By definition, link building is the method used by some SEO experts to link certain websites to the desired page on your website. The hyperlinks used in this case are called backlinks. Though this process may seem simple enough, there is more to it than meets the eye. Most people do not have a handle on the process or execution of such a method. Executing such a strategy requires relationship building, meaning you cannot just solely focus on results. In terms of using backlinks, the SEO camp is split into two sides. There is one side that sees such a method as a great way digitally market their websites, and then there is the side that views such a method as a spammy way to promote websites.
There are a number of ways to view SEO link building, and with this tutorial, we will dive deeper into the process of building relationships with other site owners. Site owners will usually be open to the idea of allowing your site to post backlinks back to your website. This is because it enhances their site and helps them build a credible reputation. With this in mind, the definition of link building is more than just about getting something. It also includes building relationships, having relevance, and creating a value exchange for all involved. As we go through the different aspects of SEO link building, we will touch on all these things together.
Keep in mind that effective link building is tough, and with that, you need to understand why it is well worth the effort. In simple terms, backlinks are used by search engines like Google to help rank web pages. Such a system has been in place since 1998 since page ranking became a thing. Page ranking is a mathematical formula that judges the value of a web page by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link back to it. Google has confirmed the importance of backlinks and that when other prominent websites are linked to a page, it becomes higher in ranking.
If your webpage contains quality backlinks and ranks high on search engines, that is a sign that information on it is of high quality. We have also found a distinct link between organic traffic and the use of backlinks. We discovered this link by observing over 1 billion pages on unique websites. Establishing that, getting quality backlinks might be more complicated than creating a blog post, but it is crucial if you want to become competitive in your rankings. Now, you may have heard that focusing on backlinks is not as viable because high-quality content tends to attract links. However, getting that content exposed to the right audience is a different story. The idea that building such content and having people flock to it is nothing but a pipedream. You may have also heard that others get a lot of traffic without using backlinks and therefore, there is really no need for it. Though this is possible, we will repeat once again that backlinks are critical as an SEO strategy.
Managing or owning a website means wanting to always rank high for competitive phrases. These competitive phrases are what drives the most traffic and revenue to your business. For example, searches relating to SEO are incredibly competitive, but they are also profitable. To support this, you can take a look at our blogs and link it to the growth in HF Explorer. You will notice that the growth curve closely mirrors that of our organic traffic; they rise together. Going back to figuring out how to get backlinks. There are three means of getting them.
Let’s discuss each method one by one to keep things simple and clear.
Creating backlinks involves adding links to your site manually. You can do this by adding your website to directories, commenting on blogs, or adding your website link to social media profiles. Manually creating backlinks is close to effortless and can be done by anyone. Such a method for backlinking may be the simplest, but it is not that effective from an SEO standpoint. It will not get you the best ranking on search engines that you would want.
Buying backlinks is exactly what the name implies. With such a method, you will pay webmasters or authors an agreed fee. In return, they will include backlinks on their website, leading to yours. Now, this method goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines and, if found out, can result in a hefty penalty. You could end up losing your ranking position or even get your page removed from the Google search index.
Moreover, buying links is not exactly cheap. Out of the 250 websites we contacted inquiring about buying links. The average price is $353. That being discovered, we did not buy any.
The final way to get backlinks to through earning them. Earning them can be done by e-mailing website owners and editors, asking them to include your website link on their site. Out of all the methods, this one is the most time consuming and laborious but by far the safest and most effective. The harder it is to get your link on a site, the more valuable it could be. With this reasoning in mind, we will focus on earning backlinks through e-mail outreach. Plus, we will go through some effective tactics later.
In terms of links, not all of them are created equal. Some links will help drive your page to the top of Google’s rankings, while others can even hurt your site. Going back to relationships, keeping it simple is the best thing to do.
When looking into relationships, there are two things you should look for:
Ideally, you will want your backlinks to be on relevant websites and pages. Meaning, it should be in line with what you are trying to sell or portray. For example, if you are marketing USB microphones, it would be better to link to sites such as video conferencing rather than a site that focuses on gardening. In this regard, you are targeting the right audience and, in turn, will see more revenue to your efforts.
Next, you will want to look into the authority of the website. In short, this is the overall link power a website has.
Both of these concepts relate to how your page rank will work out. As mentioned before, quality and quantity are taken into consideration in order to meet ranking standards. In short, the better quality links a page gets, the more likely it will rank high on search engine results. Keep in mind that page rankings do not appear out of thin air. Meaning, pages with good authority can pass to other pages through hyperlinks. The more page ranks a page has, the more that can be given to those outbound links. For example, if page C has two links, one from KJ and another from page B. Let’s say that KJ is stronger than Page B, which has fewer outgoing links. In this case, outgoing links will feed information into the page rank algorithm. Now, you have the page rank of page C. This is a simplified version of how it works, but at least you see that you want to get links from high authority pages because they will likely have more impact on your rankings.
