Link building still holds more than half of percentage of a website successful rate. Even Google is saying they will give less value to links in terms of ranking ability of a website; a website without inbound inks will not have a chance to compete in organic search. Hence, a website cannot survive in digital marketing competition without building any links to its homepage or important pages.
While links can be easily manipulated, the value of links for a website still remains unyielding. Even there is a way that you can help a website increase its chances to get traffic by optimizing your rich snippet appearance in organic search, increasing a website authority through links can help you maintain your position in organic search for your target key phrases.
It goes without saying; earned links are much more powerful than self created links. However, websites don’t always earn a link and sometimes, if a self created link is built on Wikipedia, Edu or Government sites, definitely, you will increase search rankings for your target keywords. While self created link building can be tremendously beneficial for a website, having link building tips to follow can help a website avoid penalties that can occur along the way.
Build links for exposure and visibility
Building exposure is really important in digital marketing space. This can help a website be discovered and found by its target audience which is a really important achievment and milestone in online marketing. Having said that, this does not matter whether you build follow or nofollow links to your website as long as your target audience can see your website and it is widely exposed to its target audience.
While exposure is a great way to help a website increase organic, referral and direct traffic, but this does not mean that you can spam every channel in your industry. You should have a strategic method of how you should participate in every channel in which you must develop your authority to earn their trust.
Where can you build links for exposure:
- Create social pages in various social channels
- Associate your brand with big brands
- Consistently appear on established blogs or industry news sites
- Participate in community discussions that are topically related to your niche or industry
How can you build exposure:
- Always share your content to your social pages, community or even through manual email to your audience.
- Always reference your existing publications to your new publication to help build links and citation to your other content.
- Do a press release whenever there is a new product launch, company rebranding or even a website redesign in which you think highly valuable to your audience.
Build links for traffic
Traffic is one of the main goals that a website should keep improving in the long run. Without traffic, a website is ineffective and non-beneficial to a business at all. In this case, building links to gain traffic to a website is really imperative to make sure that your website will also be helpful in increasing leads, inquiries or even potential partnerships to your business.
While building traffic to a website is really crucial, acquiring the right traffic is what’s more important to every website. Regardless of how many traffic you drove to your website, if none of them converted into leads, those traffic won’t be considered as your target audience especially if the bounce rate of your website increased.
Where can you build links:
- Social channels
- Community discussions
- Curation sites
How can you acquire turn those links into traffic:
- Contribute highly researched and well written content on top ranking blogs in your industry referrencing your own content published on your website.
- Always update your social channels preferrably with your own piece of work
- Participate in commumity discussion citing your own content when sharing your knowledge in the community thread
- Collect your own piece of work or topically related content in one piece of page with all linking back to original source
Generating links from where your audience gather is a good strategy for exposure and traffic sources. However, in my opinion, driving people to a website isn’t that easy. You need to make sure that the content or piece of work that you share to your audience is highly comprehensive so you wont disappoint them!
Build links for authority
Generating links to build authority of your website is normally common in digital marketing space. You need to establish your authority to ensure that people will likely to trust your website whenever you publish content or share information. In digital marketing space, the higher the authority of a website in its industry, the chances of attracting new visits to a website is relatively high.
While website authority helps a website a lot in ranking for its target key phrases in organic search, it is unethical for a webmaster to manipulate the amount of links that point to their domain in a manipulative ways. Google have already matured and a lot of studies have proven significant results that gaming in search rankings is tracked and often lead to penalties so it’s important that you avoid link manipulation.
How can you improve website authority
- Generate links from edu or gov sites – Google trusted domain extensions in digital marketing
- Build links on top ranking blogs in your niche/industry
- Do not focus on building links to your individual pages. Instead, focus on your important pages or category pages.
It is a common practice in search engine optimization (SEO) to increase a website authority in order to compete in organic search. Since organic search results always fluctuate due to Google alrgorithms, continous building high quality links to strengthen a website authority and ranking ability is essential.
Diversify your links & anchor text
Getting your links from one source or from one type is likely not very healthy for a website in several ways. This can only make you lose a lot of potential traffic and opportunities to your website and worst, this can just put a website risk. So diversity really becomes a huge part of digital marketing, in 2013, Dr. Pete of MOZ wrote about his #1 SEO tip of the year which is a complete guide to digital marketers to diversify their link profile, anchor text etc.
As diversity has become really crucial and big deal in digital marketing, making sure that your link profile is diversified in terms of the following link acquisition methods:
- Guest blogging
- Community engagement
- Local listing
- Press release
- Brand association
- Video distribution
- Slide presentation
- Image link building
Things to remember:
In link building development, practicing different approach or link scheme to build links to a website is strongly prohibitted. Hence, practicing the methods below should never be implemented if you don’t want to put a website at risk of penalty.
Don’t automate link building
Automating your link building to build inbound links to a website is absolutely unnecessary. Google encourages webmasters to focus building quality website instead of focusing in building thousand of links to a website’s important pages. While quantity still helps a website compete in organic search, it does not mean that you will automatically rank for your target key phrases when you build a thound of links. In my opinion, a thousand of links does not matter if you can get few links from edu or gov sites with your brand name used as anchor text.
Also, Google always mention and remind webmasters to practice natural link building process. Which means, automatic your inbound links is a clear and proven method of unnatural link building that is completely against in Google guidelines.
Don’t acquire links on irrelevant websites
Again, Google aims to provide quality results to search users, if your website’s link profile are all low quality, manipulative and irrelevant to your industry at all, obviously, you will definitely not rank for your key phrases and you are only putting your website at high risk.
As mentioned above, building links that can help you drive traffic to your website, exposure and authority in your industry is extremely valuable as far as SEO is concerned.
Don’t build low quality links
Yes links are important in all aspect of digital marketing. However, this does not mean that you can build low quality links from other websites by farming directory sites, bookmarking sites or irrelevant websites in your industry. Google has algorithms to detect if a website is manipulating its link profile to rank for its target keywords and there is a corresponding penalties associated with the identified websites.
Although it is inevitable for some websites to be cited by low quality sites, you need to make sure that the links you will earn from low quality cites will not affect your website performance in organic search results.
Don’t build link fast
As mentioned above, automating your link building is definitely not recommended by Google. Hence, building links in a fast pace can also have negative impact to a website. Although it is not automatic link building, obtaining large amount of links in a short period of time is still can be looked like unnatural.
Links are important. No matter how you turn the world of internet upside down, links will to be useful to a website. And even if Google is doing some experents weather it is possible to show results without the influence of links, I believe they are still far from completing the experiments. While links still have huge importance in helping a website rank and compete in organic search, you need to do your best by providing content and making sure that your website is always search and user friendly.
Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippines based Internet Marketing blog for businesses. Joseph has been working in online marketing industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ.