As you begin to design an SEO campaign, you may hear the term “link building” thrown around, but you may not be fully aware of what it means or how powerful it can be for your campaign. Simply put, link building is the process of getting other sites to link to pages on your own site or blog. There are many ways to go about this process—some are better practices than others—and it can take some time to feel comfortable with these strategies. Link building will also require that you dedicate plenty of energy to producing and updating content on your website, because the content found on linked pages should have something to offer the person who clicked on the link. Though lots of effort is required to pull off successful link building, the payoff can be huge with a jump in your search engine ranking and site traffic. If you’d like to take a closer look at how you can see these benefits, keep reading for your crash course in link building.

What is link building?

SEO marketing is tricky, because search marketers do not know the exact algorithms used to rank and sort organic search results. We do, however, have plenty of clues that indicate the best practices for improving search engine rank. Link building is a beneficial practice, because it shows that other websites find your site to be an authoritative source of information. Still, you do have to be careful, because links from spam sites can create a negative impression of your website, making it look like spam too. As you explore the link building opportunities available to you, be sure that you focus only on sites that would be good referral sources, boasting positive reputations themselves.

How do you get started with link building?

One of the best methods of starting link building is producing more content for your website. When you create high-quality pages with the information that people may want about your business and things related to your business, you’ll get more traction on search engines, more exposure on social media, and more organic site traffic. Among the new visitors to your site may be individuals looking for sources of information that they can link to on their own websites or blogs. They might link to your site without any prompting, offering you a free boost without any extra work. To truly see results, though, you may need to reach out to industry authorities, bloggers, and influential organizations to ask them to link to your site. Here are a few ways that you can do this without coming across as pushy, unprofessional, or intrusive:

  • Submit your site to an industry directory.
  • Apply for industry awards or recognitions.
  • Email bloggers or reach out on social media.
  • Create sponsored content for news publications.
  • Produce guest blogs for other websites.
  • Reach out to educators with content that may be used in the classroom.
  • Design partnership badges for your customers to feature on their websites.

The above strategies will have few risks for link building, because they will reach sources that are not affiliated with spam. Other opportunities that can be useful but should be approached with caution include:

  • Posting links on forums.
  • Becoming a responder on answer sites like Quora.
  • Signing site guestbooks.

With these strategies, links will not have the same impact they have with higher-authority sources, but they can still offer a boost in link building when paired with other efforts. Just remember that lower value links do have a higher risk to consider, so they may not be worth chasing in the long run.

Will social posts and shares contribute to link building?

The short answer is no, but social media exposure can have an indirect benefit for link building. When your pages are more frequently liked, shared, and reposted, they will be more likely to get more clicks and conversions. Still, a social share will not have the same effect as a link to your site from a trusted external website, since those types of links will have a more lasting impression and a stronger sense of authority.

How do you set goals for link building?

Now that you’ve gotten some background on what link building is and how to do it, you can start setting real goals for your campaign. In the video featured below, you’ll see how to organize and prioritize your link building goals in a way that works for your business. Not every business will have the same SEO needs, so this organizational method can be organized based on your unique end goals.

How do you improve link building success?

If your website doesn’t seem to be encouraging people to link to your content or the resources you reach out to don’t respond to your messages, there are several ways to proceed with better chances of success. First, revamp your content. Even if you are producing content that is technically well-written, it might not do much to capture attention or inspire shares. Mixing up your content approach can attract new readers and have others linking to your site, especially if you break from the mold of industry norms. Better content may also offer a stronger approach when you approach bloggers, external sites, and industry thought leaders, but it doesn’t hurt to offer something extra. Providing a small token of appreciation for those who create links to your site—such as free stuff or exclusive content—can make your request for link building stand out and get more results.

For the content you need to back up your link building efforts, partner with Pennington Creative. Our team specializes in blogging, onsite content, and graphic design, and we’re ready to contribute to your content strategy. See what we can do for you by setting up a discovery call with us today!

About the Author

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Marissa Storrs

Digital Marketing Manager, Client Engagement