The basics of link building couldn’t be simpler: 1) pinpoint a target site, and 2) acquire a link (aka “backlink”) to your content from that site. However, doing so can take a lot of time, effort and energy on your part. Acquiring the actual link can involve weeks of back-and-forth between you and your target site’s webmaster/editor, not to mention even more weeks of building a site list, searching for contact information, and developing a personalized strategy for each target site.
Link building isn’t only a matter of acquiring as many links as possible—not all links are created equal. Some can be very useful, while others can be detrimental to your site’s SEO, so you have to find and acquire links that are both relevant and credible. The more relevant and credible a link, the bigger the chance it will translate to more traffic and better search rankings.
What is a backlink?
In a nutshell, a backlink (also called an inbound link) is an incoming hyperlink from one website to another. That is, a link that leads from an external site to your website. Search engines like Google interpret these as online recommendations. When a site has multiple backlinks, the higher the chance Google will recommend it to users (via search ranking).
The logic is simple: a site with a healthy portfolio of backlinks is more likely to be credible. Why? Because backlinks are vetted by webmasters before they are posted. As such, only links with relevant information make it past the cut.
For cool tips on building better backlinks, check out the infographic below from Marccx Media:
How can link building help my site?
According to SEO experts, backlinks are the #1 SEO signal considered by Google. If you’re serious about improving your page’s performance, link building needs to be a vital part of your digital marketing strategy.
Aside from improving your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), backlinks can improve your website in many ways, including:
- Improved credibility and authority: Backlinks show readers (and search engines) that other sites trust your content, thereby improving your credibility and authority on the subject presented. Simply put: if websites are willing to post your link, that must mean you’re a credible source.
- Long-term advertising (for FREE!): Unlike paid ads, backlinks drive traffic to your site at no additional cost. Furthermore, backlinks are practically permanent, or at least they stay live so long as the webmaster wants to keep them there. If you’re looking to drive traffic to your site, this–free long-term advertising–should be a no brainer!
- Greater brand awareness: Generating backlinks from credible sites is an effective way to build brand awareness. Popular websites such as The Huffington Post and KissMetrics allow you to submit and post guest blogs that link back to your site. Want a tip? Write a blog on a topic related to your brand and integrate a link into the blog. You’ll be surprised at how something this easy can be so effective.
Backlinks are a no-nonsense way of improving your SEO and driving traffic to your site. By building a healthy portfolio of links, you can boost your credibility and, ultimately, your site’s performance.