If you have a hobby that you’ve loved over the years, you probably notice you use different lingo when talking to those who share your passion vs. those who don’t. You use acronyms, phrases, or make puns based off current trends. You and your friends may laugh hysterically while an outside looks on with a confused expression.
When it comes to SEO, you may need a dictionary to remember the number of acronyms and terms. Worst of all, you may see one term and say “I know what those words mean separately, but I don’t know what they mean together.”
If you’ve been researching about how to increase website traffic and build up your SEO, you have undoubtedly come across the term link building. But what is link building exactly? Can it actually help grow your online presence? How do you make the most of it?
We’re going to run through and answer all of those questions below to help give you a solid introduction.
What is link building?
Link building is an SEO tactic that aims to build up your website’s credibility and trustworthiness by having other websites link back to your website. Let’s look at a quick example.
In one corner, we have Website A, thebestwebsiteever.com. In the other corner, we have Website B, ilikefood.com.
Website B wants to promote their website and push themselves up in the rankings. They’ve decided to try out link building in order to do so.
So, Website B contacts Website A (either themselves or through a guest posting agency) and asks the website to back them. What does backing them look like?
Essentially, Website A will publish a content piece, such as an article, blog, review, etc. where Website B’s website will be hyperlinked in the text. Just like the text in blue that we have above. You click on that blue link and you’re being taken to another website.
Interesting. But does it work?
The short answer is: yes, link building works. But as always, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Website B can’t just put their link on one other web page and call it a day. They have to put their link on hundreds if not thousands of other webpages. When Google scans the web for results, the crawlers will say to themselves, “Oh wow, Website B is spread out all across the web! These guys must be pretty valuable and important. All aboard the front page train!”
It’s also important to note that you can’t just throw your link on random webpages, they have to be high-quality web pages that are already generating traffic. That’s why link building, for many SEO specialists, is considered one of the hardest parts of SEO.
Not only do you have to find high quality websites, but you have to reach out to them, ensure you get a response, and then formulate content.
Now, this doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months to publish all of those content pieces and even more months before Website B will start to see significant upticks in their traffic and visitors. You will start to see more visitors gradually, but make sure you’re comparing the results month after month to see how your organic traffic grows.
So how can you make the most out of it?
As discussed above, one of the ways to practice solid link building is by contributing content to other websites. These can come through blogs, content pieces, reviews, mentions, promotions, and even links from your friends or partners.
Content has been around for awhile which means it has stood the test of time. Having content posted on top tier sites is going to boost referral traffic and increase brand recognition. There has long been the debate between quality and quantity, and the truth is you want a mix of both.
Yes, it’s important to have qualitative links but that doesn’t mean you should be shooting for only a few each month. Even if you’re unable to constantly post on top tier sites, that doesn’t mean you should shake off mid tier or low tier websites.
While this is the more active approach, there are also passive approaches as well. Whatever your business is, you can start publishing your own content that may be picked up and shared by other websites.
Your website can start a blog based on your niche market and wait for others to find your information and link to you. This is definitely the long game, since there is no way of assuring how often people are going to link you or when they’re going to link you.
For this, you need to make sure you have an excellent content writer who is going to push unique, quality content on a regular basis.
Link building is not easy, but it can be a key component of your SEO and marketing methods.