Link building might sound quite abstract to most beginners but it is one of the most important factors that Google use in ranking websites.
Like most amateur bloggers, when I started building links to my website, I made quite a lot of mistakes. And these mistakes affected my website in a very serious way.
At some point, I attracted hundreds of spammy links that brought in negative SEO impact on my website.
To get my backlink SEO in shape again, I had to learn the hard way. And when I did, I decided I won’t watch others go through the same mistakes I did.
Now before we dig in further, let’s talk about the meaning of Link Building…
What is link building?
Link building is the act of getting web links to point at your website or at particular pages on your website, in order to get some SEO effect.
This is the most widespread definition of link building. But from an SEO point of view, link building literally involves all the activities you do in order to get links from other websites, back to your website.
Why is Link Building Important?
Link building is important because it can get your website a better ranking and more visibility on the search engine. This in turn will help you achieve your overall goal of owning a website.
The reason behind this is because high quality back links can help your web pages to get a better ranking on the search engine.
This is how it works…
When people get to find out that your content is very useful to them, chances are that they will link to that post or share it with their friends.
The more other website link to your posts, the more it reflects on the search engine that the post is relevant and deserving of even better views.
That’s why when it comes to SEO, the more quality back links you have for a post, the higher your chances of appearing on the top of the search engine results page.
Major types of web links
Basically, there are three major kinds of links viz internal links, incoming and outgoing links.
Internal links are those links within your website that links to other pages on the site itself.
Internal links are one of the most common kinds of links you’ll get to see, when it comes to link building. Usually, one of the most important benefits of internal linking is that it gives your website a better user experience.
For instance, with internal links you can link to relevant posts on your website. Besides your user getting a better experience on your website, internal linking can also help your web pages to be well organized and indexed on the search engine.
Although it does not work exactly like incoming links, internal links can improve your on-page time, reduce bounce rates and give your viewers the chance to see other posts which they ordinarily would not have come across in most cases.
External or Incoming links
Incoming links are hyperlinks from other websites to your own site. Also known as back links, external links are very useful for SEO purposes. And they are the best kind of links you need for your website.
In fact, when SEOs say that the more links you have the better your chances of getting a higher rank, they are actually referring to external links.
The search engine views external links like an upvote on a post or content. So, when other websites see that your post is relevant and useful to their audience, they will likely link to that post. And the more of such links you have from those high quality websites, the better your chances of getting a higher rank on the search engine.
Outgoing links are links that point from your website, to other websites. Although outgoing links are not as effective for overall SEO as incoming links, some studies have shown that outbound links can still help your SEO.
As part of SEO best practices, it is not always advised to link to just any website. Good thing to do is to link to websites with a decent domain authority and high quality content.
Followed Vs No Follow Links
Do-follow links are HTML attributes that allows the search engine bots to follow a link, crawl the link and count it as a vote of quality for the particular website or content.
Followed links are those links that actively pass link juice or link equity to a website that’s being linked to.
The implication of do-follow links is that it passes a lot of SEO effect (AKA link juice) to your website.
No follow links on the other hand are those kind of links you have when a linking website informs the search engine through HTML code, to ignore the link.
Usually, this is done where you are linking to a website with a lower SEO rank or one that may not be seen as a high quality website, from SEO perspective.
The implication of having a no-follow link is that only a very limited SEO effect can be generated from such link building effort.
To gain better SEO impact, you need more of do follow links because these are the links that create the highest SEO impact on websites.
What is best between do-follow and No-follow links?
Usually, getting do-follow links is one of the best ways to improve your SEO and search engine rankings. But, if your website is relatively new, it might take a while before you get to have some decent do-follow links.
How to get Do-follow Links as a beginner
As a beginner, your chances of getting do follow links are quite slim.
But, as your website continues to grow and get better SEO rankings, you can purposely implement a link building strategy that will lead you to having more back links.
The following are some link building strategies that can help you…
Engage in Guest Posting
One of the major link building strategy you can start with is Guest Posting.
As a small website, Instead of writing on your website alone and waiting for back links, posting on high quality websites can help you to build a decent link profile that will include lots of do-follow links.
Although this strategy can be tasking, the benefits are always very enormous.
For instance, besides the usual benefit of getting back links, writing on a popular website exposes your brand to a new audience while sending in some traffic via the links.
Create a profile on websites with high Page Rank
You can create a profile on any of these websites, update your important details as much as possible and then include a link back to your website.
Although this sounds quite easy and impractical, updating these pages at intervals with content can give you some boosts in your backlink profile.
