20 Sep The Power of Link Building
As search engine optimization continues to evolve, it is interesting to see how link building evolves with this trend. The strategy is completely different from a decade ago. Even looking at the past five years presents a lot of changes.
Therefore, it makes sense to discuss how to use modern best practices, so you don’t get blackballed by Google. Below we discuss the power of link building for your business.
We start by explaining a backlink. Understanding what it is, helps you to understand how to use this strategy correctly. Then we go through some top strategies that still work.
What are backlinks?
A backlink is a link from one site to another. The link helps Google understand how to improve your rankings.
Backlinks are a vital source of authority for search traffic. Think of it as a vote from one website to another stating how much they value the other site’s content.
Why are they important?
Since backlinks are a vote of confidence, Google looks at them as an essential component of the algorithm for determining search traffic.
Keep in mind there are two types of links. Internal links come from other pages on your website. External links are from other websites that link to your content as a reference point.
While both drive more search traffic, external links benefit your site more than internal links.
The key is to find high-quality websites to link back to your site. In this case, quality is as important as quantity. Make sure the sites are trustworthy and not spammy sites that could lower your search authority.
5 Components of quality of backlinks
How do you know if you want a site to link back to yours? While Google keeps the exact formula for backlinks under wraps, they do give us some indications of how the formula works. Here are the five key components to improve the quality of your backlinks.
As we discussed, more links to a site indicate a higher level of trust. Therefore, a website like Wikipedia that has millions of links to it across millions of different pages generally ranks better.
In this sense, Google is a bit like a high school popularity contest. The more high-quality links you get, the higher your social standing.
One of the reasons why the popularity of combining social media and search engine optimization is due to this confluence. While social media does not provide a direct benefit, the posts add more quality links to your site.
Everyone shares your blog post is adding a link to your website telling Google how popular you are.
#2. Topic Specific Links
The next thing to think about is whether the links relate to your site. While Wikipedia is popular, those in the craft industry would prefer to get links from a website like Etsy.
The relevance of the site linking to you is a vital component of high-quality link building. They have as much power as the high-quality links.
#3. Anchor Texts
The next thing you need to look at are the anchor texts linking back to your site. Anchor text is the text link that points a link text to a specific page.
Similar anchor texts across multiple sites can increase the value of the keyword to your website. With more sites using this anchor text, Google considers it a factor to increase your search traffic.
#4. Trust Rank
Search engines need to filter out quality websites from spam sites. With so many spam sites, Google created a link graph that ranked websites based on trust.
For example, sites like universities, government websites, and non-profits have a higher Trust Rank.
In turn, their links to newer sites then get a higher weight in the future. Working on get high Trust Rank sites to your business helps you find the best links for your upcoming campaign.
Links decay over time. If a famous site goes stale, then their search traffic goes down over time. That is why it is crucial to earning new backlinks.
The more regular blog posts and other content pieces talking about the value Google brings help users get more value from the links they use.
How to get backlinks
Now that you know the value of a backlink let’s explore some different ways to generate them for your website.
#1. Check out your competitor links
Your competitors probably already did the legwork for you. If you are in a competitive industry, you can piggyback off the work of others. If you do not have significant competition, then you can improve your rankings faster.
While you might not be able to duplicate all their results, you can follow their lead to start generating links from those sites. Reach out to corresponding web admins to find out what you need to do to get a backlink.
#2. Guest posts
One of the most common methods for generating backlinks is through guest posts. It is a bit time-consuming. However, many search marketers find this process invaluable for a few reasons.
First, you get a backlink to your site from an established site. This link helps with your search traffic.
Second, build your authority and relationships with others in your industry. Often professional contacts start with guest blogging and advance from there.
Use this as an opportunity to show your value not only to the site’s readers but also their editors and admins.
Often blog editors work on multiple projects at once. You never know when down the road they might offer you additional opportunities.
Social Media Examiner, for instance, uses guest blogging as an indication of how committed someone is to speak at their conference. They use it as a gateway to more access to their site and to their connections.
Three, you get direct access to someone connections. Often guest blogging can lead to direct sales.
People who might not find your website read your article on a third-party site. They then contact you to find out if you can help them with their specific challenge. It happens more often than you would expect.
#3. Customer/Vendor Links
One of the ways to get quality links from people in your industry or relevant links is to ask customers and vendors to link to your site.
These backlinks work great because your client or vendor might explain the link and why they value your service. The reference benefits your business with little effort from customers.
Additionally, many vendors are in a similar field of work, so the links are often industry specific. As we discussed above, relevant links count more than general links.
Also, often the links you receive from customers and vendors are local. This helps especially if you have a local business. The surrounding businesses give yours a vote of confidence.
One vendor you might want to start with a link is your chamber. When you belong to a chamber, you want to take advantage of the association to get a link back to your site.
Finally, Google wants to know you are not randomly adding links or paying for them. With a local cluster of links, you prove how valuable your links are to those in your area.
As Google gets more into local marketing, this issue becomes more vital.
#4. Quality content
One of the best ways for you to generate more links to your site is to create quality content. That could be a great blog post (like this one) where customers link to it for reference and share it on social media.
Alternatively, you could create an infographic that others in your industry can share on their site. Many small business owners don’t like to build their content. They don’t have the time or inclination.
Therefore, if you create a shareable infographic, they will use the embed code and link back to your website.
Finally, many businesses have podcasts and videos that others can share on social media and post to their site. One significant way that YouTube generates views is through their embed codes. Depending on the video, anyone can embed the video.
It is easy to do. All another site needs to do is copy and paste the code onto their site. If you have a WordPress site, then you can add this info to the plain text area of your site. Alternatively, use the Add video image.
#5. Forum answers
The final strategy we want to discuss is how to use industry related forums for search traffic. Forum marketing is an older strategy, but still effective one. If you are active in an industry forum, you can use this to build your search reputation.
Make sure your forum is do-follow. Find out with the SEOQuake extension in Chrome or Firefox. You check the external links to see if they have no-follow attributes. If they do not, then follow the rules of the forum and start posting helpful information.