What is Link Building?
Link building refers to the process of obtaining links from other websites to your own. Search engines crawl the links that are present on the websites and internal links present on your website to crawl the web. There are many techniques present that vary in difficulty, but link building is one of the hardest parts of SEO. If you can master this technique, you will be surely ahead of your competitors.
Here is a short video that explains the process:
How a link is created?
Let’s start with an example of a link:
“Splash Effect is a toronto based digital marketing agency.”
Here splash effect is highlighted in Blue. Clicking on this text will take the user to the URL mentioned in the link referral part. In this case it is www.splasheffect.ca
Let’s see how a link is created and how web crawlers see these links:
<a href = “www.Splasheffect.ca”> Splash Effect</a>
Start of link tag (a): It is called anchor tag and tells the web crawlers that a link has to be followed.
Link referral (href): This refers to the URL that will be open upon clicking the text.
Anchor text: This is the text visible to the audience. The keywords that are written here are used for ranking purposes.
Closure of link tag </a>: It signals end of link tag to the search engines.
Link Building Strategies
If you create great content and are able to create awareness about it, many websites will link to your website / company naturally. There is no effort required on your part but to create worthy content.
In this strategy you need to get in touch with bloggers, pay for listings or submit your site to directories. You need to explain why your content is beneficial to the other company and thus they will link to your company in return.
In this strategy you can create links through blog comments, user profiles, submitting posts on forums. Although these links do not add much value as compared to the other strategies discussed above, but it’s a good starting point. It should be done with care as it is considered to be spammy.
Factors to take into consideration while doing link building:
Links from a more popular website have higher weightage. For example- Links from a popular website such as Wikipedia matter more than other websites.
Links from a topic specific websites matter more than other websites. For ex – If you are selling a product related to sports, earning links from websites that talk about sports would matter more than websites that talk about other things.
The keywords that you will use in the anchor text will be used for ranking purposes. So make sure you target the right keywords in the anchor text.
Earn links from trusted domains and not from spam websites. This will have considerable influence on the scoring metrics.
Links should be earned on a continual basis. Over a period of time, the popular websites go stale and the content goes out of date. So it’s very important to keep earning links as freshness of links matter in scoring metrics.
Sharing your content over social media such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc.is important. Search engines do give some weightage to the links that are shared on social media sites.
Suggestions for Starting a link building campaign:
Start with competitors’ backlinks. There are many tools available online that can tell from where do websites earn links. By examining those links you can atleast be at par with your competitor.
Start a blog. Blogs are one of the most effective ways to earn links from other websites and blogs. If you create worthy content and keep posting it on a continual basis on the blog, many websites would want to link to your company.
Be in the news. If you are able to earn the attention of bloggers, media etc. many sites will link to your company naturally.
Find a forum that talks about your product. Take part in discussions and create links to your company.
Use directories. Submitting your site to directories can provide value to your link building strategy.
Become a resource. There are so many websites with Resources page. Getting a link from a resources page can be a good way to earn links.
Take advantage of press releases. If you are able to earn a link from a press release it can be really valuable to your company.
Make great infographics. If you can create cool infographics and people like your work, it can go viral and can create a lot of backlinks.
.edu and .gov links add value. These are the most trusted links. If you are able to get links from these, it can add a lot of value.
Make it onto Wikipedia. It is one of the most trusted websites on the web and is a great source of visitors. You can get a link by adding some valuable Content that doesn’t look spammy.