Though Google does not provide page rank website authority scores, there are two metrics that Atrius uses to quantify it. The domain rating is our authority metric, and it represents the overall strength of a website’s backlink from the profile. There is also the page-level authority metric, which represents the overall strength of the page as a backlink profile.
We have covered what link building is, why it is important, and three methods on how to get them. Now, let us discuss the actual links themselves.
By now, you should have a general idea of the more technical things involved in link building. As mentioned, there are also creative aspects that are required. When we say creative, we mean content creation and an appealing e-mail pitch. With the right willpower and determination, it is possible to build links on any kind of page, but life gets easier when you have something that people want to link to. Keeping that in mind, we will now discuss the content side of things.
There are a couple of attributes that linkable content should have. One is non-commercial and commercial content, such as product pages from an e-commerce store or even a sales page. However, such pages are tougher to get links to because no one wants to contribute to your bank account. Without some sort of compensation or, at the very least, having first-hand experience with your product or service, chances are they won’t link.
So, by creating non-commercial content with high utility, you will be able to create something that is more deserving of a link. This idea leads us to the second attribute, which is that linkable content is helpful. People want to link their pages to helpful content because it directs their audience to resources that complement their own. Such content can come in different forms. For instance, a well-written blog post with factual information can get a lot of links. One great example is the Healthline website. Their blog posts are well formulated and oftentimes vetted by professionals. As a result, they have many backlinks on multiple pages leading to their websites. This is exactly what you want to achieve.
If your content is made to be a helpful resource that supports arguments or clarifies issues, then your chances of earning backlinks increase. The second part of link building is where your creativity is required. This means creating an engaging pitch when you reach out to authors and editors. When you reach out to these people, treat it like a sales pitch as they are your prospects.
The message you send to these prospects are called a pitch for a reason. You can’t just ask people to link to you without a good reason. You will need to have a good reason for contacting people. The better this reason is, the higher your chances of achieving your goal. Your reason needs to be as compelling as possible to get them on your side in order for them to consider linking to you. One way to create a persuasive pitch is to personalize it. This can help improve your link conversion rate.
The next step is to take your pitch from being a maybe in the eyes of your prospects to a yes. You can do this by making your pitch stronger. The way to do this is to add a benefit to them. If people see that your pitch adds value to their goals, they will most likely bite the sale, and you can turn a maybe to a yes. Finally, your pitch has to have a value exchange. Meaning, if you have a good reason to contact them plus your content matches the criteria they need, they will highly likely want to link with you if your prospects are getting something of value in exchange for a link. This exchange can be a resource that adds value to their blog of free content in the form of a guest post. Doing so will increase your chances of getting a link.
Keep in mind that exchanging links for money or doing excessive link exchange is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. The same thing applies to sending products to a person in exchange for a backlink. So, you need to get creative and stay in line with the rules. With that said, let’s expand on getting creative and staying in the rules. Such a thing is very situational and is bases on the page you are trying to build. Link building is both an art and a science. Pitches are highly situational and will vary from person to person, but there are quite a few link building strategies that are streamlined and have been proven to work time and time again.
We can now go through some of these strategies and explain what they are, why they work, and how you can do them. The first link building strategy is guest blogging, wherein you create content for another website. The reason this strategy works is that there is a clear value exchange. The website you are posting on gets great content, and you get your link out there. To guest blog, you need to find blogs within your industry or niche, pitch your idea, and agree on a relevant topic.
After, you would create a post about this. A great way to find other industries is through HS content explorer. Search for your topic and niche and scroll through your options. Next, set the one page per domain filter so that you do not pitch to the same site more than once. Look for websites with a domain rating of about 40 to 60, which shows they have decent website authority.
Next on the list of link building strategies is called resource page link building. This tactic gets backlinks from webpages and curates the link to useful industry resources. This strategy works because the sole purpose of the page’s existence is to link out helpful and useful resources. So if your content is great and you bring it to their attention, you help them fulfill the purpose of a page. The process is simple. First, you find industry resource pages and reach out to suggest your resource for inclusion. After that, it is just a matter of reaching out to the prospects to get your links posted.
Link building is a necessary part of having a healthy website SEO. With link building, you can drastically bring website traffic while adhering to Google guidelines. Once done, you can start to focus on your search engine rankings. Just keep in mind the strategies we discussed in this article. You will need to vet and find the right prospects and sites to link to. The quality of your link is just as important as your quantity. Always have a creative approach when pitching to prospects. This will greatly increase your chances of having a valuable exchange and building a good relationship with them.
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