You can do everything right in your SEO efforts – keyword research, quality content production, optimized meta titles and descriptions, you name it – but to get the most out of your SEO strategy you’ll need to allocate a significant amount of effort for link building.
A healthy, diverse collection of backlinks from other websites will give Google an easier time finding your site and determining where you fit best on the results page. Without these links, it’ll take a long time (if ever) for your fancy new content to be seen in an organic search.
You may be asking yourself – what is a link? The easiest answer is that a link is a connection between two pages on the internet. Every clickable string of text you’ve found on a search engine can be considered a link, and they exist to provide an easy way to navigate from one page to the next.
Links also exist to provide an easier path for search engine robots as they discover pages on the internet, recording their path to increase the efficiency of your Google searches. According to Google, not all links are created equal; while having as many links as possible is the goal, the source of those links is very important. Links from spam sites or websites with low credibility can negatively affect your own credibility.
Read below to learn about link building and the fine balance required to rank positively on the results page.
What exactly is link building?
Link building is an often overlooked SEO strategy in which efforts are made to earn links from other well-established and credible websites to your own website. It’s an extremely powerful tool used to achieve higher rankings for your site in search engines. The more high-quality links that lead to a certain page, the more popular or impactful search engines will consider it, resulting in a higher spot on the search engine’s results page.
Building a link building strategy from scratch is a challenge, so here are some of our Layer Cake Digital best practices for link building:
1. Create Infographics
According to HubSpot, infographics can increase website traffic by up to 12%. They’re also very fun to make and can be done fairly quickly.
2. Be Active on Social Media
Posting regularly with links to your website will increase your visibility and traffic, and over time boost your rankings with Google.
3. Check Your Competitors’ Backlinks, then Replicate The Best Links
If you’re struggling with where to start, see what other websites like yours have done and build your strategy out from there.
4. Establish Content Pillars
Have an idea for a really long post? Break it down into several, and diversify – ebooks, blog posts, infographics, social media.
Is anchor text important for link building?
Anchor text is found on a link from one webpage to another and should include a variation of the keyword on the destination page.
As an example, you likely found this blog from a link using keywords similar to “Link Building Guide.” The result of well-written anchor text should be an increase in direct traffic, and search engines will have an easier time understanding what the linked page is causing an increase in traffic from search engines.
Can’t I just buy links?
You can, but we definitely don’t recommend it. Link farms do exist, but Google’s algorithms can detect unnatural patterns and will hand down very harsh penalties for bad black-hat SEO tactics.
As stated in the introduction above, links aren’t all equal and Google has high standards. If your site ends up linked to websites with bad reputations, it may quickly disappear from search engine results.
Honestly, a link from an established, credible website is worth far more than a random link from a small website nobody’s really heard of. As an example, if you run a financial services website you’d celebrate a link from the Forbes website, and as nice as a link from a college student’s blog with three followers is not something you’re going to call home about.
This makes deciding which sites you’d like to get links from easier, and can help to guide your link building strategy.
When it comes to SEO content may be king, but without putting any effort into link building the only person who is guaranteed to see your content is you. This is why we include an extensive link building process in our SEO recipe, to avoid shady sites and efficiently mine reputable sources.
Have we missed your best link building practice in this post? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’d like to learn more, step into our kitchen and schedule a one-on-one with our CEO & Founder, Jared Foxworthy!
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