There’s no question. Link building is the most important skill when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you know something about SEO, then you’ve heard the words link building or backlinks. If you own a business, especially if it’s online, link building is one thing you should focus on if you want to increase your website’s referral traffic. Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to effective SEO link building.
What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your own website through a hyperlink. Why is this important in SEO? It’s because Google and other search engines use backlinks as a factor in determining which sites rank for which keywords. The principle is that, if a notable number of websites link yours, Google will recognize your website resource-worth enough for citation, ultimately giving you a higher rank in people’s searches. Sounds easy, right? But many people who work on SEO admit that this is the most challenging part of optimization and a skill that takes a lot of practice and experience.
Why is it Important?
Link building is an integral part of any SEO campaign. To give you some perspective: without backlinks, your website will not rank on search engines. At all. According to Google, “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.” So in short, link popularity equals SEO ranking. The more quality websites backlink your site, the higher you will rank on search engines.
SEO Link Building Strategies
Now that you have a general idea about backlinking let’s talk about the different simple and effective SEO link building strategies you can use.
- High-quality content creation and promotion. This just doesn’t apply to your site’s SEO status, but also something you should consider to gain online engagement. When you create compelling, unique and well-written content, people are more likely to reference your site and share your content with others. Once you have high-quality content in your website, it’s time to promote it. You have to show people that you have something to share so they can share it.
- Build relationships and ask for backlinks. This is a simple and easy way for link building. If you’re new to SEO, you can simply start by asking your friends or colleagues for backlinks. If you know clients or acquaintances with web pages that fall into your niche, all the better.
- Gather reviews and mentions. Ask your customers to review your service or products. Encourage them to mention it on social media or to share your website’s link. Additionally, you can ask bloggers and influencers to mention your product or service on their own pages.
- Have your website listed in directories. Directory listings are often underestimated, but this is one free tool you can use to boost your link building and SEO. When you put your business details on trustworthy directories like Yellow Pages, you expose your business to potential customers who can then link your site. Watch out for directories that specialize on your niche, or ones that are attached to informative and popular websites.
- Submit an article to other websites. You can create guest posts for a number of popular sites for free. First, you have to make sure that these websites are in your niche, and your content is relevant to them. Second, don’t make it about your company. It shouldn’t be a promotion but a well-written contribution that will maintain your brand’s reputation.
Link building is necessary for your websites SEO success. However, it takes some learning, effort, and caution. If you do it too much, to the point of spamming, there’s a chance you’ll be penalized by search engine sites like Google. Building new links is only one part of the equation. Once you gain backlinks, it’s imperative that you take care of them. Just as credible backlinking can increase your site’s SEO status, bad links can do even more damage. So it’s important to monitor your backlink profile regularly.