Search engine optimization (SEO) is among the most cost-effective marketing methods available today. It has become a widely accepted form of advertising, appealing to large multinational corporations and small local companies alike.
Instead of relying on paid ads, SEO focuses on achieving “organic” or unpaid high-ranking positions on search engine results pages (known as SERPs), which in turn results in more traffic, and of course, more sales.
Implementing effective link building strategies is one of the best ways to boost a website’s organic ranking.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of link building strategies, the different types and why they're important, as well as debunk 7 popular myths related to building backlinks.
Link building is the process of getting external websites to link to pages on your own site. The main reason they are important is that they are a major influential factor in how Google ranks websites in their SERPs.
However, there are many different elements that influence link building. Although the number of links is important, the trust, authority, and ranking position of the pages that link back to you will also affect your site’s SEO.
In an ideal scenario, each individual landing page on your website would have a collection of quality backlinks that direct traffic to it. The sites linking back to your own need to have good SEO, which has a very positive effect on your website’s ranking.
There are also other aspects of link building you need to understand fully in order to harness their power effectively. Building quality backlinks takes a lot of time and can become a frustrating task, so you have to learn to power through hard times and maintain focus.
Remember that backlinks are dependant on external forces and factors, so you may not always be able to control the quality of the links that are sending traffic your way.
Note that similarly to most elements of SEO, there are two ways to go about building backlinks: either white hat link building or black hat link building strategies.
White hat link building refers to the process of building quality backlinks and adhering to Google’s, or any other search engine’s accepted regulations. This will prevent any major penalties, but it’s also known for being time-consuming.
The Hoth offers a great alternative to white hat link building that is easy and significantly increases the chances of achieving high rankings. This is due to its slow-drip technique, which consists of publishing unique blogs through its own network of PR sites, linking back to you.
This process is done over a 3+ week period, to emulate natural link building as much as possible while attaining reasonably fast results without getting penalized.
As you may imagine, black hat link building relies on methods that don’t necessarily adhere to the stipulations and regulations put in place by search engines. Black hat link building can result in severe penalties that are hard to recover from.
The main reasons why companies choose to dabble in black hat SEO is because it usually brings faster results. Others choose to go for “gray hat” techniques that combine black and white hat in order to attempt to avoid penalization by incredibly small margins.
The main reason why link building matters is because Google and other search engines use it to rank your site. The mentality behind it is that high quality, authoritative websites link to each other, so having a good backlink profile means you deserve a high rank.
However, SEO aside, it’s easy to forget that link building is also a great way to attract good old traffic. Having a popular website link back to yours can mean a massive boost in the number of visitors you receive, regardless if it affects your rankings or not.
In addition to this, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding link building, which have discouraged many business owners and their marketing teams from building backlinks and boosting their rankings.
Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding link building:
If this was true, the natural cause-effect relationship would be that more backlinks are equal to higher rankings.
However, links that direct traffic to your website are graded according to the authority and overall quality of the site that is linking back to you. In other words, the more respectable and authoritative a site is, the more valuable their backlinks are.
Links that direct users away from your site are commonly regarded as a negative. The truth is that outbound links don’t have a negative effect, and linking out to high-authority sites can even help boost your own rankings.
There are many factors that can affect links like a change of ownership, switching to a new server, or discontinued websites. Check your backlinks on a regular basis to verify all of them are healthy and actively sending traffic your way.
In a nutshell, nofollow backlinks send traffic to your website, but have no SEO value. Although that may seem discouraging, remember that popular sites can send a significant amount of traffic to your site even if they don’t help your SEO directly.
Like with most things in life, having high-reputation backlinks is way more important and effective than having a lot of low-quality links.
Exchanging links for links, also known as reciprocal linking, is not penalized as long as it happens naturally.
If you want to link to a website that already has a link to one of your pages from months ago, the time difference between will deem it as natural, preventing you from getting pinged with a penalty.
Link building strategies have a great impact on your site’s SEO, but backlinks on their own can provide enough traffic to justify the efforts. Always keep in mind both the SEO and practical benefits when building links for your site.
Link building can become tedious and exasperating at times, so always remember to organize yourself and take a breath when you feel overwhelmed.
There are many benefits to implementing link building strategies, so avoid falling for the myths above to increase your chances of success and high search engine rankings.