August 28, 2016
Link building is an important part of improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and referral traffic. It can improve your company’s search ranking, bring in new audiences to your website, and contribute to conversions. But what is link building, exactly? Here, I’ll introduce you to the basics of how link building works, and why it benefits your business.
What is link building?
Link building is one of the many “off page” factors that make a website’s SEO successful. It is the process of having many quality links point to a company’s site on other websites. Search engines take into account the amount of links pointing to your page and factor that information into your search results ranking.
Why is link building important?
Link building is the process of actively procuring inbound links, or backlinks, which are the links on other third party websites that point to a company’s website. They are created as hyperlinks on third-party websites or blogs and direct traffic to a different website, blog, or other content platform. An inbound link can lead to increased web traffic and higher search result rankings.
The level of SEO boost that these links carry depends on several factors:
- Quality and authority of the publishing website: One influencing factor is the quality and authority of the publishing website. The bigger and more popular a website that has embedded an inbound link is, the more weight search engines will give the link when they are determining search rankings.
- Link quantity: Another factor is the number of websites that link to a company’s website. When several different websites link to a company’s content, search engines recognize that the company has established authority within its field and assign a higher ranking.
- Relevant content: Companies that have links from websites that are relevant to their own will fare better as well. This is because if a company is viewed as knowledgeable by other sites in its industry, search engines will take that into account and give the linked-to company website a higher ranking.
- Anchor text: Additionally, the anchor text used in the link plays a role in determining ranking. If many websites use a specific word in the inbound hyperlink pointing to a company’s site, search engines will make it easier for the company to rank organically for that word.
What is the difference between domain authority and page authority?
Authority is one of the ranking factors that influence a website’s SEO. It is a measure of the overall power of a web website across the internet. Websites with high authority are the more popular, respected websites. Domain authority predicts how well a website will rank in SERP (search engine results page), while page authority predicts how well a specific page will rank in results. Authority is an off-page SEO factor that cannot be directly controlled by marketers. A few things that can boost a website’s authority are having inbound links pointing to the website, creating a large social media presence, and generating quality content.
Why is authority important for link building?
Accumulating authority can help a company get its website to the top of the search results page. It is one of the many factors that search engines consider when ranking websites. This is a combined measurement of a website’s trust and presence on the web. Respected and trustworthy sites will have more authority than smaller sites. If you are able to place a link to your website from a domain or page with a high authority, that link will serve as a bigger boost to your website’s ranking than a link from a source with a lower authority. Keep this in mind when managing the time you spend on outreach and link building. If you put a lot of time and effort into getting a link from a website with a high authority, it might be worth it.
What role should link building play in my marketing strategy?
Link building can have different roles in your marketing strategy depending on your goals. Some of the different metrics to keep in mind when outlining your link building goals include: impact on search ranking, overall website traffic, referral traffic, traffic that converts, and traffic that converts that then turns into customers (which can be tracked using marketing attribution). The key is to identify the outlets and types of links that get you the results you want. For example, while a more industry-specific website may not have the domain authority of The New York Times, it may actually end up bringing more traffic that converts and turns into customers to your website, because it’s a valued source of information for your target audience. Tracking outcomes is essential for retargeting which websites you reach out to while link building.
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