It doesn’t matter how well you’ve designed your website or how carefully you’ve crafted your blog posts. Without a strong SEO strategy, your website will be a ghost town. A marketable domain and a good SEO tool are the foundation of a robust SEO strategy, but there are even easier steps you can take to boost your search engine ranking. One of these is link-building.
What is link-building?
A link (or hyperlink) is a kind of portal that takes you from one webpage to another. Usually, links are highlighted text that will take you to a new webpage when you click on them. They’re a great way to quickly navigate between webpages on the internet.
“Link-building” means getting hyperlinks from other websites to your own, so that when visitors to those websites click on the hyperlink, they’ll be taken directly to your website!
Why is link-building important for SEO?
Search engines use links to find new webpages and to figure out where a page should rank in their search results.
The more high-quality links that point to a webpage, the higher the search engine will rank the webpage. That’s because links are seen as a sign that other websites endorse yours. And if your webpage is endorsed by high-quality websites, search engines take this as a sign that your webpage must be of good quality, too.
But when SEO experts figured out that link-building was part of the search engine algorithm, they started stuffing websites with links to the websites they were trying to boost. That used to work just fine, but modern search engines are too advanced to be fooled by that. If you build your links the wrong way, you could end up wasting your time or even being penalized. So, it’s important to do link-building the right way.
5 ways to do link-building right:
1. Write well-researched blog posts
Good content alone won’t ensure the visibility of your website, but the higher the quality of your content, the more likely it is that other websites will want to link to it.
You don’t have to create full-length documentaries to attract links. Something as simple as a well-conducted poll with a large sample size may be enough to encourage link-building.
For instance, if you run a fitness-focused website, you could create a poll that compares the results people get with bodyweight exercises to the results they get from weightlifting.
Once you have your results, you can arrange them in the form of an easy-to-read infographic, which you’ll publish on your website. The links will come pouring in from websites run by gyms, medical professionals, and fitness influencers.
2. Comment on other blogs
Some blogs let you drop your link when you write a comment. This doesn’t mean you should spam blogs with meaningless drivel, just so you can build links. Doing that is the surest way to tank your reputation.
However, if you write comments that are always thoughtful, informative, and accurate, you can develop a reputation as an authority on the subject. Which means that you not only have a long, winding trail of links behind you, but also a better chance of having people click those links.
3. Make something and put it on your website
This could be anything from a great eBook, to a well-designed tool or widget. If you make something that lots of people want to use, and then make it exclusively available on your website, the organic backlinks will pile up.
4. Answer questions on online forums
Answering questions on popular forums like Quora and Reddit is a great way to establish yourself as an authority and to beef up your link-building. If you’re a warm and personable presence on these forums, people will eventually start linking to your website themselves, in response to other users’ questions.
5. Get on directories
Listing your site in trustworthy online directories is a great way to increase your link-building. Don’t go plastering links to your website all over terrible directories that add no value to your users’ lives. Google and other search engines have actually excluded these from their search results pages, so leaving your links on these terrible directories will be an exercise in futility, anyway.
But if you can leave your link on good directories that give your users valuable information, you’ll make it easier to get indexed in search engines, and your website will rank higher in search results. Ps. don’t forget to set up your Google MyBusiness account!
SEO strategies can sometimes be inscrutable, but you can’t afford to ignore them. If you want a high-traffic website, you’ll have a better chance if you choose a catchy domain name, invest in a good SEO tool, and start strategically link-building.