It’s no secret that links from other websites are the number one ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Because of this, many SEOs have a love/hate relationship with links.
On the one hand, links are incredibly important for SEO. On the other hand, link acquisition is one of the hardest and most time-intensive parts of an SEO job.
To help you get started with your link building efforts, here is a step-by-step guide on how to build links in 2022.
What is link building?
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link/backlink) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Backlinks are also referred to as “inbound links”.
Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.
Link building is not just about quantity, though. It’s also about quality. Search engines look at who is linking to a page, and the quality of those links when assessing how authoritative and relevant that page is.
For example, a link from Harvard University’s homepage would be considered more authoritative than a link from your neighbor’s personal blog.
Why is link building important?
Backlinks are used by Google and other search engines to rank a site on search results page SERPs.
Google has been using backlinks in its algorithms since 1998. The same year google created page rank to determine which pages to be in the SERPs.
What is PageRank?
PageRank is a numerical expression of the importance of a webpage to Google. It was developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google.
The algorithm depends on a web surfer’s actions. When a surfer visits a webpage, that action can be passed on to other pages through links (or simply backlinks).
PageRank uses this information as an indicator of the value of a webpage.
How does PageRank work?
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is.
The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
Let us take a step back and list some of the benefits or simply why links are important.
- Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another.- In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility.
- The more links you have pointing towards your website, the better you will rank on Google (SERPs), but only if they are quality links.
- Google uses links as votes of popularity and importance in its algorithms.
- Links help your local SEO efforts.
- There more quality links you have, the more you get traffic to your site.
Building links isn’t easy (or cheap), but it is necessary – and anything worth doing when doing right.
They are also the key trigger to rank for higher competitive keywords and get tones of traffic to your site.
our next point is …
How Do You Get Backlinks?
Backlinks can be time-consuming to earn. New sites or those expanding their keyword footprint may find it difficult to know where to start when it comes to link building. That’s where competitive backlink research comes in:
By examining the backlink profile (the collection of pages and domains linking to a website) of a competitor that’s already ranking well for your target keywords, you can gain insight about the link building strategies that may have helped them.
A tool like Link Explorer can help uncover these links so you can target those domains in your own link building campaigns.
The 3 main ways or strategies to get backlinks are:
- Creating them
- Buying backlinks and
- Earning them
To help you understand best on backlinks or link building and how to get them, we are going to explain what each method entails.
The first and second steps are easier to achieve but in the end not the most beneficial. Earning links is the hardest and most time-consuming yet you get quality and authoritative backlinks that help you rank.
Let us start with creating backlinks …
1. Creating Backlinks
Basically, you can create backlinks in three ways.
The first method is through Directories.
There are directories in just about every niche you can think of. And, believe it or not, there are still people out there who use them to find the products and services they need.
It’s not a great strategy to put all your eggs in the directory basket, but it might make sense to get yourself on a few relevant ones.
Even though the value of directory links has diminished in recent years due to the high volume of spammy submissions, you should still submit your site to be listed.
Some of these directories have tens of millions of monthly visitors and sending them to your site can only help.
If you do want to try getting backlinks in directories, here’s what you should do:
- Find good directories.
- Fill out your profile as completely as possible.
- Include a link to your site… But don’t stop there. Get creative with content!
- Start connecting with other users on the site — especially in your niche.
– Blog Comments
The second method is through Blog Comments.
Getting backlinks through blog comments is a bit of an art. You need to know where to find the right blogs, how to write a good comment, and when to leave it.
If you do it right, you’ll get one or more backlinks with every comment you make. If you do it wrong, you’ll probably get deleted and may even create negative backlinks for yourself.
Here are the steps for getting high-quality backlinks this way:
- Do your research. You can’t just go around commenting on any old blog in hopes that it will give you a good link. Start by selecting keyword phrases that are relevant to your business and then search for them using Google or another search engine.The results page will include a mix of news stories and blogs. Click through to each blog and read at least a few of the articles to see if the blog’s content is appropriate for your purposes.
- Create an account with Gravatar (or another similar service) so that your picture will show up next to any comment you leave on a WordPress-powered blog (which is pretty much most of them). Then fill out the profile information, making sure to include links back to your business website in the appropriate places.
- Write thoughtful comments. If all you do is leave a one-word reply, it’s not going to get approved by most moderators. The more effort you put into your comment, the more likely it is that it will be approved — and the more likely it is that readers will follow the link back to your site.
