What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of promoting your site with other websites (ideally within your industry) with the goal of securing a backlink.
The Value of Link Building:
Navigating the Web
Without links, it would be impossible to navigate the web. To move from one page to another, you need links. No matter whether you’re browsing through your Facebook feed or a conversation on Reddit, it’s via the links that you move across the sites and find all the relevant information.
You can either memorize a URL, keep it as a bookmark, or you can find it via a Google search. Links are what powers the web and they are absolutely essential for any web search. They are also a major factor that determines UX or user-experience, site architecture, human accessibility, and audience development.
Links as a Ranking Signal
Sites like Bing and Google use links as a ranking signal. Over 60% of all the traffic comes from searches. Searches mean links. It’s the primary way people find businesses online.
That’s why Google uses links as a way of determining the rankings. Because of this, every website strives to produce the best quality links.
There’s an entire industry devoted to the production and promotion of links which we call SEO. And, link building happens to be an integral part of that. Without quality links, it can be tough to rank high in SERPs and be found for relevant searches.
Google’s PageRank which is the most popular and valuable algorithm places extremely high value on links and the way these links affect search rankings.
Just writing valuable content is not enough. You need to promote it well enough if you want to secure links back for your content. But, promotion doesn’t happen naturally. If you want more websites to link back to your content, you need to work at it.
Unfortunately, most content online has almost no chance of scoring visibility. But, the good thing is in order to build a quality link profile, you no longer have to have hundreds of links. If you can manage to get a few links naturally from relevant and high-ranking sites, that will act as a sign of authority in the eyes of search engines.
Today even a single quality link holds an immense value. That means, websites today have more power and control than ever.
How Link Building Benefits Online Businesses
Effective link building inevitably helps to build and nourish long-lasting relationships with other websites and industry experts. Things like connecting with other bloggers, commenting in their blog section, and being constantly in touch with each other can create genuine advocates for your online business.
During blogger outreach, websites typically try to promote an already published piece of content. But, even if you don’t earn a link’, this kind of outreach still helps to build your reputation. This relationship-building in itself is a valuable outcome of blogger outreach efforts.
Sending Referral Traffic
More often than not, the idea behind securing links is due to the impact links have on the rankings. But, in some cases, a quality link can positively bring in referral traffic also.
If you can manage to secure a back link from a site with a high influx of visitors, it’s likely that the post will redirect huge traffic towards your site. Properly placed links could thus help to boost your sales also. But, the key is to target relevant sites with high traffic.
In such a value, the implications of a link go beyond SEO. They influence the customers too. Here’s an example – let’s say you get your product recommended by an expert with a big number of followers such as a writer for Huffington or Forbes.
In such a case, people are more likely to listen to that blogger’s advice and check out your product rather than hearing about it via conventional forms of advertising.
Link building with the help of quality data can establish you as an authority in your industry. Some strategies could even establish you as a ‘Thought Leader’ in the industry.
Such efforts are the building blocks of establishing yourself as a big brand. For example, creating pieces around industry data or possible future trends could show that you are an expert in the industry.
If you can churn out a few quality pieces like that, there’s a good chance of becoming popular in the industry. By doing the outreach work and asking for backlinks to quality content, you are essentially asking others to acknowledge your authority and spread the word on your behalf.
How To Acquire High-quality Backlinks in 2021:
Unlinked Brand Mentions
Sometimes it happens that an online publication will mention your brand within their article but forget to link it to the brand website. Such missing links present a great opportunity for you to generate quick links.
All you have to do is find out all such mentions and send an email to the editor of the site requesting to supply the missing link.
Finding unclaimed links is a highly popular technique and one of the most successful link-building strategies; particularly if yours is a big brand.
Local Link Building
Under local link building, you essentially reach out to relevant websites within your local community/area and ask them to provide a link to your site within relevant mentions.
Here are a few tactics you can use to secure local links:
- Reach out to local news websites and ask them to pitch your brand in the local news.
- Contact local directories to list you under the relevant business section.
You can get in touch with relevant local directories such as government sites, school sites, libraries, etc. Ask them if they could include your page under their local business directory. Some directories may ask for a membership fee before listing you but the exposure you get might be worth it. One such directory is the International Chamber of Commerce.
This is easily the most time-consuming way of building backlinks. Guest blogging involves creating a fresh piece of content and offering it up to other bloggers/websites in the industry.
By contacting 3rd party publications and creating the content on their behalf, you also get a chance to earn a link back to your website. But, make sure that the article is relevant to the site and also well-optimized for the right keywords.
Because you need to create a fresh content copy every time you reach out, you will need to invest a lot of effort and time. However, the results you will get will be long-term.
Tips For an Effective Link Building Campaign in 2021
Have a Strategy in Place
Before you put your link-building plan into action, there’s a good chance that some ideas are already brimming in your head on how to earn backlinks. However, before you get started with your link-building endeavors, you must form a strategy first.
If you don’t plan out your actions well-in-advance, it’s easy to lose your sense of direction. What’s more, you won’t even know if you’re doing well or not.
It pays to think about things like:
- How much time you can afford to set aside each month for building links
- What combination of techniques is likely to work best?
Think about your current situation before committing to anything. It’s advised to work to create a few pieces of content before starting with your campaign.
Get Access To The Right Kinds of Tools
Link-building requires working with the right set of tools to streamline your efforts.
To that end, be sure to have access to these tools:
These tools will ensure that you can score the most qualifying link-building opportunities. Also, they will help you immensely with competitor analysis.
You should also use Copyscape and Grammarly to check the uniqueness and grammar quality of your content.
Monitor Your Success Rate
It pays to keep a close eye on the success rate. You can do that by maintaining a spreadsheet of all the important metrics.
For example, you can note down sites you plan on reaching out to and the ones you have already reached out to and gotten a backlink from.
You can also write down additional information like the DA of the sites you earned links from. By constantly monitoring the success rate of your efforts, you will know which tactics are proving effective and which ones are not working.
Accordingly, you can tweak your strategy.
You must remember – the process of link building is extremely time-consuming and tedious. It can take a while before you earn any links. There may be days when despite your doing everything right and producing the best content, you may not get any replies. If that happens, do not be discouraged.
When it comes to link-building, patience and perseverance are two traits that go a long way. If necessary, do not be afraid to tweak your strategy a little.