By next year, nearly $80 billion dollars will be spent on SEO in the US.
It isn’t hard to see why. After all, 4 million new blog posts are published online every day. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd on Google.
Clearly, companies are willing to pay good money to beat the competition and maximize their rankings. How can you do the same?
Well, among the huge array of ranking factors out there, earning backlinks is one of the most effective ways to rank highly.
But what is linking? What is a link? And how does it help you rank higher?
An understanding of backlinks is an essential first step to being successful with them. It takes work, and you’re far less likely to put it in if you fail to comprehend their importance.
Keep reading for a comprehensive look at link building and how they’ll help you succeed on Google.
What is a Link?
A link is a clickable piece of text or image, which takes you through to another page of the internet.
There are two types: internal and external. An internal link takes you through to another page of your own website. An external link takes you offsite. Both are important to your site’s ability to rank highly.
Google crawls each site on the internet and uses these links to form something of a street map between them. Using complex algorithms, Google’s bots can analyze the vast expanse of the internet and learn how different sites interrelate.
What is Linking?
Linking is the process of building links to your website. It’s commonly referred to as building backlinks.
You want other websites to link to yours.
Google sees this is a vote of confidence in your pages and posts. More links equate to greater popularity in Google’s eyes. The more backlinks it reads, the higher it’ll rank you on search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, things are more complicated these days.
Tech of the past wasn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate between quantity and quality. This led to nefarious ‘black hat’ SEO strategies like paying offshore companies for thousands of links to your site.
That’s all changed. Nowadays you need quality links. Too many and you’ll raise alarm bells. Search engines will often know if you’ve paid or incentivized links to your site. They’ll punish you for it.
Google assesses trust and spam levels associated with every site.
Don’t worry about how they do it! Just know that the best links are from popular, trustworthy, spam-free websites. Lots of links from these sorts of a site will give you a great chance of better rankings.
3 Benefits of Link Building for Your Rankings
Here are some of the main ways link building supports your rankings. Oh, and if you don’t fancy putting the work in yourself, you can always hire an SEO agency to do it all for you!
1. Domain Authority
Your domain authority is a numerical score from 0-100 that provides insight into the quantity and quality of links to your site. The higher the number the better.
High DA sites rank higher in Google. More links mean a higher DA. Attracting backlinks from high DA sites (think 50+) should be a key objective in your link building strategy. It signals to Google that your site is both relevant and trustworthy.
2. Extra traffic
Every link to your website may bring extra traffic to your site too.
This is an obvious bonus! Likewise, visitors that visit and stick around on your site will help your rankings too. Your bounce rate will stay low (a ranking factor) and your dwell time will increase (another ranking factor).
3. Added Trust and Credibility
Google is all about the user experience.
They want their users to be satisfied. That’s why they prioritize high quality, trustworthy websites in their rankings. Your website gets a giant boost of confidence from Google when you gain backlinks from these sorts of sites.
With the right link, you can join the same sphere as the big boys in your field. It snowballs from there. Quality links make you more trustworthy. That helps you rank. And the higher you rank, the more people that will organically link to you. That, in turn, will raise your rankings.
How to Get More Links
You can build backlinks in different ways.
Don’t pay for them! It’ll come back to bite you in the long run. The best way to earn a link is by creating incredible content of true value and promoting it like mad in the right places.
Email outreach is your friend. Social media is too. Paid ads also have their place. Your job is to send you awesome content out into the ether, in the hope that people will like it and link to it.
You can’t just buy links, or swap them for that matter. Indeed, it’s common for people to trade links. They’ll offer a link to your site, in exchange for one to theirs. However, this is an offense of Google’s terms that can get your site penalized.
Guest posts are another great way to earn links. Here, you write a blog post for another site, generally in exchange for a backlink or two from them to you.
Time to Get Linking
There you have it — what is linking, how it works, and why you need to do it for your rankings!
Link building is an essential part of effective SEO. As Google crawls the web, it tracks and traces the links between sites. It picks up the links and sets your rank in accordance with what it finds. Lots of quality internal and external links will help you rank highly in SERPs. That’s because they constitute votes of confidence.
The benefits happen for multiple reasons. From increasing your domain authority to receiving extra traffic, and gaining greater trust in the eyes of Google, backlinks are crucial to higher rankings.
There’s no time like the present to begin building links to your site!
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