Are you concerned about why your website isn’t ranking on the first page of Google? Or do you wonder why your organic competitors are always ranking ahead of your website? Well, the answer lies in link building.
A strong link profile is one of the top ranking factors that Google and other search engines consider to rank a website in organic search results.
If you are still not investing in link building, you should begin doing so because links increase the value of your website in the eyes of Google.
In this article, I will explain the top advantages of link building and why it’s so essential for SEO.
What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring natural backlinks to your domain using a number of tactics like guest posting and content marketing.
In link building, you acquire hyperlinks pointing back to your domain from websites other than yours. These are also known as inbound links.
For example, in the below screenshot, you can see HubSpot linking to Weebly.com, a website builder, in one of its blog posts.
How do you recognize a link?
There are two ways; first, links are given a special color so that they become noticeable within the content. In this case, you can see the link has a cyan color. And second, when you place the cursor over a link, it displays the URL it is linking to in the left sidebar of your laptop or computer, as shown above.
So, in this case, Weebly is getting a backlink from HubSpot. The more high authority inbound links a website has, the higher its chances of ranking at the top of Google.
Now that you know what link building is, let’s understand the numerous benefits that link building offers for search engine optimization.
Benefits of Link Building
Backlink building boosts website credibility through endorsements from industry experts, diversification of link sources, and acquiring relevant citations and mentions.
Here are the top benefits of link building that can positively impact user trust and search engine rankings:
Boosts Domain Profile
When other reputable websites link to your domain, search engines view your website as more authoritative and trustworthy. This improves your domain's profile and enhances its overall reputation.
Let's say you run a cooking blog, and a popular food magazine or a renowned chef includes a link to one of your recipes in their article about the best cooking blogs.
This endorsement from a reputable source enhances your domain profile and makes search engines perceive your website as a valuable and trustworthy resource for cooking-related information.
As a result, your website's overall credibility improves, and search engines may rank your cooking blog higher in search results for relevant keywords.
You can check the current domain authority of your website using tools like SEOptimer.
The tool displays the number of external backlinks, the number of referring domains, the top backlinks pointing to your domain, and the Moz domain authority.
At just a glance, you can review whether your domain has a strong potential to rank in search engines or not.
Improves SEO Rankings
Quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources signal to search engines that your content is valuable, resulting in higher rankings for targeted keywords.
“Link juice" or “link equity” refers to the authority and value passed from one page to another through hyperlinks. When a high-authority website links to your page, it passes some of its link juice to your page, boosting its authority in the eyes of search engines. This increased authority can positively impact your page's ability to rank higher in search results.
Guest blogging done on high-traffic sites have the potential to drive referral traffic.
When you regularly publish your guest blogs on a number of sites and they begin to rank organically on Google, they gradually start bringing in relevant referral traffic.
Once you acquire a backlink on another website, it remains live as long as the page is active or as long as the webmaster does not remove the link.
Hence, when you write, say, 100+ guest posts, and if one post drives 10 new visitors, then you can drive 1000 new visitors to your domain via referral sources.
For example, Lula’s truck insurance service page (highlighted in green below) is linked by Techcrunch, which has a massive traffic of more than seven million. This backlink has surely helped Lula to acquire referral traffic from Techcrunch.
Hence, you should aim to acquire links from top-traffic websites related to your industry to get the most from your link building efforts.
Improves Online Visibility
As your website gains more backlinks from other reputable websites, it also increases its visibility across the internet. This broader exposure can lead to greater brand recognition and more opportunities to reach your target audience.
Valuable content with relevant backlinks may get featured in round-up articles, expert interviews, or "best of" lists on other websites. Being mentioned and linked in such articles increases your website's visibility and introduces your content to a targeted audience.
For example, Jotform has a blog post where it lists the top 10 small business blogs:
All these 10 blogs received a backlink from Jotform, which in turn helped them improve their online visibility.
Moreover, for businesses with a physical presence, backlinks from local directories, citations, and other local websites can improve local SEO and visibility in local search results. This helps potential customers in your area find your business more easily.