- Leave links in the right place. Some blogs allow commenters to leave links in their name or email field, while others require them in the body of the comment. Make sure your links are visible and take readers where they expect them to go.
– Social Media Profile
The last step is through Social Media Profiles.
The idea of promoting your website or business through social media is not a new one, in fact, it’s probably been around since the first social network.
Social media profile creation is an effective link building strategy and an important part of an overall profile. Social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc. are very helpful in getting backlinks and better authority.
Make sure your social media profile is complete with all the details – photos, company logo, contact information, location, etc.
Always use your main keyword in the title of your post
2. Buying backlinks
I understand that backlinks are critical to SEO, yet the hardest to get for beginners.
On many freelancing websites such as Fiverr, freelancers offer their services by selling high-quality backlinks to anyone willing to pay.
But is it worth the risk? Is it worth buying backlinks?
Totally not a good idea as it is against Google guidelines. see the image above.
3. Earning Backlinks
The are several ways to earn links to your site. These include writing great content and guest posting on relevant sites but the most effective one is through Outreach.
The best way to get backlinks for your website is to work with high-quality established websites that are relevant to your business.
The best way to approach websites is by contacting them personally so that you can start building relationships. If you send out a generic email it will probably be ignored but if you approach each site individually you will have more success.
Earning backlinks through emailing websites is the hardest but the most effective. The harder it is to get a backlink, the more valuable it is!
Link building strategies (Earning Backlinks)
There are many strategies that are used to get backlinks. Some are hard while others are easy. Whatever the case, we have prepared a blog on; 10 ways/strategies you can start building quality backlinks for your website right now.
A few of the link building strategies include; source Ahrefs
- Guest blogging
- Resource page link building
- Broken link building
- Use HARO
Adopting a few key strategies may just be what it takes to win a cutthroat competition for your site
What Makes a good link?
The best links are the ones that come from a relevant site with high domain authority. A good link is typically one that comes from a higher domain authority site than your own.
Domain Authority is a website metric developed by Moz. It is one of the most important numbers known to SEOs. The higher the number, the more authoritative the site is deemed by Moz.
To get a good backlink or link, you might want to consider these factors;
- The relevance of the linking website to yours: The more relevant the linking website is to yours, the better it will be for your ranking. Relevance means common subject matter between your website and the linking site.
- The relevance of your own blog post: It isn’t necessary for the page to be exactly on point with your content, but it should be very closely related to it. At the very least, the page should be focused on the same general topic, if not the same specific keyword.
- The type of website the link is on: Some websites pass more value than others. A link from CNN would be worth 1000 times more than one from a smaller site.
- A do-follow link (not no-follow): No-follow links don’t help you as much as do-follow links for SEO purposes.
- Get a link from a domain name with a history of not being penalized by Google.
Of course, these factors aren’t always within your control. For example, you can’t influence who links to your site, or what anchor text they use for the link; and you can’t control whether or not sites use no-follow.
But there are some strategies that can help you improve the quality of links to your site.
How does Google evaluate links?
Links from other websites play a key role in determining the ranking of your pages in Google’s search results. For that reason, it’s important to understand how Google evaluates links.
The primary factor that determines a link’s value is the content of the page that contains the link. Links to pages with valuable, relevant content are more valuable than links to low-quality pages or irrelevant content.
A single link from a popular, high-quality site is worth dozens of links from lesser-known sites. A single link from a highly trusted site carries more weight than several links from less trustworthy sites.
When evaluating links, Google looks at things like the reputation of the linking site and the quality of its content, among many other factors.
The 5 types of links that Google values are:
- Editorial Links: These are links that you get because someone has written about you on their website, without you asking for it.
- Resource Links: These are those links that link out to useful resources or tools related to the content on a particular page.
- Guest Posting: This is an example of link building where you write a guest post for another blog, usually with a link back to your website in the author bio section.
- Testimonials: If you provide testimonials for other websites, many times they will let you include a link back to your site as a way to thank you for the testimonial or review.
- Broken Link Building: This is a tactic where you find broken links on other websites and reach out to the webmaster letting them know the link is broken and suggesting your website as an alternative link.
As you will have gleaned from this blog, there are plenty of things to consider when it comes to link building.
No one tried and tested blueprint for success exists (if you’re looking for one, sorry), and each campaign will be different thanks to different target markets, budgets, and content.
Still, with these tips in mind, your knowledge about link building will have grown massively and you’ll have a better idea of where to start with your own efforts.
Good luck with your own campaign!
Thanks for reading.
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