Link Building

The Basics of Link Building

A Novice’s Guide to Link Building

Link building is the practice of building backlinks to boost a page’s search rankings.

Despite Google’s ever-evolving and complex algorithms, link building has always remained a huge factor in search engine optimization (SEO).

That’s because Google relies on links to help tell them which sites are valuable and reliable.

Link building can be overwhelming and confusing because of the many concepts attached to it.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of building links to give you a solid foundation for your link-building strategy.

Understanding Link Building in SEO

A big part of building your brand also rests on building links. So, you should first understand why link building is a primary part of SEO.

The Importance of Link Building

Major search engines like Google consider backlinks “votes of confidence” that count towards a certain website.

Generally, the more votes a site has, the higher it’ll rank on the SERPs. However, not all links have the same weight, and it’s important to focus on good-quality links using white hat SEO tactics.

Role of Link Building in SEO

There are many things that SEO for websites can do.

If you have a good link-building strategy, other sites will start linking to you. Search engines will recognize this increase in traffic and realize that your site is being deemed trustworthy and valuable.

Thanks to that, your content can rank higher on search engines, boosting your visibility and improving traffic again.

You can even convert your site visitors into paying customers if you have good enough content.

Benefits of Link Building for Businesses

There are many ways to build links — from link farming to guest blogging. However, not all of them are good for your website.

Shady tactics like link farming violate Google’s policies and can land you a violation. Meanwhile, honest techniques like guest blogging follow Google’s terms and conditions.

Creating an honest link-building strategy has many benefits:

  • Gives your brand credibility
  • Increases web traffic
  • Can lead to better revenue opportunities and sales
  • Helps you stand out as a voice of authority
  • Builds relationships in your niche
  • Increases visibility and exposure

How Link Building Influences Search Engine Ranking

You can improve search engine ranking if you have a good link-building strategy. That’s because link building affects your domain authority, page authority, relevance, and diversity.

Domain authority measures the overall quality and popularity of your website.

Page authority measures the quality and relevance of each of your web pages.

Meanwhile, relevance and diversity measure how closely your site matches a user’s search intent and expectations.

Link building helps you gain a higher score in the factors above — and the higher your scores, the better your chances of ranking high on the SERPs.

Components and Interpretation of Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are what you can call the “anchorof link building since they’re the clickable parts of the web page that lead you from one page to another.

Here, we’ll give you a quick overview of what hyperlinks are and how search engines interpret them.

Anatomy of a Hyperlink

A link can be said to be made up of five parts:

  • Anchor text – You don’t need to exactly match the anchor texts to your keywords, but having some anchor texts contain your keywords can be helpful. However, remember to have variety since search engines can tag too many identical anchor texts as unnatural.
  • Trust – To build trust with search engines, you’ll need to get backlinks from sites that have already built up a lot of trust too (like reputable news sites).
  • Relevance – This pertains to how connected your content is to the page that’s linking to you. If you get a lot of backlinks from unconnected sites, Google will view that as suspicious activity.
  • Placement – Links should be contextual (found within the content) since they’re more likely to be clicked than links outside your content (such as the footer).
  • Outbound links – The more outbound links your content has, the lower the link’s value will become.

Outside the parts listed above is authority.

The higher your site’s domain authority is, the more weight that Google will give to your outbound links — which is exactly why you should aim to get backlinks from sites with high authority.

How Search Engines Interpret Links

Crawling, analyzing, indexing, and ranking pages are part of search engine functionality.

Regarding links, the search engine crawler collects a list of pages that each of your pages links to.

Later on, when the links and their connections get processed, the crawler decides whether the pages that are being linked to are good or bad (spammy).

If a page links to more good pages, it gets a higher score. Meanwhile, a page linking to more bad pages can get a relatively poor score.

Understanding Anchor Text in Hyperlinks

Since the anchor text is perhaps the most important part of a hyperlink, optimizing your anchor texts should be on your list of priorities when it comes to link building.

Anchor texts should be relevant and descriptive so search engines and users know what the linked page will be about.

