One process within SEO is Link Building. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on link-building basics and how to start a link-building campaign for your website.
Table of Contents
- What is Link Building
- Benefits of Link Building
- Link Building Strategies
- The Don’ts of Link Building
- How to start a link-building campaign
- Did this article answer your questions?
What is Link Building
Link Building is an online marketing method that builds backlinks with desirable anchor text to your website. These high-quality links improve your PageRank and signal to Google that your site is a quality resource.
The internet isn’t a field of dreams; if you build it, people will not come. With 547,200+ websites created every day, you need to promote your content in various ways to garner anyone’s attention.
When another website hyperlinks back to your content, it is their way of saying that they trust the quality of your content and your website is valuable, relevant, and worthy of attention. As the number of links increases, so does your quality score.
Search engines know websites that acquire their links through unreliable methods, such as paying other sites to link back to yours. That is why it is essential to understand link-building fundamentals before setting up a linking campaign and avoiding low-quality link opportunities.
Benefits of Link Building
The number of quality and authoritative inbound links is a Google ranking factor.
White Hat link-building tactics do not mean flooding your website with links; it means getting authentic links from reputable sites. Here are some benefits:
- Good links give your pages more visibility in Google search results.
- You can receive traffic from other websites that have links to your site.
- Quality inbound links and a strong backlink profile marks your website as a trusted and authoritative source of information.
- Link building helps in the indexing of your websites. When search engine crawlers find it easy to navigate your web pages using the links, they will index your pages to rank in SERPs.
- Links help businesses build partnerships and gain recognition across each other networks.
Link Building Strategies
There are strategies for performing link building. Some of which include:
- Creating infographics
- Guest blogging
- Building high-quality content
- Answering questions on Q/A Forums
- Fixing Broken Links (broken link building)
These strategies range from simple to complex. When setting up a link-building campaign, these strategies make up a significant percentage of how long the campaign will run.
It is one of the easiest and strategic link-building techniques. More and more companies with a website are setting up blogs aside from their website. Blogging helps you take time to study what you offer and write about your products and services and any relevant information about them. When you have established a blogging platform, it is easier to ask other reputable bloggers in your field for a chance to write a guest post on their blogs.
Guest blogging is a way to link your post to relevant pages from your website. It would help if you considered getting your posts published in blogs that already rank high in Google. A blog that is willing to share your posts on other platforms is an excellent choice for you to get more backlinks.
Creating infographics is still essential when it comes to your link-building strategy. Design and distribute infographics in line with your content. You can continually receive traffic to your website with infographics because more people will link back to your piece of content even without asking.
Infographics are rich in quality content and relevant information that many consumers want. Include visual content for more appeal. Unlike in the past, where infographics used to go viral instantly, you must put more effort into your creations nowadays. It would help if you made your infographics worthwhile to increase your organic search visibility.
Fixing Broken Links
The broken link strategy is great if you cannot write frequent posts on your blogs. Requesting broken link fixing is quite simple by following a few steps. First, you need to identify pages with broken or dead links (e.g., 4XX errors). Once you recognize these pages, approach the website owners and request to replace the broken or dead link with an active high-value link of your own.
The results are beneficial both to you and the pages’ owners by fixing broken links. However, the concept of building links by fixing broken links requires expertise to get it right the first time. If you find the process too tedious, please consider companies like SEO North.
Build Quality Content
The key to getting other websites to link to yours naturally is to build relevant and trustworthy content (e.g., Resource pages). High-quality content is attractive, and people will naturally refer others to you. Jeff Bezos once said that your brand is what people talk about when not in the room. Quality content speaks for itself and will sell your brand when more people link to it.
Include videos and visual images in your content to attract more clicks. Ensure that when someone lands on your web pages, they can find their interest, good user experience, and optimize using on-page SEO tactics. Internal links should also direct visitors to other pages on your website.
Question and Answer forums like Reddit and Quora are ripe with people sharing knowledge, providing leads to information sources, and sharing links to websites with data relevant to discussion topics. Note that such forums are full of people who only participate by spamming threads with links; this is a perfect recipe for disaster.
The best way to use these question-and-answer forums is to be an active participant, share knowledge, and comment on relevant threads with quality information; it is the perfect place to showcase your deep expertise in a particular field. Then, if you want to link back to your websites, you can add a link to a web page relevant to the topic of discussion.