Builds Brand Awareness
As your website gains more exposure through link building, more people become aware of your brand and what it offers. This helps in building greater brand recognition and recall, which can be beneficial for long-term business growth.
Backlinks act like digital referrals. When one website links to your brand or content, it's like a friend recommending your business to their network.
As more websites recommend you, word-of-mouth spreads across the web, reaching new audiences and potential customers.
Link-worthy content often sparks conversations. When people find your content valuable and share it on social media or forums, they become brand ambassadors, discussing and promoting your brand naturally.
Backlinks from various websites, especially those in different industries or geographic locations, expand your brand's reach beyond your usual target audience. This helps you penetrate new markets and attract diverse customer segments.
Earning links from authoritative and relevant sources adds credibility to your website and content. When other reputable websites vouch for your content by linking to it, it signals to users and search engines that your website is a reliable and trustworthy source of information.
Link building efforts that target a diverse range of reputable websites, rather than relying on a few sources, demonstrate that multiple independent sources find your content valuable. This diversification of link sources enhances the perception that your website is trusted and respected by various entities.
Not all links need to be direct backlinks; citations and mentions of your brand or content on other websites also contribute to credibility. Quality websites can mention your webpage as a reference in their articles which tells people and search engines that your website is a reliable source of information.
Wikipedia is a good example of a website that boosts credibility. For instance, Wikipedia provides a link to references that it has used in its wikis. If you get a link from Wikipedia, it can help to boost your authority tremendously.
Leads to Increased Sales
Quality and relevant guest blogging done on sites that are of a similar niche have the potential to bring on qualified leads.
For example, a popular fashion influencer shares a blog featuring your latest collection with a link to your online shop. The influencer's followers, who trust their fashion recommendations, click on the link, and some end up making purchases. The influx of traffic and sales from this collaboration showcases how effective link building can directly impact your revenue and business growth.
Opens Networking Opportunities
Link building often involves reaching out to other websites and building relationships with webmasters and influencers in your niche. This outreach can lead to valuable networking opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships that can further enhance your online presence and business growth.
For instance, if you have a technology startup that provides AI-powered solutions for businesses. Through link building efforts, you connect with industry leaders, attend relevant conferences, and engage in guest posting on reputable tech blogs. These networking opportunities lead to partnerships with larger companies, which contribute to your startup's success.
Does the quality of backlinks matter more than the quantity?
Yes, one quality backlink from a high-authority website is more impactful compared to 100 low-quality backlinks coming from spammy domains. When doing link building for SEO, you should avoid taking links from FFA (free for all) sites and PBNs (Private Blog Networks). Editorial backlinks hold the highest importance in the link building hierarchy.
Is guest posting an effective link building strategy?
Yes, guest posting is a popular and effective link building strategy. When you contribute high-quality guest posts to reputable websites in your niche, you not only gain a backlink but also expose your content to a broader audience, driving more traffic and building your authority.
Is link building an ongoing process, or can I stop after reaching a certain number of backlinks?
Link building is an ongoing process. SEO is a dynamic field, and search engines continuously update their algorithms. Building and maintaining a diverse and natural backlink profile is crucial for long-term SEO success. Stopping link building abruptly after reaching a certain number of backlinks could lead to stagnation or a decline in your search rankings over time.
How long does it take to see the results of link building efforts?
You need to have patience when doing link building since it takes some time to see measurable efforts from your link building campaign. Google and other search engine crawlers should crawl and index your URLs before it transfers the link equity of those pages to your domain. Hence, on average, it takes several weeks or months of link building activity before you see significant benefits from link building.
Link building offers numerous advantages to improve your search engine optimization efforts. Besides building domain authority, it also helps to generate qualified business leads, which can directly impact your bottom line.
When doing link building, you should focus on quality rather than quantity, as low-quality or spammy backlinks have a negative impact on your website's SEO and reputation.
Ruben is an experienced content marketing and SEO professional whose content generates more than 15K monthly views. With 20 of his articles obtaining a top 5 ranking on Google, his expertise shine in SEO-relevant content. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and open-water swimming.
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