LINK BUILDING: BEGINNERS GUIDE

The currency of the web links. Many are considered “authoritative” and confer high Google ranks on websites. Conversely, websites without any are doomed to obscurity.

Understanding link building can be challenging if you are new to SEO.

Others will insist on strategic link prospecting and focused email marketing, while others will give you a mysterious smile and say only one word: PBNs. Some SEO experts suggest you create outstanding content and wait for links to appear naturally. 

Whom then ought you to listen to?

There is no right way to develop links, and your strategies will primarily depend on your industry, website, resources, and goals. As with many things in SEO, the accurate response is: “it depends.”

Is it possible that I’ve only made things more confusing? 

Do not fret. This link-building lesson was prepared with total beginners, and we included doable advice that you can use immediately. 

Let’s start now, shall we?

What is link building?

Getting other websites to link to pages on your website is a process known as link building. The goal of link building is to increase your pages’ “authority” in Google’s eyes to rank higher and receive more search traffic.

Generally speaking, most “white hat” link development techniques can be reduced to two easy steps:

  1. Make a notable contribution (and therefore worthy of a link)
  2. Present it to website owners (and thus can link to it)

Why is link-building important?

Links are one of Google’s three primary ranking factors. Links are, therefore, very certainly required if you want your website’s pages to rank better in search results. 

Links from other websites are viewed as “votes” by Google (and other search engines), which allows them to decide which page on a particular topic (from thousands of similar ones) deserves to be ranked at the very top of the search results.

In search results, pages with more backlinks often show up higher.  Our examination of one billion pages shows that a page’s Google search traffic is positively associated with the number of websites linking to it.

Links aren’t the answer to everything.

This introductory chapter could give the impression that all it takes to rank #1 in Google is to get more backlinks than the other pages. 

While to some extent it is accurate, the situation is a little more complicated than that.

Search engines consider several other factors besides not all links being created equal (we’ll cover this topic in more detail in Chapter 3). According to the search query you want to rank for, the combination of these variables may also change. If you build many links to your page, don’t blame our guide for your low ranks.

If you build many links to your page, don’t blame our guide for your low ranks. Examine additional ranking criteria that can keep you from ranking highly.

How to build links

Most link-building approaches and strategies conceptually fit into one of the following four categories:

  • Add. Adding links by hand to websites
  • Ask. Ask for a link by contacting website owners directly.
  • Buy. Link exchange for cash.
  • Earn. Obtain natural links from website visitors

1. Adding links

If you can go to a website that is not your own and manually submit your link there, that is referred to as “adding” a link. The most often used tactics in this category are the following:

  • submissions to business directories;
  • creating a social media profile;
  • blogging comments
  • posting on message boards, groups, and Q&A websites;
  • the creation of job postings;
  • etc.

It is pretty easy to create links using those methods. Google prefers to assign those relationships relatively little weight for that reason alone (and in some cases, can even be flagged as SPAM). 

Beyond that, these relationships barely give you a competitive advantage. If you can manually add a link to a website, nothing prevents your competitors from doing the same. 

However, you shouldn’t entirely ignore this group of link-building techniques. Each has benefits for your online business that go beyond link building. 

I’ll explain a few instances:

Business Directories

You should repress the desire to submit your website to every business directory to build your link profile. Instead, concentrate on well-known and popular ones that might drive traffic to your website.

You should add your firm to a local business directory, for instance, if you’re a small business owner and you’ve learned about it. Other business owners get their leads from here.  And that solitary link would probably offer you more “SEO value” than merely submitting your website to a list of generic business directories you saw on a random SEO forum. 

Social profiles

It’s a good idea to quickly claim your brand name on all key social media platforms (such as Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare, Instagram, and the like). If squatters learn about your brand, they might steal them else. 

Building a fan following and marketing to them can be accomplished by investing time and effort in relevant social media channels.  Unfortunately, there is minimal to no direct SEO benefit from linking on social profile pages. Therefore, don’t anticipate a rapid ranking boost after joining a few dozen social networking sites.

Blog comments

Leaving intelligent comments on other people’s articles is a great way to get their attention and start a conversation (which might lead to all sorts of good things).  Showing a link to your website in the comments will only infuriate blog owners. 

