by backlinks and link building?
Within digital marketing and SEO, the terminology of 'back links' and 'link building'. Refers to the concept of linking external websites to your own.
However, these terms differ from 'outbound links' and 'outgoing links'. Therefore, please do not confuse these.
Back links are also referred to as an 'inbound link (IBL)' by certain marketers.
Can my website rank within SERPs without a link building strategy?
Well considering what I mentioned previously, Google acclaim that it would be very difficult to rank on organic SERPs without back links or inbound links.
So this would naturally raise the question, why is link building imperative for SEO success?
The answers are simple as noted below.
- Back links are search engine's number one ranking element
- Links show an affliation to quality content
- Links encompasses trust
- Search engines discovers websites through links
- Links shows power
- and so on...
Can I purchase backlinks?
When I do SEO campaigns with clients, they often have this ideology that purchasing vast quantities of back links will satisfy search engines.
NO just NO! I cannot stress this enough to our clients.
The problem with purchasing back links is that you are more than likely going to acquire 'spam links' which will negatively your ranking positions. This is because search engine algorithms frown down on these.
What you have to understand though is that links are not all the same. However, more back links are not always a good thing.
When you first embark on a SEO link building campaign, you should aim to have less back links yet quality links.
What exactly are Google's rules when it comes to link building?
Google's Webmaster Guidelines identify four fundamental principles in order to aid your website to be found, indexed and ranked within their search engine.
They are as follows:
- Do not decieve your users
- Develop your webpages in a manner that appeals to your users and not for search engines
- Avoid SEO tricks which are intended to enhance search engine rankings
- Get into the ideology to think what makes your website uniwue, valuable or engaging. Make your website stand out from your competitors
As I mentioned previously, not all links are equal thus meaning that when a link building campaign is starting out, it is imperative to be careful.
As Google's fundamental principles have outlined, you should be focusing on building links for: your business, your customers and then make them relevant with quality content.
Nothing can go wrong with this, your customers will be happy, search engines will keep you in the SERPs and you shall experience growth within your business.
In conclusion, ensure that the links you seek to build are natural and tries to deceive Google that you are attempting to bypass its algorithms.
So here are my 6 SEO link building tips:
1. This maybe simple but ask for backlinks
A great way to implement your inbound link campaign is just simply ask!
Take a moment to think whether any of your friends, clients, relatives, or colleagues have a blog or website that is similar to yours.
Ask for some links that is in-content rather than sidebars or footers.
I would just like to reiterate the importance of them having a similar website. This is because it renders relevance to yours.
Failing to do so can potentially negatively impact your website or even be penalised.
2. Build new relationships and maintain them
Every good SEO specialist will have forged good relationships.
In today's there is plenty of opportunities to forge new contacts.
Your first point of call should be looking for appropiate groups on LinkedIn and/or Facebook.
The importance of contributing to dialogue can correlate with any aspect of digital marketing. The same can be said for link building.
You can gather great tips or contribute your own ideas where you can forge relationships.
3. Blogging, blogging and more blogging
Content marketing can be so beneficial for SEO practices in general.
However, when you wish to boost your link building prospects, blogging can certainly help.
I often acquire clients that have an exisiting blog that either has one post back in 2012 or are not updated frequently.
I often retell the importance of having blogs and writing blogs on a regular basis.
When wanting to increase your inbound links, PLEASE DO NOT have one post and one backlink to your site.
If you implement this strategy, you are wasting your time and potentially playing a risky game with spam links. Which will inevitably penalise your website.
In addition, you should be focusing on your particular industry and what your customers/clients demand. Which in time, you shall be rewarded with increased authority.
Your content should be relevant, satisfies & is well-structured.
By doing so, the world wide web will wish to link to your sites over and over again.
4. Enlist your website in trusted directories
An easy method in developing backlinks to your website to through enlisting with certified online directories.
Choosing niche directories within your specific industry well only be beneficial for your brand. Having your business listed will ensure ease of indexing amongst search engines. Plus, it is an additional platform for customers to find you. Win-win scenario right?
However, I feel it is my obligation to inform you that many online directories will not obtain any true value to your website. In fact, Google has restricted them within their SERP algorithms.
Nevertheless, not all online directories are going to affect you negatively.
It is key to implement some research and see which are the best!
5. Write a good guest post
Another great way is through approaching niche specific blogs to see if you could publish a blog or article on their platform.
However, it is imperative that you check these following points before doing so:
- Bare in mind, that if you publish a blog/article that is perceived to be of poor quality, then your brand may experience negative reputation
- Remember you should be targeting blogs or websites that are relevant to your niche
- The published article is not to promote your products/services
- Remember to provide good quality
6. Assess any dead backlinks
Occassionally you may discover that some backlinks to your website may be broken. Which is not going to do your website any good.
These dead backlinks may occur if the location the inbound link is coming from has changed or if the link to your website has been misspelled.
When this happens, your backlinks will return a 404 error to the user.
These errors are common once a website has been re-launched or migrated to an alternative domain name.