Link building, also called backlinks, is a fundamental term in SEO that means having other websites to get links to the pages of your business site. Off-page SEO and link building are essential strategies that help improve website visibility, authority, and help to drive higher organic traffic and page rank by establishing valuable connections and references from external sources.
When it comes to evaluating the performance of SEO of a business site, things like quality links, link relevance, and link authenticity are the key factors. These components will determine whether the SEO technique allows businesses to raise organic search in long-term success.
What is link building? Why are backlinks essential? What factors determine quality link? This article will answer all questions and bring you an in-depth explanation of building links.
What Is Link Building?
Building links refer to the process of getting links to your brand’s web page from other websites. A hyperlink, which is sometimes commonly referred to as backlink, gives users the authority to access different web pages. The search engines will crawl these backlinks to navigate the SEO performance of a business site. They also crawl hyperlinks between individual sites and the overall websites.
There are various versions for building links. For example, journalists write a new article and hyperlink to a specific source. Or food bloggers get links to their favorite restaurants. Therefore, not only marketers or SEO Specialists but anybody can get links.
Backlinks are an efficiency strategy businesses should work on and improve over time. The most important aspect is to provide a quality link to your website that educates readers about your products and services or produces helpful content that other websites can take as a reference. Besides this long-term approach, these backlinks are also essential to enhance web page authority, increase page rank, and receive higher traffic from organic searches.
What Is Hyper Link?
Obviously, backlinks benefit business pages in optimizing SEO. But before we dive deeper into that, it is necessary to understand the structure of a hyperlink, how search engines view and can infer from these backlinks.
- Anchor Tag: The ‘a’ is the start of hyperlinks, which open the link tag and notify browsers and search engines that a link to another page is going to appear.
- Referring link site: The text inside the quote marks denotes the URL to which the link is referring, while the “href” abbreviation stands for “hyperlink referral.” It is not always a URL to a web page; it might be the download link for an image or other resource. Sometimes, anything other than a URL starts with a # symbol, which can lead to a specific URL section.
- Visible/anchor text of the link: This is the brief passage of text that viewers see on the page and must click to activate the link. Its structure somehow stands out to differentiate from the surrounding text. Frequently, there will be a notification whether the text is a hyperlink by the use of blue color and/or underlining.
- Link tag closure: This sign informs the search engines of the endpoint of hyperlinks.
Why Does Link Building Matter?
In order to increase page rank, backlinks play an extremely critical factor. This leads to the apparent fact that the more quality links available, the higher the page rate in search results. Thus, having other pages to get links to your business site will help to keep pages from ranking.
Google, the major search engine, determines backlinks as the most prioritized ranking factor. For a long time, this page evaluated page quality based on the number of pages that get links to the specific site. As a result of its excellent ability to assess a page’s quality, this measure became a key component in the overall ranking algorithm and a powerful signal.
Other than Google, different search engines determine backlinks as “votes of confidence” to get links for the website. Each vote represents the quality of content on whether it is valuable, helpful, and trustable. Moreover, depending on their quality, these votes support the search engines in listing thousands of pages with the same given topic.
When we look at the evaluating process, it makes sense why backlinks are perfect components for page rank. Think about this, if a page continuously receives backlinks from relevant websites, do they make you think this page is more reliable than others? Accordingly, it is reasonable that search engines rank these pages higher because they are listed as popular and meaningful pages.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand that not all backlinks have an equal value. Additionally, since obtaining connections from outside websites is a significant ranking component, it presents a challenge for the SEO sector. In other words, websites would use uncertain link-building strategies to obtain more backlinks.
What Makes a Good Backlink?
It is essential to comprehend what constitutes the performance of a link because it allows businesses to concentrate on building links that are positively influential for their Google rankings.
However, there are no claims from Google about how they evaluate the worth of backlinks. According to professional observation from the SEO community, the following components are most commonly known:
- Anchor text
- Nofollow vs. follow
An SEO term called “authority” refers to an SEO concept that describes a website’s general performance or pages. As we have mentioned above, the higher the worth of the page’s backlinks, the higher the authority score.
