When operating a website, you’ll want to tap into the latest best practices and strategies for drawing more attention to your content. You’ve poured time, planning, and effort into creating your web content – it only makes sense to get it in front of as many people as possible.
One way to increase the number of people who see your content is through link building. Link building is a time-tested tactic for helping improve your Google ranking while raising your site’s profile within your target audience.
So what is link building, and what are the strategies you can use to get the most out of it? Read on to find out more about link building strategies and best practices.
What is Link Building and How It Works?
The definition of link building is simple: link building is the practice of having other websites, not your own, link to your website. They can link to your landing page or other pages within your larger website.
When links to your site start appearing on numerous other sites, this makes Google happy. In turn, it helps increase your ranking and encourages more search engine traffic to go your way. This is an effective way to improve your brands visibility on the web.
That means that for websites looking to improve their web presence via link building, they have to master two critical steps. One is to create original, educational, and engaging content that people will want to read. The second is to get that content in front of other people with websites where linking to it makes sense.
The combination of great content with a multitude of quality links is how to properly use link building to draw more attention to your site. People browsing for information want content that is relevant and includes the most up to date information.
Why Is It Important?
Now that we understand linking and what it does, it’s also important to know why it’s important to the health of your site. Google prioritizes links as a significant reason to list websites higher in their search engine rankings. It’s one of their most important factors when determining search results. Without other sites linking to yours, you’re going to have a much harder time climbing those rankings.
Think of it as an internet popularity contest – or, more aptly put, a credibility contest. When other sites link to your pages, they’re cosigning on your content as being valuable and credible. Google responds to that favorably, looking to send their other search engine users to your site now that it’s been validated by others.
Benefits of Link Building
Let’s state the obvious benefit of link building: the more sites that are linking to your web pages, the more chances you have to direct internet traffic your way. Beyond the search engine implications, it’s simply a numbers game: more sites linking to you means you tap into the audiences of those sites.
This can have compounding benefits, as other sites with large followings can then send their visitors to you to learn more about what you’ve got to say. Of course, that’s not the only benefit your brand will receive from link building. To know the benefits of link building, you’ll want to understand why you develop web content.
You are likely selling a product or service. But to do that, your content must establish you as an authority in your field of expertise. Writing content that your target audience is searching for is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Having other sites within your industry citing you as a trusted source, however, takes that authority a step further. That adds credibility to your content. It also helps you build valuable connections with other industry leaders at the same time.
Types of Link Building
There are four major types of link building in which you can engage. For the most part, all link building can be listed under one of the following categories.
Links you've asked for:
These are links you ask website owners to add to their site. You email them, include your link, and specify where you’d like the link to go. Then the website owner will add your link or piece of content to their website.
Links you've added:
These are links you yourself have added to a website. You can add links through a variety of options such as comments or on a discussion board section.
Links you've bought:
Sometimes, website owners will pay money to have their linked sites included on another page. Using this method allows you to have some control over the visibility of your link.
Links you've earned:
Other times, website owners will visit your website, click on your link, and add relevant links to their site. They’ll often see it as a good fit for their content or be otherwise compelled to include it with accompanying commentary.
Those are four types of link building you can use to expand your site’s reach. But what are the strategies you can target to optimize these methods even further?
Link Building Strategies
There are multiple ways you can use link building to your advantage. Below are a few link building tactics that will help draw more viewers to your brand:
Any web content developer knows how hard it can be to consistently produce winning content that speaks to their audience. Many other site owners are looking for value-laden content. Site owners are often happy to promote quality content that they do not have to produce on their end.
A good strategy may be to actively reach out to these sites to see if you can write a guest post for their blog. Within your piece of content, you can then insert a few backlinks to your site. Through using this method you can control what content is backlinked to your site and pushed out to the site owners audience.
Once you have a page (such as a blog or other part of your larger website) that aligns well with other existing websites, conduct a regular review of these sites. Look for sites in particular that feature multiple links. If any of the existing links are broken, you can email the site owner and recommend your site as an improved alternative. Most site owners are looking for links and content that is current and relevant.
Other site owners may already mention your site without you knowing it. Set up a Google alert for your brand so you know when your brand is mentioned on other sites. When you are notified that your site is mentioned, visit the site.
If there is no link to your site, you can contact the owner and request that they add it. Frame this as a request rather than a demand and you’ll be much more likely to see results. Again, most site owners are willing to add links that are relevant and provide the most current information.
There are no shortcuts to effective link building. By performing targeted keyword research, following best practices for search engine optimization, and generally creating content your audience finds compelling, you can improve your Google rankings. This will lead to more sites wanting to include links to your content within theirs, which has a compounding effect.
The bottom line is that while your link building strategy may vary depending on your industry or website, you’ll want to use it in some form or another to help get ahead. Link building assists you in establishing your brand as an industry leader – and it helps shoot your website to the top of the right Google search rankings.
At Webserv, understand that great content yields the best results for link building. Through our proven approach we are able to provide brands with the best optimized content. This makes it easier for other site owners to find your content and share your links. Contact us today to start getting the results your brand needs.