Back to Basics in Link Building
A lot of small business owners just starting to study and practice the tricky art and science of SEO try a lot of outlandish DIY link building techniques that just don’t work. When it comes to link building, one of the most important and challenging parts of SEO, it’s important to get the basics down before trying to do anything crazy.
Often, innovation in SEO comes from slightly improving on a practice that’s already widely accepted. That’s exactly how we discovered our unique home page link building method. It’s just a slight, simple variation on the basics of SEO link building.
So what are the basics of link building?
Your site needs backlinks from other sites to rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Each link from another site to yours is like a vote on behalf of your site.
Obviously, the more backlinks you have, the better. However, it’s not just the quantity of backlinks that determines where you rank with Google and the other major search engines. The quality of each link also plays a huge role.
That means that you need to concentrate your link building efforts on high quality sites, also known as “authority domains.”
What determines a site’s quality?
Reach, influence, and legitimacy all go into determining a site’s quality. The more popular a site is, and the more honest and well-produced its content, the more a backlink from that site will help your own site climb the SERPs.
A lot of this is determined by traffic, and some of it is also determined by links. That means that if a site has a lot of backlinks pointing towards it, its links pointing out to other sites (like yours) will be considered inherently more valuable.
There’s a lot of information out there about expanding your own site’s reach and influence. This will help you get links by making your site more attractive for others to link to, and will also allow you to boost other sites’ popularity by linking to them.
How do I build links?
Once you’ve determined a few sites that you would like to have backlinks from, it’s time to get down to the real work of building links. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Organic link building – This occurs when another site links to your content because it discovered your site naturally. For example, if another blog references some of your content in one of its post, it will link to your content either in a citation or as a recommendation for further reading for its users.
- Paid link building – You can often “sponsor” content on other sites in exchange for a link back to your site. However, be careful that you don’t get scammed or engage in any black hat practices when you’re doing this. Before you try it, make sure to read up on search engine rules and ethics.
- Guest posting – You can often write guest posts for other sites, especially blogs, and include a link back to your own site in an author bio or from within the content itself. It’s a win-win situation: the other site gets a guest post from a knowledgeable contributor, and you get a vote of confidence from that site.