Also, considering that links from these websites are usually do-follow links, you stand a good chance of getting a better ranking out of the exercise.
Share your content on high PR forums
Besides your website, you can still share your content to a handful of websites like Reddit, Quora, Nairaland, etc.
The good thing about these platforms is that they are also very large traffic websites with lots of visitors. Besides the benefits of getting backlinks from them, you can also get to attract some traffic back to your website if your post gets a lot of views from those websites.
Also, for websites like Nairaland and Quora specifically, your content on those platforms can also show up in the search engines if they are well optimized for SEO.
The good part of this is that, you don’t have to write a new post entirely. You can republish your old posts on these platforms with some edits.
How to build your back links
There are three major ways to get links as part of your back link strategy. This includes; Creating the backlinks, Requesting for links and Buying links from other websites.
All of these three activities has their own implications. And you should not approach any of these strategies without looking at possible impact on your website.
Below, let’s discuss about these three link building strategies in details…
Create a back link
Creating a back link involves steps like listing your website on local business directories, social media platforms, free web pages and forums etc.
This is one of the most basic link building strategies for new websites.
Doing this can get you some back links to get started with as a beginner. And then as your website grows, you can get more organic back links and also move on to using more advanced strategies.
Request for a link
Although this might sound weird. Requesting for a link involves asking other website owners with relevant posts to link to your own post.
This is usually done in exchange for a link on your own part or an agreement to share their posts with your audience.
Usually, this is legit. Because you’ll actually earn the link as the other web masters can only link to your website using their own discretion.
Guest Posting and other external blogging campaigns can also come in as part of your earned links.
This involves getting other website owners to link back to your website for a fee. This usually comes in the forms of direct links to a specific page, post or sponsored post etc.
Although this might be frowned at by the search engines and most SEOs, as part of blackhat SEO tricks, a handful of websites are still engaging in buying and selling of hyperlinks.
If you ever want to consider this option which is expensive and not advisable, there are things you need to consider before paying to get link from other websites.
For instance, the quality of the websites that’s linking to your site, their relevance to your website and your chances of getting a penalty from Google if the linking strategy is flagged as dubious or spammy.
Things to Consider while building back links
Below are some things you need to consider before you embark on a backlink building campaign.
Avoid low quality links
It is true that link building can help your website. But having links from or linking to low quality websites can affect your website ranking negatively.
Although it’s not possible to control the kind of website that links to your content, attracting spammy links can have some negative effect on your site.
There are ways you can reduce spammy links on your website which includes using the Google disavow tool or requesting the other website to remove their link from your website.
In any case as much as possible, avoid low quality links.
Remove Spammy Links
Starting out in web link building can be quite tasking. If you’re in a hurry to get a handful of back links, you might be tempted to use some nasty tactics which might include buying back links or getting some free cheap back links.
Usually, this might sound all nice in the beginning but it doesn’t usually end well. I learned this the hard way and you don’t have to.
Instead of getting cheap spammy links to get faster back links, take an intentional approach to link to and get back links from websites that are of good quality and are also relevant to your website’s niche.
Create a link building strategy
As a new website owner or small business, you might think that this is not important but, to get a successful link building effort underway, you need a link building strategy that works.
Instead of making it a one off activity, build a strategy that will deliver results.
It doesn’t mean that your strategy will be perfect, the first time you create one. With effort and sustained consistency, you can see what works and what doesn’t. And then with this new insight, you can rinse and re-implement your strategy.
Get backlinks from relevant websites only
It’s one thing to get back links from a number of websites. But it’s another thing to get links from websites that are relevant to your website.
As a practical SEO strategy, instead of focusing on getting links from any website, work on making sure that most of your backlinks are from websites that are relevant to your niche.
This is very important and it’s one of the factors that determines the strength of the link you have.
Focus on websites with high DA
A link from Forbes.com will have a better SEO impact than 10 links from some unknown websites somewhere.
Reason is because Forbes.com has a higher domain authority (DA) hence search engines like Google will place more emphasis on a website like Forbes.com compared to another website with a lower Domain Authority.
Of course it can be quite tasking getting to write a guest post on these top DA websites but a lot of people that have done that believe that the effort and corresponding result is really worth it.
In a nutshell, whether you’re a new or old website. A business or blog, link building can help a lot in your bid to get a better ranking for your website.
But to get the very best results you don’t just have to be engaged in link building, you must build back links that works. And in order to do this effectively, you must understand what you’re doing.
As usual, our team can always get you started on link building either via trainings or giving you a back link strategy and SEO Services that works for you.
So there you have it. What’s your link building strategy?