What is Link Building
Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. This is an extremely important element to the SEO process – Google was initially built focussed primarily on links around the web. The best way we can describe this is as follows:
Onsite SEO are the changes you make to your website, with the overall aim of telling search engines what your website is about, and what individual pages are about. This is coupled with ensuring that your website is following search engine guidelines – normally Google Webmaster Tools (Google Console).
Offsite SEO is the promotion of your website across the web – a main component of this being link building. Our simplest explanation for this is that it is “word of mouth spread across the web”. i.e. a link to your website is interpreted as a recommendation of it. You can tell search engines what your website is about but, if everyone else is telling search engines what your website is about, it will get better rankings.
So now that we have the Onsite SEO in place from the last few lessons it’s time to start link building.
Where to Start
The key to success in link building is monitoring, managing and learning. Start with a spreadsheet to track your link progress: We use a Link Prospects Sheet for this. This is where we can track which links we have researched together with their value – both in Domain Authority (DA) and relevance.
The first stage should be to look through your current links to ensure that you have the perfect start. There is no point in going out and building links if you already have a poor link profile.
There are tools out there to do this such as Link Detox and Moz Open Site Explorer – The Moz tool has a Spam score for websites – with the idea being that those that have a score over 5 should be removed. However although there are tools out there, it is still better to assess the links manually to ensure that this is done correctly.
The key is to have a natural link profile – so you will have some low Domain Authority (DA) websites, some medium and some high. The main plan is to ensure that the links are relevant. There is a simple test for this: “If Search Engines didn’t exist would I still want a link from this website?” We find that asking this question works most of the time when building links to your website.
Note: We use Domain Authority (DA), which is the Moz equivalent of Google Page Rank – but works from 0-100 instead of 0-10. The main reason for this is because Page Rank isn’t maintained as well as it used to be, and recently Google has stated that it will be removing this in the near future.
This is an extremely obvious technique. The basic concept being, to find the competitors that are doing well within your industry and analyse their link building techniques, to see what they are getting right. The way to evolve this, is to then exploit the knowledge gained to modernise and improve on these competitors’ methods.
Building good quality, unique content on a website that people will be interested in and then share online. Obviously, this will also initially involve sharing the content yourselves to get the ball rolling.
This was huge in 2014 but then diminished as more and more companies used this technique to build both backlinks, and their companies’ reputations on other relevant website blogs, articles, news sites etc. However, despite this method initially being abused by lesser SEO companies, there are still areas where this works well as part of an overall strategy;
This was initially poorly used, back in the day, where companies would simply sign up to forums and blogs with the basic idea of adding a reply to a post or comment just to get a backlink, via their signature. However when done correctly this became a fantastic technique to build company branding and gain links with referring traffic – This can also become a great place to engage with both potential and current customers together with other people within your industry. However, be warned: This demands a lot of time, effort and attention to be done correctly.
We have all probably seen the importance of Social Media. It has been a ranking factor in Search Engines for quite a while, but also brings it’s own wealth in digital marketing. Here are a few examples of how it can be utilised:
- Build your followers and drive traffic to your website;
- As a first point of contact for customer service;
- To build company branding;
- To engage with other companies, within your industry, and potential customers.
We could continue forever to include all of the different sources for links and research, but instead over the following months we will be including some of these techniques in greater detail and, where possible, including examples and case studies.
For a discount on link building please feel free to contact us and be included in one of our case studies.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like any help:
Contact Jon Seymour
Tel: 01492 460 460