Digital marketing is easy, right? All you need to do is work on developing content. Next, post it on a website, and social media platforms and audiences will flock to you. Well, we have some very bad news if that is what you believe. Our article seeks to help navigate the challenging world of link building with a 101 tutorial.
The truth is, that getting visibility on the digital platform is quite complex. You see, the competition in the online space is unbelievably high. Think of it like a crowded market with many other people selling similar products or services.
It is no longer about who can shout the loudest. Instead, it is about strategically implementing the right tactics to get visibility. And that is the fundamental reasoning behind search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO techniques include using the right keywords, page loading speed, image optimization, compelling tags, and meta descriptions. Then there is one of the most effective link building, specifically white hat link building, learn more on this at linkflow.ai.
Start by Understanding Link Building
As an internet user, you most likely read a lot of online content. Sometimes when reading an article, you find a link. When you click on it, it redirects you to another site for more information. That link is the simplest example of building links.
So, we can define link building as an active process of getting third-party websites to put backlinks to your site. An example would be writing an article for Forbes magazine. Within the content should be a link to your site. Every time readers click on the link, it brings them to your website.
Sounds simple, right? Well, research statistics show otherwise.
- 51% of marketers say it will take 1 to 3 months to realize ROI from their link-building efforts.
- 41% of SEO experts believe that link building is the most challenging part of SEO
- A paltry 6% of the world’s content will get external links.
Link building is critical for two reasons. The first is that the search engines discover new web pages through links. The second is the type of links will determine how well you rank on the search engines. Many links from high-quality websites will work well in your favor.
We agree with the SEO experts that link building is tough. Indeed, it is like walking on very slippery ground. The slightest misstep can land you some severe penalties.
But, with the right tactics and strategy, it is possible to achieve some fantastic results. And, that is what we aim to show you with the link-building 101 tutorial.
Learn To Differentiate the Link Building Techniques
There are three link-building techniques you need to know about. These are white hat link building, black hat link building, and gray hat link building.
White Hat Link Building
White hat link building techniques are like the holy grail of link building. It entails sticking to the SEO guidelines to drive traffic to your website. These include:-
- Quality content distribution through guest posting on high authority sites
- Creation of relevant blogs and videos,
- Use linkable assets like Infographics, case studies, research papers, white papers, etc.
- Creating shareable social media content
- Relationship building through outreach to relevant blogs or websites
- Updating unlinked brand mentions
- PR outreach like contributing to platforms like HARO (Help a reporter out), Forbes, etc.
It may sound pretty simple when we list the white hat link-building techniques above. But, refer to the statistics we shared above. Many digital marketers struggle with the proper implementation of the tactics. A lot of time goes into research, planning, content creation, and more.
The best option is to outsource through white hat link building services or link building packages. Let professional link builders do the hard work for you. Since this is their area of specialization, you can expect faster results in a shorter time.
Please note that search engines are continually updating the link-building rules. If white hat link building is not your core area of expertise, you could lose out if you are unaware of the changes.
Black Hat Link Building
Black hat link building is any underhand or illegal practice to get backlinks. Think of it as the exact opposite of white hat link building. Google refers to it as link schemes and is a direct violation of the webmaster guidelines. These include:-
- Selling, buying, or exchanging services/products for links
- Excessive exchanges of links in a scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours set-up
- Large-scale guest posting or article marketing with anchor links that are keyword rich
- Use of automated services or programs to create links and more.
Grey Hat Link Building
Grey hat link building sits in the middle of black and white hat link building. Strictly speaking, you are not breaking Google guidelines.
But, some practices will stretch the limits a little and likely end badly. These include:-
- Spinning content
- Link pyramids
- Link pyramids
- Director submissions, and more.
Focus On Quality When Building Links
Link building is all about focusing on quality rather than quantity. Indeed, the Google Webmaster has a list of guidelines you need to know.
It pays to take note of factors like:-
You don’t need to have backlinks from 10 low-quality websites. You can achieve much more with one or two backlinks from high-authority ones. SEO PowerSuite backlinks API or some other similar option can provide you with the needed data about your every backlink.
Before pitching for a guest post opportunity, use one of the domain authority checker tools to see if the site is worth linking to.
Are we saying you should disregard low-authority websites? The answer is no, with good reason. Let’s take the example of newly published websites. They end up falling under low authority sites because they are new.
Yet, over time they can grow and become high authority. The only thing we would recommend is that you keep away from any site that could end up tarnishing your brand. You can’t, for instance, be selling products for young teens and seek backlinks from a porn site.
Let’s say your niche is gardening. And, you link to a site that focuses on baby products. What relevance will your link have to that site?
Relevance also applies to the content and is a good example of white hat link building. It helps to keep up with what is happening or what is essential to the target audiences. When someone clicks on the hyperlink, they do so because they want more information. But if they come to your site and it is full of redundant news, they will leave just as fast. Carefully research topics and ensure factual and up-to-date information.
You want to link to a site that has a lot of traffic. That increases your chances of their visitors clicking on your link.
The effectiveness of your link building depends on the final destination. What this means is you need to determine which part of the website you want to redirect the visitors to. They can go to the homepage or linkable assets. There may also be specific pages that you would like to rank highly on Google.
Please note audiences are typically after information. If they want to buy your products, they will do so after knowing more about what you have to offer. Linking to commercial pages may not get you the value you want.
Indeed many might decide to leave the site, thus resulting in high bounce rates or low stay rates. Please note that they can affect your rankings on search engines. The best alternative is to utilize internal linking for such pages. So, let’s say the guest post brings traffic to a particular page. Within that page, you should have as many internal links to what you actually want to rank.
Actively Seek Out Influencers
Influences are popular marketing tools because they have large followings. Partnering with an influencer means you get to tap into their audience base. Indeed, their followers have a lot of faith in what they say or do. What you may not know is that the very same influencers are a fantastic avenue for link building.
When looking for influencers, have the following in mind:-
- They should be relevant to your niche. We go back to the point of relevance when it comes to content. The Supercar Blondie may have a massive following because she gets to test out really cool cars. But, if you sell baby products, she may not give you the best traction.
- You must have a compelling reason for them to link to your website. Do take time to learn how to pitch to influences. Remember, they have so many people talking to them daily. If you don’t get the interest from the get-go, they will have no reason to backlink to your website.
Link building is an effective strategy when it comes to search engine optimization. From what we have said above, one of the most critical things you need to do is know the differences in the tactics.
White hat link building is the best and only option you should use. It entails using organic approaches to get traffic to your website. Please note that Google is very keen on any practices it considers link schemes.
Due to white hat link-building challenges, consider outsourcing to a professional SEO service. The best way to see results is to lay the proper foundation for your link-building.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.