What is Link Building & Why it is Important in SEO?

Why Local Citations are Important for Local SEO
April 17, 2018
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What is Link Building & Why it is Important in SEO?

why link building is important in SEO

Link building is not new but there are several people who don’t understand its importance. Both SEO and link building go through a consistent change and the demand for high-quality links has increased with time compared to the last years. You need successful campaigns to get an exposure in the internet world, but that is possible only if you understand link building and its techniques. This guide will help the newcomers as well as the old SEO professionals who want to improve the process of link building. The guide is so easy that even a layman can understand it and can apply it to his or her new venture.

How to Define Link Building?

A way of getting hyperlinks to your website from various websites is what we call link building. The users can navigate from one website to another or from one page to another with the help of a hyperlink. The links help search engines explore the web for different pages or websites. SEO experts use various techniques for link building and consider it very hard because they have to spend a lot of time on this task. An SEO specialist can reach the top in the industry if he knows how to build quality links.

Importance of Link Building in SEO

It is essential to know link building fundamentals because only they can tell you the actual value of the links. Like you need to know how the links are developed, and how the search engines detect them.

  1. Anchor Tag: Denoted as “a” the anchor tag starts the link tag and help search engines to follow the required page or website through the link.
  2. Finding the Link URL: The “href” or “hyperlink referral” shows the website to which the given link is directing. It is not always necessary to link a webpage, but it can also be an image or any download and it starts with a # mark. These local links help visitors explore various parts of the page they visit.
  3. Anchor Text Denoting the Link: This is either a keyword or any small text with a hyperlink that the reader can click to explore further. The writer differentiates the anchor text from the rest of content with blue color or with an underline, showing the readers that the link is clickable.
  4. End of Link Tag: This helps search engines find that the link tag is ending.

Importance of Links for Search Engines

The search engines use the links for two reasons:

  1. To locate new web pages
  2. To find how to rank the specific page in the search results.

Search engines have to rank the web pages according to their links and web content. The external websites with the links referring your page should be of high-quality because Google or any other search engine will rank your page accordingly. Google has also developed a special video on this topic for beginners. In general, the link building benefits include:

  • High ranking in search results
  • More traffic through other websites linked to your webpage
  • People consider you website informative and useful due to high-quality links and content.
  • People can search you fast
  • It is an integral part of SEO

Types of Links

Natural Link Building: Natural links are also known as editorial links because the website owners give these links. You don’t have to contact anyone or ask the website owner to link to your webpage. But it’s hard to earn such links that’s why Google value such links more than others

Manual Link Building: Manual link building is a common practice especially for startups and for small businesses. You have to contact the bloggers or website owners to place your link but you need to convince them for a particular reason. You also need to contact people with relevant industry because an irrelevant website owner will find it weird to link to you.

Manipulation of Links: Initially, the SEO specialists tried to manipulate the PageRank with certain keywords, even though the page was not of high-quality. As a result, Google started a filter system to detect the poor websites. The web directories that were used for link building are no more useful now because Google consistently updates its policies for link building techniques. Google also penalizes websites which manipulate by overusing the keywords or links. So the SEO specialist must be well aware of the Penguin updates by Google that help find the right link building techniques. Though it is hard to detect Google’s actual algorithm the SEO sector knows that links have an important place in the algorithm.

Google’s Analysis of Ranking Factors

Google monitors certain factors to determine the web pages’ ranking level, like

  • Impressive content with links that look natural
  • Impressive and informative videos
  • Guest posting
  • Infographics
  • Creating pillar content and its marketing
  • Dofollow social websites and comments

Even if all factors are compatible, the quality and quantity of links referring to a page will affect the rankings. Some people think that links are not as effective in page ranking as they used to be in the past. But, here again, we will emphasize on high-quality links which still take your page to a high rank on Google. So, the SEO specialists should use such link building strategies that focus more on quality of the links.

Things to Know About Nofollow

Sometimes the websites include a feature named “nofollow” that prevents unnecessary links. An ordinary user cannot notice this feature but those who understand the HTML will understand “nofollow” from the code. For example, see the code below supposing that your website is ABC,

<a href=”http://www.ABC.com” rel=”nofollow”>ABC</a>

In the above code, you can see a term rel=”nofollow”, that orders Google to ignore the specific link because it will affect the URL rank. The reason for using the Nofollow codes is to avoid the links which are otherwise uncontrollable. In fact, you as a website owner suggest Google not to trust the link because you don’t find it from a reliable source. Such links can be in blog comments, forum posts or guest posts signatures, Wikipedia pages that need editing, yahoo answers, guest books, un-moderated directories, user profiles, embedded widgets, and several other features.

