How can Link Building Help Improve Your SEO Performance
What is Link Building?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of earning organic traffic from Google and other search engines. There are two broad categories of SEO – offsite SEO and onsite SEO. Offsite SEO is the process of improving your search engine results through “off”-site actions, for example, by building backlinks from other websites.
What is a backlink?
A backlinkis a link to your website from another website. Examples of backlinks include links to your website from guest posts that you made on other blogs, links from comments that you left on blog posts, signature links in forums, and links from news sites that referenced your website.
Why does building links help websites rank higher in the search engines? Because of Google’s algorithm, PageRank. This algorithm detects links from various webpages all over the Internet. It ranks the authority of every website according to its “link profile.”
If you want your website to rank higher in Google’s search results, then you need to make link building a priority. Your rankings are going to be determined by both the quality and quantity of the links to your website.
Link building is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Bad link building practices could actually hurt your SEO rankings. Your focus needs to be on earning natural links from quality websites.
One of the best ways to earn backlinks is through outreach. What is outreach? Outreach is when you reach out to other publishers and try to build quality relationships with them, so you can earn future backlinks.
How to check for quality backlinks, and how to choose which websites to approach
A handful of high-quality backlinks will provide more value for your website then hundreds of low-quality ones. There are several things that you should look for when determining the quality of a backlink:
- The domain authority of the linking website. You should download the Moz domain authority toolbar. This free toolbar will show the the domain authority of every website on the Internet. Websites with higher domain authorities will provide more valuable backlinks.
- The quality of the content on the linking website. Some websites have a high domain authority, but low-quality content. You should review the content and see whether the website looks trustworthy.
- The number of keywords the linking website is ranking for. You can use tools like SEMRush to see how many keywords the linking website is ranking for. Websites that are ranking well in Google are trusted, so they will provide higher quality backlinks.
- How natural the links look. A backlink that is stuffed with keywords like “auto insurance quotes Sydney” will look less natural to Google. The search engines might assume that the link was purchased, which violates their quality guidelines. This could lead to the link getting discounted or your website getting penalised. Branded links or links with generic anchor text like “click here” seem more natural and tend to be more beneficial.
- Whether or not the link has the nofollow attribute. Links that have the “nofollow” attribute in the anchor tag won’t boost your SEO. You can install plug-ins like Nofollow Simple to identify no follow links on any webpage. You can also view the HTML source code and see whether the link in question has the nofollow attribute in the anchor text. Nofollow can be useful, however, if you want to disavow a low quality link.
- Whether the link looks like it was earned organically. Google prefers links that have been earned organically, rather than ones that were manually built. This is why outreach is important. You can build relationships with publishers that will voluntarily link to your website.
The cost of link building
The cost of link building varies considerably and you need to keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. Some publishers or SEO services might charge a few dollars for hundreds of backlinks.
However, these links are almost guaranteed to be very poor and can get your website suspended for spam.
Quality backlinks cost a lot more, but they can be worth it. You could pay up to $1000 for a backlink from a high-quality website like the Huffington Post. These links cost more, because they are earned through outreach. However, they are going to be much better for your SEO.
Benefits of link building
Link building is an essential part of SEO. You will earn a lot more website traffic if you make link building a priority. There are other benefits of earning quality links to your site, for example referral traffic and improved your brand image.