Link building is a key service when it comes to SEO and content strategy. You can create a wonderfully in-depth article packed with useful information and keywords. But without amplifying it using link building you’re missing out on the chance to build a reputation and become a voice in your industry.
So what are links and how does link building accomplish this? We’re going to take you through the basics of links and link building to show you how you can add this important skill to your repertoire.
What are links?
A link, or hyperlink, is simply that light blue text that when you click on it takes you to another site. In the marketing industry, a link that directs traffic to your site is known as an inbound link, external link, or backlink. Links have been integral to internet use since its inception and continue to be a key to success today.
Think of the last blog you read or social media post you clicked on. At some point, you probably clicked on a link that took you to another site and you discovered more about ‘what to do in the local area’, ‘where to buy jeans’ or other such queries. These links are how we navigate the internet, and how SEO experts get users to travel to a specific page.
These links are incredibly important to sites, especially smaller sites as getting a link from an established website is a surefire way to increase your traffic and get your page in front of a much larger audience. These links also make your site more attractive to search engines leading to better rankings. The internet is essentially a big popularity contest so if you can get a famous brand to link to your site then chances are Google and other search engines are going to shoot you up the SERP results.
When to Follow and Not Follow Links
Now that we have an understanding of links and their value it’s important to understand that not all links are equal. Brands will often choose which links to attribute ‘follow’ and ‘no follow’ depending on the relationship with the site in question, whether they are direct competitors, or if their status will harm the page with the link. The last reason is one of the biggest issues when it comes to winning backlinks.
Digital teams up and down the country do their damndest to reach out to sites that link to theirs and ask for a follow. These ‘follow’ links attribute value to the links, giving your site a better score on Google and other platforms. However, if a brand doesn’t want to promote your site or doesn’t want their name associated with an unknown entity they may set the link to ‘nofollow’. This means that even if there is a connection, you don’t receive any of the benefits of a backlink.
How to Optimise Backlinks for Link Building
This is where the fine balancing act of creating content for backlinks and optimising the ‘follow’ links you provide comes into play. If you’ve created a fantastic whitepaper or informative blog you should reach out to publications, industry leaders, or other influential sites and ask them to share your piece or link to it in their article. This is a symbiotic relationship where the target site gets access to a larger pool of users and the hosting site gets access to free information their users can use to make better decisions.
Choosing where not to link is just as important. A dedicated SEO team will search through your site to establish which links are helpful and which ones are damaging your reputation. Once scoured, they can suggest a course of action, whether it’s to remove links or simply set them to no follow to limit the value given to that link. Whatever the case, optimising in this way streamlines your links so that users and search engines only follow the very best.
At Fifteen, we work with clients to create exciting digital strategies that improve their visibility and conversion rates. If you’re interested in finding out more about our SEO and digital marketing services then contact us today and we’ll get your links optimised in no time.