In this digital age, think of links as a currency and whoever has the most of it becomes a powerful entity. With Google confirming the importance of links, link building is more important than ever. If you’re someone who’s curious about what links are and how to get them, then read on.
First things first…
For newcomers, you might be asking what are backlinks? Backlinks are hyperlinks from one website to another. Think of backlinks as citations in academic papers. Basically, these links refer to your content, allowing you to get more traffic on your website and to rank higher in searches.
Link building is the process of getting sites to link back to your page. As more pages link to your page, the more you build your page’s authority. Essentially, the more links you have, the more Google recognizes your value to the reader and the more likely that your page will rank in search engines.
Any reputable SEO agency will tell you that it’s not always about the quantity of your links. Yes, it should be your goal to get as many links as possible to your pages, but you should also check out the quality of these links. Avoid spammy, low-quality links and reach out to relevant and credible websites to link to your content instead. Remember, Google prioritizes the relevance of these links rather than just sheer numbers.
So, what kind of links should I have?
Knowing that there are both good and bad links, you might be wondering how to distinguish the two. Generally speaking, most links acquired through black hat techniques are bad ones and you should check with your SEO specialist how to deal with those problems.
On the other hand, good backlinks are marked by these characteristics:
Any high-quality backlink should be relevant to your content. This is one of the things that Google checks, so make sure that your links aren’t just for fluff or worse, spam. Readers who see your link on a relevant website are most likely to click on it, so make sure that your content is valuable for them as well.
Trust and Authority
Links from authority websites are generally of higher value from a random website. Authority websites are set apart by their trustworthiness and expertise in their industry. If you want your page to rank higher, then getting a backlink from authority sites should be one of your goals.
Backlinks are planned in the hopes of getting more traffic to your page. They’re there so that a reader can be directed towards you. If you have a link in a website that has high traffic, then there are more chances for people to visit you.
While it’s good that you have 10 different backlinks in your belt, it would be even better if these links were from different trusted websites. Not only does it make your linking strategy look organic, it also tells Google that your content is valuable and credible.
How do I get links?
Now that you understand how beneficial link building is, you might be wondering how to actually get those links. Link building is difficult. Because of Google’s algorithms, you can’t just slap on links in random, irrelevant websites and expect to rank. Here are some white hat link building strategies you can test out to increase your backlinks:
This one seems pretty basic, but it’s actually quite hard to do. Building connections in communities and industries that are relevant to you ensure that you become a credible brand to them. Although it might be quite slow at first but participating in relevant forums and online discussions with your articles will let people online see how credible your content is.
Emailing is always a good way to move forward. Taking a more personal approach allows prospects to get to know your brand better. Just make sure that you’re reaching out to brands and influencers that are relevant to you!
Some companies will contact you (or vice versa) to talk about their products or services. If this is a brand or product that is relevant to you, then you should absolutely take this opportunity. Aside from the backlink you get, you also open a potential relationship with the company which could provide you more avenues to generate backlinks from their sites.
Blogs are a good way to organically create backlinks. However, don’t just post content for the sake of adding a backlink! When you create a blog, make sure to post content relevant to your industry and your readers’ concerns.
Remember to post regularly. A dead blog or a blog with limited content has a lesser chance of gaining a following, credibility, or a backlink. Churn out enjoyable, relevant, and easy-to-read posts regularly. Those links will come eventually!
Reach out to relevant and valuable directories that Google has not penalized. Getting listed in useful directories like these not only give you a backlink, but helps you inform potential customers of information that you want them to know.
Recover dead backlinks
Sometimes you don’t have to look too far when you want to gain backlinks. Review your existing backlinks and check if there are links that go to a 404 error. More often than not, there will be at least one dead link for sites that recently moved. Reach out with a simple email stating that the link on the site is non-functional and request that they link to your present website instead.
Turn mentions into links
Scour through sites that have mentioned you or your content but did not link to your page. This is one of the easiest ways to garner backlinks, since the webmaster or site owner probably did their research and found your brand to be valuable. That being said, again, you should check out if the site mentioning you is relevant to you. For example, if you’re a bridal shop mentioned in a style blog, then you should absolutely reach out. However, if you’re a law firm mentioned in a gardening post, maybe think twice about asking for that link.
After everything is said and done…
Link building is indeed hard. The suggestions above are a great jumping point to start link building. Remember that at the end of everything, the best way to ensure that you can have good backlinks is to create high-quality content. After all, these other websites are trying to rank as well and won’t add anything that doesn’t add value.
Make sure that what you’re producing is valuable for your readers and the connections will come easier. If you’re still feeling confused or overwhelmed with the link-building process, that’s alright! There’s a reason that SEO experts exist. Hiring a reputable SEO company can help you make sense of the process and improve your website’s overall condition!