SEO, Digital Strategy

An introduction to link building and its role in your SEO strategy

An introduction to link building and its role in your SEO strategy

 Whilst link building is just one aspect of SEO, it’s role is of prime importance when aiming to improve your ranking on search results pages. 

So what is link building? 

Link building is a fundamental SEO tactic that involves getting other websites to link back to yours, and enhance your link profile. That link acts as a sign of trust from a fellow website. It’s the technical equivalent of a recommendation you might give a friend about a restaurant you enjoyed recently. 


Why is link building important?

In the same way that you would trust the food in a restaurant that’s received positive reviews, search engines such as Google trust websites that have received a wide range of high quality links. Google translates the links as recommendations, and in turn decides that if a website has a lot of links then it is providing value to visitors and is full of useful information, ultimately leading to it recommending the website in the form of improved ranking positions for you keywords and phrases. Building links to your site increases your domain authority, which is the overall score that search engines take into account when deciding whether your site is a strong source of trustworthy information, products, and services. A higher domain authority can help improve your visibility in organic search. 

Further to having a large number of links, Google also looks out for where these links are coming from. The source of the link carries weight, and can be both positive and detrimental to its impact on your ranking. Going back to the restaurant analogy, a recommendation from Gordon Ramsey carries much more weight than the thoughts of Dave from down the road. 


The right and wrong way to adopt a link building strategy

When it comes to the strategy you adopt for link building, there is a right and a wrong approach. 

The wrong approach would be to take the shortcut of purchasing links. With link building being an extremely effective way of improving your SEO, but one that is long term, businesses often look for the quick win by paying for links. Not only does this strategy lead to links being created from poorly trusted, non- relevant sites that will actually damage your domain authority, it violates Google’s guidelines and can lead to your website being banned from the search engine ranking pages. 

The right approach is what we call ‘organic link building’. This strategy means you need to earn your links rather than simply handing over some money for them. While this approach can be difficult and take a long time to benefit from its impact, sites that naturally link enjoy the long term benefits such as higher visibility of your website and avoidance of any punishment from the search engines.


How can I organically build links to my website?

As mentioned, you should earn your links rather than pay for them, and here are three relatively straightforward tactics for encouraging external websites to link back to your own: 

  • Create great content and then promote it. Producing compelling content that is unique and engaging will be enough for people to want to link to your site, especially if it adds value to the content they’re publishing. Once you have your content, you need to tell people about it. Share it where you can to give it the exposure it deserves and allow people to find it, and link to it. 
  • Reviews from industry influencers. This is kind of a follow on from point 1, but being more specific and targeted as to who you share the content with. Sharing your content with people within the industry who have a large following increased the chances that they will link to it and include it in their content. This can have a knock on effect if their followers also decide to link to your content. 
  • Ask friends, family, and peers. As the saying goes, it’s who you know not what you know. Asking people you know who run their own websites, blogs, or similar online property can be a great way to get started with your link building strategy. 


In Summary 

Link building forms a key part of your SEO strategy and, whilst it can be time consuming and a long term tactic, it’s one you should not be ignoring. Strong links from trustworthy, relevant sources will enhance your domain authority and tell search engines that your site is recommended, leading to improved rankings and elevated chances of driving traffic to your website. As mentioned link building is just one part of your SEO strategy, and if you would like to learn more about how to get your website ranking higher on Google, click here. 

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Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack is the founder of Invanity marketing and has worked in digital marketing since the age of 17. Having been involved in both the client-side and the agency side of the process he is building Invanity with a vision of creating a marketing agency that truly delivers on the results it has promised.