You may have heard of link building for SEO purposes, but what exactly does link building mean? Why is it important, and how do small businesses start the process?
These are all great – and very important – questions to be asking! SEO link building can be a stressful process, and we understand the time constraints that come with running a small business or nonprofit organization. However, link building can do wonders for your SEO, which will ultimately increase your digital visibility (we’ll dive into more of this later!) To get you started, we will be discussing the basics of link building: what it means, why it’s important to do, and our four link building strategies for beginners!
- Link building is the process of adding hyperlinks that point to your website onto other websites (referred to as “backlinks”)
- The quality of the sites that link to your page can also positively or negatively affect your ranking; so make sure those backlinks are coming from sources you would like as referrals!
- Link building is an important part of your overall SEO strategy, because it will ultimately increase your digital visibility.
- Don’t forget about the importance of using a listing management service!
- Find out how to start a link building campaign for beginners, by following our recommended four main strategies!
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of adding hyperlinks that point to your website onto other websites; these links are technically referred to as “backlinks”, since the link can redirect readers back to your site.
Why Is Link Building Important?
Link building is an important part of your overall SEO strategy, because having other sites backlink to your website will ultimately increase your digital visibility. According to PrestigeLinks, a well-renowned company that offers white-label blogger outreach & link building services for SEO agencies, “they’re one of the main signals Google uses to determine where to position you on the SERPs. The rule of the thumb is the more backlinks you have, the better you’ll rank because backlinks represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.”
When search engines like Google recognize high-quality links that direct back to your website / webpage, the content on your website or webpage is deemed more relatable and valuable to the search engine. This results in an increase in your SEO ranking.
It’s important to note that, while having backlinks in general is helpful for your SEO, the quality of the sites that link to your page can also positively or negatively affect your ranking. According to an article published by Yoast SEO, “a link from an authoritative website, preferably topically related to yours, is worth more than a random link from a small website nobody knows.” Also, having a backlink to your website from a low-quality / spammy website can also negatively impact your own ranking; so make sure those backlinks are coming from sources you would like as referrals!
Our SEO Link Building Strategies for Beginners
So now we know what backlinks are and their importance, but how do you get started with SEO link building? How do you convince other sites to agree to share a link to your website / webpage? We’ve narrowed the process down to three main strategies for you to get started!
1) Research Your Options & Review Your Current Backlink Status.
Ask yourself who you want the intended audience to be; what content do they like reading about? What type of sites do they visit to gain information about their interests? Which of these sites can you relate your business or nonprofit with? Start by mapping these out in a document in order to organize your thoughts and brainstorm more effectively!
Not sure where to begin when thinking of referring sites? There are a bunch of paid and free SEO tools that offer link building tools to help you research the best websites that could potentially backlink to your website. We recommend using the SEMRush link building tool within their native platform; with a free account, you can find new prospects (websites) that would be suitable for linking back to your site.
They also have a Backlink Audit tool, which will help you look for and remove potentially harmful backlinks that are currently used on low quality websites.
Start with a backlink audit to review your current status with backlinks, and then start researching!
2) Revamp Your Current Content
Once you have researched all of your potential prospects, focus on the current content that exists on your website or blog archive. If you want other sites to backlink to your own website / webpage, the content should be worth the redirection.
Take a look at your landing pages, and honestly ask yourself if a new web visitor would be able to:
- Gain enough formidable information from that page, and
- Be compelled to take a further action on your website (ie. is there a clear call-to-action on each page? Should they “buy now”, “contact you for more information”, “learn more from your recent blog”, “sign up today”, etc?)
Honestly – and with a fresh pair of eyes – take stock of your current content, and revamp it if need be! If you haven’t written any blogs yet, try and post a couple of quick reads! If some landing pages don’t have any clear call-to-actions, add them! This will make your current content worth reading, as well as make it worth linking to when reaching out to new prospects (they want to know they are linking out to a quality site).
Which brings us to our next strategy…
3) Reach Out to New Prospects, and Return The Favor
The best way to get new link building prospects to partner with you and link to your website? Ask them. There are times when you will receive a backlink naturally from a different business or organization, but sometimes people don’t have an opportunity or reason to; or sometimes, they might mention you in their web content, and just forget to link to you! For those who mention you and have an established idea of your organization, a quick email request to add a link to your site will be simple (usually people have no problem doing so if you ask them!)
If you are hoping to solidify a relationship with a new prospect (someone you’ve never connected before), we recommend reaching out and seeing if they would be interested in partnering with you in a link-building project. Introduce yourself, talk about what you love about their organization or work, and then ask if they would be willing to write a blog that includes a backlink to your own site. Mention why you think a partnership between the two of you makes sense for your organizations, and then return the favor and offer to backlink to them!
And most importantly, don’t be offended if they say no. They might not have time to write new content the moment you reach out to them. They might not see the mutual benefit or similarities between your organizations that you see. And that is okay! Better to thank them and leave on a good note than to burn a potential bridge for a future partnership.
4) Remember the Benefits of Online Directories
Another simple way of gathering links is to set up your business or organization with listing management. Listing management is an online tool / service used to house your organizational information, and distribute it across online directories and digital business listing sites. Utilizing listing management is not just a valuable strategy in your link-building campaigns, but also your SEO campaigns overall! Having all of your business information – not just the link to your website – consistent across these directories will not only provide you with more backlinks, but will solidify your digital presence in a consistent, integrated way, which will in turn boost your SEO as a whole!
Interested in learning more? PGM will do all of the setup and management for you! We offer the most comprehensive list management service in our Digital Visibility offering.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to find out how to navigate the digital landscape for our business’ growth, and working together to mutually benefit from link building can do wonders for your search engine optimization!
Interested in learning more about link building strategies? Ready to talk specifics about how your business or organization can benefit & effectively use link building to reach your visibility goals? Check out these helpful blogs, contact us at 630.686.2600, or reach out to your designated PGM contact if you are a current client. We are excited to work with you!