In my last post, I outlined the importance of SEO to businesses. In it, I mentioned that link building is a key component of search engine optimisation strategy. I’d like to explain in more detail why it is so important.
Amongst the millions of webpages and millions of websites viewable through the internet, the search engines need ways to judge the importance of your webpage. A major way to judge the importance of a webpage is by counting the links that other websites make to your webpages and also by judging the quality of the websites linking to you. With this in mind, a link from The New York Times will score highly compared to a link from an unknown entity.
It is important, therefore, to try wherever possible to obtain these valuable links from suitable websites. Here are some of the simpler ways that you can achieve this:
1) Talk to all companies that you do business with, from clients, to partners, to trade bodies and journalists and try to obtain links where at all possible.
2) Build up your profile on internet industry forums so that you can eventually include links in your posts. This should be done carefully and only when you have established credibility.
3) Create a blog and Twitter account from which you can post links back to your main site.
4) Publish press releases to digital news distribution sites that contain links to your website.
In all these cases, links should be a meaningful part of your communications strategy and not a superficial attempt to boost your search engine rankings. This is for two reasons: first, the search engines spend a lot of time trying to spot inappropriate SEO behaviour and will block websites that adopt this type of strategy, and second, your clients and industry partners will spot shallow tactics and it could damage your reputation.
There are a large number of strategies that can be employed to improve the number of links to your website. If you are serious about your brand and maintaining its credibility, these need to be done carefully and well.
It is also important that when a visitor clicks on a link, that they reach a page that is meaningful to their area of interest (the reason that they clicked on the link in the first place!) A key part of link building strategy, therefore, is to ensure that your website content can support active link building. A good landing page should deal with the exact idea that led someone to your website in the first place. Once you have established credibility, it will then be possible to refer them on to your next objective – whether it is to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter or become a donor, for example. None of this is automatic, but it’s certainly easier if you have established trust with your audience.
In summary, there are a myriad of link building strategies available. It is important to use them well and I would recommend employing specialist help where needed. Link building should be an important part of your SEO strategy, but cannot work effectively without good and directional content on your website landing pages. This takes a lot of planning, and again, some extra help and good SEO copy will help achieve better results.
I hope that this article has been a useful introduction to link building. Keep an eye on further posts for more information on helping your business increase its online presence. Have a great weekend.