What is link building and why is it important?
Link building is a term that many SEOs and digital marketers will be familiar with and is something that they most likely review when looking at the performance of a website in the SERPs.
This is because links remain a key ranking factor on search engines, and Google’s Gary Ilyes confirmed this back in 2017. Google looks at over 200 ranking factors and gives a different weight to each depending on their importance, but backlinks are an example of one of the earliest positive signals used by search engines.
Simply put, backlinks (also known as inbound links) are links from one website to another.
Earning a link is a bit like earning a vote or a restaurant being recommended to you by friends. It’s a sign that your site is trusted or that the content you have provided has been useful to users in some way.
Why should businesses invest in link building?
Link building today still has the same objective as it always has, to send positive up votes to a website in the form of inbound links.
Sites with a good backlink profile are more likely to appear in the SERPs and tend to have higher organic search rankings. In fact, a study by Ahrefs shows that the more backlinks a page has, the more organic traffic it receives from search engines.
When you have tackled the technical and on page issues on your site link building can add real value and give your landing pages, assets or content some added support to increase your chances of ranking. And from this comes the added benefits of increased traffic and conversions.
Not all links are equal
Of course, it’s not as simple as just building a load of links.
A good backlink profile should be rich and diverse, containing links from a range of sources such as niche industry publications, large sites with high traffic, smaller websites with less traffic and even local links (which are particularly useful for businesses with a brick and mortar site).
Ultimately though, not all links are equal, and you should be careful where your links are coming from. Whereas volume was often thought to be important in the early years of link building, it’s now the relevance and quality of links which are crucial. One good quality link could provide more value than ten links of poor value.
We do a full link audit before starting the link building process, including a competitor analysis, so that we can understand the current situation and take a more strategic approach.
Once we have completed a full audit, we analyse this and delve a bit deeper into some of our key findings before putting together a strategy.
Our strategy outlines the tactics we will use to build links and how we will approach this for a minimum period of 6 months.
There are many tactics that can be used to build links, which is why in each strategy we only focus on the tactics that we feel best fit an individual client and their website. Some of these tactics include:
- Editorial placements
- Digital PR and reactive PR
- Broken link building
Once we have completed a link audit and the strategy has been approved, we simply get going with building links.
It’s important to remember that, like with all SEO, link building takes time. Whilst we try to obtain live links each month, in reality we could be waiting anywhere from 1-4 months for some editorial or PR links to come into fruition.
When building links, we will always ensure that the link placements are highly relevant and are gained from sites that we have selected because of their quality and topic relevance. We will never mass build links and instead take a more tactical approach to secure targeted placements.
Whilst many clients feel that link building is less tangible than other services such as PPC, we believe it’s possible to communicate the value of links through proper reporting.
Each client will have access to a report sheet, which will show them exactly how many links have been built. Plus, where we believe links have directly impacted rankings or other metrics we will report on this too.
We hope that this has given you some insight into link building and why it is beneficial for your site. If you need any tailored advice, or would like to find out more about how we can support you, please get in touch.