Last Updated on May 23, 2017 – Do you have a link building plan? Even those with a basic knowledge of SEO understand the importance of inbound links. In a nutshell, links to your site from other external websites help to raise your search engine rank or profile. The more sites linking to you, the higher the chance of your content appearing high up in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Of course, the theory of inbound linking is easier compared to the physical practice of it. For a start, you can’t just have any old random pages linking to your content. The links going to your website must be from a quality site and be relevant to the visitors of both sites. In the past, some people tried to boost their online SEO profiles by having a multitude of spammy links to their websites.
These days, search engines like Google frown upon such unorthodox “black hat SEO” techniques, as they are known. In fact, search engines will penalize your site if it’s found that you have cultivated a plethora of spam links with irrelevant garbage on the pages.
How can search engines blacklist your website, you might be wondering? Well, the answer is down to their automatic algorithmic systems. Today’s search engine algorithms are quite smart at detecting when someone is trying to use black hat SEO techniques. When your site gets penalized, any content on it will seldom come up for relevant SERPs.
So, we know that bad link building practices should be avoided. But, what about the good ones? Well, to boost your website’s popularity on the Web, it is essential to come up with an effective link building plan.
A strategy devised of many approved and “white hat” SEO techniques will ensure your content gets seen by people looking for the things that you sell or talk about on your website. If you’re not convinced, here are some of the top reasons why curating a link building plan for your site will provide you with a high ROI:
Raised Awareness Of Your Website
An obvious point to make, but a consistent and well thought out link building plan will serve to increase awareness of your site.
However, it’s not just those searching for your brand or the products and services that it offers who will benefit. Link building will also make people browsing other websites aware of who you are and what you do.
Following on from the previous point, the right link building strategy will help to boost brand mentions online. You could see your brand’s name mentioned not just on other websites but on social media too.
These days, a lot of search engine optimization work involves curating strategies that go hand in hand with social media management. For example, a website will share links to new or relevant content with their followers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Brand mentions also carry a lot of weight when done so by high-profile or well-known websites and public figures. Crafting a targeted link building plan will make it easier for such entities to take notice of your brand and talk about it with their audiences.
Contextual Links Give You More Credibility
When you create new content on your website, you will sometimes need to talk about things like statistics. If you cite information or quotes from leading blogs or websites in your industry, it pays to link to the source of that data. For example, Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Link Building.
Why? There are two reasons for doing so. First of all, it shows that you have written a well thought out article and have done plenty of prior research to back up your claims. And, second, you are acknowledging the source of that information to give credibility to your claims.
The second reason is quite important for the purposes of link building as the linked website can determine who links to their content. Your link building plan should include linking to relevant content on familiar, authoritative sites.
You might think that it’s only important to get links to your site and that link building isn’t about creating external links to other websites. But, a well-devised link building strategy WILL include having relevant contextual links in your site’s content.
If you take the time to read someone’s website and link to them, and you do this on a regular basis, they will take notice of what you do. You can then cultivate a relationship with the blogger or site owner, and eventually, have them return the favor by linking back to relevant articles on your website!
Reputation by Affiliation
For new websites and blogs, it can take a while for a link building plan to get noticed by the big names in your industry. To start with, you will most likely be working with niche sources to raise the profile of your site.
But, once you’ve worked with a high-profile and well-known website or blog, the reputation of your brand will skyrocket. The reason for that is down to the art of reputation by affiliation. In a sense, the mere fact that you’ve been featured on a high-profile site means that you have something worth talking about on your website!
As you can appreciate, that’s great news if you are trying to promote some products or services. But, even if you’re just running a blog dedicated to a particular theme, it will make you a more credible source of news and information.
Increased Social Signals
You will no doubt be looking to promote your brand on social media. A popular way of telling people about your brand and website is by sharing links to it on social networking profiles.
As you can imagine, there is only a limited amount of sharing you can do from your own accounts. That’s because you have to build up your follower numbers and even then you’ll probably need to pay for promoted or “sponsored” posts to make your links visible to all your followers.
Now think what would happen if those same links that you share are also getting shared by other people on social media? Your content could essentially go viral, even reaching the Facebook and Twitter profiles of well-known people and brands in your sector!
