What is Link Building for SEO?

Oct 2, 2019 8:00:00 AM

By Troy Sympson

Every website has both internal and external links. Internal links connect pages and blog posts within your own website; external links connect other websites to your website pages.

Internal links are important – they make your site easier to navigate, create an information hierarchy, and help spread link equity (this ties into SEO ranking power) – but for the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume you already have internal links. (If you don’t, or you only have links to your Homepage or Contact page, we should talk.)

Link building for SEO is the process of getting external websites to link back to your website. A majority of business owners and marketers these days use link building techniques to drive referral traffic to their website and increase its authority. 35% of business owners and marketers spend approximately $1,000 or less every month on link building. In addition, 53% of them also dedicate up to one quarter of their SEO budget to link building.

According to a study by Backlinko, the average page that lands in position #1 in response to a search inquiry has more than 35,000 external backlinks. Yes, it’s hard (perhaps impossible) to fathom having that many external backlinks, but there is still plenty you can do to outrank competitors' websites.  

Why Build Links for SEO?

Even though Google keeps changing its algorithms and impacting search engine results, backlinks are a big factor in how search engines determine site rankings.  According to Google, website owners can improve their website ranking by “building more high-quality links to their webpages.” The reason is that having a lot of backlinks signals to Google that your site is a quality resource -- trustworthy and worthy of citation. So, the more links you build, the better your website ranking will be.

But, there’s a right way and a wrong way to build links to your website. If you’re looking at a long-term search engine sustainability plan for your website, we recommend engaging in natural link-building, which leads to backlinks you earn in a legitimate way. Don’t resort to buying links or using practices such as black hat SEO. Black Hat SEO tactics range from keyword stuffing and article spinning to creating pages and domains with duplicate content. This type of activity can get your website banned from the search engine results, which would be a disaster.

How to Get Backlinks

Natural link-building is a challenging, time-consuming process. 65% of marketers feel that link building is one of the toughest SEO tactics. Not all backlinks are equally effective, either. For example, a backlink from a high-authority website such as Medium will have more impact on your search engine rankings than backlinks from fairly new websites.

Here are a few ideas for getting other websites to link to your site:

  • Develop content that is so compelling that other people (sites) want to reference your site and link to it
  • Get your product or service in the eyes or hands of influencers (and make a great impression, of course) to encourage them to mention your product and link to your site
  • Ask colleagues in related businesses to link from their site to yours
  • If your company is mentioned in a trade publication or local online news source, or you are interviewed by a writer, ask to have your company name linked to your website

There is a good chance that your content will rank higher for your target keywords if you can get high-authority external links to your web pages.

The Authority of a Website

While you are working on a plan to build links for SEO, you need to see if the page you’re linking to is a PageRank propeller. If so, the page will have an enormous impact on your search engine rankings.

The quality of a link is also determined by the authority of the domain. Authoritative pages provide more authority to your website. You can use tools such as Ahrefs to check the authority of a web page by entering the web page link. (You may also find their blog helpful in learning more about SEO.)

The Relevancy of a Website

The relevancy of a website is as important as its authority. For instance, let’s say you’re running a website on Autoimmune Diseases, and you get a link from a high-authority website on SEO. Will the link be useful? Not at all. Always pursue links from authority websites that are relevant to your niche.

 Need help with link building for SEO? Contact us today!