You’re not where you’d like to be when it comes to search engine ranking.
Your blog has enormous potential, but you don’t have a handle on how to build quality backlinks to your blog.
In fact, you’re struggling to generate the volume of traffic that will give you a competitive advantage.
Here’s a simple yet instrumental question:
What exactly are you doing to drive more traffic to your blog?
Naturally, you’ve done your homework, and you’re most likely peddling on the tactics used by the marketing gurus. The problem with that is, traffic generation isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation.
With Google constantly updating its algorithms, you’re either working on the advice of irrelevant information or the premise of outdated practices.
The brutal reality is, most SEO tactics used to drive traffic and influence rankings are a waste of your time.
There is only one commonality between the blogs that have evolved to dominate the online space.
They all have high-authority backlinks pointing to their website.
According to Moz, “link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.”
When other sites link to your website pages, it is the ultimate endorsement that you are an authoritative and influential presence.
Why Link Building Matters
So, what is the implication of building quality links to your website?
To understand why links are important to your business, you need first to understand why links are important to search engines.
Search engines use links:
1. To crawl your web pages
The fundamental function of search engines is to discover the many billions of web pages available on the web. When these web pages are found and indexed, they can later be used to satisfy a search query.
Now, are you going to sit back, kick up your legs, and wait for Google’s robots to find your pages among the billions that are published every day?
If you’re in the business of rapid growth and proactive marketing, the best strategy would be to aid search engines in the discovery of your website pages. The more links that you have, both internal and external, the quicker your pages will get indexed.
2. To determine your search engine ranking
The results that search engines give users when they initiate a search will depend on the ranking of the particular web page.
And of course, as an online marketer, your goal is to be positioned on the very first page of a search result. It’s been found that 75% of users never go past the first page of search engine results.
So the fundamental question remains, how do you ensure that your content has the best opportunity to be found by web users?
Unsurprisingly, search engines will provide the most valuable information to their users. As such, the answer lies in your ability to prove your relevance and popularity to search engines.
The best testament that you can give to your authority is having quality external links to your site, i.e. backlinks. In fact, Moz found that 99.2% of search results that occupy the top 50 results have at least one external pointing to the site.
Still need convincing?
The pie chart below reveals that links have the most weight when it comes to Google’s ranking factors.
The conclusion is simple.
More quality links equate to higher search engine ranking.
Are All Link Building Methods Created Equal?
The basic answer is no.
With that said, what methods of link building are superior to others?
If you have any experience with SEO, you’ve probably heard the terms “black hat” and “white hat” being thrown around.
Essentially, these two terms represent the good and the bad of link building.
The Importance of White-Hat Methods of Link Building
White-hat link building involves using organic and sustainable techniques to get links to your site.
While it is advantageous to have a large number of links, the quantity is not as significant as the quality. With white-hat techniques, you are not only securing better quality links but ensuring that you don’t get penalized by Google.
White-hat techniques may include:
- Creating the type of content that influences people to share and provide organic links
- Focus on fostering community on your website whether it is a loyal group of customers or a loyal blog readership.
While white-hat link building is a marathon technique which may need some time to take effect, the results are undeniable.
Statistics show that 70 % of the links that users click on are organic links.
The Inevitable Doom of Wearing the Black-Hat
The use of black-hat techniques is a sure-fire way to get blacklisted by Google.
That is the brutal nature of link building. If you get it wrong, you may very well be getting a one-way trip to a dark place of irrelevance.
And if your revenue goals are heavily dependent on leads from organic traffic, it could mean the death of your entire business.
Black-hat techniques may include:
- Purchasing of links – Taking part in link building schemes that involve buying links
- Blog or content spamming – Leaving links that have no relevance to a post as a blog comment.
- Cloaking – Presenting different content to search engines than what you present to users
Search engines are smart enough to know when they’re being tricked and they’re constantly on the lookout for the culprits.
The lesson here?
Do it the right way.
