Link Building: Creating a Backlink Empire

Link Building

Backlinks are the gold dust of the SEO world.

They’re highly coveted, and fortunately for website owners and developers, not quite as hard to come by as tiny particles of the precious metal.

To hit the jackpot of backlinks though, you’ll likely need to put in some serious time and effort.

Here we explore why link building is so important, and look at how you can increase the amount of backlinks to your website.

Backlink Basics

Before we get stuck into the meaty part of link building, let’s first determine exactly what backlinks are and why you need to concern yourself with them.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are the clickable links you’ll find on other websites that link back to your own website. Link building refers to the process used to create a strong backlink profile, whereby numerous reputable websites feature links back to your site.

Why Build Backlinks?

Search engines like Google use algorithms to determine where your website should rank amongst their search engine results.

One of the key signals in Google’s algorithms is authority, and a good proportion of backlinks work to boost a website’s authority, effectively helping it to rank better.

Though a tonne of backlinks isn’t going to guarantee that you hit the number one spot on Google, it is going to give you some serious sway and have a direct impact on where you feature in SERPs.

Main Methods for Building Backlinks

Now we know what link building is and why we should invest time and energy into it, but where is the best place to start to build your empire of backlinks?

There are several ways you can encourage other websites to link to your website, and some are more effective than others. The main ways to get backlinks to your site include:

Manual Link Building

You can start your link-building journey by adding a link to your website to online directories and social media platforms.

This typically involves creating a profile and listing your business contact details and services, along with a hyperlink to your website or a specific webpage.

You could also comment on forums with a link and recommendation to your website.

This is the easiest, but also the least influential way to link build, because if you can post a link on a website, so can your competitors. Search engines give little value to these kinds of backlinks as a result, however, they aren’t entirely worthless.

Even the biggest brands and companies out there feature links on online directories and in their social media profiles, and though these have little influence on search engine rankings, they do help create an overall footprint of your business that can build authority as part of the bigger picture.

Link Outreach

Reaching out to other websites and asking them to feature a link to your website is what’s known as ‘link outreach’.

This can be highly effective or completely futile, depending on your methods and the type of pages you want linked.

There are numerous reasons you could approach a website and ask them to link to your site, for example, you could offer to write a guest post featuring your link or point to a survey you’ve created that’s relevant to their content. You could also approach websites that already mention your products or services, and ask that they change the mentions into hyperlinks.

Link Purchasing

Some website owners are in the business of paying for backlinks or accepting payments for backlinks, but this is risky territory since it’s considered a manipulation of search engine algorithms and could result in your website being penalised.

Be Link-Worthy

The best way to get plenty of backlinks is to be link-worthy. This means having content on your website that other websites find so useful or interesting that they want to link to it. Of course, having great content isn’t much use if nobody knows about it, so you’re still going to need to market your website to get it in front of people.

Tips for Effective Link Building

Link building can, at times, feel soul-destroying. It’s easy to spend hours on end trying to convince people to feature your link on their website, without really achieving much at all. To avoid falling into this backlink pit, consider these tips:

Remain Relevant

Consider the types of website you will be relevant to.

If you have a website selling pet accessories, there’s no point wasting your time asking to be featured on a muscle-building blog. However, you might be a better fit to be featured on a blog about dog-friendly hotels, or a website for horse-riding enthusiasts.

Read also: Why Start a Blog

Seek out websites that already feature your keywords, and approach them directly to suggest that they feature a link to your web content. If your content is interesting and valuable to their readers, they may have no problem featuring a link to your site, but the chances of getting a response at all are greatly increased if you already have a relationship with the person you’re approaching.

This is why networking is vital for backlink development.

Network, Network, Network

If you get a cold email from someone you’ve never heard of asking to feature their link on your website, are you even going to respond to that email?

Are you likely to go as far as including a link to their site on your own?

How about if a LinkedIn connection asks you the same favour?

Or if someone you chatted to at a business convention last year makes the same request?

The power of connection is huge in link building, so make a habit of enhancing your network before you need to ask for favours.

Authority First

Not all backlinks carry the same weight.

A backlink from a reputable website is going to be much more influential for your pet accessory business compared to a backlink featured on your neighbour’s blog about their new kitten.

With this in mind, focus attention on link building with domains that are deemed to have authority, as this is going to have a more direct impact on your ranking.

To Wrap Up

Backlinks are a crucial part of SEO. They are vital for building authority in the eyes of search engines, which will help a website meet Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines.

This process can take time, effort, and perseverance, but it’s worth the struggle because being seen as a website of authority is a major win for SEO.

Need help with link building for your website? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Karli Edmondson-Matthews

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