Link building is an effective method of building up your website’s authority.
Whether you’re launching a new website or looking to expand the reach of an existing one, it can be used to make your site work harder for you.
It takes time and patience to earn quality backlinks, but link building is a great way to boost your organic site traffic.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is Link Building?
- Why Link Building is Important for SEO?
- What are Link Building Strategies?
- Quality of Links
What is Link Building?
Link building is an SEO term for the practice of asking other websites to place one-way hyperlinks (also known as backlinks) on their site in order to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
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Why Link Building is Important for SEO?
If you have an SEO strategy (and you should), it should absolutely include link building.
It is an effective way to increase your website’s domain authority and can make your website work harder for you.
When Google and other search engines crawl a site, one thing they look at is that site’s links to external sources. Backlinks are a website’s way of saying they trust something.
Basically, the more times a website shows up on external sites, the higher its credibility. So by increasing your number of backlinks, you also improve your domain authority.
What are Link Building Strategies?
Link building strategies are specific methods of earning backlinks to your site on other sites. And a thoughtful link building game plan should be an essential part of any solid SEO strategy.
Each approach is built around identifying and targeting different backlink opportunities that exist.
There are a copious amount of ways to go about link building, but below are several of the most popular strategies for doing so.
These methods are not mutually exclusive and a good link building strategy should combine several of these approaches.
For all of these strategies, it is important to consider the quality of the backlink, which we will cover later.
Outreach is usually at the center of any good link building strategy. It is all about building relationships and introducing new contacts to your content or products.
The goal is to identify relevant and trusted websites in your industry and earn backlinks on those sites by establishing relationships and showing them you have content or products that would be relevant and helpful to their readers.
And outreach is not limited to just industry-relevant sites. An easy first step in your outreach efforts could be securing backlinks from places like your local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Resource Pages with Trusted Links
Resource pages offer an easy way to make an introduction because they allow you to immediately bring something of value to the table.
A resource is a guide or list you compile for your readers that links to other helpful resources or tools, such as The Best CRM Plugins for WordPress – Top 15.
If you use trusted links in your resource pages, you will earn organic backlinks. And if you can identify similar resource pages and compile a more comprehensive list, you’ll earn more backlinks.
Plus, once you’ve created a resource, you can use it as a marketing tool. Using the above article as an example, once published, you could contact each of the plugin creators and show them you have given them some love in your article.
A high-quality resource page establishes trust and including their article or product shows your appreciation for it, meaning they are more likely to reward you with a backlink.
Guest blogging is a great way to generate high-quality backlinks. Much like outreach, it’s important to identify relevant and related websites to improve your chances of getting the nod of approval for a guest post.
Be strategic about the sites you do guest posts for. Make sure the sites you are submitting to are ones that will actually send traffic to your website and that you would like to receive traffic from.
If doing a guest post for another website won’t earn your site any traffic, it’s likely not worth your time.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is a great link building strategy with a high success rate because it offers a lot of value to the websites you target.
The internet is filled with broken links, as well as websites who aren’t aware that those broken links exist.
The strategy is simple:
- Find broken links that are relevant to your website.
- Create a similar resource to the one in the broken link.
- Find out what websites are using the broken link with the Broken Link Checker plugin.
- Ask any websites using the broken link to replace it with your link.
With broken link building, you get a backlink and other websites eliminate a broken link on their website. Win-win.
It takes a lot of work to build and earn backlinks, which is why losing backlinks is especially painful.
Link reclamation is the process of reclaiming lost links.
Sometimes links break. Maybe a website removed a page or changed a URL, but it can happen anytime and without explanation.
Link reclamation involves identifying lost links using tools like ahrefs Site Explorer, then contacting site owners and giving them a fixed link to replace the broken one with.
Making good infographics might not apply to all readers, but those with the skills to do so could potentially reap the SEO benefits of their hard work.
Infographics are the fourth most commonly used format in content marketing, behind only video, blogs and eBooks.
They are also growing in popularity.
In fact, infographics have grown 65 percent in usage among B2B marketers in the last four years – the largest increase in usage for B2B marketers in that time.
However, the most convincing argument for infographics can be made with a single statistic: infographics generate 37.5% more backlinks than standard blog posts.
The point is, if you can condense information in a visually-pleasing and easy-to-digest way, it will do well organically. A solid infographic can continually send organic traffic to your website and earn you high-quality backlinks, without much effort outside of creating the graphic.
Reciprocal Linking/Link Exchange
While not necessarily a suggested method for link building, link exchanges are a common way of attempting to get backlinks on external websites.
The idea is that you link to an external site on your website and they link to your site on their website. “I’ll link to you, you link to me.”
While this might sound like a good idea, it can actually end up hurting your website’s SEO.
An excessive amount of links or too many links to low-quality sites will damage your site’s reputation in Google’s eyes.
If you know of another reputable and relevant website in your industry that would be helpful for your site to link to, and for their site to link to yours, there’s no harm pursuing a link exchange.
However, blindly accepting and requesting backlinks from other sites is not a smart link building strategy or SEO play in general.
Quality of Links
No matter which route you take, any link building strategy should focus on quality over quantity.
As mentioned above, all link building strategies should take into consideration the quality of backlinks they produce. Linking to low-quality or spammy links will only undo all the work you put into earning backlinks.
It is important to look into the websites you’d like to work with and would like to work with you.
Aside from exploring other sites to comb their pages and content to judge whether or not you think they are reputable, a good way to decide if a site is one you should work with is by checking their domain authority.
There are several free and paid tools available to check a website’s domain such as this Domain Authority Checker.
To determine if a site is worth linking to or earning a link from, first check your own website’s domain authority, followed by the site you are researching.
If their domain authority is higher than your website’s, it will likely benefit you to work with them. If their score is lower, working with them could actually harm your domain authority and should likely be avoided.
Link building is a great way to improve your website’s domain authority and should be an integral part of your SEO strategy.
There are several different ways to go about securing backlinks, and a good strategy should involve a combination of those methods.
However, the best link building strategy of all is simple: produce quality content.
Good content will do well organically, and if your content isn’t good, you’ll have a tough time securing backlinks no matter which other strategies you try.
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