Is link building still an important part of SEO and rankings in 2020?
This is the no. 1 question that we get asked most by new clients and in our website enquiry forms.
And YES, despite controversy, misinformation, hype & fear, this is still an essential part of SEO to rank for important keywords.
Over the last few years literally thousands of companies have sprung up almost overnight offering link building packages.
But are they really what they’re cracked up to be?
This post will help you to determine the quality of your service provider if using an external source.
And more importantly why it may be time to change, if not.
Let’s just take a look at some of the basics first…
1. What is link building?
Link building is a process of getting other relevant websites to link back to your site. This gives the impression that they are endorsing your website.
Such endorsements, otherwise commonly known as ‘inbound links’ are considered to be an important ranking signal for search engines.
However, there are many ways of gaining inbound links.
1. Link Quality
Getting higher quality external resources linking back to your page, the more useful your page is perceived as being.
And will potentially merit a higher search position.
‘Bad’ links – i.e. links from ‘spammy sites’ or irrelevant sources are looked at as indications of poor quality.
Thereby diminishing the page’s value & authority in the eyes of the search engines’ and often resulting in ranking penalties.
This is why we strongly advocate that you thoroughly audit your site’s backlink profile as a primary step to take.
This is crucial and should be undertaken before you even consider employing any link building campaign.
By doing this, you’ll be able to eliminate any links that could potentially threaten your current search rankings.
And start with a clean slate to building fresh, high-quality links.
2. UNNATURAL LINK CREATION
Creating links primarily for the purpose of manipulating search rankings, can be considered a violation of Google webmaster guidelines.
Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate the guidelines:
1. Text advertisements that pass Page Rank
2. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
3. Links with over-optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
4. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links.
5. Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.
(For a full explanation please go to Google help)
3. LINK ATTRACTION
Link building can be confusing, time intensive & frustrating.
However, improving links & social signals is vital for websites that want to be found in the organic search results.
The term ‘link building’ is pretty misleading though, as it’s more about giving your audiences compelling reasons to link back.
This is more accurately ‘link attraction’ rather than ‘link building’!
By understanding your target audience before developing your content marketing strategy, you offer valuable reasons to earn those links.
A good linking strategy will build relationships with your target audiences via the creation of high quality shareable content.
Content can be shared via guest posts, articles, blogs, online magazines, websites, video sharing platforms, podcasts, social media and forums.
Doing this will help to increase referral traffic and maximise the visibility of your brand.
4. DOMAIN AUTHORITY (DA) & PAGE AUTHORITY (PA)
Ensure that the links you attract are from quality resources by checking their domain authority and page authority.
Domain and page authority scores (1-100) were developed by Moz.com & is designed to predict how well a website will rank in the search results.
Simply visit their site and enter any domain to find the most relevant SEO metrics for that site.
5. Relevant & Fresh
Listed below are 7 quick tips to get you building links naturally, organically and successfully starting with:
1. Analysis – Study the links of the top ranking sites in your niche and go after ones that are most relevant.
2. Content – Look for content articles that are trending in your industry and create a higher quality version.
3. Edu. – Check out the local schools, universities and charities for a resource section that you can add your websites to.
4. Link Roundups – Find blog link roundups in your market sector by doing a search i.e. “keyword” + “link roundup” and pitch them your best content.
5. Broken Links – The Google Chrome browser, has a free extension called ‘Check My Links’ to find sites with broken links.
6. Memes – Humorous memes are easy to produce via free online meme generators and can be an effective way attract links.
7. Slides & videos – Convert articles & posts into interactive content and distribute them out to the top video and slide sharing platforms.
Link building is still an essential part of SEO in 2020 to ranking well for your desired keywords.
However, building or attracting the right type of links that will help with your search rankings is a time consuming and undoubtedly tedious task.
Building links has been likened to some sort of ‘dark art’ but, is still a key factor in determining rankings.
There are many ways to build links. Much of it has been written and talked about but the most effective way is when link building occurs naturally when people share your content.
Social media now plays an important role too.
As content can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms.
So, try thinking out of the box and be creative when going after those links.
And remember that consistency is the key to successfully attracting and retaining the quality of links that you require.
Therefore, you will need to keep at it and it will pay dividends in the long run.
If however, you do get stuck, lack the time or need some expert input, just contact our link building services team for help and advice.
And don’t forget, you can always ask us anything in the comments section below.