Getting other websites to link to yours — a simple hyperlink from one site to another — is a crucial aspect of any effective SEO strategy. Many people feel that it is one of the most difficult aspects of website ranking, but also one of the most rewarding when done well.
When website A connects to website B, it sends a strong signal to Google’s algorithm that the latter deserves to be ranked higher for relevant keywords. These are known as inbound links, backlinks, external links, or just links.
The more high-quality links pointing to your site, the higher you should rank on Google and, as a result, receive more organic visitors.
However, not all links are created equal, and some can even reduce the visibility of your website, as we will discuss momentarily.
There are many various strategies for building links, some easier to implement than others, and knowing where to begin can be tough at times, especially when you’re aware that some can cause more harm than good.
It takes time and effort to establish a network of links. That is a fact that cannot be avoided.
It’s also difficult to do right, so those that are able to effectively implement methods to generate better connections than their competitors often enjoy large increases in organic traffic and income.
That is why you must understand why links are so essential and why they should take up a significant amount of your SEO budget.
In our guide on backlinks, which you should read for a thorough introduction to the what and why behind this important pillar of any successful campaign, we went into great length about the necessity of link building for SEO.
However, the following are the major reasons why you should make link development a priority as an SEO:
Google and other search engines will give you a higher ranking.
Google will be able to locate new pages on your site more quickly.
As a company, you’ll get more reputation and trustworthiness.
Targeted referral traffic might be beneficial to you.
You can’t afford to neglect link development, and you need to make sure you’re implementing strategies that will offer you a competitive edge, which we’ll show you how to accomplish in this article.
Link building is more complicated than it appears, and not only in terms of the techniques that provide the best outcomes and effect.
When developing a link-building strategy, keep in mind that not all links are created equal, and that there are certain essential characteristics that contribute to long-term success.
That is to say, you must understand what a fantastic connection looks like for you and that the more work you put into obtaining the appropriate links, the greater the impact you will notice.
To help you understand what a great link profile looks like, here are some of the main components you should focus on that make up a strong link development approach.
PageRank is how Google assesses the value of a link, and its’reasonable surfer model’ parent demonstrates that changing qualities connected with links affect how this flows.
Contextual links, such as those found in the body of a web page’s content rather than the footer or sidebar, are usually of better quality and are essential to a successful strategy.
Some links do not pass PageRank and have an influence on a site’s rankings.
Different characteristics can be added to links, the most important of which are nofollow, sponsored, and user-generated content (UGC) connections.
Links with the rel=”nofollow” attribute indicate to Google that they should not be crawled and that they should not be associated with the two sites in terms of ranking.
A link with the rel=”sponsored” attribute has been paid for (and therefore should not pass PageRank).
Rel=”UGC” highlights links from user-generated material such as forums and comments, indicating that these connections were not placed editorially and may be manipulative.
When a link is referred to as a ‘followed’ link (or sometimes referred to as a ‘dofollow’ link – even though this is technically incorrect terminology), it means that no attributes prevent PageRank from being passed, and a great link profile should contain a high percentage of these, as long as they come from high-quality sources.
Editorially placed links are ones that exist because a third party has decided to add a link from their website to yours, rather than because of payment, some other inducement, or because you were the one who put it in order to improve your rankings.
A good link profile will include links from a diverse range of referring websites rather than the same handful over and again.
To enhance the amount of unique linking domains, a good plan should always focus on techniques that will see a link building campaign acquire connections from new sites that have never connected before.
“Often times when I see sites ranking with much lower authority, they tend to have a much stronger ratio of linking root domains versus their competitors,” Nick Eubanks writes in this blog post, “when I see sites ranking with much lower authority, they tend to have a much stronger ratio of linking root domains versus their competitors.”