For instance, a link from a popular newspaper like The Wall Street Journal will probably have a considerably more significant influence than an anonymous blogger.
In conclusion, the benefits of a high domain authority website can be highly effective to a quality link. As a consequence, it can improve the rank of your page. On the other hand, in comparison to competitors’ pages, a website with high votes would more likely receive higher clicks from readers.
At ROI Digitally, we are referring to domain vs backlink to check on a webpage’s authority.
Consider that you published a trip guide to Asia and aim for a strong Google ranking. Which organization would you instead get links from—a fitness center, a hotel, a transportation company, etc.?
Of course, it would be more advantageous to have backlinks from hospitality businesses in Asia, such as a resort, tourist destinations, airlines, etc.
This is something that Google appears to take into account when ranking pages. Building links to relevant web pages is more valuable than unrelated web pages. Make an effort to get links from websites that refer to your own rather than pursuing every link chance that presents itself.
To best optimize SEO, be relevant!
If you’re unaware of the word, anchor text is the clickable text at the beginning of the hyperlinks. This factor is essential cause it notifies readers and search engines what link building is from a page.
Thus, improving the anchor text by making it most relevant and informative. Google uses a variety of strategies, such as page rank, anchor text, and proximity data, to enhance search quality. Therefore, it is no surprise that Google utilizes the terms in the anchor text better to comprehend the subject matter of the cited website.
With that being said, how can you leverage anchor text while building links?
Well, it is best to avoid it by any chance. The more you try to manage which pages link to you and put all the “correct phrases” into your backlinks’ anchor text, the more likely it is that Google will detect manipulation and penalize you as a result. Thus, letting the website’s author choose how to reference your page is most reasonable.
Nofollow vs. Follow
The hyperlinks property “nofollow” informs Google that the linking page prefers not to support the page that it is referencing.
When website owners want to get links to another website but don’t want to suggest any kind of endorsement, they usually involve them.
The source code for your page uses the nofollow tag. And it appears as follows:
On the other hand, follow links are standard links without any properties. It can demonstrate rating credit and indicate endorsement.
Since these links are predicted to have the more influential votes, you should aim to obtain “followed” links.
Nevertheless, if there is a possibility to obtain a no-followed link from a relevant, high-authority page, do not miss your chance.
Wikipedia is a particular example where all outbound links are no-followed. Given how hard it is to get links from Wikipedia, many SEO specialists believe that Google values these connections highly.
The backlinks’ position matters. It is more efficient to place backlinks in the middle of the main body of the webpage.
Imagine a website with three different sections: the content, the sidebar, and the footer. Most readers have a tendency to pay more attention to the backlinks on the content. Any backlinks at the beginning of an article are more likely to click than those placed at the end.
As a matter of fact, Google has a patent that addresses link placement in detail. They have a reasonable surfer patent that discusses the probability that a clickable link might influence the amount of authority it transfers.
There are three significant parts you may direct connections to when building links to a business website:
- Your homepage.
- Your linkable assets.
- The pages require a high rank in Google.
Additionally, it is sometimes difficult to get links to the pages you need to rank effectively. This is due to the fact that most people prefer hyperlinks with informative pages where their audience may gain value for nothing instead of promotional sites where the audiences prefer to part with their money.
4 Link-Building Strategies That Work
After understanding the factors affecting a business site’s ranking, it’s time to create an optimal plan. How? Here are the best 4 link-building approaches recommended by experts:
- Conduct linkable assets
- Analyze competitors’ link
- Outreach / Guest Post
- Become a Source
Assembling linkable assets
When the content naturally generates backlinks, there is a high chance it is “linkable asset” or “linkbait” in the practice of SEO.
Linkable assets can appear in many different formats:
- Website resources and calculators
- Informational visuals, GIFs, and “Map-or-graphics”
- Honors and positions
- Research and studies Industry surveys
- Tutorials and how-to books
- Definitions and new terminology
However, it is always better to examine the websites of your competitors and see if they have any linkable assets that you may take references from before you develop any assets.
