Link building is the process of creating connections between websites. Although it plays a large role in SEO, it has also been surrounded by controversy within the industry in recent years. Having large numbers of links pointing towards your website (backlinks or inbound links) easily helped you rank favourably with Google. But, after 2012 and the release of Google’s webspam algorithm, Penguin 1.0, the quantity of links just wasn’t enough. Websites with a high volume of ‘spammy’ and low-quality links were penalised and dropped significantly in their ranking. Link building in 2019 is all about gaining high quality and relevant backlinks. These links not only help the user to navigate through useful content, but also help search engines determine website quality, popularity and therefore, importance.
Building quality backlinks can take time and effort, however if you have a plan in place, you will reap the benefits! Here are our top 5 tips we took away from Brighton SEO for building inbound links to your website.
Begin your link building process with a backlink audit and assess the links that are already pointing to your website. Tools such as Google Search Console or Majestic are a great place to start when it comes to an audit. Ask yourself the following questions:
These factors are all very important and together have a strong impact on your SEO. So, here’s to good backlink health!
If the answer is ‘no’ to the questions above, you may be in need of a ‘link detox’.
In order to build a diverse profile of backlinks, you need to think outside of the box. Determine the niche of your business, brand or website and then research into what we like to call ‘niche-crossover’. This helps you build a list of domains within different industries, that have useful and relevant content for your users. This will leave you with a library of creative and varied linking opportunities.
Here’s a little exercise for you! Take your niche and have a think about how it can crossover with other industries. Bullet point how it could relate to the following industry categories:
Anchor text is one of the most powerful factors of link building. A high quality, relevant inbound link needs to be paired with well-constructed anchor text. Google understands that the anchor text is a strong indicator of the subject matter of the website being linked to. That being said, both Google and users like to navigate through natural flowing content. Use the anchor text to try and introduce what the page is about, without it looking artificial.
The majority of link building outreach is done by email – the challenge is not to land in someone’s junk mailbox! Contact through social media is also popular, but it’s important to find the right outlet, so that you can lead a natural, transparent and personal approach. To get started:
Project management is key! Keep a log of all the opportunities you come across in a spreadsheet. Have clear standards (remember, you want a healthy backlink profile) and make sure the process is followed consistently. Link building can take time, so you need to be able to pick up where you left off throughout a project.
Set up your tracking beforehand so that when you build a link, you can see how it plays out. You can do so by checking your referral traffic in tools like Google Analytics., but for more in-depth data, you can use Ahrefs. Monitoring your backlinks helps you determine patterns and trends after it goes live. Not only will you see the impact it has on your website traffic, but you will also see whether you need to take any post action. This way you will find out what works for you and what doesn’t, resulting in an effective link building process.
If you need any further advice on link building or are finding it a bit overwhelming, please don’t hesitate get in touch – we’d be more than happy to help.