What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of gaining inbound links from other websites back to yours with the aim of driving extra traffic by both referral traffic from the links attained and also an increase in your websites ranking within the search engines.
Google is the dominant search engine in most countries around the world, so the most effort is put into analysing rankings and traffic from this search engine.
The Importance of Link Building for SEO
Links are one of the many factors search engines use to determine a website’s rankings, while not as dominant a factor as it was 10 years ago, links are still a key factor
In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.” ~ Google
Top 10 Important Elements of a Link
There are a number of elements of a link you should be looking at when determining if it is a link you actually want to get for SEO purposes. We’ve determined 10 elements you should be reviewing:
- Anchor text
Anchor text is the clickable element of a link, ideally, the anchor text should be relevant to the page that is being linked to. Anchor text is an important factor, however, shouldn’t be over optimised, ie don’t stuff these with just keywords. You want a mix of exact match and partial match anchor texts with some brand and call to action as well.
- Follow vs Nofollow
A link that has a Nofollow tag on it won’t pass any ranking benefits, so link building tends to focus primarily on Followed links. Don’t discount getting a link simply because it is a Nofollow though, having a healthy mix of both Follow and Nofollow is desired.
- Link placement on page
Ideally, you want your links above the fold within the body content, this gives it a greater chance of being clicked by users and shows more relevancy and importance to the search engines.
- Ranking Metrics
There used to be Page Rank supplied by Google, now there are Domain Authority and Trust Rank metrics by the various SEO software providers such as Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush etc. Whichever is your preferred option, these are worthwhile reviewing when looking at links to determine if the link profile is one you want to be associated with.
- Websites quality / Trusted neighbourhood
Similar to the ranking metrics, reviewing a website and understanding it’s link profile and content is important to determine if it’s a site you wish to be associated with. Check it doesn’t have a stack of spammy links pointing to it.
In your niche, you probably know off the top of your head which sites are the authority sites. Getting links from these ones are gold.
Ensure the majority of your links are coming from websites that are relevant to your business. If you are in the gardening space, and link from a sporting website is probably not so relevant.
- Spam score
You don’t want a link from a website with a high spam score (check links out on Moz), these can do more harm than good.
Don’t just analyse websites on the basis of their ranking benefits, some sites might not look great by all metrics, but they send you a bucket load of traffic. Get those links.
- Prior links from a website
If you have already gotten several links from a website, an additional link is not likely to provide a massive additional benefit.
Types of Backlinks in SEO
There is a myriad of different types of links you can get for your websites, some you want and some you definitely don’t want.
Here’s an A to Z selection of some of the types of backlinks you can get:
- Article Directories
- Author Bio Links
- Automatically Generated Links
- Blog Comments
- Blogroll Links
- Contextual & Editorial Links
- Domain Redirects
- Bookmarking Sites
- Footer Links (Run of site links)
- Forum Comments
- Forum Signatures
- Guest Posting
- Paid links
- Press Releases
- Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
- Reciprocal links
- Resource Pages
- Review Links
- Sitewide Links
- Social Profile Links
- User Profile Pages
- Web Directory Links
- Widget Links / Tool Links
Best Link Building Tools List
There are many tools available that will help you manage your link building and SEO efforts. We’ve curated a list of the most popular and effective tools currently on the market:
- Guest Post Tracker
- Link Prospector
- Long Tail Pro
- Majestic SEO
- Monitor Backlinks
- Raven SEO Tools
- Screaming Frog
- Search Console
- SEO SpyGlass
- URL Profiler
There is really only one strategy we use to build links, and that is a Content Marketing Strategy. Everything else is tactics. We use a myriad of tactics to get a range of links, but the focus of what we do is around creating highly valuable, information content backed up by in-depth research to ensure what we create is going to get returns for your business.