Link building is important for any brand looking to grow its online presence and implement high-quality marketing campaigns. Anyone wanting to compete and excel online needs to understand the process of link building, as the importance of high-quality links continues to grow at an exponential rate.
Many marketers, however, don’t understand the importance of links, and they often neglect this key aspect to their online marketing strategy, which ends up leaving them way behind their competitors. Like way, way behind.
But we’re here to help fix that. Whether you’re a link-building newbie or a marketing veteran, we hope this little guide gives you a better understanding of link building and provides you the confidence and knowhow to become a marketing maestro.
First Things First: What is Link Building?
Link building (sometimes referred to as linkbuilding), is the process where you acquire hyperlinks from other website to you own site. Basically, it’s a practice where you promote your website to other website owners with one simple mission: secure a hyperlink on their site that drives to your page.
In case you’re wondering, a hyperlink (usually just called a link), is a way for users to move between pages on internet.
So why do companies invest time and resources into their link building? Glad you asked!
Why is Link Building Important?
If you have a website for your company (and we certainly hope you do) and you want that coveted search traffic, you need to regularly secure links from sites relevant to your own. This, friends, is link building.
While this may sound easy, it can be a bit tricky as it requires savvy social skills, strong communication, and a little bit of creativity. It’s marketing, sales, and craftiness, all wrapped into one beautiful Internet package.
Link Building and Google Ranking
You might be wondering “why should I include link building in my marketing plan?” Well, first and foremost, links are valuable for search engine optimization (also known as SEO). Search is a primary, if not the most important, channel of traffic for online businesses.
Links and search engines work hand-in-hand, and search parties like Google use your links in two fundamental ways:
- Discovery of new web pages
- Determining how a page (like yours) should rank in the search results
Think of links as a vote of confidence for your page. It’s the basic theory that your website wouldn’t get these links if it wasn’t deserving of them. So search engines like Google will likely look at your website and say “these guys are for real,” because their algorithm places value on links. When more high-quality websites link to you, you look like a rock star, and you’ll most likely rank very well in the Google search results.
Link Quality Over Quantity
As mentioned above, one of the most critical aspects of link building is the quality of your links. You see, not all links are created equal, and Google evaluates every link across the Internet for usefulness, value, and relevance. With powerful machine learning, they continually update and evolve their understanding of “good” links the basic of:
- Site Quality
Google assesses each link for quality, authority, and trust.
- Site Relevance to Audience
Google evaluates how relevant the site is to your market and niche audience.
Take heed if you’re simply looking to rack up a stockpile of average links. This will get your nowhere. Just one link from a well-regarded, relevant site can give far more value that 100 (or even 1,000) low-quality, irrelevant, untrustworthy sites. Even worse, just one little spammy, slimy link can hurt your site’s reputation in ways you couldn’t imagine.
With a little bit of scrutiny and strategy, you’ll get a healthy arsenal of high-quality links, more respect from Google, and a bucket-load of well-deserved search engine traffic.
Great Links Require Great Content
Google tells online business owners to make great content, as pages that provide value to audiences usually generate the most links.
But if you want to secure those links, you need to be extremely proactive. Basically, you need to be intentional about promoting your pages to sites in which your link makes the most sense. Don’t be all willy-nilly about your promotion – be intentional and you’ll see exponential search results.
Link Building and Social Signals
We all love social. And so does link building! Believe it or not, you can use social platforms to dramatically enhance your link-building efforts. Recent studies have shown that social signals can have a strong impact on your search rankings, even if it’s not technically part of Google’s search algorithm (or so they say). But just because it’s not part of the Google party, doesn’t mean it can’t help shake things up for your marketing efforts.
To help you out, here’s three quick ways social can enhance your link-building efforts:
- Skip the spamming and focus on your goal. Create social posts that deliver value to your audience, engaging with them rather than marketing to them. You’ll be giving them content they enjoy, enhance your brand awareness, and earn more links than you ever thought possible.
- Use trending social topics to create content that your fans can’t say no to. Hop on Google Trends to see what’s happening in the world and start posting content that’s fun, smart, and engaging. You’ll make your audience love you and you’ll likely increase the amount of inbound links.
- Be part of the social conversation. Stop talking at people and start talking with them, sharing valuable comments that create trust. If it’s genuine and good, they’ll most likely share and link your content.
Link Building 101: Final Thoughts
Not only are links fundamental to the functionality of the internet, but they’re also extremely valuable to you and your team. Once you understand the ins and outs of link building, you’ll build a loyal audience, create strong relationships with other websites, and increase traffic to your own site.
While there are no real shortcuts to link building, a little effort can go a long way to making you a marketing hero. And your CMO will look like a total genius. That’s a win-win everyone can get behind.