Link building remains one of the core features of search engine optimization (SEO) methods. In fact, it is one of the backbones of search engine results pages (SERPs) – the process by which the major search engines rank your content in internet searches. When building a site, link building must become one of your critical considerations because it makes the difference between a site that performs well in SEO terms or one that falls into insignificance.
Briefly, link building, as the name suggests, is the practice of having links in internal or external sources that link back to your website. Quite simply, major search engines factor the number, type and relevance of these links in their algorithms, which produce SERPs based on relevance to the searched keywords. There is a good comprehensive guide from OutreachMama on How to Plan Your Backlinks which we’d suggest to read it when you got time.
There are two types of links for these purposes: earned links and created links. Earned links are when external sources (other websites) choose to link to your site, obviously because of the relevance of your content. Unsurprisingly, in terms of search rankings, these are the most influential kinds of links. The second kind of links are created links, which are links that you create yourself and post on other sites, such as through a guest blog article on another site or in a chat forum for example. Clearly these links do not hold quite as much weight as the earned links.
“The search engine bots search for authority in terms of the pages that they list, so whether your link is created or earned, it is the authority of the host site – how popular is it, how well regarded is it in terms of your field of expertise, and how relevant is it to your field – which determines the value of the link. So not all links are created equal, clearly, and getting a link onto certain sites is very beneficial in terms of SEO performance,” says Clint Demarco, a sales analyst at BritStudent and WritemyX.
One final point here: In terms of the most important types of links relevant to SEO, there are internal links (within your site to your site), outbound links (from your site to external sources) and inbound links (from external sources to your site) that are also commonly referred to as backlinks. The aim is to create a good balance in terms of the number and quality of these links.
But how do you perform an efficient link building process in terms of SEO value?
Bounce rate – visitors clicking immediately off your site – harms your SEO profile. And why would visitors immediately click off your site? Well, the primary reason is the poor design and quality content of your site. Make sure your site is packed full or quality content, and those visitors will stay.
Internal links primarily exist so visitors to your site can navigate around your site smoothly and efficiently. And it’s exactly the same when the search engine bots come crawling. Poor layout and internal link design will harm your SEO value, so make sure your site is properly internally linked.
It’s important to consider who is linking to your site because where authoritative sites can really add weight to your link building practices, poor-quality sites linking to you can negatively impact you. In those cases, it’s important to get these links removed. An SEMRush audit tool will help identify poor links.
Inbound links for quality sources are invaluable to your link building mission, so a great way of getting inbound links on valuable sites is by appearing on those sites in a guest blogger capacity.
“Guest blogging works for both parties as you are adding quality content and you earn from the inbound links. Find out who the most authoritative sites are in your niche, check out if they accept guest blog articles and forge a relationship,” says Maisie Rodwick, a marketing blogger at Australia2write and NextCoursework.
Using influencers who review your products and services and post links back to your site is another great way to achieve valuable inbound links. There are also independent review sites that also hold great sway in terms of the value of the inbound links they post.
If you can get people talking about your brand on social media, then this can directly lead to additional inbound link building.
Broken links damage your SEO performance, so consistently check your links (inbound, outbound and internal) to ensure that the links are clean.
These are just some of the most relevant link building practices. Stay on the ball, consistently look for new opportunities to build links and watch your SEO performance skyrocket.