Link building is an important part of your SEO strategy. Put simply, these links are needed to achieve good positions in the search engine results. As to the why links are important… Links from one website to the next are what makes the internet work. They are the foundation for what makes the internet such an incredible place. Without links, the web wouldn’t be much, just pages of text that were more difficult to find. In terms of Mr X and his website, the main driver in link building is to increase the link popularity of a website. Why is link building important?How do links achieve this? From the perspective of the search engines, each link is seen as a recommendation or vote. The more recommendations, the more credibility you get. If you’ve been doing your homework, you should by now know that all links are not equal and some links are far easier to build than others. Unfortunately these are usually the lower quality ones. After all, it would be easy for us to hit the streets and get some recommendations from 10 homeless people. To get 10 recommendations from MP’s would be a whole other level. The fact that high quality links take time to build emphasizes the importance to build high quality content. When we do this, links are built to our content naturally – and these provide excellent fodder for the SEO engine.
Link Building and the SEO Process
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of gaining more visibility (.i.e. more people find your website) within the search engines. There are two key components associated with SEO, these are ‘On Page’ and ‘Off Page’ SEO. The On-Page element relates to the things you do on the physical web page. This is the bit that you have total control over. You can control the words on the page, how they’re arranged and formatted, along with the code that the page is built using. It’s all under your control. This is the easier of the two elements as it’s completely under your control. Unfortunately the On Page factors won’t be enough to rank well in the search engines (unless there’s next to no competition). The second and more time consuming element is Off Page SEO and deals with all the factors that aren’t on the physical web page. This is where link building fits in and is a key component when delivering your Off Page SEO strategy.
As your company or organisation grows, the more pages you’ll likely have – and so the more links you’ll have built. How many do you need to rank at the top? The more competitive keywords / phrases are, the more links you’ll need. What we have going for us is that there are live results available to check those sites that are hitting the top spots – that’s a pretty good guide as to what it will take.
Aside from looking for inbound links to your website to get more traffic and loyal users, it is also important to build links for SEO purposes. In the initial stages of a website, getting at least one link on a regularly “spidered” site, will hasten the process of getting indexed. Spidered means that the search engines send their automatic mechanism to “crawl” or search through sites to find out what is new. Getting indexed means that the search engines have found your site, added it to their databases, and will return your site in its list of results when people search for things. Of course, your site could be the millionth result, but that is the first step in search engine optimization (SEO).
Many people do not understand the importance of building links for SEO. A backlink or inbound link is like a vote for a website. If you have good content, others in your subject matter will automatically quote your content and add a link to your site giving you credit. They may also add your link in their “other resources section” if they think your information will be worthwhile to their users. Search engines view this as positive behavior. A link from a relevant website says that there must be some merit in your website. These are called “quality backlinks” as they come from similar sites and are “one-way links” meaning that you did not have to do anything in return. A “reciprocal link” is when you give each other a link back.
But it is not that easy to get backlinks. You cannot just sit back and expect others to provide you inbound links. It is hard work and must be done over the life of a business or website. You never stop working on your promotion or backlinks. And for the most part, you must take an active role in getting those links. Backlinks are important for your rankings in the search engines. Just because you have excellent content or you are an expert in your field does not mean that you will move from that millionth position we spoke about earlier in this article. You must have links and specific types of links to move closer to the first page of the results.
Further, it is important to use proper wording when describing your website. For example, when someone provides a link to your site, you do not want them to link the “click here” phrase, as this is not helpful with SEO. You would prefer the link to be a prominent keyword, something that your website targets. So if you sell pet supplies, you might like the text to read “blue rhinestone cat collar”. If the link is on this text, it is relevant and is called anchor text. This is much more search engine friendly than “click here” which says nothing. Make sure you’re picking these anchors based on solid keyword research though!
Here’s an example of what we mean with these “anchor texts”.
If you have a site offering auto insurance quotes and want to rank for the search phrase “Instant Auto Insurance Quotes”, you want your link to be like this:
<a href=”http://www.instantautoinsurancequote.biz/”>Instant auto insurance quote</a>, which results in Instant auto insurance quote in your browser.
You don’t want: <a href=”http://www.instantautoinsurancequote.biz/”>Click here</a> for instant auto insurance quotes!, as you’re not telling the search engine what that link is about!