For instance, if you’re linking to a page listing the best pizzas, your anchor text should be “best pizzas” or something similar.

Comprehensive Guide to Types of Links

To successfully create a good link-building strategy, you should learn about the different types of links you can utilize.

Overview of Different Types of Links

Links connect web pages to one another. These can be texts, images, or buttons. There are different types of links, but they can be categorized into the following:

  • Internal links – These improve your site’s navigability, which can prompt your visitors to stay longer.
  • External links – These are links in your content that lead readers to external sources.
  • Backlinks – These are links from other sites that lead to your website.

Editorial Links and Their Importance

Editorial links are links on another website that point back to your site.

You don’t request or pay for these links. Instead, you need to consistently publish trustworthy content that other sites want to link to.

Because of that, guest posts and paid links don’t count as editorial links since these involve an exchange (such as money or quality content) for a webmaster to link to your site.

Editorial links sound tricky to acquire — however, there are benefits to getting even just a few of them. These include:

  • Establishing your brand as an authority
  • Helping improve your website’s SEO rankings
  • Getting more web traffic
  • Building relationships with other businesses
  • Brand building

Resource Links: What They Are and How to Use Them

Resource link building involves building backlinks from web pages that have a curated list of links to useful industry resources.

This strategy works well because when someone adds your link to the resource page, it means your link adds value to the page. You can even contact the creator and suggest they include you on the page.

Google likes it when pages are kept fresh and up-to-date, so you may not need to do a lot of convincing for creators to add you to the list of resources as long as you’re offering a great value-adding resource.

When looking for relevant resource pages, check the metrics to filter and eliminate low-quality pages. Even if you have a list of the best, manually review those remaining pages to see where your link will add the most value.

Acquired Links: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Acquired links are the opposite of editorial links. Editorial links are organically achieved without being paid, asked, or traded for.

Meanwhile, acquired links come from active efforts of payment and distribution.

Reciprocal Links: Benefits and Drawbacks

Reciprocal links are exchanged links between two or more webmasters. The good thing about this is that it benefits each site’s SEO and site authority.

Used properly, reciprocal links have several advantages:

  • Can increase website traffic – If other sites link to your content, the users on their sites can be redirected to yours as well. Search engines can realize that you’re getting more attention, which can help boost your rank on the SERPs.
  • Improvement of customer experience – Linking to other sites can result in higher engagement with your content. This can also cause search engine algorithms to notice you.
  • Position your site as a trusted authority – Search engines will recognize that you’re a trusted authority that links users to helpful related resources.

However, you should also know that reciprocal links carry risks for your SEO — especially if not used well.

It’s a linking technique that has the highest risk of being abused. Webmasters can exchange links even if their contents are unrelated, making the links appear spammy to users. Excessive use is bad as well.

Several drawbacks to carelessly exchanging links include:

  • Penalization of Google
  • Possible loss of trust from search engines
  • Decrease in authority and SERP rankings

As such, if you’d like to use reciprocal links, make sure you’re working with relevant sites, ensure the links add value to your content, and check the linking site’s metrics.

Don’t just rely on reciprocal links either — instead, make it only a small part of your link building strategy.

Blog and Forum Comments as Link Building Tools

Blog and forum comments also have the potential to be abused. After all, anyone can drop a link to their site on any blog or forum. Because of that, Google created the nofollow tag in 2005 so webmasters can combat spam.

This tag essentially tells search engines that the webmaster doesn’t endorse the site a link is pointing to. That means nofollow tags don’t pass authority, so they don’t directly impact your SEO.

However, they can help your site in different ways:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Diversify your backlink profile
  • Can help protect your site against penalties

To properly use blog and forum comments for link building, find relevant threads and categories on high-quality blogs and forums. When commenting, ensure you’re adding value to the post or a conversation that you’re replying to.

When you’re dropping links, give context or an explanation that justifies the presence of the link. For instance, you can quickly answer a question on a forum, and then introduce the link by saying they can learn more about the topic there.

If you have to set up a profile before being able to interact with posts, make it look professional.

Choose an easy-to-remember username and fill out your information carefully. You can also add a link to your website on your profile or as your forum signature.

Directory Links: Are They Still Relevant?

It’s still worth the time and effort to put your information on web directories, but they’re less valuable now than when they were created.

If you want to utilize web directories, below are some tips to help you make the most of them:

  • Choose a few highly recognized directories, such as Google My Business, Yellow Pages, and Yelp. You can also opt for a few local and niche directories.
  • Submit your listings gradually rather than all at the same time.
  • Respond to reviews on your directory profiles.
  • Ensure your business information is consistent across all your platforms.
  • Don’t reuse the same description across all your directories.

Social Bookmarking as a Link Building Strategy

Social bookmarking is the clipping or tagging of online content like web pages, videos, and articles on a platform like Pinterest or Reddit, so you can come back to it later.

These things can be organized into specific groups or threads.

You can think of social bookmarking sites as highly curated search engines since you can search for popular activity in your niche.

If you’re in the fashion business, you can search for the current trends in your industry. Then, you can curate your content to display what people want to see.

Social bookmarking has several benefits:

  • Users can link to your bookmarked content from their own sites, giving you backlinks.
  • You get an increase in social signals (such as likes, comments, and shares), which can influence your ranking and visibility on the SERPs.
  • You can increase the organic traffic going to your site.

Image Linking: An Underused Link Building Technique

Images can engage people and make the content more interesting than plain text can. As such, high-quality images can attract links as well.

If you want to utilize images for link building, follow these steps:

  • Create images that others will want to embed – These can include infographics, graphs, product photos, and maps.
  • Ensure your images are visible and easy to link to – Think of a good alt description and title to help search engines understand what the picture is. Have embed codes to make them easier to link out to as well.
  • Request attribution for your picture – If you find that your pictures were used without permission and proper attribution, contact the webmaster and ask for attribution. Another tip is to include watermarks that attribute it to your website.
  • Reach out to content creators in your niche – Send them your image and tell them it’s free to use with the proper attribution.

Guest Blogging: A Powerful Link Building Method

Guest blogging (or guest posting) involves you writing articles for other websites. You can include a link to your site in your guest posts.

There are several benefits to guest blogging, such as:

  • Building backlinks to your site
  • Potentially exposing your brand to a new audience
  • Developing relationships with webmasters
  • Building your reputation and positioning your brand as a thought leader

However, guest blogging can negatively impact your SEO if not used correctly.

Evaluating the Quality of Links: A Checklist

Not all links are created equally. So, to help you get good-quality links, it’s best to learn how to evaluate them for an idea of how Google’s PageRank may consider them, too.

Authority of the Page and Site: Why It Matters

Authority can be measured on a scale from 1 to 100 and reflects a website’s strength. It’s the weight Google gives a page depending on how well it satisfies a user’s search query.

A high authority is a sign that the site has a strong backlink profile — which means it has a lot of “votes” from other websites, saying that they trust the source.

Because of that, search engines will also trust that site, placing it higher in the SERPs since they think it’s the best site to answer a user’s certain search query.

If you get a backlink from a site with high authority, Google can also recognize that your site is very trustworthy.

Relevance of the Site: An Essential Consideration

Relevance pertains to how well information on a certain site answers a search query.

Content relevance can be seen through a site’s visible text, images, and videos — but it can also be generated through titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags.

Search engines use these to assess what your website is about. Because of that, they’ll also be able to evaluate if your content corresponds to a search query.

Search engines also consider relevance when looking at backlink profiles.

It would be suspicious if sites that aren’t related to your business are linking to you.

For instance, if you work in the automotive industry, Google may be highly suspicious if a site about food has several links pointing back to you.

Link’s Position on the Page: Does It Matter?

Yes, link position matters since where you put a link can affect the number of impressions and potential traffic you get from it.

To get the most out of a link, below are some tips to follow yourself or request from a webmaster:

  • Place important links in the earlier part of the article so they’re more visible to readers.
  • Text links are still more important than image links (even if the picture has alt text).
  • Inserting links of low-metric pages into high-metric pages can help improve SEO.
  • If you have multiple links with the exact same URL, only the first link will get value.

Editorial Placement of the Link: Why It’s Crucial

Where you put your links can impact the attention they receive. The usual parts of a web page include:

  • Upper body content
  • Lower body content
  • Header
  • Footer
  • Sidebar

The best place to place your links would be the upper body content. The sites are crawled from top to bottom, so links in that area can be prioritized by Google’s search spider.

Meanwhile, the worst place to put a link is in the footer. That’s because, oftentimes, footer links are there more for the company and not really for the readers.

Link Anchor Text: A Crucial SEO Factor

The anchor text is the clickable part of a hyperlink.

It’s important since it helps Google’s algorithm understand your site structure — or, if it’s an outbound link, your relationship and relevance to the site you’re linking to.

As such, ensure your anchor texts are relevant and descriptive.

For instance, you might need to link to a page about the best vegan-friendly restaurants. It’s better to use an anchor text like “best vegan-friendly restaurants” rather than “click here.”

Don’t use the same anchor text too many times too, since Google can view over-optimized anchor texts negatively.

Nofollow vs. Dofollow Links: What’s the Difference?

Nofollow links don’t directly help your SEO since they don’t pass authority to the site they’re linking to.

That happens since the nofollow attribute tells Google not to crawl the linked page to pass authority to it.

Meanwhile, dofollow links (also known as follow links) are standard links. They pass authority to the site they’re linking to, making them helpful for improving domain authority.

SEO Checklist

Strategies for Effective Link Building: A Deep Dive

A lot of effort goes into getting backlinks — so in this section, we’ll give you some strategies you can try in your link-building efforts.

Strategic Guest Blogging: How to Do It Right

To ensure you’re utilizing this technique well, ensure that the websites you want to write for are authoritative and in a niche that overlaps with yours.

However, you should also check if they accept guest posts in the first place.

Once you’ve found sites you want to write for, think of topics you can pitch. You can get ideas by analyzing your target site and see if you can write about something they haven’t covered yet.

The ideas should also be relevant to your brand and interesting to your target site’s audience.

Find the right email address to send your ideas to. When pitching, also tell them why their readers will want to read it and what your credentials are that indicate your brand can write it well.

When you finally write your guest post, ensure that it’s high quality and value-adding for the hosting site.

If the webmaster likes your work, they may be more likely to work with you again in the future.

Infographics: A Powerful Link Building Tool

Infographics are a mix of words and pictures, helping you put across a complex message more easily and in a visually appealing way.

They’re also easily shareable and linkable, making them effective marketing tools that spread brand awareness.

To create link-worthy infographics, you can follow the tips below:

  • Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information, images, designs, and colors in one infographic.
  • Make your main message bold and creative.
  • Use minimal words since too many can make your audience uninterested.
  • Give your infographic a unique touch or design to make it stand out.
  • Provide sharing buttons so your audience can easily share it on different platforms.

Leveraging Social Media for Link Building

Social media performance actually isn’t a Google ranking factor. However, a good social media strategy can indirectly benefit you in multiple ways.

For one, if you post link- and click-worthy content, you’ll see a boost in traffic — which can improve your ranking on Google.

When creating your social media strategy, follow these tips to help boost your SEO:

  • Add links to your social profile bios.
  • Put keywords in your social media content.
  • Incorporate links in video and presentation content.
  • Build relationships with your audience and other businesses/influencers on the platform.
  • Extend your content’s lifespan and engagement by using specific hashtags, tagging influencers, and hosting giveaways to reward engagement.

Resource Links from Trusted Sites: How to Get Them

Resource backlinks are links from a relevant site’s resource page. These pages also link out to other useful resources in your industry.

Before reaching out to resource pages, you should first ensure that you have a useful resource to pitch. This may be your homepage, but having a specific informational page or interactive tool might be better.

