Link building is a crucial component of any website, regardless of industry or niche. Unfortunately, there are many business owners and bloggers who are managing websites without considering the importance that links have in your writing. If you aren’t currently being active with your link building efforts, it’s time to make a change. You’d be surprised to see how drastic your online presence and traffic will be altered if you start making linkage a priority. Here’s what you need to know about link building and why it’s so important:
Linking Is a Ranking Factor
Google has several ranking factors, and each one plays a role in where your website appears in search engine results pages. For example, website page speed is just one of many ranking factors, which is why optimizing your site with accelerated mobile pages and ensuring each lead generating landing page loads quickly is so important.
Here’s a lengthy list of some of the other important ranking factors. When it comes to ranking, not only is linking important, but it is one of Google’s top three ranking factors, alongside content and RankBrain. As one of the most important ranking factors, your business cannot afford to ignore it.
Outbound Linking vs. Inbound Linking
There are two areas of linking that you should focus on outbound linking and inbound linking. Inbound links are links that are on other websites and point to yours. Any webpage that links to a webpage belonging to your domain is an inbound link (keep in mind, this is different from an internal link, which is a link that points to your web pages from one of your own webpages). Inbound links show Google that your webpage is relevant to others, and therefore increases your value. After all, if multiple sites are linking to yours, it establishes credibility.
Outbound linking refers to the links that originate from your website and point to other websites. Outbound links are also important because they help Google’s search engine crawlers better understand what your page is about. Because they provide so many clues about the relevancy of your page, it’s very helpful for search engines when determining rank.
Link Building Opportunities
Link building is a strategic way of getting links to point to your site. The best way to build links is through content creation. By crafting quality posts, you can organically encourage other people to link to your work. However, there are many link building opportunities that you might be missing. For example, some of the missed opportunities we’ve identified are:
Community activity: Niche forums and Q&A communities like Quora
Guest post articles: Writing for other sites that accept guest posts
Strategic partnerships: Create strategic co-branding partnerships to double your linkage opportunity through tailored marketing
Understanding Link Quality
Not all links are created equally. Link quality refers to the strength of your links. A bad link can hurt your SEO. And because linkage is so important, many companies end up purchasing links, not taking into consideration that bad links can have an adverse effect.
Furthermore, if Google discovers that you’re paying for low-quality links, they can penalize your site, making it difficult for you ever to rank well again. High-quality links come from high-quality pages. For example, a link from a well-known marketing blogger like Neil Patel would fare far better than a link from a newly-launched marketing website.
Utilize Linking Tools
There are some linking tools you can use to better your overall linking strategy. Some are free, while others are paid, but you should check out each and use them to your advantage.
Broken Link Checkers
It’s crucial that you conduct regularly scheduled audits of the links on your site, especially if you’ve been blogging for a while. Broken links will make your website appear less reliable to Google. Here are a few broken link checkers you can use for your site.
BuzzStream is a platform designed for you to manage all your link building efforts. Keep track of your outreach efforts, and create individual campaigns for each of your efforts. The platform also makes it easy for you to contact companies.
Moz Open Site Explorer
Moz Open Site Explorer is a well-known tool that’s been around for quite a while. One of the best things the tool is that collects all your backlinks, which shows you who is linking to you—as well as who is linking to your competitors. It can be beneficial for you to know who’s linking to your competitors because this reveals publishers who would also be interested in you, too.