In addition, links from blog comments are typically followed, so they might not be considered “votes.” Therefore, don’t leave someone a comment merely to include your link.

These three examples should help you understand how to “add” your links to other websites without sounding like spam.

2. Asking for links

As the name suggests, this is the procedure when you contact the owner of the website and convince them to link to you.

This category of link-building strategies requires a “compelling reason.” Unless you’re a superstar, the individuals you reach out to aren’t interested in you or your website. Therefore, they have no reason to assist you.

Therefore, before you ask someone to connect with you, think about what’s in it for THEM. 

Here are a few link-building techniques and methods that fit into this category, along with a briefly stated “compelling reason” on which they are predicated:

  • blogging as a guest. Publish informative stuff on their website.
  • skyscraper method Show them an improved source compared to the one they are linking to.
  • Inserts links. Show them a source that contains more details on a subject they have only briefly mentioned.
  • Ego bait Mention them or their work favourably in your writing.
  • Case studies and testimonials. Describe their goods or service favourably.
  • link trading. If they agree to link to you, offer to link back to them.
  • creating links to resources. Show them a helpful source that complements their current list.
  • building broken links. Fix the “dead” link on their page for them.
  • developing image links. Request credit if your photograph is used.
  • unrelated references. Request that the brand mention be made “clickable.”
  • The link can move. Request the modification of an existing connection.
  • Journalist requests and HARO. Give a “quote from an expert” for their piece.
  • PR. Give them a compelling tale to report about.

All of these tactics seem very intriguing, don’t they? However, as soon as you write your first email request, you’re probably going to realise that your “compelling argument” isn’t strong enough:

  • Your guest post is not up to par.
  • Your resource isn’t sufficiently distinct.
  • Your “Skyscraper” is not sufficiently “high.”
  • etc.

For these link-building strategies to be successful, you must develop a remarkable page that others would want to connect to. Or, you might use your industry standing and reputation to compensate for your page’s lack of fame. 

Given how challenging it is to obtain links from unaffiliated parties, some SEOs started looking for strategies to make the offer more alluring:

  • Offer to share their content on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Offer to use your email newsletter to promote their material.
  • Provide unrestricted access to an expensive good or service.
  • Provide a link in return.
  • Offer to pay.

There you have it, then. The success rate of legal link requests is quite low, but when you try to “sweeten the bargain,” you enter Google’s minefield.

It might seem at this point that I’m trying to talk you out of employing the methods and techniques in this collection. I’m not. I’m simply attempting to set the proper expectations to prevent you from giving up after sending your tenth outreach email and receiving no response. Obtaining connections using these strategies while following Google’s rules requires much work.

3. Buying links

Let’s be clear right away: We do not recommend that you buy links! 

You’ll probably squander a lot of money on irrelevant links that won’t help your rankings; your website will be penalised at worst.

However, if we didn’t let you know that many people in the SEO field do “purchase” links in various ways and manage to get away with it, we’d be putting you at a disadvantage.

Therefore, if you’re prepared to take a chance with the health of your website and buy links, please look for instructions on how to do it “safely” elsewhere.

4. Earning links

You “earn” links when other websites link to the pages on your website without your permission. Unless you have something truly exceptional that other website owners would legitimately want to include on their websites, this doesn’t happen.

People, however, cannot attach to objects they are unaware of. You “earn” links when other websites link to the pages on your website without your permission.  Additionally, it is more likely that some visitors will choose to connect to your page the more they visit it. 

Here are a few examples of techniques and plans that fit this description:

  • Linkbait (or linkable assets) (or linkable assets). studies of data, infographics, maps, polls, and prizes.
  • interviews, expert roundups, and podcasts.
  • promotion of content.
  • etc.

Undoubtedly, earning links is the best approach to acquiring them.

Instead of working on a series of difficult link prospecting and email outreach activities in the hopes of constructing links to a subpar page, I’d much rather put my time and money into producing quality pages that will generate word of mouth and pick up links organically.

You could counter that it finds it simple to promote linkbait for organic link building because:

  • Lots of confidential information that we can use to publish research studies.
  • a group of experts who can assist us in producing essential resources.
  • Having a reputable name automatically lends credibility to all of our work.
  • a sizable audience to whom we may market our material (and kickstart word of mouth).

Yes, all of these features DO make earning connections much simpler. However, even if you’re just starting, there are still ways to produce quality content on a shoestring budget and acquire links naturally. The “secret” is that you must put 10 times as much effort into your content as your rivals do.

Bonus: Preserving links

Although technically, “link construction” does not genuinely include “link preservation,” we nonetheless believed it merited a quick mention in this tutorial.

There are only two methods for maintaining links: repairing 404 pages with links and link reclamation.

Should you even bother with it, though?

There is some evidence to support the idea that Google may continue to transfer some of a link’s value even after it is no longer active (this phenomenon is often referred to as “link echoes” or “link ghosts”).

Therefore, you shouldn’t usually bother trying to restore your lost links. Only when you lose a crucial connection that was driving traffic to your website or acting as “social proof” should you worry about getting it back.

What makes a good link?

Nobody knows Google’s specific methodology to determine each link’s worth. The SEO community, however, believes that a few generalisations about link evaluation are accurate.

1. Authority

The “authority” of a single page and the “authority” of an entire website are two separate things. 

The original Google PageRank algorithm’s core principle states that the page with more links pointing at it has a more meaningful vote. This is connected to page authority. 

Many SEOs try to get connections from outdated pages with solid backlink profiles. A link from one of these pages is considered more valuable than a link from a recently released page without any backlinks.

On the other hand, a newly published page may eventually amass a few links of a high caliber. As a result, a link from such a page may gain value over time. 

As a result, rather than looking for old pages with solid backlink profiles, the general approach is to try to gain connections from notable pages with a high possibility of attracting backlinks over time.

Employees of Google who work on the website authority have consistently disputed the existence of any kind of system-wide website authority metric. . However, a link from the New York Times should be worth more than a link from your neighbour’s website, according to many SEO experts, who believe this to be very logical (unless your neighbour is Jeff Bezos).

What if a website’s “website authority” is simply its high concentration of authoritative pages? Unfortunately, nobody can give you a definite answer. 

At DMA, we use a statistic called Domain Rating (DR), which is solely dependent on the strength of a website’s backlink profile, to gauge website authority. Imagine a system similar to PageRank but for entire domains rather than specific pages.

A common rookie SEO error is disregarding link opportunities from low-authority websites as though they were detrimental to your SEO success. . They aren’t. A low-authority website can expand dramatically over several years, much like how newly published pages earn backlinks over time, boosting the value of links from them. 

Neglecting link chances from low-authority websites as if they are somehow harmful to your SEO success is a classic newbie SEO mistake. They aren’t. Similar to how newly published pages gain backlinks over time, increasing the worth of links coming from them, a low-authority website can grow significantly over several years.

2. Relevance

Consider writing a review of your preferred coffee grinder for your site on coffee. In the end, two of your friends decide to link to it.  One is from their piece on the “10 Best Coffee Recipes,” while the other is from their post on the “10 Money-saving Tips.”

Given that both pages have equal authority, which one would Google consider casting a stronger vote?

which is more pertinent!

It seems sensible that you’d prefer to seek coffee advice from a fellow foodie than from personal finance professional.

Relevancy, in the opinion of SEO professionals, also applies to websites.  And on Google’s “how search works” page, there is some supporting documentation for that:

If other well-known websites on the topic link to the page, it is a sure sign that the content is of very high quality.

This implies that rather than pursuing every link opportunity, you should try to gain links from websites that are somehow related to yours.

3. Anchor text

If you’re not familiar with the term “anchor text,” it refers to a section of text that can be clicked to open a link to another page. 

In many cases, the topic of the linked page is explained in the anchor text. Just take a look at the link’s anchor text from a few paragraphs ago:

Therefore, it should be no surprise that Google analyses the terms in anchor text to determine which keywords the cited page should rank for. Google’s original patent makes a clear reference to this:

Google uses a variety of strategies, such as page rank, anchor text, and proximity data, to enhance search quality.

So how can you make the most of anchor text when building links? 

Of course not. Google is more likely to penalise you if you try to manipulate which websites link to you and jam all the “proper terms” into the anchor texts of your backlinks will punish you for it.