Once you have that, follow these steps:

  1. Find relevant resource pages using tools like Ninja Outreach or Ahrefs.
  2. Weed out pages using metrics. Once you have a shorter list, manually review the remaining pages to ensure you only ask for links from the best of the best.
  3. Reach out to the webmasters of the resource pages. Rather than having a rigid template, personalize your emails. Explain your reason for emailing them and provide the URL you want to get a link from. Give them a good reason to link back to you and give the URL you want them to include.

Broken Links Strategy: Turning Lost Opportunities into Wins

Broken link building is finding dead links to your page and asking webmasters to fix or swap them with new working links to your site.

This is a good strategy since too many redirects and 404s to your site can negatively affect your SEO.

However, you can also fix broken links that aren’t yours. To find and fix those kinds of broken links, follow the steps below.

1. Look for broken pages using backlinks. Some things you can look for are:
a. Broken pages from competitors
b. Broken pages about a certain topic you can write about or have written about
c. Broken links on competing sites
d. Broken links on resource pages
2. Inspect your link prospects by checking link quality and link reasons (aka why links are inserted in the content).
3. Make a replacement page (if you don’t have one yet). When making an outline, mark linkable points and look for other ways to improve it.
4. Pitch your replacement resources to webmasters linking to the dead pages.

Personal Branding as a Link Building Strategy

You’d want to control what Google shows people about your brand when they search for it.

Aside from showing your best side, improving your business’s personal branding can also help you win customers’ trust and attract potential leads.

Having a strong personal brand is a big part of your business’s long-term success. Follow these tactics to build your personal brand:

  • Optimize your social media profiles
  • Build a strong backlink profile, focusing on natural links
  • Improve your web pages’ performance
  • Utilize local SEO strategies
  • Create videos to show your knowledge and personality
  • Use personal branding keywords in your content
  • Manage negative publicity through SEO strategies, such as using the right keywords in public statements following a damaging report

Competitor Backlink Analysis: A Must-Do Step

Competitor backlink analysis is an integral part of any solid SEO strategy since it essentially shows how your backlink profile stacks up against competitors’ profiles.

It helps uncover actionable SEO benchmarks by revealing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. You’ll see link-building opportunities as well.

However, to properly analyze your competitors’ backlinks, you’ll need professional SEO tools first. These tools can create a report containing a list of competitors and their backlinks and referring domains.

Replicating Your Competitor’s Best Links: A Practical Guide

If your SEO tools are ready, follow the steps below to start studying your competitors’ backlinks.

  1. Create a list of your competitors. Check for common backlinks and their backlink-to-domain ratio.
  2. Find out your competitors’ best links and most-linked-to content. These can help you make your content more attractive to other sources. For instance, you might find that a competitor is sticking to a new popular content format.
  3. Check your backlink profiles and compare them with your competitors to discover how far behind or close you are. Depending on your SEO tool, you might even learn about the backlink opportunities you’re missing.
  4. Identify your backlink opportunities, such as looking for your competitors’ broken links and reaching out to replace them with your own.

Link Building Roundups: What They Are and How to Use Them

Link roundups are curated lists that compile the best online content (such as articles, blog posts, and podcasts) on a certain topic.

Link roundups are great for brands since they can boost visibility, give quality backlinks, and build relationships with other brands and online creators.

To successfully be part of a link roundup, follow these steps:

  • Understand everything about link roundups — from their significance to their benefits. Find potential partners, trends, and quality standards that can help you get featured.
  • Look for relevant websites/blogs in your niche and regularly monitor them. Doing so can keep you proactive and always ready for link roundup opportunities.
  • Search up previous roundups to understand curators’ preferences and spot trends. You’ll also be able to gauge quality and identify regular contributors.
  • Craft your pitch, ensuring it’s concise and to the point. However, stay genuine about why you think your content would be a valuable addition to a roundup.
  • Build and maintain relationships with curators. Express gratitude and keep in touch. It would also be a good idea to offer to feature their content or partner for projects.

