Often times, the basics and fundamentals of SEO are overlooked as we focus on the more technical challenges that Search Engine Optimisation presents. Before diving into the more complex SEO issues, we should focus on two of the absolute basic and key items – content & link building. For this post, we’ll take a look at link building and how to do it correctly.
What is link building?
Link building is the action whereby another website contains a hyperlink back to your website. As simple as that sounds, a high-quality link building strategy requires a great deal of time and patience and is something that one cannot rest on. The value of link building remains hugely important for SEO in 2020 and will remain so for some time.
It’s important to note that – Google do not take any malicious or non-genuine link strategy lightly and your website will suffer drastically as a result. More on Google’s policy regarding link schemes and their guidelines can be found here.
How can I build good quality links?
Google’s Penguin update focused not just on the amount of links to a website but the quality and relevance of the links instead. Some years ago, black-hat techniques would see websites participating in link farming and so on with the sole purpose of increasing visibility and this was unfair to the user doing it the right way! This all changed back in 2011 with the release of Panda which as mentioned, focused on high quality links and reduced the the value of a link from a ‘thin’ website or a website purely in place to participate in black-hat strategies.
Building good links the right way involves effort. Reaching out to relevant partners and building trust and a relationship may present the opportunity to have a link placed on that partners website. This may be a guest blog post, a help guide or just a link on a ‘Partnership’ page as an example. The relevance of the link is also a big factor. Note that link exchanging is not a good practice and can lead to penalties. This is the idea of exchanging a link purely for the sake of doing so without any real relevance or benefit for both parties.
How to measure link building performance?
Many tools allow you to view the total number of backlinks to your website. Some of the Pro or paid tools such as Ahrefs, Moz Pro or SEM Rush will include a detailed ranking on these links and the probable authority of that link. This means you get an overview of these links and can tailor your outreach to similar sites or industries to build even further. Google Search Console is a fantastic tool and will also provide insight on these backlinks. Using the ‘acquisition’ – ‘referral’ option on Google Analytics shows you where exactly the traffic to your site originated.
To summarise, focusing on high quality and relevant link building strategies can have a massive payoff for your website and is something that should be at the forefront of SEO work.