We are all fighting for the same small bit of space on the Internet. We’re doing our best to stand out from the noise and fakery that seems to be taking over these days. Legitimate content can easily be confused with the fake stuff and overlooked far too easily.
This all comes down to the power of links. Link building must be a vital aspect of your SEO strategy. If this is the first you’ve heard of link building and links, well, we want you to hunker down and start reading our blog from page one – you’ve got a lot of learning to do…
Quick Link Building Refresher
For those of you familiar with link building, this won’t come as news to you but for those of you who have been too busy with your fantasy football pool, to read the latest on links – you won’t want to skip this section.
Let’s just put this out there front and center: no two SEO experts will agree on the value of link building. Some will tell you link building is wasted effort and others will chant the link building gospel and tell you that without solid link building, your website is going nowhere.
As for us? Well, we see link building as a super important cornerstone of an overall SEO strategy. You can’t rely on link building alone but you also can’t neglect SEO building and hope everything will work out.
- Search engines use links to analyze the popularity of websites.
- The number of links pointing to your website or other pages are used by search engine algorithms to determine the value, popularity, and authority of your content.
- When you have links to other trustworthy websites, search engines interpret this as your website being equally trustworthy.
- Good link building allows you to build and grow traction, attention, and traffic to your website. Conversely, bad link building can drive your website from the first page of search engine results and shut down any traffic to your website.
Link Building Basics and Must Do’s
Now you know that search engines really do care about links and are looking for good, reliable, and safe links. This means you need to think carefully about your links and how they fit into your overall digital marketing and SEO strategies. Link building cannot be just added as an aside – good purposeful link building has to align with your overall marketing goals and approach.
Most important to your link building strategy is making sure that the link signals are working for you and not against you. To develop these strong link signals, think about the following when you’re developing your marketing strategy:
- Use good anchor text: anchor text is the text that is displayed as the actual link. Search engines pay a lot of attention to the anchor text and when multiple websites use the same anchor text for a page, that linked to page ranks quite high. Think about your inbound links and how you’re using anchor text – this could be a good chance to audit your site and standardize on your inbound link anchor text.
- Like-to-like: it makes sense to build links to other websites that fit into your niche. This helps build website authority and trust for the search engine algorithms. For example, if you’re an expert on super cheesy nachos, a link from the NFL or Food Network to your website will help give your company some authority. Avoid links to off-topic non related websites and pages.
- Keep it fresh: just like you need to regularly post to your blog (wait, you know this right… contact us if this is news to you), you need to regularly audit and update your links. You also want to avoid the dreaded broken link. There is nothing that hurts your trust level more than having broken links.
- Being the cool kid counts: you want to link to the most popular websites in your space. The more links you have to the popular and important websites, the better and stronger your link building. This means you need to work with other websites to build relationships that show you have a site that is worth being linked from.
One lingering question you might have: what about social media links? Well, search engines do look at these links differently, but they are still looked at. So yes, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ are important, but we want you to do the above first before fretting over your social signals.
Well, we’d like to tell you to get out there and start making friends on the Internet. But this is easier said than done. What you need to do first is sit down with your team and look at your marketing strategy and goals. As we mentioned earlier, link building cannot be an afterthought – it must be a key aspect of your marketing strategy. Think about your goals and what you want to accomplish, determine which websites will work best for you, and then develop a strategy on how you’ll accomplish this.
Not easy or straight-forward – we know this. This is why we’re here and want you to contact us. We’ll take a look at your marketing strategy, ask you hard questions about your goals, do the deep digging to find the right links, and then build the relationships to facilitate this link building.
Good link building can’t happen in isolation. Get the experts (us) working for you to build your relationships and get you at the top of that search engine results page. You can trust us – we know what we’re doing.