Monitoring Your Backlinks: Tools and Techniques

Backlinks are a big part of your SEO strategy. As such, it’s also important to monitor them to see how well they’re doing. It’s also a way to see if you have broken links.

Of course, you can also monitor your competitors’ backlinks rather than just your own.

Some tools for backlink monitoring you can check are:

  • Google Search Console
  • Ahrefs
  • Semrush
  • SE Ranking
  • Monitor Backlinks

Each backlink monitoring tool has its own set of features that can help you watch your SEO health while also keeping an eye on your competitors.

On top of having those tools, below are some additional tips to do when monitoring backlinks:

  • Ensure your links are live.
  • Remove spammy backlinks.
  • Check if all your good links are dofollow links.
  • See if you’re using the right anchor texts.
  • Fix broken links as soon as possible.

Content Pillars: A Foundation for Link Building

A content pillar is a central topic that your website and all of its content revolves around. When creating content, remember to always refer back to your pillars to keep your work consistent.

The better your content is, the more chances you also have of getting linked by other sites.

There are many types of content you can plan for your website, such as:

  • Definitive guides
  • Original visuals like infographics
  • Press releases
  • Original interviews
  • Product reviews
  • Original research and statistical articles
  • Evergreen blog posts
  • Unique, specific, and timely blog posts

Regardless of the type of content you create, ensure that it’s high-quality. Make them unique and in-depth rather than just parroting other sites.

That’s because other sites will most likely link to great content as a go-to resource on a certain topic.

Aside from that, when search engines recognize how valuable a resource is, they’re also more likely to reward it by placing it high on the SERPs.

Reclaiming Links Through Social Mentions: A Missed Opportunity?
Link reclamation refers to finding and fixing (or replacing) broken links or links that aren’t passing value as efficiently as expected pointing towards your site.

This process helps webmasters regain lost link value, improving the overall link authority of their site.

However, another form of what others call link reclamation is actually called “claiming unlinked mentions.”

This is essentially the process of finding mentions of your brand or target keywords and checking if they’re linking to you. If not, you can ask the creator to link to your content.

Claiming unlinked mentions helps build more links to your site and drive online traffic.

Earning Editorial Links: A Key Link Building Strategy

Editorial links are organic links that you didn’t trade, ask, or pay for. These are the most valuable links you can get since they show that your site is naturally valuable and can be trusted.

Thanks to that, search engines love editorial links. So, if they see that your backlink profile contains many editorial links, they’ll deem your website worthy of being featured higher on the SERPs.

To earn editorial links, ensure you’re crafting great, unique content.

Black Hat vs. White Hat Techniques: The Dark Side of Link Building

Link-building techniques are mostly divided into white hat or black hat SEO, depending on whether they follow search engine terms and conditions or not.

To help you know where your techniques stand, we’ll give a quick rundown of white hat and black hat SEO in this section.

Understanding Black Hat Link Building: Risks and Consequences

Black hat SEO (also known as spamdexing or webspam) involves link-building tactics that go against search engine guidelines.

Examples of black hat practices include:

  • Keyword stuffing – This involves filling your content with too many keywords (usually irrelevant), which usually makes the content sound unnatural. It can also involve adding multiple keyword variations even when it doesn’t add value.
  • Private blog network (PBN) – This means setting up a group of authoritative websites that are used solely for link building. These work similarly to link farms, except sites in a PBN don’t link to each other. Instead, they all link to only one site they want to boost in the SERPs.
  • Comment spam – As the name suggests, this practice involves spamming website or forum comments with links to your website.
  • Link farms – These are sites created solely for link building. Each website in a link farm links out to one another to rank higher on Google. Link farms make it look like a site is valuable by inflating the number of backlinks it has.

Black hat SEO is unethical and creates a poor experience for your audience. That’s because your content will look spammy, and visitors will likely abandon your site.

These practices can earn you a penalty if caught. Penalties may result in lower rankings or being permanently removed from the SERPs.

