How Does Link Building Fit into the SEO Equation?
When search engines return results for a given search phrase or keyword term, ideally, the ten most relevant results will appear on the first page. The idea behind this is that the top three pages, returned during a search, are viewed by the search engine as the most relevant resources available for that search.
By optimizing your website with certain keywords, you can improve the position in which you rank for a certain keyword term; your rankings will appear within the search engine results pages, also known as SERPs.
It’s important to note that search engine optimization is the first step in the link-building process. You must optimize the pages first in order to build links to those pages with anchor text that matches what the data on the page has been optimized for.
For example, if you wanted to rank higher in SERPs for the keyword term, “Surveillance Camera Installations”, you would first optimize your home page to link to your Surveillance Camera Installations page and then edit your Surveillance Camera Installations page with your targeted keywords in the title tag of the page, the Meta description, and the Meta keywords.
Once a page is optimized it has to be indexed and found by the search engine spiders in order to begin to appear in search engine results. This can be done by obtaining a link back to the page from another page that has already been indexed by the search engine.
When a search engine spider comes to a site it will “crawl” the site for new information and will follow any new links that have been added. When the site is crawled all of the information there is added to the search engine index. Once the page is indexed it can be found and returned as a result of a search query.
The new Digital Consumer wants the ability to find you on Facebook, Google, and other related sites. The Digital Consumer also expects speed, professionalism and to be convinced as to why they should do business with you instead of someone else. Effectively optimizing one’s site can help you achieve that, thus appealing to the Digital Consumer on a larger scale.
What is the Effect of Link Building on Search Rankings?
To a search engine, links are seen as votes for a website. The more “votes” a site has, the more search engines view it as relevant and popular. However, when it comes to the links that point back to your site, there are two factors that are very important.
- How relevant is the linking website to your site and
- How popular is the site that the link is coming from to your site?
When it comes to obtaining inbound links to your site, the quality of the site is always more important than the number of links. One link from a great, relevant website can do more for your rankings than 100 lower quality links. The relevancy of those links to your site also plays a factor in how much they will help your rankings.
There is also the aspect of driving traffic to your website. If you can build links on sites where you know your target audience is active, you can begin to get people clicking through your links to your site. In this case, the strength of the site does not matter as much as the amount of traffic the links on this site will send to your site.
An example of a site like this can be a business within your niche but not a direct competitor. If the service you offer compliments their goods or services then the fit is very natural and helpful for both parties.
How Do You Build Links?
Building links can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Finding partnerships, webmasters, and bloggers to connect with can take up several hours of your day and the results can be non-existent when you begin your link-building process. But anything that is worth doing is never easy. The results that you can achieve with a well-planned and well-executed link-building campaign can increase your SERPs rankings for the better and the results are long-lasting.
With continued link building, you can continue to rank high for search terms by building fewer and fewer links each month. Building your backlink profile is something that requires thought and strategy. The idea behind a link-building campaign is quality, not quantity. One great link can do so much more for your website than 100 low-quality links.
Start by taking an assessment of your current linkable assets. Do you currently have a blog? Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have any outside speaking engagements scheduled or does your agency appear at any industry conventions?
Take stock in what you are already doing and what you can leverage into a link back to your website, social media pages, or blog.
Use these tools with discretion, not every piece of content you write on your blog, post to your Facebook wall, or Tweet needs to be a sales pitch. Remember people want to read interesting content, not a brochure on your products or services.
Also, consider any existing relationships you may have already formed that could lead to a backlink for your site. These can be friends you have within a similar industry, local organizations such as the Better Business Bureau or the local chamber of commerce, and other civic organizations.