Nowadays, link building is more an art than a technique. For this reason, it is one the most challenging part of an SEO strategy for many businesses. Any link building strategy requires an SEO skillset, content strategy, creativity, sales knowledge and time. Sooner or later, you will need to put a link building strategy in place if you want your business’ website to reach a higher organic presence and, consequently, get more organic traffic. The digital world is constantly evolving and you will either keep up with or fall behind your competitors. Here is a practical guide on how to do link building for your website.
Why link building is important
Because Google, or any other search engine, values quality over quantity. By looking at a link as a confidence vote from one website to another, links are a signal of authority and relevance. And getting any link does not work as it once did. In other words, getting links from quality, authoritative and relevant sites is more worthwhile now. Google Penguin Algorithm is out there to detect unnatural and manipulative links. In this case, you should build links
- Using Google’s guidelines.
- On a human scale, and for human beings.
- Based on relevance and value.
Where to Start Link Building
The first step for any marketing strategy is the analysis stage: what is your current situation? But how to carry out a link analysis for your website you may wonder. Link analysis consists of four elements: relevance, link type, authority, and location.
- How to analyse a link relevance: a link needs to make contextual sense for the page where it is.
- How to analyse link types: there are a few ways of how to link to a website.
- How to analyse an authority link: quality analysis of the page and the domain.
- How to analyse a link location: where the link is displayed makes a big difference for how much value the link passes. The location-scale is: in content, boxed out of content, sidebar, and footer as the lowest level.
You also need to analyse the way the linking is done. There are 5 ways of linking:
- Anchor text link – a text or keyword is visible and clickable.
- Naked URL link – full URL is visible.
- Citation link – a condensed naked URL.
- Image link – an image is used to display a link.
- Short link – short version of a naked URL.
Examine as well the manners of linking:
- Direct – it takes you to destination page and passes link juice (quality & value).
- Redirect – it takes you to a page other than that one intended.
- Site-wide – usually it locates in the footer or sidebar of a site.
- Nofollow – A link which does not pass link juice by adding an HTML tag to it.
Moreover, when carrying out a link analysis, you need to examine if the page has other backlinks, content quality, brand information such as contact and address information, and a presence of a blog.
How to improve Link Building
When analysing your current links, look at the total number of links, the total number of unique domains, anchor text usage, freshness and incoming links, page performance and link quality. By understanding the total number of links compared with the total number of unique domains you will get an idea of how competitive a website is. Then, you can start to improve your portfolio of links.
- You should vary your anchor text usage by using long tail keywords, broad match keywords, branded terms, naked URLs and diversify modifiers.
- You should use SEO link building techniques to increase your number of backlinks.
- You should align a content strategy to your link building strategy.
- You should outreach other relevant websites and build relationships. But remember never buy links as it is easily spotted and against Google’s policies.
- You should target only high quality and relevant websites, blogs, and content.
- You should build links that add value to the users and web.