These are the areas where any user can place a link and it becomes hard for you to moderate the links. So you can apply a Nofollow feature to unnecessary links posted by others. Nofollow keeps the spammers away from getting benefit from your websites PageRank.  Recently, Google has also started using this feature for areas like the link submitting directories, press releases and advertisements. To avoid any confusion, you can differentiate between the no-followed and followed links with the help of certain tools available online.

The Way Link Building Helps Your Brand

Now, you know that the links help search engines rank a website so the use of high-quality links will increase your website’s rank in the search engine, like Google. Eventually, the visitors will know your brand and will find your website useful. There are also several other advantages to link building which are not so apparent but you need to focus on them too.

  1. Enhance Business Relationships

You can get connected to other blogs or websites through link building that further helps you develop a business network in your industry. The main purpose of outreaching the industry fellows is not just to attain a link; instead, it can also help you have a good relationship with the industry experts. The relationship can become long-term, increasing your worth in the industry. People will trust you more and will buy your product or will consider your website informative and authentic. As a result, the link building will give birth to the advocates for your brand.

  1. Links Influence the Referrals

Link building does not only affect the rankings but it also leaves a great impact on referrals. A high-quality website sending a link to your page will bring more traffic. It can also enhance your sales if the website is relevant because it will bring potential customers. In other words, your link will attract customers rather than just enhancing the SEO. Guest blogging in a high ranked website that links to your webpage can bring an unlimited traffic with a passionate audience, getting you more exposure.

  1. Product Development

High-quality link building can enhance your brand making you an authority in your industry. Like, you can create impressive and original content to make people aware of your brand. A killing content can make you popular on several platforms, including the social media. By linking your web page to the related websites, your brand will grow within days as you get thousands of audience.

  1. Have Valuable Web Pages for Linking

As you need valuable websites for link building, likewise, you would need a valuable webpage to link to. Most of the time, people link the homepage of their website. However, you can also link to a specific feature like an image, tool, or a blog post.  You can either build links to already available features on your website or can develop special features with an aim of link building, both will work. Same way, the link building strategy determines the type of link you must choose, but you should not use the non-editorial links. Better select natural links that increase your website worth, enhancing your brand.

Link Building Campaigns

Provided both sides are of high-quality, the link building campaign will become an earning campaign as your webpage will get a good rank. Every SEO must start a link building campaign with the pages that deserve linking. You will find it hard to build links to low-quality web pages or which have no worth. If the links connect people to an informative webpage or to a useful product, link building will become the easiest task for you.

  1. Make a Plan for Number of Links

Just like you make a marketing plan so you have to do for link building because your main aim is to market your plan. Choose a realistic goal that gets you businesses instead of an unrealistic goal. Like, if you build 8 links that don’t help grow your business, they will be useless.  At the same time, a number of links help Google see how your webpage is informative for your visitors. Sometimes, even the high-quality content remains unnoticed due to a lack of links or if the website owners don’t link to you, you will not have a place on the search engines. Remember one fact that search engines are not humans they are blind because they are machines. For example, Google will not find your site valuable even if it has superb content because Google only crawls through links.

  1. Identify Your Assets

Find the assets that you will use for link building. These assets may act as a hook, attracting the web owners to hook to your valuable webpage. Every business has its own assets so you must identify yours for a successful link building. Some common assets include the web content, data, services, products, and people.

  1. The Links You Need

After deciding the link strategy, find the type of links you should get. Like they can be links to your homepage, links to products or services, links having the company or brand name, and links with target keywords. You need to deeply analyze the links that suit your business. You can either use one link or a combination of two links.

  1. Recognize Your Target Market

You must know your target audience to help links attract that audience accordingly. The links will fail in getting business if they will not target the desired audience so be wise. Do a lot of research to find your target visitors because a successful link building can turn your visitors into potential customers.

Let’s Wrap It Up

This link building guideline can help startups understand the essence of link building. As we all know that new strategies appear and search engines update their terms regularly so stay updated with Google. But independent of the changing landscape, one should only concentrate on the quality of the links as we mentioned here so many times. Quality is the only factor that will never change so follow this rule for having a long-term online exposure.

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