If you didn’t know, backlinks are links placed on websites other than your own that direct users towards your website. This is great and all, but many people have questions about backlinks and whether they are important for SEO. For example, what is link building?
Link building can be a very time consuming time. Outreach doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you don’t already have an active network of partners. For this reason, we’re going to be exploring the world of link building. Hopefully you’ll be able to use some of this information when formulating your website’s next SEO campaign.
The Effect of Link Building on SEO
Managing your backlinks is an important facet of any strong SEO campaign. Having a variety of healthy backlinks with strong anchor text pointing to your domain tells search engines that your page is valuable.
Not only that, not backlinks have the potential to drive organic traffic to your website. Keep this in mind when performing outreach. If your content draws eyes, it will probably draw clicks as well. There will always be a small pool of readers, who if interested enough, will covert.
What is Link Building?
Link building refers to the process of building a portfolio of backlinks that point towards your domain. There are many factors that come into play when constructing a link building strategy. But before we go over what you need to do to start getting links, you’ll need to learn about what counts as a healthy backlink.
The quality of your backlinks is going to vary vastly depending on many variables. Not all domains are created equal, and as you can expect pages that are ‘healthier’ will have better SEO. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect your backlink health.
Over time your website is sure to rack up backlinks, some you may not even have been aware of. If this is the case, you may have potentially toxic backlinks. These unnatural links will negatively impact your website’s SEO and drag down your link building efforts.
Don’t let toxic links hold your domain back, you can flag unwanted backlinks for removal. Doing this is as easy as submitting them for disavowal. This will make these toxic backlinks less likely to be taken into consideration when ranking your page. This won’t fix the issue entirely, you should always be working on completely taking down toxic links.
If you don’t know what domain authority is, consider checking out our post all about domain authority. A referring website with a higher domain authority will be better for you SEO than one with less. Easy enough to remember, right? However this isn’t exactly right.
What is more important than overall domain authority is the web page’s authority. It won’t matter if the website that is referring to you has a high domain authority if the link originates from a page with zero page authority!
Anchor text is deeply important to the health of your backlinks. If possible, the hyperlink text should use keywords being used on the page that it leads to. Search engine algorithms will notice the correlation between the page topic and the backlinks point towards it.
As you can imagine, this will drive your web pages SEO. You’ll need to carefully consider which pages to prioritize and which anchor text to employ. And try to avoid attaining backlinks from sources that link to you with irrelevant keywords!
Website relevance refers to the industry the referring website is part of and if it is relevant to your business. Think of it like this, if you are divorce lawyer, receiving backlinks from a veterinary medicine blog won’t do much for you.
However, receiving a backlink from a blog dedicated to single parents could do wonders for SEO. If the blog uses keywords similar to the ones you are trying to rank for, this is even better. You’re essentially aiming to build relationships with peers in your industry. In doing so, you’ll be able to reach a wide swathe of relevant domains during your outreach campaigns.
White Hat Link Building Techniques
Many always default to the solution of simply buying links. However this practice is frowned upon by search engine algorithms. In many cases, those selling backlinks don’t even have widely traffic domains. In essence if you’re buying links, you’re probably doing link building wrong.
High quality backlinks come from genuine white hat link building strategies. Bad links won’t just waste your time, they’ll hold you back. Make sure your incoming links are healthy with this white hat guide to link building.
Guest Blogger Outreach
The most commonly used white hat backlink building technique is blogger outreach. This process involves contacting the owners or writers of various blogs on the web. As mentioned, you’ll want to target domains that share a similar niche as your own. From there, you’ll need to build a relationship and show that you can provide quality content.
The thing is, producing a piece of content isn’t always easy. If you aren’t a writer, you might want to consider outsourcing the labor. If this is the case, look for writers with experience writing with SEO in mind. You’ll want strong content to drive referral traffic to your domain.
Press Release Distribution
If your business is getting near a special event, it might be time for a press release. While not always picked up by larger publications, you can receive some great traffic and some medium sized outlets from a good PR strategy.
The game plan for PR distribution usually comes down to going ‘wide’. That meaning, submitting your press release to as many outlets as possible, and hoping for a spot. Your press release will include a link to your website, and while this won’t always be a do-follow link, it will still aid SEO.
Local directories are a great place to receive relevant backlinks from. These directories are scoured across the web, some of the smaller regional directories may not even make the first page. This doesn’t mean they don’t matter though.
For many small businesses, especially those looking to rank with local seo, citation building is key. This is because search engines weigh local directories higher for local rankings. So if you intend to top the regional search results, consider targeting local directories first during your link building campaigns.
Get a Backlink Audit
Now that you’ve learned the basics regarding backlinks, you might be wondering how to check on your own. While tracking down every referring domain manually sounds like everyone’s dream job, there are faster methods.
If you want more than just a backlink audit, consider getting a website audit with us, Digital Marketing Whiz. Our free website SEO audit will tell you about your website health, as well as how many of your backlinks are toxic. Don’t hesitate, get the most out of our wealth of link building tactics today!