In addition, the majority of white-hat link development strategies allow you little to no control over the anchor text, which essentially only stops you from shooting yourself.

4. Nofollow vs follow

The link attribute “no follow” informs Google that the connecting website would prefer not to support its referencing page.

In the past, Google did not consider votes from “nofollowed links” (or so they said). Then, in 2019, they switched to the hint model, which now allows some “nofollowed” links to impact your search ranks.

With this announcement, they also debuted two new link attributes:

  • “User produced” links, such as blog comments and forum postings, should be marked with rel=”UGC.”
  • When a link is a component of an advertisement, sponsorship, or payment, rel=” sponsored” should be used.

As a general guideline, you should focus on creating “followed” links because these are the ones that are expected to cast votes (i.e., links without any of the properties above).

But you should take advantage of the chance if you can gain a followed link from a relevant, high-authority page.

Wikipedia is an excellent example, where all outbound links are followed. Given the challenge of obtaining a link from Wikipedia, many SEOs think that Google values these links highly.

5. Placement

The position of a link on the page can also impact its click-through rate (CTR). Readers are likelier to click on links towards the article’s beginning than those near its conclusion. 

Finally, the more links you have on a page, the more they will compete for clicks, depriving other pages of authority. 

Like anchor text, most white-hat link-building techniques allow you little to no control over where the link is placed.

However, you should make an effort to encourage readers to click on your links if you’re writing a guest post for another blog. Not only will it increase the links’ SEO value, but it will also send you some excellent referral traffic.

6. Destination

There are three places you can direct links when developing links to your website:

  • your website;
  • The assets you can link to the;
  • the pages that are genuinely necessary for top Google rankings.

The pages you need to rank highly are typically the hardest to get links for. This is because individuals favour linking to informative pages over commercial ones, with their audience more inclined to part with their money.

So, among the most often asked questions in SEO is:

How do I rank dull pages?

And although though there is no one right answer to this question, everyone agrees that internal linking should be used to raise the rating of your “boring pages.”

In other words, create as many links to your linkable assets as possible, then use internal links to direct all of that “link juice” towards the sites you want to rank.

Additionally, remember that the value of your internal links is also influenced by factors including placement, relevance, and anchor text.

Chapter two gave you a list of approximately a dozen link-building strategies and tactics.  But which one is the best and most effective? 

We strongly support the following four:

  • pursuing links from rivals
  • Developing linkable resources
  • content marketing
  • Guests posting

Pursuing competitor’s links

Competitor link research is one of the key elements of link building. Take into account that the website that ranks highest for the search keyword you desire already has all the links that Google requires to recognise it as superior.  By looking at its associations, you can determine strategies to obtain close connections and outrank that page.

Simply input the keyword you want to rank for and go to the “SERP Overview” section of Keywords Explorer.  You can see how many backlinks (and linked websites) each page with the highest rankings has.

Simply input the keyword you want to rank for and go to the “SERP Overview” section of Keywords Explorer. 

From here, you have two options for action:

  • Get links from the websites that link to your rivals.
  • To obtain more connections than your rivals, research the methods used to obtain those links.
  • And employ them yourself.

Creating linkable assets

With enough energy and persistence, you can create connections to any page, but having content people want to link to makes things simpler.

When discussing linkable assets, many people tend to picture extremely particular items, such as:

  • Online instruments and calculators
  • “Map-o-graphics,” “Infographics,” and “GIFographics”
  • Rankings & Awards
  • scholarly research
  • How-to manuals and tutorials
  • Definitions and new terminology

There must be a method to develop engaging material that attracts links in even the most boring industries.  Therefore, it’s wise to research your rivals’ websites to determine whether they contain any linkable materials that you could use.

The most common linkable asset in your area can be entirely different—infographics, online tools, surveys, ego bait, etc. There must be a method to develop engaging material that attracts links in even the most boring industries.

Content promotion

No matter how “linkable” your pages are, nobody will ever find them until they are first linked to. In other words, link building involves promotion even for the most linkable assets. 

In general, there are just three methods of content promotion:

  • Advertising
  • Outreach
  • Communities

Advertising

This sounds very simple, don’t you think? You can pay sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter for traffic to your website. You can also get in touch with any website your target market frequents and work out an advertising arrangement.

