When it comes to search engine rankings, what comes to your mind?
No doubt, links are the first thing in the list.
Many never heard of link building or don’t know what a successful link building is. And, those who are aware know its importance in a websites’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but often assume it as a tough process.
Most people argue that links are dead and play no significant role in search engine ranking because Google has become smarter in identifying the type, nature, and intent of the link, the core emphasis is now on quality content.
Well, links are still the best way to rank your content and is an important Google ranking signal.
Here is what Google says –
Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.
Link building is not dead – only the days of shortcuts and shady methods are over.
Accordingly, I’ve decided to create a ten post blog series on “Link Building” that will walk you through the basics of link building, various link building strategies, tools, and best practices, different Google penalties and updates and how to create a link building plan for your website to get the success.
This is part one of the blog series that will help you understand what link building means and why it is important in SEO.
Let’s start jump in link building 101.
What is Link Building?
Link building is a process in which you acquire or build links from other websites to your website.
Image source: Moz
Link building is like social media – if you are posting great content, people will link it and share it. Link building is not a one time process; it’s a project, long-term strategy encompassed of –
- Assets – content for which you are building links such as a webpage, blog, infographic, etc.
- Manpower – those who create links and do link building outreach work.
- Plan – which specifies your objectives, link building strategies, various assets, and reporting.
In the coming posts of blog series, we will explore all these in detail.
It’s crucial to understand that a link can impact your website positively or negatively. For example, building links from the low-quality directory, article submission sites or link schemes might penalize your website in Google.
Getting links from diverse high-quality websites (those have good editorial control) that are relevant to your niche area is important. The idea here is to acquire or build natural links to help users find better information.
Why Link Building Is Important
1. Higher Search Rankings
Links are important because search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. use it for ranking purpose. Google considers links to be like votes and trust signal.
Image: Top results for ‘buy insurance’ term
Last year Google said that links, content, and Rankbrain are the top three ranking factors.
2. Brand Recognition
Link building helps you showcase your business as a brand. It shows that you have an authority in the particular subject.
For example, If you get a mention along with other authoritative sources in content, by co-citation principle of SEO, you build authority in the particular context, brand yourself, and get relevant traffic to your site, which indirectly helps your search engine visibility.
Image Source: HubSpot
3. Trust and Recommendation
Links show trust and recommendation. For instance, if you get a link from a good publication such as Forbes under a list of the recommended provider of ‘marketing services,’ it is more likely that people will follow the link, trust your brand or might convert into your customer.
Another typical example is link from partner website where one website directly recommends the partner to their visitors and customers for a particular service.
Image Source: DimensionData
4. Sale and Conversion
Links are one of the key drivers for your business sales in the online world. The referral traffic coming from various websites can bring you new sales and conversion.
Consider a forum thread where people are looking for selling old stuff online or in your local area. If you have links from such threads, the relevant traffic will fall on your landing page, which can convert into sales.
Remember, people like to link the website that is either useful or straightforward simple and trustworthy. If you are not still adding a great content to your site or have an ugly design and user experience, I would suggest revamping it before going for the link building process.
No doubt, link building is extremely important, but it’s not a linear process – you build one link then another and so on. Successful link building doesn’t follow this pattern. It creates a strategy that attracts natural links to your website.
In other words, it means creating great content, good UX and a little SEO push for your content.
I hope that you did find this introduction post helpful. I’d like to hear from you in comments.
In the next blog series post, I’ll share the list of various link building techniques that you can use to create awesome links for your website.
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