Link building refers to the set of diverse, high quality strategies revolving around embedding relevant links within well-researched, well-written, original and highly valuable content. It is one of the oldest pillars of search engine optimization (SEO).
Despite its established place in digital marketing, many organizations struggle to see the need to having a link building plan in their overall SEO strategy. But the advantages of link building are proven and compelling. Here’s a look at the reasons why every website would benefit from the right link building techniques.
1. Search Ranking
When the Google Search algorithm (or other search engines for that matter) is determining what pages to rank first when generating the results of a search, the inbound links to each page is an important factor. In the early years of search engine optimization, the volume of inbound links was crucial i.e. the more the inbound links to a web page, the higher it will appear in the search results.
Over time however, many websites ‘gamed the system’ by rapidly accumulating thousands of backlinks from low quality websites. To counter this backlink spamming and abuse, Google deployed the landmark Penguin update. As a result, the quality of links took on a higher profile than the quantity. It still retained backlinks as a key determinant of a page’s relevance to a search query.
So the more time, thought and resources you devote to your link building plans, the higher your web page is likely to rank in organic search results.
2. Referral Traffic
Given that Google Search is the world’s number one website and the primary source of traffic for most sites, the relevance of link building in boosting SEO cannot be overemphasized. But link building has a more obvious benefit that goes beyond SEO—referral traffic.
As visitors on the originating website go through the page text and happen on your link, some will click through and proceed to your web page in order to learn more. When they arrive on your website and if your content is relevant, fresh and engaging, they may end up subscribing to your mailing list or, better yet, buying your product.
One of the more popular methods used to generate backlinks is guest posting. To do that, you have to identify the websites whose audience falls within your target market and then embark on blogger outreach.
Each outlet that grants you a guest posting opportunity is a chance to expose your brand to a new set of eyes. It’s effectively free advertising. The visibility will only lead to greater brand recognition and with that, more traffic to your website.
4. Become a Thought Leader
Guest posting can create a platform for you to gradually be recognized as an authority and thought leader in your area of business. Nevertheless, that will only happen if your content is opinionated, strong and thoroughly-researched, and if it’s published on sites that are relevant to your theme, product or business.
Becoming a thought leader draws traffic to your site from visitors keen on reading more of your content or seeking additional clarification. It gives your brand credibility and boosts your conversion rates. It even opens doors for you to get guest posting opportunities on higher profile websites.
5. Attract Influential Guest Posters to Your Site
Game recognize game. When you are a guest contributor on other websites, you’ll likely stumble on the posts of other guest contributors on the same site. Similarly, other influencers will read yours.
If your content is high quality and engaging, you can expect to receive requests to guest post on your website from non-competing influencers within your industry. That will mean getting free content on your site, new ideas for future posts, connecting to new audiences, and deepening your networks within your industry.
6. Credibility Badges
You’ve likely visited a website and seen somewhere an ‘as featured on’ section which logos of various leading online publishers. When your content is published by a high profile news site or magazine, you can and should brag about it. These publishers have already built a name and earned the trust of millions of online readers.
By putting these badges on your site, they become a mark of credibility and trust. This trust will persuade some visitors who had doubts about the quality of your product.
7. Long-term Returns
Certain SEO tactics such as paid ads have a finite lifetime and therefore are very temporary in their impact. A link building investment on the other hand can last forever. The link will remain active as long as the page it’s on remains online.
A good backlink can generate thousands of referral views over decades. In this respect, link building is similar to accumulating equity in a home as opposed to paying rent that only gives you temporary use of it.
If your website can benefit from search engine visibility and brand authority then you should consider a link building campaign. Not just any link building will do though. For best results, your links must be backed by relevant, actionable content. This should be focused on clearly articulating your views to readers.