As a marketer, you understand how important SEO is in your marketing strategies, particularly when it comes to being discovered by new customers. But keeping up with the changing rules, regulations, and best practices isn’t easy. With so much to track and keep up with, some strategies like link building might fall to the back burner.
However, link building is an essential part of strengthening your SEO strategy and improving your rankings on Google and other search engines. To help you get reinvigorated with your link building strategy, this article will explain why link building matters, what tools can help you with your strategy, and some of the best link building tips for your SEO strategy.
What is Link Building?
Link building is an SEO tactic that improves search engine visibility with the use of backlinks. Backlinks are on-directional hyperlinks, usually highlighted in blue, that take a user to a new website or webpage when clicked. For example, if you are reading a webpage on new sneaker designs, a hyperlink on that page might take you to a brand’s new shoe line.
Backlinks are links on other websites that direct to your page, not links you have that take users off of your website. Backlinks help improve your SEO rankings as well as bring in more traffic to your web pages.
What Does Google Say About Backlinking?
Google has said that backlinks are the most important ranking factor in how they categorize and crawl pages, alongside high-quality content. If you don’t have any backlinks, you might find yourself in an uphill battle to get your pages to the front page of the search results. Because backlinks are so important to Google, when you don’t have any type of link building strategy in your plans, you won’t be able to succeed and grow as much as you want.
Why is Link Building Important?
Link building is important for several reasons. The most important thing is, as mentioned above, that it’s the number one ranking factor on Google. In addition, links are one of the most important ways people use the internet. Links direct users to great content, and builds trust with your audiences. If they are constantly directed to your site, they know you have authority in the space. Links are one of the most powerful tools you can use in your website strategies.
What Should You Not Do in Link Building?
As with all strategies, there are good practices and bad practices when it comes to link building. We will discuss some of the best strategies in a bit, but first let’s go through a few of the things you should not do in your link building strategies. Do not:
- Buy links
- Link poor-quality content
- Try to sneak links into pages in comments sections or forums
- Beg other businesses to link to your website
- Barter or trade links with other businesses
- Bribe others for links
- Link to broken pages
- Try link building without the right tools
Link Building Tools
Link building requires the right tools in order to be done successfully. There’s no manual way to track your backlinks and find new linking opportunities. Here are some of the best tools out there that you can use to help improve your link building strategies and other SEO tactics.
Tool #1: SEMrush
SEMrush is one of the biggest SEO tools out there, and includes tools like competitor research, keywords, social media marketing, advertising, and link building. You can use SEMrush to find new link building opportunities and reach out to other websites to link your pages on their sites. The research and analysis tools are great options for brands who want to boost their backlinking strategy.
Tool #2: Moz PRO
Moz is a great low-cost tool that gives you many tools for the price. You can use the Link Explorer tool to help understand and analyze the backlinks on your pages and find new opportunities. It also helps you identify bad or broken links so you can remove and repair them. You can also use it to find new keywords for your link building strategies.
Tool #3: Ahrefs
Ahrefs is another SEO tool with applications like link outreach, link vetting, backlink analysis, and new linking opportunities. It also has many other SEO features, making it a great all-around tool to have in your tech stack. You can use it to sort your pages by backlinks, helping you understand your most valuable web pages and the strategies that work.
Link Building Tips
Now that you know why link building matters and why you should include it in your strategies, let’s explore some of the best link building tips you can implement today to boost your SEO strategies and improve your rankings.
Tip #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Backlinks
If you wait for backlinks to magically pop up, you’ll likely be waiting a while. You need to be more proactive in your backlinking strategy and go out and ask for backlinks. Ask others you know if they can add a link or two to your website on their pages. You can also try “cold-calling” businesses that are relevant to yours with personalized emails to ask for links.
Tip #2: Give Testimonials When Asked
Giving a testimonial to another business is a great way to get verified backlinks. If a business you have been a customer of asks you to leave a review or give a testimonial, take advantage of the opportunity. Give them a strong testimonial, and ask them if they will be linking to your site in the testimonial or case study for any readers to access. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Tip #3: Improve Your Relationships with Other Businesses
Business relationships and link building go hand-in-hand. As you grow your relationships in the business community and in your industry, you get more opportunities to get links. Try actively participating in online communities on social media or industry news pages to grow your network and increase your links.
Tip #4: Use Your Blog as a Link-Building Tool
If you haven’t already started a blog, now is the time. Blogs can be a powerful link-building tool to get your pages out there. If you write relevant, informational, and high-quality content, then the odds of those pages being linked grows significantly. You can use your blog pages in your link-building outreach efforts and get more organic links from people who follow your blog.
Tip #5: Write Guest Posts
Guest posting is a practice where you write blogs and articles for other sites. You can then link your website in that post or in your author biography. Many websites accept guest posts, so make sure that you are working with reliable sources. Make sure that the blog you are writing for is relevant to your brand, it’s a high-quality piece, and the content isn’t just bragging about your business.
Tip #6: List Your Website in Online Directories
Another way to get more backlinks is to list your website in online directories and business pages. The biggest thing to keep in mind with this tip is that you are only adding your links on trustworthy directories. There are many black-listed directories that try to trick the Google algorithm and have been excluded from crawling as a result. Verify that you are only using informative, trustworthy directories that provide value to readers.
Tip #7: Research Your Competitor’s Backlinks
Your competitors also have backlink strategies in place, and you can potentially use these to help generate new links of your own. Use your SEO tool to explore the backlinks that your competitors have and see if there are websites or sources that you can try using in your own backlinking strategies to get ahead of the competition.
Tip #8: Remove Dead or Broken Backlinks
If websites are linking to pages you no longer have on your site, it can damage your reputation and hurt your Google rankings. It’s important that your backlinking strategy also includes backlink management. Take a look to see if there are dead or broken backlinks showing up in your reports, and make sure those links are updated or removed so that you don’t negatively impact your link building.
An SEO strategy without link building is only partially complete. Links are essential to successful SEO, as they are the most important ranking factor for Google and other search engines. You can use these tips provided to help you boost your linking strategies and create a link building plan that takes your brand to the next level.
If you are a marketer who is wondering where your site stacks up compared to others in your SEO strategy, then look no further. Take our SEO maturity assessment and see for yourself where your current SEO strategy stacks up and what the next steps are to bring your SEO practices to the next level. Click on the link to get started now!