Link building is important in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because it tells the world of the internet that what you have to say is valuable. When you or someone else links to another website they are saying that page is a good resource which increases that pages credibility. Essentially, the more high-quality links that link back to you, the more your rankings will increase in the SERPs (or Search Engine Results Pages). Keep in mind that receiving backlinks from those that have authority in your market are way more powerful than receiving any other kind of link. From what I know, there’s no “perfect” way to link build. However, even though there’s no best kind of link, usually the best way to approach link building is to do it naturally – building on high quality and relevant sites over time.
“If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks.” – Richard Burckhardt
There are three things that Google can do when it detects a backlink on your website:
- Improve your rankings in the SERPs
- Penalize your rankings in the SERPs
Authority and Trust
The key factors that go into link building are the authority and trust of the linked page. Which means that, yes, if you’re not back-linking to what Google would consider a credible source you could be at risk of damaging your rankings. So even though theres no perfect way to link build, you can take steps to successfully increase your link building skills. A huge part of this task is making sure that you’re creating high-quality content as well as using high quality links. Moz just launched their new Moz Link Explorer tool which is completely focused on link building. You can use it to search websites and find out how they rank in Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) to make sure you are linking back to a quality page. For instance, if I was doing a blog post on SEO and I wanted to see how well Lindsay Humes ranked, I could type in her URL into the Link Explorer, and it’ll tell me that she has a DA of 33 and a PA of 35. I can also view her 50 top pages – one of them being YOAST SEO for Your Blog and Blog Posts – that has a DA score of 24. I can see using the data that she is clearly working on her SEO, credibility and that she’s done her research so I would feel pretty good about including her link in my post.
That being said, make sure if you have WordPress that you install the (free) YOAST SEO plug in. It reminds you to fill in your focus keyword, meta description, counts your keyword density and much more.
Internal Link Building
Internal link building is another great way to improve your search engine rankings, gives you an opportunity to cross link your blog posts all in one place and helps decrease your bounce rate. The more you’re creating content, the more you can link build internally. Internal link building builds trust with your audience and could even end up with them downloading a free resource on your site counting as a micro-conversion (which I discussed here), which can then eventually lead to a macro conversion. Link building to other relative blog posts on your website will actually help Google crawl your site easier and more effectively (due to posts being categorized and pages tagged).
Remember that the most important thing to link building is to keep things natural, build over time, and to really be intentional with the content you’re creating and the content you’re sharing. Good SEO takes time, consistency and commitment and, ultimately, you are in control of whether you want your backlinks to increase your ranking, have a negative impact, or do absolutely nothing. What kind of SEO strategies do you use to improve your rankings?