One of the best ways to help Google rank your website and build your authority around the web is still to build links.
This guide will guide you through the fundamentals of why it is so important to create links, and how you can start building traffic with high-quality links to your site today.
WHAT ARE LINKS?
You can think of links almost like recommendations. The more recommendations you hear for a new restaurant, the more likely you are to think they’ll have good food.
Search engines and links work in much the same way.
The more links you have directing back to your website, the more likely search engines are to believe you have high-quality content that will be useful to their users.
ARE ALL LINKS THE SAME?
The short answer is no. We explain more below.
Google’s algorithm gives more ‘weight’ to some links over others.
Below are a couple of key things to remember when building high-quality links.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines place a high emphasis on a source websites ‘expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness’ when evaluating the quality of links.
Google will consider links from websites with these characteristics as high-quality, and links from websites that will not be seen as lower-quality.
This implies that links from authoritative websites such as Wikipedia or official .gov or .edu domain websites would bear more weight than personal blog links.
That doesn’t mean all your links need to be from these kinds of places, but if you can have any in your overall link profile, it certainly improves your credibility.
Nofollow vs Dofollow
When creating or receiving links online, you have the option to tell search engines to either ‘follow’ or ‘don’t follow’ the link.
This simply means you’re telling Google whether your site does or does not endorse the other site you’re linking to.
Naturally, you should strive to get ‘Dofollow’ links where possible. This adds a layer of trust to the link and builds your credibility.
But that doesn’t mean that ‘Nofollow’ links are bad or shouldn’t be part of your strategy. ‘Nofollow’ links will likely form a big part of your overall link profile.
Many sites won’t allow you to create Dofollow links. For example, if you post a link to a public forum or to social media, those links will automatically be ‘Nofollow’ because the site isn’t personally endorsing where the link goes to.
Dofollow links look like this:
Nofollow links look like this:
https://www.yesdigital.com.au/” rel=”nofollow”>Yes Digital
SIMPLE LINK BUILDING TACTICS
Now we’ll share some simple link building tactics that anyone can do. These require no technical know-how or external software so they should be easy to get you started.
Ask For Links Back To Your Site
First and foremost, a good link building strategy requires outreach.
Speak to people in your industry and niche. If you’ve created useful blog posts, tools, or infographics, then let them know and see if they’d be happy to link to your content.
All this requires is some research on your part. Who are the most authoritative sites in your niche, and what content do you have that may be interesting or useful to them?
Build Relationships In Your Industry
A great way to build relationships in your niche is through Community Site Link Building.
Community sites are forums, message boards, Yahoo, Reddit or Quora etc. where like-minded people meet to discuss niche topics.
Use Trustworthy Directories
Directory links can be either good or bad. It all depends on the quality of the directories.
Create business profiles with useful information on the highest authority directories such as Yellow Pages, Truelocal, or Yelp.
Avoid creating as many directory listings as possible for the sole purpose of getting more links. This is considered spammy by Google.
Guest blogging is one of the oldest tricks in the book for building links online.
All it requires is for you to reach out to blogs in your niche and see if they’re open to featuring your content on their blog.
ADVANCED LINK BUILDING TACTICS
These tactics are for the more advanced link builder and will require some more detective work on your part.This is where SEO tools such as Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, SEMrush, or the Moz ‘Open Site Explorer’ comes in.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is fairly simple. It just requires some research on your part.
Say that you find a connection that leads you to a piece of content or a website that no longer exists on someone’s site. Maybe it’s super distracting. But it is a wonderful opportunity for you as well!
Create a piece of content equivalent to the broken resource and ask the owner of the website if they can instead redirect the link to your newly generated content.
To go a step further, you can also use SEO tools to investigate who else on the internet is talking to and approaching the same resource.
Some of the links you build over time with unfortunately fall off, through no fault of your own.
This can happen when a page where your link existed gets removed, or when content gets rewritten.
If the latter is the case, read the new content and see if there are any opportunities to add new links to the content.
If so, reach out to the owner of the page and see if you can offer anything new to compliment their updated content.
Say you’ve got an awesome piece of content that you think will attract attention…
Well, a great way to get more eyeballs on it (and traffic to your site) is by repurposing that content and syndicating it.
Take a popular video or infographic on your site, for example, turn it into a different format, and upload it to an infographic or video-sharing website.
If you’ve already got incredible content, this is a relatively low effort way to collect new links without having to reach out to individual sites.
Many places will be open to this, even if they don’t explicitly advertise it.
Glenmont Consulting shares plenty of ways to repurpose content across multiple digital channels here.
If you come across mentions of yourself or your business online that don’t include a link, this is another great opportunity to reach out.
If someone is already talking about you online, you’re halfway to getting a link already!
Get in contact and offer them a URL to link to in their content. This could be your home page or a specific product page. Just make sure it’s relevant to the other sites content.
Some Web Pages Steal Ties
Have you ever clicked a link and noticed the content was just, well, average on another site? Do you have a current piece of content that would be of more use (or can you create one)?
Tell the person then. People will often connect to the first piece of content they find about a subject. Or, the original content can become obsolete over time.
If you notice a relevant link like this, you could actually be doing the site a favour by offering a more in-depth, useful, piece of content to link to instead.
We hope this guide has been helpful and you’ve got plenty of link building ideas already!
Links are the lifeblood of your SEO success. Taking the time to build a diverse link profile from authoritative sites that are relevant to yours is vital. It may seem like hard work, but it can actually be fun, and you will see it reflected in your results over time.