Why You Need to Pay Attention to Link Building

06 August 2021
by Archie Williamson
5 mins
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Link Building

Link building is the process of building links to your content from other websites in order to increase referral traffic and domain authority while boosting the visibility of your pages in search engines.

It is a core part of SEO, as Google’s algorithm is heavily weighted towards the “power” that high quality links provide. And because you need to craft articles and blogs to earn these links, it is a primary focus in content marketing campaigns.

According to Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines: “The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community.”

It goes on to say that being able to publish useful content consistently will give you a greater chance of someone finding it valuable and then linking to it, which then helps even more readers to find it.

Links are essentially a vote of confidence from third-party sources. Google’s PageRank algorithm looks at how many links are pointing to a particular web page and assumes that this popularity means it is valuable. This leads to it placing the content higher in search engine ranking pages.

There has been a slight tweak in recent years, with the Google Penguin algorithm update leading to a focus on the quality of links rather than just the quantity. By creating and publishing content with white hat SEO techniques in mind, you can start building high-quality links to your web pages.

So, what are the best tactics?

Link building campaigns

Nurturing links takes time but you can start the process immediately by working with an SEO agency that specialises in link building to build a robust backlink profile. Outreach services enable you to start earning links to your site from external sites via the content marketing materials you publish on the web.

That means you can begin managing a weekly or monthly blog and incorporate link building into the process. It’s a win-win, as you are investing in content to enhance your web presence and then optimising it for SEO so that content has a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google.

Producing quality content

As Google’s guidelines state, updating your website regularly with new content is the best way to build links in the long term. You want to eventually be in a position where you are an authoritative voice in your industry and the content that you publish is the best for specific topics, keywords and phrases that are important for your business. From here, high-quality backlinks will flow naturally as other sites will use your content as a reference point.

Using different content formats

Natural link acquisition works in tandem with a variety of content formats but some can be better than others. Research by BuzzSumo, which analysed more than 50,000 articles, found listicles were still highly effective at drawing readership and shares. While the format has drawn increasing ire in recent years, its effectiveness is far from dispute. Increased readership fundamentally increases the odds of someone linking to your content.

‘Ultimate’ guides are another rich source of backlinks. Google likes these, as they cover a topic in great detail and are more likely to answer all of the questions a searcher may have when they enter a query. Higher results can cause a snowball effect, where those looking for sources for claims are more likely to find your piece, and in turn link to it. Anything with original research and data also works well, as stats, data and charts are easy to link to for outside sources.

Linking in the main body

The location of links is also important. Contextual links included within the main body of an article or product page work best and will have the biggest impact in terms of rankings. Try to avoid using links in the sidebar or footer, as they are unlikely to be viewed as higher quality by Google.

The importance of having links in the main body has been confirmed since 2016 by John Mueller of Google, through his Search Engine Roundtable. Primarily, this is because the links in the main body indicate what your page is actually about, as opposed to sitewide links in the sidebar and footers, which may refer to any aspect of your webpage.

Is it still relevant in 2021?

While Google has been more vocal about its new page experience algorithm recently, link building remains one of the top-ranking factors. Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategist has stated that links and content are actually the two most important things when it comes to search rankings, so anyone hoping to increase the visibility of their site cannot afford to overlook it.

Backlinks can also help to get your pages crawled and indexed faster by Google. There is a range of tools you can use to monitor your links, including Semrush and Ahrefs.

Are there any other benefits to link building?

While link building is heavily associated with search rankings, the practice can also be beneficial for your business in other ways. When another site links to your content, you are likely to see an uptick in referral traffic, which can then lead to more clicks on your site, and sales.

Links are also great for building relationships with other sites. Outreach campaigns are a core part of this and are an area where an agency can help you to connect with relevant third-party sites in your industry. You can also take it upon yourself to get in touch with another site if you see a broken link, and suggest that they instead point it to your site via a relevant piece of content.

Larger businesses may also use them mainly for brand building. This is because content with high-quality links enables a brand to showcase its authority and encourages press publications to share its materials across the web. If you want to be a leading player in a particular niche, content and links are also the way to go. Links are versatile and will work for companies big and small.

You can start reaping the benefits of a link building strategy today. Contact us and we will talk through how our outreach, content creation and blog management services could transform your SEO.


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