To the public, links on a site help visitors load from one site to another.
But to SEOs, links are so much more than that.
As arguably the most influential ranking factor out there, backlinks help your website rank on top of Google and other search engines for a very long time.
And to help you understand the power of links, you must first know how it works from a search engine perspective. This way, you can develop an SEO strategy with a robust link building campaign to help boost your organic search.
This post covers all these things and more, so let’s get on with it!
How Does Link Building Work, Exactly?
Google treats backlinks like a recommendation. If websites link to your site, it’s most likely because the owners enjoyed your content and found it valuable enough to share it with their owners.
The way search engines see this is that the sites trust you enough that they linked to you instead of others.
At the same time, not all links are the same. In fact, a link from an authoritative website is much more powerful than hundreds of links from mediocre websites. Because getting the trust of a site lots of people respect is much more complicated than the latter.
Think of it this way: an opinion from a loved one is much more important than the opinions of the thousands of people you don’t know. The same goes for backlinks.
In this case, Google puts more value on links from high-quality websites. The more high-quality links pointing to your site, the more authoritative your site becomes by association. And, as a result, the higher your search engine rankings will be for your target keywords!
Now, you might be wondering:
How Does Google Determine Website Authority?
Google measures authority using PageRank (PR). The search engine assigns a value on a website from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest). The higher the site’s PR, the more authoritative it is.
Websites can grow their PageRank by building links from other sites. Creating a link profile filled with great links allows them to move up their rankings on search results and generate more organic traffic in the process. And you can determine which sites you should consider as link prospects by looking at the PR.
PageRank is no longer available for public viewing since 2014 as Google discontinued updating the PageRank Toolbar Chrome extension. However, Google still uses PR internally to determine which sites are authoritative or not.
For SEOs, there are metrics they can use as PageRank alternatives. While Ahrefs’ Domain Ranking (DR) and Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) don’t exactly share the same algorithm used to compute for PageRank, they are the closest thing in helping you identify which sites to target for links.
Backlinks are very important because they help facilitate the transfer of PageRank, also known as link juice or link equity.
In a nutshell, the higher the DR/DA of the site where you got a link from, the more “juice” you’ll receive from it. Also, the more authoritative sites you get backlinks from, the greater the juice funneling down your site.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Link Building Efforts
The concept of link building for SEO is the easy part. The hardest part is securing high-quality links guaranteed to improve your site’s search rankings.
There’s a good chance that most site owners will ignore your requests to get a link on their site. So, aside from the quality of the links you can get, you also have to focus on the number of link prospects. You can increase your likelihood of getting the most links from your link building strategy this way.
Striking the delicate balance between quality and quantity is what makes or breaks your link building strategies. But you can make the most out of them by following the tips below:
Find the Best Link Partners
As mentioned, you want to build links from sites with high Domain Rating or Domain Authority. Either metric helps you identify websites with the best link profiles and, therefore, the most authority.
The best companies offer a successful natural link building service that starts with determining the best websites to link with based on this SEO metric, among others.
To help you find them, go to Ahrefs and enter your site’s URL on Site Explorer. Then go to Organic Search > Competing domains to see who your top competitors are.
From here, check the Referring domains of these sites to see the domains with the highest DR linking to their site.
Your competitors are ranking for the exact keywords as you on Google, which means that they’re doing something right with their SEO strategy. And much of it has to do with the sites linking to them.
So, take the list of the referring domains with the highest DR and find ways to get them to link to you.
Create Link-Worthy Content
The key to a great link building strategy is creating content people love to link to. Web pages with the most backlinks provide the most value to their target audience.
To help you determine what constitutes “value” in a linkable asset, check out the competitor pages with the most referring domains using Ahrefs.
Analyze why these domains link to the article. Then recreate a much better version of the content on your website while putting your spin into it.
Do this on all your competitors so you can create pages that attract links to and encourage Google to trust your site enough to rank on search results eventually.
Incentivize Your Link Requests
There’s a reason why tactics such as broken link building and guest blogging generate the best backlinks in one’s strategy.
By identifying broken links on websites, site owners can fix them to provide a much better experience for their visitors. In return, you can ask them to link to your resource pages instead that cover the same topic but contain updated information.
Regarding guest posting, site owners will reward you with an editorial link pointing to your site from the blog post you’ll write for them.
In other words, people are willing to reciprocate if you can prove your value first. It would help if you gave them a reason to link to your site by first doing something good for them.
Building links for SEO purposes is arguably the best way to get your site off to the races and into the top of Google search. But you can only do this if you consistently implement the best link building tactics.
If you neither have the time nor the staff to help you roll out the advanced link building tips, consider hiring us at Linkplicity for our link building services. We build quality links pointing to your site that will help increase your organic traffic so you can focus on growing your business.