The Missing Link: A Beginner's Guide to Building Quality Links The importance of building quality links and some useful advices on how you can do that to improve your SERP presence

The Missing Link: A Beginner's Guide to Building Quality Links

You don’t need to be a digital media professional to know just how impactful link-building can be to an entity’s online presence. The art of link building services has been the backbone of the internet since before Google was even a thing. In fact, the prevalence of link-building amongst bloggers was what shaped this powerhouse of a search engine’s first working algorithm. Basically, an organisation with some strong link-building skills is more likely to be an organisation that ranks highly on SERPs (search engine results pages) and is thus, more likely to experience organic traffic to their site.

It’s ironic to think that purposefully placing links to be discovered across all the edges of the internet leads to organic traffic, but the digital world truly works in mysterious ways. Thankfully, we’re here to help you uncover some of the mysteries of this many-headed beast that we call the World Wide Web.

Here’s how you can get started with building quality links that will, in turn, help bolster your organisation’s visibility online.

Find reputable third-party blogs

Third-party blogs are a friend to all industries simply because there’s a wealth of different types of blogs out there that are suitable for a variety of industries. It’s all about taking the time to find the right platforms for you to promote your organisation.

What you should keep in mind, however, is that some third-party blogs can be of a higher quality than others, and so Google is more likely to trust these higher-quality sites. The specific metric used to calculate a site’s ‘trustworthiness’ as it were is the site’s ‘Domain Authority’ or DA. A site’s DA lies on a numeric scale ranging from 1-100, with 100 being the most authoritative and trustworthy a site can hope to be.

It’s worth mentioning here that a site’s DA is impacted by the number of inbound links it has and its spam rating, which site owners can check by using developer tools like Google Search Console. As third-party blogs are generally used as an SEO resource for a number of business sites and generally have a fair amount of outbound links, it’s rare to see third-party blogs with a DA past 90. Any blogs who do have a higher DA tend to charge a lot more for publishing SEO content simply because any links on their highly trustworthy site are likely to be more valuable in the eyes of GoogleBot.

Enlisting the keen eye of a content marketing agency may help you identify the most suitable third-party blogs, both when it comes to their DA as well as their pricing, so you’ll have an increased likelihood of getting the most out of your organisation’s marketing budget.

It’s also valuable to assess any pre-existing SEO content to ensure that the DA of any sites where your links can be found stays level. You can keep track of any past content by keeping URL links in a document or spreadsheet for ease of access.

Submit your site to relevant business directories

Another alternative to posting content on third-party sites is to submit your organisation’s site to any relevant business directories. Whether these directories are based on industry, geography, or potentially even by alumni and other professional or academic relationships, every inbound link to your site can naturally help bolster your own site’s DA.

Something worth considering, however, is whether or not you want your site to be discovered on any of these directories. For directories that are based on alumni and other professional ties associated with any of your employees, or the geographic location of your business, you should absolutely weigh up the security risks associated with making that information available to the general public.

If, however, you’re a local business operating in a region that’s known for local businesses, being added to a local directory can work wonders for increasing foot traffic.

Finetune your SEO keywords

Some think that SEO is all about planting as many keywords that are specific to your business as possible across as many third-party sites as they can get their hands on. While there is a sense of truth to this, it must be said that a need for quality links will always outweigh a need for quantity.

Alongside this, your links aren’t going to be as effective as they could be if you’re not paying mind to the search habits of your target audience. SEO isn’t about deciding what keywords you’d like to be associated with your business, but more about using the keywords that are most likely to be Googled, and thus, more likely to guarantee your organisation appears in SERPs.

You should also adjust the strings of keywords you’re using to reflect the limitations of your marketing budget. If your business doesn’t have the resources to promote four or five different keyword phrases, then you’ll need to decide on what the most essential phrases are and put your resources behind these keywords. It can be tricky to know whether or not you’ve made the right call, but so long as your SEO keywords are backed up by high-quality SEO content, you’ll be likely to experience some positive results with every fresh independent Google search.

Harness the power of social media

If you haven’t already created Facebook or Instagram accounts for your business, it’s highly recommended that you do so. Equipping your organisation with social media profiles ensures that you can generate organic traffic through avenues that aren’t solely reliant on search engines. You can add links to your socials to your website and vice versa, thereby demonstrating to search engines that your business is a firmly established entity in the digital sphere.

You also don’t necessarily need a massive amount of engagement on all of these platforms to build your brand’s reputation online. It’s really just about being visible in a number of channels.

Suppose you do choose to be relatively active on social media. In that case, you’ll be able to reap the benefits that accompany engaging with your customer base on highly accessible and personable platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The immediacy of the interactions you have on these social media platforms can also help you shape your brand’s voice in real-time, which can be a great opportunity for emerging businesses in the early stages of shaping their brand’s identity.

In essence, connecting directly with your customer base by leaving comments, replies, or reactions should be encouraged for most B2C businesses. Even B2B businesses can potentially generate new clients through staying active on social media. It’s really all about making the most of the resources that are available to you.

Use landing pages to maximise conversions

It’s important to reiterate here that whilst link-building will help bolster your site’s Google visibility, this visibility won’t count for anything if all those hundreds of links have little impact on your organisation’s overall conversion rate.

You can keep your target audience’s engagement with your site valuable by linking to a landing page that’s specifically designed with your intended metric in mind. If you’re looking to gather emails to create an email marketing channel, prioritise linking to a contact sheet. If you’re looking to advertise a flash sale of specific products, then naturally you’ll want to link directly to that sale.

Always keep in mind that you should always aim to maintain the quality of your links above the quantity and that you consistently revisit your SEO landing page optimisation to ensure that your content stays relevant and engaging. Revisiting these pages will also ensure that you minimise your site’s potential for accruing dead links or Error 404 pages.

As you can see, building quality links encompasses far more than simply generating keywords and publishing SEO content. This is an ongoing process which will require constant revisiting of your site’s metrics to ensure that your business isn’t just visible on Google, but consistently meets established KPIs.

About Alice

Layout designer, SEO & marketing analyst. Since 2010 is also a junior developer, working on the web site back-end infrastructure of some italian press companies. She also actively manages a number of social pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for some IT companies and press agencies.

View all posts by Alice

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