SEO Link building
- 6 min read
- Bojan Zidarević
When it comes to SEO, there are numerous things you can do to improve your ranking on search engines. One of the most important parts of SEO – and simultaneously one of the hardest – is SEO Link building.
You want to create a network of links on other sites (backlinks) that lead back to your website. That way, search engines will recognize your site as relevant, placing you higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO Link building can be a very tricky job. There is no rule for how many backlinks you need to be ranked number one on the results for a desired keyword. Some websites need only a few, while some need a huge amount. It all depends on the keyword and the density of similar websites online and the value of each link.
This article will give you an insight into why links are so crucial for the success of your website. You’ll also learn all the different ways backlinks are beneficial to your website. We will likewise show you how a proper link should look like.
After reading this article, you should also be able to do a proper link analysis. It should be done both on your website and on your competition’s, so you can see what areas you should work on more. Then, we’ll show you how to make links yourself, and how to get other websites to create backlinks for you.
As we mentioned, links are a crucial part of SEO. Any SEO campaign that doesn’t include link building is failing before it even started. That’s because of Link popularity, a value determined by search engines that recognizes your website as more or less important.
The more links from other sites that lead back to you, the higher your Link popularity is for search engines. That will make them place you higher up the SERP. For instance, if there is a 100 links leading back to your page, and only 10 links leading to your competition, it is most likely that you will be ranked higher on the search results.
One of the most well-known advanced link popularity algorithms is PageRank. It is used by Google to give value to a website and rank it on SERP. To add to it, it also reads the value of pages that posted the link leading back to yours. The higher page value of the site, the higher value the link is.
Better links = better results
To go even deeper into it, pages of the same page rank can have different values, based on how many different links there are on the page. If a website is linking more, the value of each link will be lower. However, if a website of the same page rank has fewer links to other sites, those links will have a much higher value. Google doesn’t give out PageRank information anymore, but there are many tools to learn how highly ranked a page is.
All of this is very important to understand if you want to get the best results out of your SEO Link building. But, the value of a link lies not only in the page where it’s placed, but also in the link itself. It is always better to put the link on the keywords you wish to be ranked for in the SERP.
For instance, if you put the same link to both, ”link building” is a better link than “click here to learn about link building”. If you use the keyword as the anchor text for your link, it automatically tells the search engine what the linked-to page is about.
So, what about links on images? There are ways you can tell the search engines what the image is about. Use the keywords you want in the names of the images (eg link-building.jpg). Also, always add the ALT attribute (an attribute describing the image for search engines), preferably including the keyword, too.
One more good thing about having many backlinks leading to your site is not only in the search engines. Real people, users, potential customers can also find you easier. The more links there are that lead back to your site, the higher the chance people will find you somewhere.
A significant factor for search engines when it comes to link value is the <rel = ”nofollow”> attribute. There are many websites that add the “nofollow” attributes to links on their pages that lead to other sites. That way, they instruct the search engines not to follow those links. If you create a link with a nofollow attribute, you basically did nothing for your SEO.
SEO Link building – making a perfect link
So, if you put all that into account, what would a perfect link look like then? First of all, it would be a text link. It is better to have a textual link instead of an image, because the search engines understand text easier. Of course, the link shouldn’t have a “nofollow” attribute to it, because it destroys all of its value. Lastly, the link should be anchored exactly on the keyword you wish to be ranked for on SERP.
Also, to get the most out of a link, it is important on which site it is placed. If the page itself isn’t indexed by search engines, the link will have no value for SEO. The page where the link is put should therefore be indexed. It would also be ideal if it were related to the other site it was linking to.
For instance, a link on a page about web design that leads to another site about SEO link building will have more value from a link on a page that talks about football. Of course, both have value, but the perfect scenario would be the first. To go even further, if that site has an .gov or a .edu domain, it will appear more trustworthy to the search engine, giving it even more value.
Diversify your links
But, there is a problem here. If all of your links are perfect, then the search engines might think you’re trying to manipulate them, thus not giving you the ranking you want. That means all links have at least some value, some more, some less. Even if they are “nofollow”, mediocre or not anchored properly, they still have a purpose. That purpose is to balance the quota of good and bad backlinks to your site, avoiding suspicion from search engines.
All things considered, you have to analyze links – not only yours, but your competition’s as well. That way, you’ll know the approximate amount of work you have to put in to par with your competitors. You can also find great spots to build your own links, based on what a successful competitive website built.