The more people you publicise it to, the more likely someone will link to your content. 

But there is one issue. Linking the links you have acquired to the advertising expenditures you have made is challenging (even though we tried). Therefore, it’s not as if you can promise your company ten relevant links to a page in exchange for $1,000 worth of Facebook adverts. But there’s little doubt that the page you desire links also has some form of the commercial function. Businesses invest in content marketing because it gives them the ability to attract, cultivate, and retain clients. Asking for money to market your content shouldn’t be difficult if it helps one of those objectives.

How did you justify spending the time to generate the material in the first place if it doesn’t seem to have any business value?

To put it another way, you should advertise your content because it will aid in your company’s growth and generate links (if your content is good enough). 

Outreach

The greatest technique to get your material in front of “linkarati”—people with websites who can link to you—is through outreach.

Even while you can contact those same people through advertising, a well-written personal email would be far more helpful if you want to increase your chances of getting a connection with them. You may learn how to make persuasive outreach emails from various resources. However, if I give you one piece of outreach advice, it would be to try to impress people with your content rather than blatantly asking someone to link to you immediately. You need to introduce them gradually to a new idea to persuade them to use some of your material in a future piece. I did this to promote my little research study here:

Communities

Communities may be excellent tools for reaching suitable viewers with your content. Any sector you work in most likely has a few Facebook, Slack, or Discord groups where people interested in the same things as you hang out. You can’t just join a group, leave your link, and disappear. You’ll be expelled without delay.

You must actively participate in that community and gain the respect of its members before you can market your content there. To avoid upsetting the community’s members and ruining your reputation, you shouldn’t post every new piece of content you create here. Make sure to save that for your best work only.

Another tactic is to start your community, which would be delighted to be notified whenever you publish new information. 

  1. Adhere to us on Twitter
  2. Join the email newsletter for our blog.
  3. Join our exclusive Facebook community.

Our newly published articles receive a lot of initial momentum from those three “channels.” But it took us a long time to develop them.

Guest blogging

very blogger strives to offer their readers high-quality, useful content.  But maintaining that is difficult. This helps explain why so many blog owners like guest content. 

In 2014, Matt Cutts, the former leader of Google’s webspam team, predicted that guest blogging would soon become obsolete due to its extreme popularity and widespread abuse.

And yet, here we were in 2021, and every link building expert I’ve spoken to still believes that guest posting is one of the best ways to increase links.

Selecting legitimate blogs and providing them with information that you would be glad to publish on your website is all you need to do to stay in Google’s good graces. Paying someone $10 for a 500-word essay and submitting it to a mediocre website with no readers or traffic is no longer sufficient. The problem, though, is that reputable blogs don’t need your guest pieces.  They are “legit” since they are succeeding reasonably well on their own.

How, then, do you convince people to share your content?

Aside from having something important to say and some expertise and experience in copywriting, I have two sound suggestions that should be helpful.

1. Build your way up

Unless you have a proven track record of successfully publishing content on blogs in your field, the top bloggers are unlikely to take your offer seriously.

Therefore, aim to be published at site #2 first before pitching the top blog in your niche. Also, try to get posted at #3 before pitching #2.

Understand where I’m heading with that? Starting with some lesser-known blogs in your sector, you must work your way up.

And if you have trouble locating such obscure blogs, we have a potent tool to assist you: Content Explorer.

2. Make an irresistible offer

As I already explained, every blogger wants to write valuable information that will benefit their readers. Therefore, your content’s chances of being published increase as it improves. 

Nevertheless, most well-known bloggers receive dozens of similar guest post pitches each week, promising them “high quality, unique, and relevant content”—actually of zero quality. How can you stand out from the competition and persuade a well-known blogger to publish a guest post at your request?

Finding a “content gap”—a hot topic that attracts lots of search traffic to one of their competitors but isn’t addressed on their blog—is one of the most excellent methods to achieve that.

Let’s wrap this up

However, we hope our tutorial has helped you understand many things and answered most of your pressing queries concerning link building.

Visit our website or call us at any moment to learn more about D’marketing Agency Link Building!

Want to join a community of other marketing experts & business owners to share, learn, and talk shop around all things accessibility? Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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