The Don’ts of Link Building
There are temptations to cross certain lines to the black hat link-building world for fast visibility and digital marketing traffic. Crossing these thresholds in link-building will negatively impact your sites’ image in the eyes of search engine rankings. There are things to avoid doing while link building; these include:
- Buying Links: The temptation from authoritative websites to sell you links for a fee is there. The downside is Google’s algorithms can detect patterns that suggest there are transactional exchanges for links. These looks could be spammy. The penalty for this can cause your website’s total removal from Google’s search pages.
- Spamming forums/blog comment linking: Spamming your links in these directories without any relevance to topics of discussion
- Linking from websites under your control.
Google’s Penguin algorithm was created to eliminate this type of spam.
Now that you have the basics of link-building and strategies you can use, you need to set up a link-building campaign for your website. You can work closely with experts in the field to save time and resources but achieve excellent results.
How to start a link-building campaign
Set specific goals
Before you decide on a link-building strategy, first come up with a set of goals that you would like to achieve at the end or in the process of your campaign. Knowing the specific goals helps you decide on the SEO strategy you want to create to have the best chance at success.
It is also essential to align your link-building campaign goals with your business’s overall objectives. Ask yourself, if you want to build ten links, what impact will they have on your business’s success? Are you looking to generate sales from referral traffic? How much effort should you put into link-building methods to see a difference in your sales? These questions help you determine the goals you want to achieve and how to tailor your link building alongside these goals.
However, note that the link-building successes may not happen overnight, and sometimes, you may not notice the impact of the links you gather. Therefore, exercising patience during your campaign is essential, and your focus should be on long-term gains, not quick fixes.
Choose your link assets.
There is something you want to offer your target market in any marketing campaign that will get them to notice or want to visit you. Your assets are the hook that draws your audience and partners to link to you in link building. Assets vary from business to business and include great content, data, people, products, or services.
Your assets should be relevant to the audience you are targeting. People and other websites will link back to assets they relate to, with the quality and relevance of commanding a hyperlink.
Find your link targets.
When you set out to find the people who can link back to your site, identify a contact who would be interested in your content; these are the people you should contact. How do you determine your link targets?
An excellent example to use is choosing guest blogging as your link-building campaign. The idea is to identify authoritative blogs relevant to your field and approach the owner to request if you can do a guest post on their websites. Guest blogging is easy to achieve if you have quality and authoritative content on your websites too, more bloggers wouldn’t mind associating with you.
The same applies to infographics. Before you create one, ask yourself who will care about the content to link to it. This bit is crucial and probably the most challenging one in link building. Finding viewers of your content and getting them to care enough to link to it takes time and effort.
So, how do you influence people to care enough to link back to your web page? The idea is to entice your audience with a hook that will pull them to engage with your content. Before you do outreach, some of the hooks you can use to create an angle include:
- Data visuals
- Controversial information
- Funny statements or visuals
- Long, detailed content
- Competition angle
You can research the best hook to use by looking at the content people share on different platforms. You can then decide which angles will work for which link targets.
Identify your prospects and set your pitch.
For example, if you aim to get food bloggers to link back to your web page about the perfect cupcake recipe, you should investigate popular food blogs on the web using link-building tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush. Once you have target websites, you can email your pitch.
Be specific with your pitch.
Nobody wants to send a vague pitch to prospects and end up wasting time on efforts that will not generate links. So, why not be specific and direct to the point? Most importantly, it adds value for the webmaster and end-user.
The Outreach Process
Once you have your link targets ready and have prioritized them, it is time to start talking to them and selling your pitch. Remember, you are talking to humans; personalization is crucial. Begin with high-level targets who are likely to respond. This approach will give you an advantage when you reach out to smaller websites because you have social proof.
Remember, the targets do not owe you anything; keep your pitch respectable, short, and sweet.
Sometimes prospects may not reply the first time; people are busy. What you can do is follow up once. A simple follow-up reinforces the fact that you are not a spammer but a real person. With an organized system, you can tell which targets require follow-up, which ones reply, and progress in link building.
Link-building grows organic traffic, which intern can generate more sales. The process may be exhaustive and time-consuming, but the fruits are immense with patience. We recommend working with experts like us who use SEO and email tools to set up these campaigns and track progress.