Does Link Building Work?
The Definition of Link Building
The process of getting other websites to link to a page on your website to achieve a higher ranking on the SERPs is referred to as “link building” in SEO. Because search engines prioritize quality over quantity, obtaining a few high-quality links is more important than obtaining dozens of low-quality or spammy links. The key to getting authoritative sites linked to your site or blog is to constantly create relevant, high-quality content that is naturally shared, commented on, and linked to.
Why Link Building Is Important for SEO
Link building is crucial because it influences how Google ranks web pages. According to Google:
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
Assume we own a website that sells software as a service and we were up against another software service provider. Link popularity is one of the ranking factors Google considers when deciding how to rank our pages.
While the example above gives a general idea of why link building is important, it is very simplistic. It leaves out important details such as:
- The linking pages’ power and trustworthiness.
- The respective sites’ SEO and content optimization.
- The text of the incoming links’ anchors.
Read through these resources for a more detailed explanation of how PageRank is calculated:
- The Google PageRank paper that started it all
- An in-depth examination of the PageRank formula.
- Wikipedia’s entry on the subject
The most important concept to grasp is that, according to Google, if you can get external websites to link to your pages, your content will rank higher for the keywords you are targeting.
How to Get Started
Make a list of ten to twenty influencers who you believe would be excellent link partners. Are you unsure where to begin? Use free tools like BuzzSumo to “find key influencers to promote your content,” Followerwonk to find Twitter influencers, or Traackr, an influencer marketing platform.
Here are some other ideas to start the conversation:
- Introduce yourself in the forums or join existing discussions.
- Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and YouTube are all good places to leave comments on a blog or social media posts.
- Include links to well-known experts in your content.
- Request permission to republish an excellent article in its entirety or in part on your website.
- Invite bloggers to write a guest post or review your products by contacting them.
- Send a short email to other webmasters with excerpts demonstrating why you believe their readers will enjoy your content.
- Expand your online business directory listings to encourage visitors to your site for more information.
Remember to only include links that add value to your readers, whether you use one of the above suggestions or all of them. Keep in mind that the text you link to is also important. Include your top keywords for the article or page in your backlinks to get the most out of them. Do not, for example, link to phrases like “read more.” Instead, link to words that are keyword-rich.