Link building is one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of SEO. However, just because it takes a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that it is difficult. Building backlinks for your website or for a client can be the critical step needed to take that site to the next level. In this post, we will discuss the role that link building plays in a successful SEO strategy.
Before we look at the role that link building plays in your SEO strategy, it might be worth reading this introductory guide to backlinks. It’s also worth looking at link building techniques to avoid, for a more holistic view of the process.
How does link building improve search engine visibility?
If you have done a bit of research into SEO, you will undoubtedly have come across articles that lament the importance of backlinks in an effective SEO campaign. but why are they so important? Well, a link to your site can help your rankings in five key ways:
The value that a link passes on to your website will depend on a variety of different factors. Some important factors that will influence the amount of link juice that is passed to your website include:
- Power of the linking domain
- Authority of the page where the link is placed
- Number and quality of outbound links from the referring page
- Link positioning on the page
- Anchor text used by the referring domain
- Context of the link
Not all links are created equal. When it comes to building links to your website the most important thing to focus on is quality and context. Ensure that linking domains have a clean bill of health and are related to the theme of your website.
The Penguin Effect
Google’s Penguin update in 2012 radically changed the way that link building was conducted by webmasters and SEO professionals. Prior to the penguin update, high-volume link building was considered to be an ineffective way to improve SERP positioning.
Link building has come a long way over the last 7 years. Google has penalised websites that partake in shady link building tactics. Sites that were deemed to be the worst offenders were completely finished from Google search results. Websites that I’ve given a manual penalty by Google will find it very difficult to recover.
In 2019, webmasters and SEO’s need to be extremely careful with how they build links. Link building still plays an important role in improving organic visibility, however, the way that links are required is very different.
Link Building for PR
Link building is much more than an SEO technique. When done correctly, link building and PR should be closely intertwined in your online marketing strategy. Building backlinks for your website requires good networking skills and the ability to foster business relationships.
If you want to build quality backlinks for your website you need to be active within your field. This means riding emails, networking and Industry events, creating press releases, making phone calls, and actively promoting your product or service whenever you have the opportunity. Appearing on podcasts, offering yourself as a source for an industry-related article, or writing an article to be shared by a publication within your field are fundamental PR activities that will strengthen your link building efforts.
Building links and building a brand go hand-in-hand. Actively seek out opportunities where your brand can receive online exposure and potential backlinks.
Link Building for Sustainable SEO Success
Through every Google algorithm update, the importance of links for organic visibility has remained consistent. The way that webmasters and SEO professionals approach link building has dramatically changed since 2012, however, the importance and relevance of backlinks has not changed.
Link building was once considered a sneaky or manipulative way that you could improve the Organic visibility of your website. In 2019, Google is much more sophisticated in detecting links and establishing and unnatural patterns. The most successful link builders are those that understand that links are a by-product of branding and PR. Become a link hunter by being active within your community, establish connections, and develop meaningful professional relationships that are going to expose your business to new and lucrative link opportunities.