Analyze competitors’ link
One of the essential aspects of building links is to analyze competitor links. Let’s take a deeper look at the situation. Google prefers and lists top-ranking pages when your search contains all valuable backlinks. Therefore, researching your competitors’ links will help identify what strategies to implement. By understanding the standard hyperlink techniques, it is now easy to create a comparable link and outrank your page.
In conclusion, analyzing competitors’ link reveal the following:
- What kinds of content are most likely to get backlinks?
- Who links to authority figures in your industry?
Outreach / Guest Post
When building links, outreach is a must. This act of reaching other authoritative websites and requesting a backlink is considered the third most important link building strategy, recommended by SEO experts.
There is most likely a low possibility of acceptance if a page asks other sites to get links without providing anything of value in exchange. However, guest posting is not the same as that. In return for the chance to link to your website, it is mandatory that you have to provide a high-quality piece of content, which seems like a reasonable value trade.
This is absolutely necessary because people cannot link to your content without accessing the hyperlink. Notice that even the best resources require promotion to get links.
Read more: What is link building outreach?
Become a Source
Becoming a source for reporters, journalists, and bloggers is among the effective tactics to generate quality links. It is recommended to seek out off-page SEO services that may link those needing sources, or authors, with your business – as you are seeking links and visibility.
You’ll receive daily emails with a list of authors and companies looking for knowledgeable sources. Major media organizations, including Mashable, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider, also use these services.
4 Best Link Building Tools
Although it might only take a short time of brainstorming and a Gmail account to develop backlinks, several link-building tools can simplify the process of building links.
- Google Alerts: This tool sends you an email anytime to notify the use of a particular term or phrase on a newly published page. It is an excellent method for finding quality link prospects.
- Ahrefs’ Free Backlink Checker: This tool displays the top 100 links to any website or URL.
- Pitchbox/BuzzStream/GMass: This email outreach program is on the top list of ranking SEO tools highly recommended by experts.
- Hunter.io/Voila Norbert: The so-called “email lookup services” facilitate the mass discovery of website contact information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is link building used for?
In addition to helping contribute to higher ranks and traffic from organic search, building links can use for numerous purposes that your business can take advantage of it:
- Establishing relationships: By reaching out to influential people in your sector, you may develop long-lasting relationships that increase your company’s credibility and belief.
- Sending referral traffic: An effective link from a popular website can also result in an increase in traffic. If the website is relevant, there is a positive change that results in the rise of traffic as well as leads or sales.
- Brand development: Effective link building may help you develop your brand and position yourself as an authority in your industry.
What are the three basic types of building links?
Website owners often face the challenge of optimizing their site to appear higher in search rankings, increasing traffic, and enhancing user experience. A successful strategy that can address these purposes is the correct and strategic use of various links on your website.
- Backlinks (inbound links): play a critical role in directing users to your site by coming from other websites to yours, boosting your site’s page rank and traffic through organic search results.
- Outbound links: lead from your website to other sites, adding value for your users while increasing your website’s authority, effectively establishing credibility and engaging with users.
- Internal links: direct users to other pages within the same site, providing a seamless and coherent browsing experience while boosting user engagement and minimizing bounce rates.
What kind of link building strategy is best for SEO?
These are the best ten link-building tools in 2022:
- Moz Link Explorer
- Link Prospector
How do you start link building?
The process of building links is simple yet requires a professional tool to outreach campaigns with the purpose of acquiring links:
- Configure the link-building tool.
- Go over your prospect list.
- Send your pitch after logging into your email.
- Monitor the new links you create.
It is time to conclude the in-depth explanation of a question: “What is link building?”. Building links, or backlinks, is the process of having other websites get links to your own webpage. Major search engines like Google evaluate and rate quality links through key factors like authority, site relevance, anchor text, and many others. These components lead to different backlinks strategies that positively affect the search rank and organic page traffic.
Building connections to low-value web pages is quite challenging, but link building is a lot simpler when you start with something outstanding that can benefit others. Even though it is not difficult to create backlinks, it still suggests using link-building tools for the best SEO optimization.