What is Link Building?

link building - internal and external links

If we’re getting down to the basics, link building is essentially the practice of obtaining links from other websites back to your own, helping your SEO activity. Search engines measure how valuable and important a website is by analysing the quality, quantity and relevance of external links to the site. The resulting “link popularity” is an essential part of a website’s performance ranking in search engines. Every link to your website is a vote in its favour, but not all votes are valued equally.

Why Do We Build Links?

So, why do we want to build links? Links can help drive referral traffic and increase a website’s authority. Marketers should really consider link building as part of their marketing strategy, especially if the aim of your strategy is to generate website traffic with the goal of getting leads.

It’s no secret that Google’s algorithms are complex and constantly evolving, but it’s long been the case that backlinks are an important factor in how search engines determine which sites rank for which keywords. When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and organic traffic, building links is one of the many tactics employed, as links signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation.

What About Internal Links?

A simple way to start building links is to look for any opportunities for internal links. Google views this activity as helpful to the user because, when done correctly, a few thoughtfully placed internal links can add to the user experience by making content easier to navigate.  Google loves anything that makes the experience easier and more engaging for the user.

How to Write Links

An important part of link building is getting the link text right.  If someone writes a link to your website CoconutPlace.com that sells sofas, for example, and they use the phrase ‘large corner sofa’, it will rank much better than a link that simply uses the text ‘coconut place’. This is because if you don’t know what Coconut Place is, that phrase alone isn’t very helpful. In the same way you shouldn’t use phrases like ‘click here’ or ‘this link’ as the link text, because when they’re isolated from the rest of the sentence, they become meaningless.

Best Practice - Good & Bad Link Building

Good - White Hat

There are some protocols that are classed as good linking building tactics that work in your website’s favour. These are techniques that Google looks upon favourably and that are considered legitimate ‘white hat’ techniques.  White hat link building strategies add value to the user and follow Google’s term of service.  White hat links are more difficult to acquire but have a greater payoff in the long-term.  Google will also consider the quality of the page that is sending the link; search engines value links from high-quality, trusted pages more highly than those from questionable pages and sites.

Bad - Black Hat

Black hat link building tactics include obtaining unqualified links from link farming sites.  These are basically links from zombie websites – or a group of websites – created solely for the purpose of boosting another website’s page rank by linking to another website. Engaging in this sort of activity will negatively impact the performance of your website and Google will punish sites that gain inbound links through farms.

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your link building efforts and make your SEO strategy strong enough to handle other marketing activities.

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