Embracing White Hat Link Building: Techniques and Benefits

On the other hand, a white hat approach to SEO includes tactics that are in line with Google’s terms and conditions.

Some essential white hat SEO techniques to pay attention to include:

  • Creating valuable content – Produce content for readers and for the search engine. You should also make your content relevant and authoritative to build trust.
  • Satisfying search intent – You can do this by knowing your target audience and what they’re looking for. Optimize your content so it contains certain keywords as well. Having videos and images also helps improve user experience.
  • Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly – Many website visitors now use smartphones, so you should check how your web pages look on mobile phones. See if your site is still easy to navigate as well.

Grey Hat Link Building: A Balance or a Risk?

Grey Hat SEO is a mix of techniques that follow search engine guidelines (white hat SEO) and those that violate them (black hat SEO).

These tactics may be the result of loopholes through black hat practices.

Examples of gray hat techniques include:

  • Buying old or expired domains
  • Careful keyword stuffing
  • Having many dummy social media accounts to boost interactions with your brand’s accounts
  • Requesting to be added to multiple web directories
  • Automating content

Grey hat SEO isn’t illegal. However, because it’s a mix of white hat and black hat tactics, using it too much can be dangerous for your website.

As such, it’s still better to stick to white hat techniques to align with Google’s policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

A link building strategy can be hard to create and even harder to implement and maintain. We’ve answered a few questions to help you further in the creation of your link-building strategy.

Is Link Building Still Relevant in Today’s SEO Landscape?

Yes, link building is still relevant in today’s SEO landscape.

That’s because it still continues to build authority and trust, which shows search engines that a site is credible and offers valuable information to the audience.

Good backlinks also continue to generate organic traffic for your site — and your visitors might be converted into customers if you have good enough content.

All these can help you rank higher on the SERPs.

What Is the Difference Between Backlinks and Link Building?

Backlinks (also known as inbound or incoming links) are links from other websites that point to your own site.

They’re like “votes of confidence” that tell search engines your site is considered trustworthy and valuable.

Meanwhile, link building is the practice of acquiring backlinks. This is where tactics like guest posting and keyword research come into play.

How Can I Effectively Implement a Link Building Strategy?

Every link building strategy is different, depending on the techniques used and metrics monitored. But in general, these are the basic steps to ensure your strategy takes off and sticks:

  • Know your target audience so you can plan for content and tactics to get their attention.
  • Observe which sites appeal to them.
  • Create great content. You can match your content with your competitors and take it one step further by filling in any gaps in their existing content.
  • Use social media and don’t be afraid to interact with your audience. Post links to the content on your site, but remember to provide snippets or visuals to make them more interested in what you’re linking to.
  • Monitor your metrics to know which tactics and content are working and which you’ll need to replace or tweak.

What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid in Link Building?

Some common mistakes to avoid in link building include:

  • Not creating linkable content
  • Not checking on-page SEO health
  • Not looking into search intent first
  • Performing bad outreach

SEO has many aspects and techniques, so it can be easy to overlook and commit mistakes — but that’s why it’s so important to always monitor your SEO health and strategy.

How Can I Measure the Success of My Link Building Efforts?

To measure the success of your link building efforts, you’ll need to monitor specific metrics, such as:

  • Domain strength
  • Page strength
  • Linking root domains
  • Number of links
  • Relevance of linking pages

It’s also a good idea to run backlink profile audits and track your site’s organic growth.

Conclusion

Link building has been a big factor in SEO since the early days of search engines. After all, backlinks are “votes of confidence” that Google uses to appraise how trustworthy and valuable a site is.

Everyone wants to rank high on search engines, and black hat tactics can give sites a quick boost in their traffic.

However, they go against search engine guidelines and will result in heavy penalties if you’re caught. This penalty can either knock you down the ranks or get you permanently de-indexed.

As such, it’s important to stick to white hat techniques like guest posting and submitting your information to valuable directories.

Seeing results from white hat SEO may admittedly take longer — but it’s a slow but sure growth that keeps your audience engaged so they’ll keep coming back to your brand.