Having links is still among the top factors used by search engines to determine your website’s rank. It is because links allow search engines to discover and assess the contents of your website. Having a lot of links to your website is similar to having likes or votes and may serve as testimonials to the quality of your link. It is therefore important for website owners to invest in cost-effective, high-quality link building.
What is Link Building?
Link building is defined as the process of encouraging other websites to add links to their content that will direct visitors to your website. Link building is essential for business owners and digital marketers to drive more traffic and increase site authority.
Why Do You Need Link Building?
Google and other search engines are always updating their algorithms to determine the ranks of websites for specific keyword queries. Google, for example, has more than 200 ranking factors for deciding how to arrange relevant, indexed results every time users enter keywords in the query bar. While most ranking factors change over time, backlinks remain an important factor when ranking a website.
Backlinks establish a website as having quality content and resources that are worthy of citation. Therefore, websites with many backlinks will tend to get higher rankings in search engine results pages or SERPs.
The Three Kinds of Links in the Internet
If you are working on an SEO campaign for your website, having backlinks will help you significantly since these links will increase your site’s credibility and authority. Links inform search engines that your site has quality content that other websites cite. However, it is important to focus on the types of links that will help you rank higher when building links. Links are classified into three main types, namely:
- Natural Links. Google defines natural links as links that the content creator did not create. If your website has relevant and useful content, other websites that belong to the same industry may cite your content to prove a point or offer an additional resource. Having a lot of natural backlinks citing your content is an effective way to get noticed by Google and other search engines.
- Outreach Links. Another strategy in link building is to ask influencers to create links on their websites to direct traffic back to your website. These are known as outreach links. Creating outreach links is not easy since you need to convince other websites to accept the credibility of your content. Likewise, other websites may give your website backlinks for a fee. Nevertheless, outreach links are useful to get backlinks for a newly launched website.
- Self-Created Links. Self-created links are defined as non-editorial links from unmoderated blog comments or guest posts. Self-created links create an illusion of good content by creating self-serving links back to your website. However, Google and other search engines are already familiar with this “Black Hat” tactic and may penalize websites with many self-created links.
How to Create Cost-Effective High-Quality Links
It is best to focus on getting natural and outreach links if you are starting a link building campaign to increase traffic to your website. The most effective way to get both types of links is by creating high-quality content and strategically placing them on authoritative websites. Here are some of the ways to create cost-effective, high-quality links.
Master Your Industry. The most important step in creating high-quality content is to know your industry inside and out. One of the main reasons why content creation becomes challenging is deciding what topics to write about. However, if you have mastered your industry, you can easily create content about your niche that people will find useful.
Make it a habit to research the latest trends in your industry and read your competitors’ content. Likewise, change your topics now and then. You will burn out easily in writing content if you write fifty articles about the same topic using different wordings. Your readers may also find your website boring if you dwell on a topic for too long.
Follow Content Creation Guidelines. If you submit your content to other websites, you should follow their platform’s guidelines to the letter. For example, most bloggers will want content without grammatical and syntax errors before publishing them on their platforms. It is therefore important to read your content thoroughly before submitting them to content sharing platforms. You cannot expect a reputable website to cite content filled with errors.
Establish a Firm Word Count. There is no point in creating a very lengthy blog post if it will be published on a website that gets very little traffic. If this is the case, it would be better to publish content on your website. It is therefore important to establish a firm word count on the content that you are creating.
While search engines give long and in-depth content higher ratings, articles with 500 words and up will also get the same ratings. Likewise, a 500-word article is enough to contain useful and relevant content without appearing promotional or “spammy”.
If you know your industry inside and out, it will be easy for you to create 500-word articles to cover a specific topic with enough depth. If you stick to a 500-word count for all your content, you can write more contents for submission to more websites to establish more backlinks.
Rank Your Links. Once you have established your content’s word count, it is best to determine how much effort you will spend in creating your content. The best way to do this is to create a guide based on a site’s domain authority.
Domain authority is a ranking score created by search engines to measure the success of a site is getting the top ranks in search engine results pages. Websites with high domain authority, such as Forbes and The Huffington Post, will ensure that many users will see your backlinks. It is therefore important to give more effort in creating content for websites with high domain authority.
Recycle Old Contents. When running a link building campaign, you may end up building links on websites that belong to the same niche as your own. You can use your old content to create new content to publish on these websites. However, do not make the mistake of copying and pasting your old content on other sites since you will be penalized for publishing plagiarized content. Instead, use your old content’s theme, structure, and topics, then rewrite them for other websites.
Outsource Your Content Creation. If you find link-building strategies difficult, you can outsource this stage to agencies that create high-quality content and publish it on a website with high domain authority. While outsourcing your content creation and link building to an agency will entail added expenses, this strategy will still give you a more cost-effective option since you can focus on more important aspects of your business, such as product research and development or handling customers.
Optimizing Your Web Design. It is important to remember that all your efforts in creating high-quality links will be pointless if you have a poorly designed website. For example, you may have websites with high domain authorities linking back to your website, however, what will happen if users click on your backlinks to face a website that does not load fast? These users will most likely abandon your site without getting to read your content.
Before setting out on a link-building campaign, it is best to determine the quality of your web design first by asking the following questions:
- Does your website have fast loading speeds? Forty per cent of website visitors are most likely to abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load up. Therefore, it is important to optimize all the elements of your website to enable it to load faster, especially if you are expecting many visitors to be directed to your site via backlinks.
- Can users easily navigate your website to find the contents that they need? Your backlinks will not give you positive results if your visitors cannot find the contents on your website.
- Is Your Website Visually Appealing? The visual elements of your website will affect the readability of your content. It is best to ensure that any visual elements in your website will not make it hard for users to read your content. Your website should have a hierarchy of visual elements to help users focus on more important content.
- Does Your Website Have a Responsive Design? Recent studies show that more than sixty per cent of searches come from mobile devices. Therefore, your website must have a responsive design that allows design elements to adjust to different screen sizes.
Link building is an essential strategy to get more traffic to your website. The quality of the links you establish and your web design’s quality is also essential for your digital marketing campaign.