In SEO, link building seems a tricky topic for beginners. Many people fail to get clarity on link building techniques. Without understanding the link building basics, formulating the right SEO link building strategy is near to impossible. If you are a beginner and confused about the whole concept of link building, you have landed at the right place. Thinking of SEO link building fills your mind with lots of queries? In this blog, we will resolve all your questions and give you a comprehensive guide to building high-quality links for SEO.
Link building can be simply explained as getting referrals in the form of backlinks or hyperlinks from other websites to your website. It helps users to navigate to your website and thus helps in increasing traffic and website authority. Every business owner or marketer should focus on creating backlinks to leverage the benefit of referral traffic.
For Google, link building indeed works as a vote of confidence in favor of your website, by other websites which link to your site. That is why link building works as a signal of high authority and relevance to search engines. If an established website of your industry or relevant industry with high authority is quoting your website (ie. giving backlink) that will automatically boost your chances of getting credibility, more visibility and higher rank. Link building is indeed more about building relationships with other websites and creating value for users.
By using various link building techniques, you can improve the search engine visibility of your website and significantly improve the ranking factor. To improve the visibility of a website or to get higher rank in search results, people follow standard link building tactics that include guest posting, broken link building, content marketing, email outreach and public relations, etc.
You must have heard that link building is one of the crucial and time taking tasks in SEO.
Do you wonder why link building is crucial, and what impact it has on SEO of websites?
Let’s find out the answers one by one.
Before getting to the answer, let us have a brief overview of how Google (or any other search engines) crawl web pages and show us relevant content in SERP(Search engine result pages). Google or other search engines crawl all the content available on the web, index and rank them as per their algorithm and relevancy of content. Google’s algorithm is well-known for its complexity and ever-changing tendency over time.
One factor which has never lost its significance in SEO(Search engine optimisation) over time is the link building process. When Google(or any other search engines) determines that which site should rank for what keywords, these links work as a signal that a particular site with more no. of “backlinks” is more resourceful and has quality content than the others. Thus, websites with more backlinks will get a higher ranking.
To understand the significance of link building, let us take an example:
Suppose you want to go for lunch in a restaurant. There are two nearby restaurants, say, A and B. Comparatively more friends have recommended you to visit the restaurant A, due to its delicious food and quality. What decision would you take? Would you go to the place with more referral? Definitely yes. Think why are you choosing restaurant A over B? Seems more trustworthy and a good place because more people have suggested it, Isn’t it?
In the same way, backlinks work as referrals for your website. It tells Google that your website has relevant and quality content which helps in getting a good rank in SERP.
SEO link building is not just about creating more no. Backlinks, indeed it is about creating “High-quality links”. So, what exactly is known as high-quality links and what are some things you need to consider while creating backlinks that qualify as good links or high-quality links?
When it comes to backlinks, not all links have equal value for search engines; links from high authority domains or pages, editorially placed links, etc. have a higher impact on rankings. For, eg. Backlink obtained from “Wall Street Journal” would have a more positive impact than a backlink from a not-so-famous individual bloggers’ website.
High-quality links are similar to referrals from people with higher credibility. Take the earlier example and think of it again, you are deciding on which restaurant to choose among A and B. If 10 food bloggers recommend restaurant A, against 10 random people for restaurant B, you will definitely go with the food bloggers opinion, as they are the more credible source of information.
Similarly, high-quality links are credible and highly valuable referrals that tell google that this particular website contains relevant and enriching content. It has a highly positive impact on SERP rankings.
To understand the link building technique, we need to get an overview of what exactly SEO link building consists of. To explain the process of link building techniques, we have categories it in the following sub-categories:
Most common SEO link building strategy is to focus on building high-quality backlinks. Here is the list of all the factors that make a backlink highly credible and impactful when it comes to SEO:
If you have built a backlink on a high authority page, you would be receiving a more positive impact on the ranking of your website. Most crucial SEO link building strategies such as quality content and link building are executed with the purpose to enhance the authority. Thus backlinks from authoritative pages help in getting a good rank in SERP. As per various surveys, it is claimed that Page Authority matters more than any other factor in Google Algorithm. You can easily check your page authority by using various tools such as Moz, Ahref, etc.
When it comes to high-quality SEO link building, domain authority becomes an important factor to consider. Building a backlink from a high authority domain will fetch you good results and higher rank in SERP. Getting backlinks from such websites is not a cakewalk, but all the efforts are worth it if we focus on the outcomes. Improved rank, greater online visibility, higher referral traffic and higher credibility make it all worth.
There are many tools available to check domain authority matrices, Moz and Ahref are among the most popular ones.
Though website authority plays a crucial role while making your SEO link building strategy always; but also keep in mind that websites should be relevant to your content or business. For, eg. If you are selling a fashion product and building a backlink on a technical content website, it is a waste of time and energy. Google considers it null and void.
You should always keep in mind while the link building process that the website should be relevant.
The positioning of your backlink is another significant factor that determines the value of your backlinks. If your link is positioned in the body text, it will be having greater impact, whereas if your link is positioned in the footer, it will be of lesser value. So always ensure that your backlink is situated in the body text. For, e.g. have a look at picture highlighting links in the body text.
Merely creating an account on any platform and dropping the link is not considered as backlinking, it might attract the penalty due to not following the link building guidelines. Google gives more weightage to editorially placed links i.e. users are going to your link because it is providing value in the form of great content.
