How many times have you visited or found yourself browsing a specific website, then spotted a link to another website or another webpage, clicked, and continued your journey there? Sometimes this link will take you to a different page on the same website, sometimes it will provide extra value by taking you offsite to another source of information, and sometimes it will change the course of your journey completely.
This is an example of link building, and when done right can benefit your SEO hugely.
The Benefits of link building for SEO
Before we get into how to build links for SEO, it first pays to understand the benefits and why links are so important. Links are one of the main criteria used by Google in ascertaining the quality of a webpage and its information. As such, every link you use should direct the user towards a reputable and high quality source which is entirely relevant to your own website and industry.
Some of the best ways of doing this include linking guest blogs written by you for other sites, and blogs written by other sites and individuals for you, bolstering each other’s position and credibility in the eyes of Google; and finding sources that supplement the information provided on your website. Crucially, every link you include in your website must directly take the user to a source of great value, with no dead pages and no redirections. This is one of the main reasons why digital marketers always recommend regular assessments of your site SEO, as this is the best way to establish any broken links that you may otherwise have missed.
If this all sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry. It’s time to introduce some of the best ways of building links for SEO.
How to build links for SEO
The best way of building links is through professional relationships and partnerships. This could mean that you partner with other relevant sources and create editorial content for each other, or it could be more of a PR exercise where you create content which recommends and guides your users to check out their content or products too.
TOP TIP: If you decide to do this, always ensure that a link clicked on your website opens a new window or a new tab, rather than simply taking the user away from your website completely. The former aids their journey without ending their experience on your website, while the latter is a sure fire way of ending the transaction instantly.
Let’s look at an example of valuable link building in action.
Imagine that you are a beauty brand looking to launch and sell a new product. As well as creating your own content and sharing it on you platforms, a partnership with a renowned beauty blogger who then writes a blog for your website means that both your followers and their network will likely check out your blog – helping to establish your brand by linking it to someone who people trust.
This is the value of link building: it widens the reach of your website and your brand, and when done right can help to establish you as a credible go-to in the industry
Our tips for building links for SEO
- Establish long term partnerships with people in your industry. This means competitors, authority figures, customer facing and back end professionals. You never know when or where you might get some valuable support from – and a variety of different industry touchpoints can help to build some fruitful and effective links on your website.
- Find out where your competitors are getting featured as guest bloggers and industry experts and get yourself on there too. There are tons of tools out there which can help you to discover where your competitors are getting their backlinks from, making it easy to follow their lead and bolster your own SEO.
- Testimonials! These are so important, because if you review a big brand or a supplier you use and they decide to mention or share your review, you are getting free marketing and backlinks to your online presence without even trying.
- If it fits with your brand, build a resources page and add all your favourite external sites and brands to it. This is a great way of implementing external links to your site without even really having to try and will likely lead to positive exchanges with other professionals who want to be featured on your page too. This also bolsters the user experience on your site as you make the customer journey super easy for them and provide even more value.
- Build links into your content. This may seem like a simple one, but not every link has to have a dedicated CTA and bright coloured button. Some of the best links are those you embed into a piece of content, telling the user exactly which piece of information or statement the link is going to support.
Link building is a way of showing your website to be full of value, authority, and credibility – and it all starts with the importance of working partnerships and industry relationships. By building external links into your own site, and getting your site mentioned and integrated into other reputable external sources, you continue to show Google that what you are sharing, selling, and/or offering is high in value and relevant to the target audience.
As part of an SEO strategy, link building is up there as one of the most important areas of focus.