The #1 Ranking Factor That Can Skyrocket Your Business
Having compared the methods of link building, what types of links should you prioritize?
There are several types of links, i.e. backlinks, internal links, and outgoing links, all of which have some measure of importance, but we’ll only cover the one that carries the most weight.
Backlinks are incoming, external links to a web page. They are external links that point back to your website.
The more backlinks you have to your site, the more authority that your domain commands, and the higher your search engine rankings.
How Backlinks Can Give Your Business A Competitive Edge
We’ve established that the more live links there are to a web page, the higher the ranking power of that content.
The direct correlation of link building with search engine ranking is obvious, but the benefits are beyond what meets the eye.
Here are the possibilities that come with generating backlinks for your website:
1. Greater Brand Awareness
Brand and business are two concepts that should never be discussed independently of each other. Positive link building practices will help you establish your brand as an authority and an influential voice.
By publishing valuable content that generates links for your business, you are solidifying yourself as an expert and a thought-leader in your niche market. With such a status, you get the opportunity to build buzz around your brand as well as nurture an engaged community.
2. More Referral Traffic
Naturally, the more backlinks you have to your site, the more gateways there are for people to discover who you are and what you offer.
It’s also a great way to qualify the types of leads that you get for your business. With backlinks, you know that the persons who visit your website by clicking on organic links are there out of genuine interest.
Think about it.
Organic links come from relevant sites in the same niche market as your business. The referred traffic is a gold mine of potential customers who have already demonstrated an affinity for your business.
This makes it ideal for capturing leads, nurturing these leads, and eventually turning blog visitors into paying customers.
3. Greater Marketing Power
Your business website is your greatest online marketing asset. When you increase your domain authority, you are simultaneously increasing your marketing power.
And we all know what marketing is to sales.
The best part about it?
Unlike social media, you control everything that goes on in that space. In essence, you have absolute control on how to leverage the increase in power to benefit your business.
The more quality backlinks that you generate, the greater your chance of increasing your revenue.
This case study reveals how one business used white-hat linking building and other SEO tactics to generate 41,992 page views, a #1 ranking, and $100K in recurring revenue.
Another case, as illustrated by the chart below, reveals that 61% of online shoppers have bought a product or service recommended by other blogs and 81% of people online trust the information that they get from bloggers.
Steps To Link Building Success
While the science is not exact, the evidence is difficult to ignore.
Link building has an instrumental role in influencing search engines rankings and ultimately giving your business a more competitive edge.
The only question that remains is, what are the best link building practices?
They’re surprisingly simple.
1. Be Link Worthy
Link worthiness comes with the creation of valuable content that lends itself to viral traffic and organic links.
Simply put, you have to deserve the links that you want to generate. Study your audience and create content that will keep them coming back to your blog like clockwork. This content can be informational, entertaining, controversial, etc.
It’s worth noting that this approach is a long-term approach. It can take time to see results from purely content-based link building campaigns, but the results can be staggering.
2. Influencer Outreach
Have you ever come across a popular blog that seemed to have materialized from thin air?
Chances are, they capitalized on influencer outreach as their primary link building strategy.
The premise of this tactic is that you reach out to bloggers with an established and influential presence to get them to link to your blog.
This way, you can tap into their following and get your content in front of people who fit your target persona.
With a boost from the right blogger, you can skip the drudgery of low traffic and no following. It’s a genius way to cut the line without getting yelled at.
3. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the process of publishing content on websites other than your own. Depending on the blog that you’re writing for, you can get backlinks to your site via the body of the content and through your author bio.
It operates with a similar motive as influencer outreach and serves a dual purpose:
- You get quality backlinks to your site
- You get your content in front of people who already have an interest in your niche topic
Final Bit of Advice?
Link building matters today, and it will matter the day after.
I can’t make the same declaration about many SEO tactics.
Google is constantly changing its search engine algorithms, which means you can be relevant today and obsolete by morning.
The surest way to secure longevity in the online world is to craft consistently superior content that is link-worthy.