The clickable section of the hyperlink is known as anchor text. They help search engines and users to navigate easily through your website via internal building. Link anchor text plays a vital role in SEO as they are signals to search engines about the relevancy of linked pages. You can rank for the keywords used in the anchor text as well but similar to other SEO practices, avoid using an exact match of keywords in the link anchor text as it can attract penalties from search engines and will be considered spammy.
Have a look at the exact match of a keyword in link anchor text:
Phrases or text around the link also tells search engines what your link is about. Google takes co-citation into account while crawling, indexing and ranking the content. What do we mean by co-citation? If webpage “A” has two backlinks to website “B” and “C”, but B and C have no direct link with each other. Google will conclude that since B and C were co-cited, they must have related content. Thus Google takes them into account while ranking them.
Although guest posting has been abused by so many webmasters and Google itself declared that it has become too spammy, but rightly acquired guest posting links can help you to achieve a good rank in SERP. You should not go for guest posting if it has :
1. If you have to pay to publish your guest post.
2. If the website exists only for the purpose of guest posting.
3. If the website has no relevance to your content or business
You should choose a relevant, highly authoritative website to publish your guest post, and you must ensure that your guest post should have quality content.
While building backlinks for SEO, always make sure to acquire normal “Do Follow” links, which gives you an endorsement. There are “No Follow” links which have an additional tag (rel=” nofollow”) attached to the link. It tells search engines to not consider this link as an endorsement. Thus there is no significance of obtaining “nofollow” links.
Visual contents include images, infographics, diagrams, charts and anything which is designed to leave visual impacts on the user. Visual assets are easy to catch the attention of users and great in SEO link building. When you explain any concept with the help of images or charts or any infographics instead of rich text, it makes it easier to understand and quickly shareable. Thus, when users share your image on their site, they backlink to you, and by creating valuable visual assets, you can create a large no. of high-quality links.
As per the survey contents which contain a list of techniques, tips or of any relevant information, have created more backlinks than videos, quiz and infographics. Thus including a list in the content can arm your post with more power to rank higher. List posts present the information in a more convenient and digestible format. Quick users want more information in a less complicated manner. Enlisting the information in bite-sized chunks makes the content worthy.
Contents that contain original research results and data, industries studies or surveys are most likely to get large no. of backlinks. Because when people cite your research results or data, they will give you high-quality backlinks. Data and survey results are highly linkable resources.
Always remember while creating content that the more value you will bring to the table for users, the more traffic you will get. The content that covers comprehensive knowledge of any particular topic gets more traffic and high-quality backlinks. Try to write an in-depth guide for any topic you are writing on.
To find the potential linkers adopt a reverse technique of research. Google your keywords and pick the top-ranked websites. Search these domains in the link analysis tools such as Moz, Ahref, etc. Find the top linking domains for these websites. These top linking domains or backlinked websites are your potential linkers.
For, e.g. if we want to rank for “best travel agency in India”. We will google this keyword.
We can pick any of the top-ranked websites for this keyword. In this case we are selecting “bookmundi.com”. Now open this domain into link analysing tools for, eg. We are using Moz here.
Now check the top linking domains or backlinks. Pick the top linked domains for these websites. These are the potential linkers for your website.
Once you have a list of domains as your potential linkers. Use email searching tools and find out their emails to reach out. You can use tools like Hunter(email hunter) to find out the emails simply by entering the domains.
For, eg. We entered the top linking domain (similarweb.com) and got the associated emails.
In case of massive sites, you can use another tool Voila Norbert to search email addresses of anyone simply by entering their name and company name they are working with.
Personalised emails always work better than regular emails. Show your interest in their work and pitch them about your content with a personalised touch. Writing personalised mail to each one can be a difficult task, so prepare a format with little variance and do a little research before approaching the corresponding person. Though the process can take lots of effort, in the end, it will all be worth it.
No discussion of SEO is complete without talking about the Black hat SEO link building. Let us discuss in brief what exactly are black hat links.
As we all acknowledge that SEO link building is vital for all the businesses, every business owner wants his/her websites to get higher rank and there is both a good way and bad way to reach the desired result. SEO link building practices that include unethical tactics and work against the guidelines of search engines are known as black-hat SEO link building techniques.
These tactics do not create value for users, instead utilizing the loopholes of websites and focused on getting higher than usual organic traffic of the website.One of the black-hat link building tactics is spam oriented commenting keywords or links. In such cases links or comments have no relevance to the content of the page. Another tactic is to create link farms i.e websites which give backlinks without any content. Such websites have no value on their own they are purposefully created to divert traffic to some pages.
Black hat link building might get short term results but with every new update google will take these tactics down and impose heavy penalties.
Black-hat links are the links which are created against the Google webmaster’s guidelines. In one or other way, these links contradict the guidelines. Black-hat links can be easily spotted, and these links attract penalties from Google. Google Penguin algorithm works to target websites that try to manipulate the search engine by using spammy link building techniques.
Google also impose manual penalties, what exactly manual penalty detects is still not clear, but it spots the websites which try to dodge the system.
If you have read the blog until the end and grasped each point with great attention, you must have understood all about the link building. Apply your knowledge today and start building high-quality backlinks.