Link building, a part of off page optimisation, is extremely important to the success of a websites SEO. Search Metric's 2014 UK Rankings Factors showed that along with Google +1’s and Facebook shares, the number of backlinks was one of the most important SEO factors for those in the top 30 of Google’s rankings, and is one of the reasons why we still carryout link building for our clients in house.
The rules regarding best practice are constantly changing and we have to be mindful of these in order achieve the best possible results for our clients. There have always been questions about whether building links to your website will cause more harm than good. However, the question should actually be, are you doing it right? If you are, then there is no need to worry!
What is the right way?
The Google Penguin Algorithm addresses the wrong way of building back links, buying or obtaining them through private link networks and gaining lots of spammy links over a short period of time, a practice which was once acceptable. So how have things changed? What should you be doing in 2015?
Well, it’s all about quality and relevancy! Google looks to backlinks as a trust factor, a vote of confidence. If another website links back to yours, it’s because they have found something of value on your site and that makes you more valuable to their and your own target audience.
The first step is to create interesting and quality content which can be placed on your own blog section. Then, share this via your social media channels and encourage other people and key influencers to retweet and share on their own channels. The best high quality content will earn natural links all on its own as people will find the true value within it. Remember, don’t be afraid to spend time and money on resources in order to produce something that is of high quality.
The next step and some might argue the most powerful step is guest blogging, or what we call outreach. It’s all about building relationships with other bloggers and key influencers within your industry, earning the right to create content for them to publish on their blog or website. This takes time and is not as easy as it sounds. First step is to find those bloggers and key influencers and then outreach to them. As you can imagine, you would not trust a complete stranger if they emailed you! So we have to work hard to develop that trust, showing them previous guest blogs that have been produced by us related to their industry and target audience. We have to persuade them that linking back to your site is of value to them. Once that trust is built, we gain an understanding of what it is they are looking for, write a guest piece and then wait for approval. Fingers crossed they will link back to your site and we can then begin the whole process all over again.
We also take a look at existing mentions of your brand and relevant keywords to see if we can gain backlinks that way. If someone has already spoken about you and your brand on the World Wide Web, they are likely to link back to your site to help readers find out more about you. Not only this, we keep an eye on future mentions too. We also take into consideration what your competitors are doing to see if we can emulate some of their key strategies. Of course, we always try to trump these with our own ideas.
Why do we do it this way? The old spammy way of building links is just not worth our time or your money. What once did work no longer works! Hundreds of links from low quality, spammy looking sites, with little of their own website traffic do not add any benefit or weighting to your site. One high quality, good looking, relevant site with a nice amount of website traffic is better than all of these put together, and it will have a better impact on your website traffic! Which is why we strive to achieve these.
Also, as mentioned above, creating lots of spammy links over a short period of time is just too risky, it could result in a Google Penalty! Why would we put your website at risk and our own reputation for that matter? Our goal is to achieve the best results for you. It’s all about promoting your business and your brand throughout the big World Wide Web.
We must reiterate though, it takes significantly more time, money and effort to achieve a worthwhile back link compared to previous years, but don’t all the good things in life?!
If you would like some more information about link building in 2015 then this article from Search Engine Land is a great example. Or contact the Lilac James team today!