What is link building in SEO?


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What is link building in SEO?

How to build your website’s authority, relevance and trust for search engine success

Many business owners will be familiar with the power that search engine optimisation holds in the digital marketing space. Companies that can successfully increase their visibility on Google can generate leads from over 2 trillion yearly Google searches. In fact, those that rank in the top 5 search results now capture 2/3 of this online business. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to dedicate more of their resources to improving their search engine optimisation. This article explores link building in SEO, a key pillar of a successful digital marketing campaign.

In this article, you will gain an understanding of:

  • Link building and how it can benefit your business
  • How link building relates to Google’s search engine
  • Why many links may be of poor or even negative value
  • Common link-building practices and techniques
  • The next steps to take for improving your business’s SEO

What is link building in SEO?

Link building in SEO is the process of acquiring links to your website from other sites on the internet. Websites commonly link to one another through hyperlinks to share useful content and information.

These links typically appear as blue underlined text as part of a larger body of writing. This article contains 16 such links which aim to provide additional value to the reader.

Here’s an example of a relevant and practical hyperlink:

“You can learn more about link building and effective SEO strategy by attending one of our leading digital marketing courses

In the context of this article, the link provides additional useful information to the reader. High-quality links always direct users to related content and fit seamlessly into webpage text, as displayed above.

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Why are links beneficial to my business?

Links are essential to businesses with an online presence, thanks to the way in which Google ranks websites and their content. Google uses a variety of algorithms and ranking factors to determine how useful a site is to its visitors. PageRank is one such algorithm that influences your visibility in the company’s search results. Google realised that if a website is being linked to from many different sites, that increased the likelihood that the site is reputable.

The algorithm therefore rewards websites with a large number of links, assuming those links are of a high-quality. These references are an essential factor in improving the ranking of your site.

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Which links are most valuable to my business?

When the PageRank algorithm was first released, it was a simple task for unscrupulous actors in the space to manipulate the search engine. For example, businesses could create thousands of fake websites that linked to their primary site. Google soon realised that link quality was as important as link quantity.

Google now has a sophisticated system that assesses link quality. Low-quality digital marketing techniques, such as automatic link generators, should be avoided in your link building strategy. These types of links from poor-quality sources can actually decrease the reputation of your site.

The links that will generate the most visibility for your site will be those that are:

Relevant – Ideally links should come from sites that are topically relevant to yours. For example, a construction website would do well to gain links from other organisations in their industry.

Authoritative – Who are the most established players in your industry? These sites have more presence and authority on Google. Therefore, securing a link from them will carry more weight than from a smaller website. For example, in the health industry, a link from the NHS would be far more valuable than a link from a small research company.

Trustworthy – It is important to mention that Google doesn’t use the concept of trust directly in their rankings. However, links from untrustworthy sites can have knock-on effects. They are likely to be of low quality and harm your rankings. You should avoid any site that offers to sell you links or seems disreputable in any other way.

It’s no longer possible to check the official PageRank score of a website as Google now hides this information. However, we can make educated guesses based on the information above about how valuable a link might be.

The highest quality links are most likely to come from sites created by:

  • Educational institutions and government bodies
  • Successful companies/organisations in your industry
  • Reputable media outlets
  • Popular bloggers and community leaders

Our top 3 link building techniques for SEO

Securing high-quality links can present a significant challenge to many companies. Contributing to major industry websites is often unfeasible as a small business. Listed below are 3 of the top techniques that businesses of any size can use to build their link profile.

It’s important to note that there are hundreds of link building strategies available. However, many of these strategies are simply designed to fool the Google algorithm. These strategies, known as black-hat SEO, could leave your website facing a penalty from Google. Providing true value to users of linking sites is the best way to ensure successful link building.

1 – Guest blog posting

While it’s not advisable to pay someone for a link on their site, you can exchange value in other ways. Guest posting on relevant blogs and websites is an excellent way to build your brand and gain links.

The first step would be to contact the owner of a site who runs a relevant industry blog. You can offer your services as a writer free of charge in exchange for a link to your site in the content that you write. As copywriting is time-consuming and expensive, content writers are often welcomed by website owners.

For your own content and for link building, you could also use a professional copywriting service

2 – Media contributions

Receiving a mention on local and national news websites shows Google that your content is current and authoritative. In fact, Google highly favours content that is fresh and up to date. Here are a few ways in which you can secure high-quality media links.

Write Regular Press Releases

Press releases help to engage journalists and news websites with your business. Not only can you publish them yourself on press websites, local news outlets can also use them to find inspiration for the news stories that they write. This can lead to features and articles about your company. Engaging with writers and journalists on a regular basis is a valuable tool to secure high-quality links.

Help a Reporter Out!

One popular service that can help you gain links from reputable media sources is HARO. Help a Reporter Out‘ is a service where journalists ask for information from industry experts. You as an industry expert can write a knowledgeable reply to a journalist’s question. In return, the journalist can quote you in their article and provide a link to your work.

3 – Broken link building

Throughout the web, there are links to pages that no longer exist. Websites can often link to an interesting blog or article, only for the article to later disappear. This presents an opportunity for businesses that can find these broken links.

Broken links are harmful to a website’s SEO because they effectively mislead website users. Therefore, you can help a business by notifying them if they have a broken link. In return, you can ask that they exchange the broken link with one of your own.

For the link to still make sense in the body of text, your link must direct users to similar web content. As a broken link builder, you are searching for broken links that your website could write relevant content for. For example, if you run a wedding cake website, you would want to find broken articles about wedding cakes that you could easily replicate.

Broken link building is typically a four-step process:

  • Use broken link software and/or research to identify relevant broken links
  • Examine internet archives to discover what the previous content contained
  • Write similar articles to the previous content
  • Reach out to website owners offering your new content to replace their broken link

The most important element of link building

The most crucial element to link building is designing great content. No-one will link to your website if they cannot engage with the content you are creating. When you combine great content with effective link building strategies, you can dramatically alter your site’s visibility and reach, transforming your business’s success.

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How can I ensure that I am successful with my link building efforts?

If you’re feeling uncertain about how to best go about increasing the visibility of your site, novi.digital can help. We are an award-winning SEO and PPC agency focused on delivering a cost-effective return on investment for our clients. We have over a decade of experience in the space, offering leading management, training and consultancy services.

As an agency we can:

  • Provide SEO and PPC training from our industry experts
  • Design an effective digital marketing strategy for your company
  • Perform SEO and PPC audits of your site to discover potential opportunities for improving your bottom line
  • Offer complementary services including copywriting and social media management
  • Equip clients with a wider understanding of effective marketing practices

Get in contact today!

Are you looking for clarity in your SEO, PPC or link building strategy? If you’re interested in finding out more about what we do, we’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch today at 01524 566 736 or send us an email at [email protected]

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