Link Building for SEO is one of the most sought after digital marketing strategies today. Even though the SEO landscape is constantly changing and evolving, link building has maintained its importance. As more and more people try to deceive Google, the search engine keeps updating its algorithms to fight the menace of manipulations.
Link building is the process of placing your backlinks on industry relevant websites having high metrics. These links can be of two varieties- ‘do-follow links’ and ‘no-follow links’. Do follow links help with regard to both traffic, as well as SEO scores. While ‘no-follow links’ help with only traffic and visitor flows but does not contribute to SEO scores.
The best link building strategy has at its foundation quality content. The entire strategy is woven around content that is original, informative and non-plagiarised. Unless you have the right content and content strategy, none of the industry authority sites are going to engage with you. Here is where money takes a backseat when it is compared to quality content.
Google’s take on Link Building and the Penguin Update of 2014
Pre Google’s Penguin Update, Link Building was easy. You could upload your link to directories and see your search rankings climb. The Penguin Update altered all that. Google came down heavily on sites using link directories to jack up their rankings.
The penalties range from lowering metrics and visibility of sites to even completely de-indexing them. According to some estimates, Google has de-indexed more than 2 million websites post the update. However, most people have mixed reviews about link building. While they understand the benefits of link building, they also know about how dangerous it can get.
Hence, it is essential that brands and agencies follow White Hat Link Building strategies only. No matter how much you try to deceive Google, eventually the search engine’s bots are going to catch up to you.
Benefits of Link Building
Even though the risk versus rewards theory is far evenly balanced when it comes to link building, yet, brands and marketers swear by it. In other words, the dangers associated with the strategy has not perturbed experts, simply because of the benefits that it brings.
However, being a highly specialized online marketing strategy, even the best brands do not have internal teams. This is where link building services become such an attractive proposition. By choosing the right services, you can ensure that experts work on your link building strategy and provide the intended results.
Let us look at some of the major benefits of link building.
1. Effective link building drives traffic
If you are placing your backlinks in an industry authority site, your traffic is going to see a spike. However, you should always ensure that you are linking to a site, which is relevant to your industry. This way you will get targeted audiences already interested in your content.
For Google relevancy is the new page rank. Good relevancy means that the traffic can help lower your site’s bounce rates, contribute to engagement and even have a direct impact on revenues through actual sales.
2. Link Building helps in improving Credibility
Most of the big brands, want to get their content placed in prime online real estate platforms. They do so as they want to establish themselves as industry authority voices. This helps build long-term credibility and loyalty.
For example, if you are the most experienced voice on anything related to automobiles, people will start trusting you. You can follow this up by suggesting some of your personal choices when it comes to brands, accessories and so on. As you have already established yourself as an unbiased critic, people will think of your choices as genuine and buy that product or service.
3. It helps climb Google’s Search Engine Rankings Page (SERPs)
The more quality backlinks you have, the more Google thinks you are a much better site than your page rank. Hence, Google bumps up your page rank to reach a wider audience. Backlinks are recommendations that others give to your website.
You can also think of backlinks as positive reviews for your website. For Google, rewarding a website that has quality backlinks means it has quality information to dispense to the world. Hence, once the metrics of your site start improving, Google starts ranking you higher.
4. Brand Visibility and Discoverability
I want to base this particular point just from the sales point of view. Many people have this question of whether link building can contribute to sales. My answer is a vehement yes! If you are able to use Blogger Outreach and Influencer Marketing, you will be surprised about the kind of sales you might generate.
Again, this is dependent on reaching out to industry relevant bloggers and influencers. It also depends on the kind of content that you are using, and the add-ons the publisher is offering. Some of the add-ons can be social sharing, email marketing, newsletters and so on.
5. Converting Visitors into long-time Customers
This is where great content will drive your one-time visitors into becoming repeat consumers for your brand. By establishing trust, loyalty and credibility, you will ensure that you do not lose your consumers.
Some of the great brands engage with users by offering multiple points of content on their websites. From blogs to case studies, to videos, the aim should be to fulfil all the requirements that consumers might have.
6. Exposure to New Audiences
If you are looking for your brand to grow in newer geographical locations, link building is a sound strategy. Most of the top brands use link building when they are launching a new product or service in a new territory.
By engaging with bloggers and influencers in the new territory, brands can expect to reach out to relevant and newer audiences. Such exposure also opens the possibility of gaining more direct consumers for any brand.
The Final Word
I have always told brands that if they are searching for the right link building agency, they will never find one. This is because link building is a subset of SEO functions. Rather than looking for the best link building agency, brands should instead search for the agencies which offer the best SEO services.
It order to gain the maximum benefits from link building, we need to understand that this cannot exist in isolation. For it to be effective, strategic coordination between the content writing team, blogger outreach team, on-page SEO team, off-page SEO team and the social media team needs to happen.
Yes, link building is fraught with several risks, but in my opinion, when it comes to link building, the rewards far outweigh the risks.