There are numerous online tools that can help you get the detailed analysis you need, such as ahrefs.com , moz.com etc. When you get all the information you need, you need to compare your site to a competitor to determine what can be improved in order to rank higher than them – more links, better keywords, better links (from higher valued pages) etc.
SEO Link building campaign
Now that we know what a good link looks like, we can start an SEO link building campaign. Of course, if you are still unsure about how to start or develop a strategy, feel free to contact us for help to get your website indexed and ranked in no time.
First of all, when beginning the campaign, you should consider getting the simple links. It’s the easy ones that maybe won’t give you as much value as a perfect link would have. However, they will kickstart your page and get it recognized by search engines.
If you have multiple pages, link from one page to another. If you have a blog, you should also put a few links there as well. Social media links can also help getting a few visitors to your site. They can potentially link to your site later if they find the content relevant.
Next, check with your friends and family if they own blogs or websites where they could put a backlink to. The same thing goes for your business partners, suppliers, resellers or organizations you cooperate with. All those easy links can create a network to move you in the right direction from the get-go.
Local pages and directories
Also, try to get good links from local pages and local directories. They make your business more legitimate and improve SEO drastically. One example of a good local directory is Google My Business. Make sure to make a profile there to get Google to connect your website to the location of your business.
That way, it will rank you higher when somebody searches for your line of work around your area. Other directories like that are, for instance, bingplaces.com, advicelocal.com, yext.com etc. The more directories your site is listed in, the more legitimate it appears, and the more traffic it can garner.
Working on SEO Link building with bloggers
Working with bloggers is also a great thing you can use. If you have quality content, you can get bloggers to put a link to your page. It can be in their references or resource lists, or even in their content. You need to have a story to sell if you want bloggers to give you genuine backlinks.
Figure out what your qualities are and use them. Is your website amusing? Does it show expertise in a certain field? Do you have the lowest prices? If you have a “hook”, then getting bloggers won’t be hard. Make a list of potential blogs and contact them with a personal conversation (not automatic e-mail) and give your pitch.
Now, the most powerful links will typically be generated from link bait. It’s a piece of content designed to encourage viewers to create links to that content on their own website. It can be something extremely interesting, funny, amusing or important – as long as it makes people feel the need to share it with their friends or visitors of their site.
The most common “link baits” are YouTube videos or Wikipedia pages – so the goal is to create similar content that will engage people to share it with others. Write a high-quality blog on your site and create link bait content yourself, and implement a forum to your site where you can get others to create it for you.
Also, links on social networks might have a “nofollow” attribute and low-to-no SEO impact, but not all online marketing is SEO – those links also generate awareness and garner traffic to your website – which is ultimately what marketing is all about.
There are many more ways to get backlinks. Find forums relevant to your content and spread your links around them without being too aggressive with it. Some of those links will be “dofollow”, some “nofollow”, but they will at least generate some traffic to your site if not improve your SEO. You can also make a PR campaign for newspapers and magazines to link to your website – those links are highly trusted, and therefore highly valued for SEO.
If you don’t know how to “hook” them and get links for free, you can get into the game by paying for them. However, that can be tricky, because if search engines figure out that a link is paid for, they will just ignore it, so you will get nothing for your money.
We think it’s a game that you will most likely lose, so we never implement buying links into our strategy. If you need help with determining whether buying links is a good idea or not, contact us and we can develop a strategy together.
It is very hard for the engines to figure out which link is paid for, and which is not, so buying links work sometimes, but other times, it can be a waste of money and even have really negative repercussions. There are some forms of paying for links that aren’t penalized by search engines. For instance, if you pay for a high-valued directory site to list your business, that link will be considered legitimate and high-valued from search engines, even though you actually paid for it.
You should avoid buying links if possible, especially if the content where the link is placed is obviously there only because it was paid for, such as poorly written content, spun articles etc. All in all, it is your decision!
To conclude, SEO link building is the most crucial part of your search engine optimization, and one that takes up the most hard work and a lot of time. There is a lot of things that go info a perfect link, such as:
- Good anchor text keyword
- Dofollow attributes
- Placement on a high value page
- Placement in content instead of a link list
- Placement near the top of the page
- High link popularity
- High trust value of the page
If you follow all the information you got from this article, you will be able to make a great SEO link building campaign and thrive. If you still aren’t sure what and how to do, contact us here in Oxidian and get the help of experts for best possible results.
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