There is no denying that social signals are a brilliant way to get more interest in your website and brand in general. Let’s face it; most of us spend a lot of time browsing our social media newsfeeds each day. If a link to your site got shared by a prominent profile, people are highly likely to click through to your website and even share it with their own followers.
Increased Website Authority
It’s a well-known fact that domain authority is a popular metric used to determine the popularity of a website. As you probably know, the higher your site’s DA, the more popular it is. When we talk about popularity, it’s not just with human visitors using web browsers on their computers or mobile devices. We are also talking about popularity with search engines themselves.
Google, Bing, and other search engines will make your content more prominent in any SERPs if it is relevant and of use to the people that typed in the search query. If you have a lot of useful content and your site is always fresh with new information, the DA figure will rise. However, keep your content stale, or if you seldom update your website, you can guarantee that your domain authority rating will take a nosedive.
A carefully managed link building plan will help to increase your website’s authority on the Internet.
Increased Referral Traffic
If your company sells products and services online, you will no doubt be looking at ways to promote them without spending much money. One of the best examples of link building is when relevant high-traffic websites promote the things you sell.
Let’s say that you have an electronics brand and a well-known technology blog writes a review on a product that you manufacture. If they link to the specific product page on your site, you can virtually guarantee increased traffic to it from that review.
And let’s not forget that other people will be promoting links to that review, especially on their own website. As you can see, it’s the perfect example of link building to tier 2 sites!
An Ongoing Return On Your Investment
Did you know that curating the right link building plan for your website will result in an ongoing return on your investment? While a publisher can choose to remove links to your site whenever they wish, the majority of links back to your site will remain permanent. That’s good news, especially as you’re trying to build an established and credible website!
Yes, content that you publish on your site will age over time. However, that does not mean the relevancy of those links becomes diluted or removed. So, even if you have links to content you published five years ago, it still boosts your overall domain authority.
Link Building Is An Essential Part Of Any SEO Strategy
There are many facets to search engine optimization, as you may already be aware. Link building is one of the core techniques used to increase the profile of any online content. Without it, SEO would be quite a tough endeavor for even the most seasoned of professionals!
As you know, search engines such as Google use inbound links as part of their algorithmic processes. They even admit that inbound link building is still an important technique to use for those wishing to increase a site’s popularity online.
So, if you’re devising an overall SEO campaign for your website, you need to make link building a priority on your checklist.
Quality Links Should Be Earned, and Spammy Ones Should Be Avoided
You may not know it, but it’s possible to “buy” links from spammy websites that offer little relevancy and give no value to their readers. They are low-cost ways to increase a site’s profile in the short-term. But, the long-term consequences of doing that far outweigh the time and cost advantages.
Search engine algorithms are evolving all the time and can easily detect when spammy websites are linking to a particular domain. Google and other search engines prefer that website owners earn their inbound links from legitimate sites and blogs that offer relevant content to visitors.
Aside from increasing your website’s authority on the Internet, a well-defined link building plan will allow you to view and measure your results. You will be able to tell exactly who links to your site, when they created the link, and why they did so. You can also determine the type of site linking to you and whether you can both forge an ongoing link building relationship with your sites.
If you don’t have a link building plan, you will seldom know how to determine which of your efforts were successful and the ones to avoid in the future.
Adding Value To Other Websites
Part of many people’s link building strategies is to target site owners linking to unavailable content or domains that no longer exist. If your site content is a perfect replacement to those dead links, it’s possible to ask the site’s webmaster to update their link to your site instead.
While it’s not a guaranteed way of getting quality inbound links, it does offer a good degree of success. Another advantage for the linking website is that you are helping them to keep their site updated and free of dead links. In essence, it’s a win-win situation for both parties!
There might also be websites or blogs that talk about particular subjects but don’t link to you as the source of any particular information. By inviting them to link to the relevant source on your website, it increases your quality and relevant inbound links, and it gives their content more credibility to their readers.
A More Long Term Solution Than Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Last, but not least, the thing about pay-per-click (PPC) ads is they only run for as long as you have a budget to keep them going. If you instead devise a plan to curate long-term inbound links to your site, you end up with a more permanent and cost-effective solution.
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