SEO Link Building For Beginners
For over a decade now, search engines have treated links for websites as popularity votes and importance. The landscape of SEO link building is forever changing and now is more important for your website than ever. If you are new to the concept of SEO link building but know that it is imperative for your site, read on my friends!
So what is SEO link building?
Link building is the practice of obtaining hyperlinks from other websites to your own. These links are an easy way for users to navigate between websites on the Internet. Search engines also view these links to discover new web pages and to help determine how well a site should rank in their results.
Basics to know about link signals
Although we don’t know the exact metrics that search engines use in ranking websites for their SEO link building, with years of experience and testing from highly ranking sites, we can draw some assumptions.
- Global Importance/ Popularity
When a website holds a lot of popularity and importance, links from them mean much more. For example a link from a site such as New York Times will mean a lot more to search engines than a small, local blogger. To earn loyalty and trust from the search engines, you will need links from others who have gained that same loyalty and trust.
- Topic-Related Popularity
Knowing that having a lot of strong links to your website might make you want to reach out to anyone for a link. But be careful, that is not a great way to go about SEO link building. This is because relevancy matters. If you sell tennis racquets online, search engines will not care much for your link from a local art store as much as a tennis news authority.
As you are probably familiar with already, the Internet is brimming with spam sites. Search engines are also aware of this, and take them into account for ranking websites. In order for these search engines to get a feel for how trustworthy/ “spammy” a site is, they use links as indications.
When your site has a lot of links from well-established, highly trusted domains, it will have a higher trust ranking. If the links you are receiving are from other “spammy” websites, you will loose trust ranking, most likely ranking lower over all on the search engine. Some examples of high-trust domains are government websites, many of the top social media websites, and universities.
- Continuous New Signals
All of these signals to search engines through links loose importance with time. It is not enough that you get a high trusted domain to link back to you one time. You need fresh, new links consistently to send the signal to search engines that you are continuously trusted and important.
Now that we have these basics down, lets take a look into how to go about SEO link building.
- “Natural” Links
The first SEO link building stragety is “naturally”. The basic premise of this is that your website’s content is so good, that it can be considered by other sites to link naturally. If your content is great, relative, interesting, funny informative and you bring awareness to it, other sites may use it and link back to your site.
Some examples of great content you can make for natural links are infographics, data visualizations, white papers, how-to-guides, videos and image galleries. This can take a lot of time, getting your content noticed, but can pay off greatly in links when it does.
- Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the practice of contacting other websites to see if they will publish content that you write on their blog. Although you must be careful when using this tactic not to drop the quality of your content in order to earn more links.
As guest blogging became a more common tactic for SEO link building, the quality of those posts declined considerably. Search engines have caught onto this and will only allow well-written content posted on reputable sites to count positively towards your ranking.
- Outreach Link Building
This type of SEO link building needs some persuasive skills. With outreach link building one will contact other blogging sites and persuade them into linking to your website. A well thought out proposition must be prepared and explained to the outreached party on exactly why your site not only deserves a link, but how it is in their best interests to do so as well.
- A Link In Hopes For a Share Method
This method plays on the egos of the people who are featured in your content. The hope is that when they see you linking to them in a beneficial way, that they may be more inclined to share your content with a link.
An example of this is online kitchen supply store writing the blog “Top 10 Most Inspiring Kitchen Designs of 2014”. Just make sure that whatever content you decide to write is relevant to your website. Remember that SEO link building from irrelevant sites does not do you much good from the search engine perspective.
Once you link those ten individual’s designs, you must reach out to them. Let them know that you loved their quality of work, which is why you featured them, and that they should feel free to give you feedback. You should hint that you would love for them to share the link.
When you reach out to them, remember that short is sweet. They are much more likely to read your letter if it is concise and to the point. And don’t forget to follow up. Hopefully they will share the article, another link for you! Woo hoo!
- Broken Link Building
Broken links or links that don’t work are everywhere! If you do some research to find these broken links that are relevant to your site and reach out to the writer, you can gain a new link where that old broken one existed. Similarly to the last strategy, concise and to the point communication and follow up is key here.
- Directory Link Building
This is a very common SEO link building strategy and can be a fast way to gain new links. By submitting your website to a directory, you not only receive a link, but it also means increased exposure. You can find these directories with a simple Google search for link building directories. Many of them are even free!
It is not hard to imagine that link building is extremely important to SEO. If your website is not taking steps to building these links, you are missing out on some very important strategies to ranking your site with on search engines. So go ahead and use these 6 strategies to build links and watch your website’s rank escalate!