One of the most effective SEO techniques is link building. With link building, you can increase search visibility by over 1500% if you know what you’re doing.
Link building isn’t an easy task, so why do it? Google’s algorithms are complex and always evolving, but backlinks remain a very vital factor in how every search engine determines which sites rank for which keywords.
Which website owner wouldn’t want better search ranking and visibility? That said, in this article, we’ll break down what link building is and explain some of the link building techniques.
What Is Link Building
Link building is getting links –backlinks – from other websites back to your website to improve search engine visibility. Every business and business owner should be interested in building links to drive referral traffic and increase their site’s authority and visibility.
Building links is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimization (SEO) because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. Therefore, sites with more quality backlinks tend to earn higher rankings.
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Not every backlink is a good backlink. There are some terrible backlinks that you’ll need to tell Google to disavow or tell the website owner to take down.
Quality backlinks are those links that provide good juice and don’t tell Google that your website is fishy. If you have a toxic backlink., you’re putting your website on a pedestal for bad reputation from search engines. You can find out if you have toxic backlinks by using the Semrush backlink audit tool.
Another thing to check in backlinks is domain authority.
Understanding Domain Authority
Before getting any backlink, you need to check its domain authority.
Domain authority are scores from 1-100 given based on trust, search visibility, and traffic. Websites like forbes.com will most likely be in the 90s because of the high traffic and trust that search engines have for them, while new sites will most likely be in 1-5.
Domain authority is built over time as you publish content and don’t do spammy stuff.
Before getting a backlink, it’s essential to check the domain authority of the website. Many SEO tools have this feature, but beware that they all calculate domain authority based on different algorithms. Moz and Ahrefs- two popular tools, calculate theirs differently. In most cases, Ahrefs’ is higher than Moz’s.
If your domain authority is at 5, you can get links from those at 20 and above. If yours is in the 20s, 40 and above are good. Sure, you can’t control websites that choose to link to you, but when you’re the one doing the outreach, choose the right site. Note: the higher the domain authority, the better.
Not all links are equal: A link from an authoritative website will have a more significant impact on your rankings on the SERP than a link from a small or newly built website, but high-quality links are harder to achieve, especially as a new website.
Link Building – The Basics
Links could be bought or earned. If you care about the long-term viability of your site and business, you should only engage in natural link building, meaning the process of earning links rather than buying them or otherwise achieving them through manipulative tactics.
When it comes to ink building, the type of links you get matters. This is where link attributes come in.
Understanding Link Attributes
Link attributes are what show Google what your link is about. Most people aim for do follow because that tells Google to acknowledge the juice from that link. There’s also no-follow. No follow tells Google not to pay attention to the link. Links from most forums, comment sections, and directories are usually no-follow.
On September 10, 2019, Google introduced two new attributes:
- UGC (user-generated content)
Sponsored tells Google that you paid for the link while UGC says it’s not you that came up with the content – this is still very trusted.
How To Build Links For Your Website
Natural, organic link building is a difficult, time-consuming process. The goal of this post is to educate you on Strategies to use in building quality links that improve your organic search result, online visibility, and gives you credibility.
1. Start a blog
This is the basics. If you don’t have a blog with quality content published often, you’ll not have content to link back to. Most websites wouldn’t agree to link to your home or service/product pages.
Starting a blog is easy; keeping it alive isn’t. If you want to have your own blog, you need to keep it alive, keep it running. Don’t make a blog with one post and one backlink to your site. If you do, you not only wasted your time but probably also just created another risky link for yourself.
Write posts regularly. Focus on your industry and your client’s needs! In time, it will most likely gain authority. Make sure that your content is relevant, useful, and well-structured.
This is also great for earning links without asking for them as it ensures that your audience will want to link to it again and again. That’s one way you get great backlinks; you earn them!
2. Get on Local Business Directories.
There are many local business directories in Nigeria, not to mention international ones that have pages for Nigerian businesses, so it’s easy to find relevant ones and get your business listed.
However, a business directory that not only gives you the chance to post a link to your website but also provides useful information for your potential customers is the kind of directory you want to be listed on. Niche directories and directories attached to informative websites for a specific industry are a good choice. Having your business listed with such directories makes it easier to get indexed in the major search engines and helps people find you online.
While most directories provide a no-follow link, they do provide search visibility and traffic, and as long as people are clicking to see your website and your traffic is growing, it shows search engines that something relevant is going on in your website.
3. Do Broken-Link Building
Broken link building is when you get websites to replace a link on their content that’s broken with yours. When reading content on a website, if you notice that a link no longer exists, but it’s still on the page, you can reach out to the editor or whoever is in charge of that website to replace the link with one of yours (if you have similar content). This only works if the site is still looking to edit that content.
Beware though that broken link building is a lot of work. First, you have to find the broken link, and then convince the website to use yours instead. There are tools – Ahrefs, for example – that have features for identifying broken links.
4. Give a testimonial
Many businesses offer you the chance to say a few words about your experience using their products and/or services.
On the one hand, this is a perfect way for them to build customer trust. On the other hand, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to get a backlink and potential traffic from that site, and it usually has a much higher approval rate than your standard link request e-mails.
Companies get another testimonial to place on their site, while you get a new backlink. Testimonial link building is a win-win scenario for both parties.
Create content that will naturally attract readers and make them stay, get social shares, and referral traffic. Pay attention to readability. Content has to be well-structured, friendly tone, and free of grammatical errors
Watch out for flow, adverbs usage, passive voice index, unique and keywords, the time it will take to read. Do not forget, though, that all of these depend on your target audience.
5. Guest Posting.
Many sites and blogs that will accept to publish your article as a guest post. Before you write an article, make sure that: the website or blog is relevant to your topic; the article is NOT about how great you are/ your company is; you have a focus on quality (well written, professional, and engaging); you keep in mind that a poor article can bring bad reputation.
You must build links that help your website and not links that can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results.
Guest blogging is a lot of work too. You have to:
- reach out to a relevant person in the website
- Pitch your topic
- Get approval to write
- Write it
- Go through the editorial process
- Get it published
It might look easy, but it is not. Most pitches are usually rejected. To ensure that you’re accepted, you need a topic that hasn’t been published on that website or the internet before, provide a new angle to an already existing topic, and really, wow the editor or whoever is in charge of checking pitches.
In some cases, the websites will charge you as high as $500 for what they call “editorial fees,” if you can’t afford that, it will be hard. Even websites with domain authority as low as 20 can charge $150.
7. Learn from others
One of the saddest things is to spend days and weeks writing about something, and then it’s all in vain. All that passion and knowledge for nothing. Your content is Good, and yet unnoticed; this is something that happens almost every day and to nearly everyone.
The reason for this may be the wrong choice of topic. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if nobody cares about the topic. Also, the opposite can happen too; great topic, but weak content. You can read hundreds of articles and watch dozens of videos about good content, but there is always one safe way to go; LEARN FROM OTHERS.
8. Get Help
No matter how many articles you read on this, you might not be able to do it yourself. Link building can be draining, and it does take a lot of time. Gaining one link can take you a whole month, and you still have a business to run. If you can’t put in the time, you can either hire an in-house SEO team or get the services of an SEO agency.
Your website’s link profile is one of the most crucial factors in how high it will rank in search engine results.
Always remember that Google doesn’t care so much about how many links you have pointed to your web pages, but they care about the experience that you create for your users. If you have thousands of links and bad user experience, search engine bots will notice and rank your website low.
Be smart and strategic about content marketing,blogging, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and any other marketing technique that you’re using to make link building possible. Get to know what makes a link powerful and focus on improving your link power and user experience.