How to Manage a Successful Link Building Campaign
In previous SEO posts, I’ve discussed factors that affect your website’s rank. As search engines evolve and improve, link building becomes a more important measure of a websites authority and trustworthiness. In this post, I will go over what link building is, why it’s important for SEO and some strategies that you can use to start a successful campaign.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of obtaining links to your website from other websites. A site might link to your homepage, blog, or other landing pages depending on the relationship between your site and the referring site. In the SEO industry, we call these back links because they link back to your site. While back links can be purchased, the best back links are earned through compelling content, authority, and citations.
Most SEO pros agree that link building is one of the harder parts of search engine optimization, as it requires the other website to be willing to refer to you. However, if you can perfect high-quality link building for your website it will certainly give you an edge over your competition and improve your site ranking.
Search Engines and Link Building
In a previous blog post, I discussed EAT and its relevance to SEO. The same concepts apply to high-quality links as well. When search engines discover a page, they crawl through all the content, and this includes the link as well. Search engines follow those links to see what content that page leads to. This allows other pages on the internet to be discovered by search engines and is crucial to establishing authoritativeness. Moreover, PageRank, a part of Google’s ranking algorithm, was created to measure the number of links pointing to a webpage to determine the quality of the said webpage. From among the many ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, backlinks are pretty high on the list.
In recent updates, Google has started penalizing sites that have low-quality, irrelevant, or misleading links pointing to them. This penalty even extends to websites that list themselves in low-quality directories to obtain links.
When it comes to ranking a link’s value, there are three essential groups – editorial, manual, and self-created. You should aim for editorial links while staying away from self-created ones. Let’s take a brief look at what each one represents.
Blogs and news sites frequently link to other webpages in their content. These links are the best for your site since they come naturally from an authoritative source. The only way to obtain these kinds of links is to have content that is worthy of referral. Google places a lot of weight on these links. This type of link improves your authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
New websites have a heard time gaining links and visibility organically. Just like the new shop or restaurant on the corner, new sites have no trustworthiness on their own. To get started, content creators may reach out to other websites to ask for links. We refer to these links as manual or outreach links. While these links are an excellent way to gain visibility for a site, you have to choose the site you reach out to carefully. Irrelevant sites or sites that engage in link scams will decrease your trustworthiness and cause your site to lose visibility in the long run.
You can also create links on your own by including your URL in blog comments, advertorials, or guest post signatures. These types of links can be considered a black hat strategy, and Google is known to penalize for this type of link. The worst thing you can do in your link building strategy is to engage in buying links for your domain. Websites that participate in link buying schemes have been penalized in the past.
The Best Way to Build Links
In the SEO industry, there are numerous ways to get links, but I will discuss two that are most important.
Generally speaking, the best way to build links is by creating content that other sites will want to link to. This can include a variety of things, like videos, images, how-to guides, and infographics. This sort of link building is simple, but not easy. It requires you to create content that is unique, engaging and relevant. Once you create your content, you can reach out to relevant sites to link your content (manual link building).
Over time, as more people find your content and your referral traffic increases, other sites will link to you without you needing to reach out to them. This is a long-term effect, so it will take time but is certainly possible and extremely rewarding.