The rules of link building have changed significantly over the last couple of years. However, one thing has remained the same: link building is both the most complex and the most efficient way to generate more organic traffic.
Both digital marketing experts and inexperienced website owners know that Google is constantly updating its search algorithm. While no one knows for sure how this algorithm works, there are some guidelines you can follow to boost organic traffic. For example, it’s common knowledge that spam links are a big no-no. Like with all digital marketing efforts, link building has to be done properly, which means in accordance with Google’s instructions.
This might take some time, but it definitely pays off.
That being said, whatever SEO strategy you want to employ to improve your site’s ranking on Google and other search engine giants, focus on legitimate, white hat SEO practices. Keep in mind that penalization is a common consequence of negative SEO and involves lowering a website’s rank. This can forever harm your website’s rankings and reputation.
Search engines use links to discover new web pages, how web pages are connected, and how important they are. However, link building is about more than just literally building links. Other digital marketing activities, such as content marketing and social media marketing, for example, have become integral parts of the link building process. If you implement them the right way, high-quality link building will follow. More importantly, it will happen naturally.
Considering this, it’s quite obvious that link building is one of the most important SEO tactics. If done properly, it will result in increased search traffic and improved rankings, which is the whole purpose of search engine optimization.
Why You Should Avoid Black Hat SEO
Various shady practices like link farms, link cloaking, building cheap links, using exact-match anchor text, etc. are better known as black hat SEO techniques. They are all used for quickly boosting website popularity with different link exchange schemes. These techniques may seem more attractive than the so-called white hat SEO strategies as they promise fast results. These results can, however, come at a great cost.
Take link farms as an example. They are websites whose sole purpose is to increase the popularity of another site by increasing the number of incoming links. In theory, more links indicate a higher level of popularity among users.
However, you will never establish your site as an authority website in your niche by practicing link farming or any other black hat practice. But that’s not even the worst. If Google finds out (and Google will eventually find out) that you are using link manipulation to boost your rankings, you can say goodbye to your site.
How to Develop a Strong Link Building Strategy
Ask yourself why is driving traffic to your website important? Traffic is vital for every website simply because each visitor represents an opportunity. The more visitors come to your site from a website that linked to yours, the better your ranking will be. The more visitors come to your site, the higher your chances of building a brand, selling a product or promoting your ideas.
So, what can you do to create a viable link building strategy? First of all, your goal should be to get as many links from authority sites as possible. What is an authority website?
It is a popular, top-quality website which publishes trustworthy information and has a large readership. To have a successful link building campaign, you don’t have to connect with the most famous websites in the world or even your industry, for that matter. It is enough to connect with important, reliable sites in your niche.
Additionally, it is equally important to disassociate yourself from bad sites. Search engines are interested in link networks and can easily identify bad neighborhoods. This basically means that your website can be labeled as spammy if you are not careful enough and have links from spam sites. Apart from being selective and choosing your connections wisely, it’s a good idea to check your links every now and then to make sure that your link building strategy is going in the direction you want.
White Hat SEO Link Building
Link building only makes sense if your site features quality content. In other words, there’s no point in starting a link building campaign if you don’t have link worthy content. When it comes to content, think in terms of quality, not quantity. When you’ve created fresh, engaging content and identified authority websites in your niche, then you can move on to contacting authority websites and persuading them to create links to your website. Of course, obtaining those links takes considerable time and effort.
This is not something that should be rushed, so be patient – trust cannot be built in a hurry. Be aware of the fact that there are no guarantees you’ll succeed in earning links even if you have great content – but without superb content, you will most likely fail.
Another way of acquiring links is to naturally attract them. If you create awesome content, it will act like a magnet. This is linkbait. Other sites link to your linkbait not because you ask them to, but because your content is so exceptional that they want to share it with their readers.
Keep in mind that having other websites naturally link to yours is really difficult. It can happen, but only if you have put in a great deal of effort into every single aspect of your website.
For a newbie, this can be especially hard. A better option could be creating content for other websites or guest-blogging. Writing reviews is also a great way to connect with your target audience. Basically, start small and gradually increase your link building efforts.
Link Building & Social Media
Link building is not a stand-alone tactic. You can build a strong online presence for your website only if you combine several SEO elements. Social media marketing has become an invaluable part of digital marketing. Everyone you know probably has an account on one or more social platforms.
So, use them to your advantage – to build your reputation, bond with your audience and create natural links. The amount of content shared through social media each minute is enormous. Just think of the potential!
Link building is one of the most important aspects of every good SEO strategy.
Obtaining links may be challenging at times. The truth is that there is no easy way to get to Google’s much-coveted first page – but investing in content creation and link building is probably the smartest way to achieve your digital marketing goals and stand out from the crowd online.