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Link Building is often thought of as an integral part of any SEO campaign, as it usually goes hand-in-hand with organic ranking and traffic improvements. Link Building is also one of the hardest things to get right with regards to your website’s SEO. Link building can be a difficult and time-consuming task, but if done correctly can have a positive impact on the organic traffic reaching your website.
There are two key aims with Link Building, firstly to create the hyperlink back to your website, and secondly to help drive traffic through to your site (seen as “referral traffic” in Google Analytics).
In the below article I provide a basic overview of Link Building and how you can get started building links to your website.
So you have been told or read that you need to start “Link Building” but how exactly do you start to do that? Like most things, planning is key to a successful link-building campaign.
Before you begin, you should try to gain an understanding of the types of links you need to help improve your traffic and rankings.
Improving traffic to your website through link building requires links being placed on other websites which themselves have huge volumes of traffic, the idea is that their users leave these websites to visit yours, via a clickable hyperlink.
When starting to plan what types of links you need it is always a good idea to look at the websites which are already ranking for your products and services. By identifying the links they have you can get a better understanding of the types of links that may help you increase your SEO rankings.
You should make a list of your competitors’ websites and also those which appear on the first page in Google for your target keywords. You then can use other tools online for identifying which websites link to them, tools such as A Hrefs and SEM Rush are perfect examples. These tools allow you to export a spreadsheet full of links to your competitors’ websites, these links should then be analysed for Link Building opportunities.
Typically you will be trying to identify the following types of links:
To put it more simply: Where would you naturally advertise your business to gain leads and sales? The answer will usually be within business directories (like in the old days of printed directories… The Yellow Pages and BT Phone Book).
Another might be within Industry related publications.
Relevancy is closely related to these two points, let’s say you were a Plumber, you wouldn’t try to advertise within a computer industry magazine for example… It’s not relevant to your customers.
I usually start a link-building campaign with the “low hanging fruit”, these are links that are fairly easy to obtain and usually FREE. Examples would be business directory listings and social media profiles.
Directories you should consider to begin with:
The below directories offer a FREE listing, however, they also provide paid-for options which can result in increased visibility on their website.
It is important to understand the differences between a “nofollow” link and “a followable” link on the web. A “nofollow” link is an instruction to the search engine robots, telling them not to follow or pass on any link juice (ranking power) from that link.
A “followable” link is an instruction to the search engine robots, telling them to follow and pass on link juice (ranking power) from that link.
This is important in SEO link building because you want to obtain as many “followable” links back to your website as possible, as these are the links that will help improve your SEO rankings.
There are a few ways you can identify which type of link you have on a web page, one way is to use the Google Chrome browser and install the “Check My Links” extension. When activated this checks the links on a page and highlights them by colour depending on which type of link they are. It also checks for broken links on a page, which is useful for “broken link building” strategies.
Link building are you will now know is an activity that SEO specialists use to increase the volume of backlinks pointing towards a website, however, there is also “link baiting”. The main difference is that with link building these backlinks are physically built by the SEO specialist, whereas with Link Baiting the backlinks are “earned”. This is often achieved by creating great content that other webmasters want to link to.
Link baiting can be a very powerful method for obtaining high-quality backlinks, but it does require some skill and creativity. Creating quality content isn’t easy, hence the reason most SEO specialists focus on link-building strategies rather than link baiting.
To help make the link building process easier various tools can be used:
BuzzStream – This is a great tool to help you find sites to obtain links from and contact details for the site owners.
MajesticSEO – This tool is used to analyse the backlinks of a website, as well as check the “trust” and “authority” of a website.
Ahrefs – This tool is very similar to MajesticSEO, and is also used to analyse the backlinks of a website.
These are just a few of the many link-building tools available, some are free and some are paid-for. I would recommend trying out the free ones first to see if they meet your needs before investing any money.
What is guest posting? Guest posting is where you write an article for another website, in return for a link back to your website. This is a great way to get high-quality backlinks, as well as exposure for your website.
When looking for websites to guest post on, it is important to make sure they are relevant to your niche and have a good “authority” score. You can use tools such as MajesticSEO and Ahrefs to check this.
Once you have found a website to guest post on, you need to contact the site owner and pitch your article idea. If they like your idea, they will likely agree to publish it on their website. This is where Buzzstream can help make the process much easier.
Guest posting or “guest blogging” is possibly the hottest topic in Link Building and has been for at least the last 5 or 6 years. Google has officially stated that Guest Posting can put your website at risk and shouldn’t be used. However many SEOs believe that this is somewhat of a ruse by Google as it can be so difficult to identify whether or not an article online is a Guest Post if done correctly.
Websites, where you wish to obtain a link using Guest Posting, should be high quality and “real”. There are plenty of blog websites online which have been set up specifically for guest posting, usually by SEO people. These should be approached with caution as they are usually part of a “network” of similar blog sites all set up by the same person to sell backlinks.
In my opinion, guest posting is still one of the most effective link-building strategies and should be part of your link-building strategy.
This final tip is one that I don’t see mentioned very often when other SEO consultants or SEO agencies discuss Link Building. You should always “Ping” any links you build.
Link Pinging is a process that notifies various websites and search engines that you have created a new link to your website. This tells them to “crawl” your website and index the new link. Whenever you build a link, take the URL of the page where the link is and paste it into a tool such as pingfarm.com or pingomatic.com. These two websites help to encourage the content which contains your links to be crawled and indexed by the search engines.
This should also be used on your content to increase the chances that it will get indexed more quickly.
Link building is possibly the hardest element of SEO to understand and implement, there are a huge number of factors involved. There are many types of backlinks, however, they aren’t all equal in the impact they can have on your rankings and organic traffic.
If you are looking for a link building freelancer or even a link building agency then please reach out and contact me, I would be more than happy to discuss your specific link building requirements and help you to plan your link building strategy.