Beginner’s Guide to building a link profile for a business
Link building is an integral block in building a strong SEO campaign for any business. Like most aspects of digital marketing, there are rules to be followed when creating links. This guide is for anyone who is brand new to SEO, whether it be for your business or if you’re thinking of pursuing a career in digital marketing. If you would like a basic understanding of link building then please read on.
What is link building?
It is as straight forward as it sounds. Link building is when you create a link to the website you are optimising. This link will come from a different site entirely. However there are other parts of website optimisation that is related to link building which will come later in the guide.
Why is link building important?
A link from one website to another is similar to a reference from a previous employer. The linking website is verifying that the website being linked to is to be trusted. Search engines use links to analyse popularity and authority of any given website. If your website is trusted, popular and has authority then search engines will push it higher up in the search results. There are many other factors contributing to your site’s rank in the search results. Therefore you shouldn’t depend entirely on link building. It does however play a key role in the overall SEO process.
How do search engines analyse links?
Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the reliability of websites based on the links that have been built around it. Some links have a higher status than others. In general trusted websites link to other trusted websites. So you need to apply all methods of SEO in order for link building to have a positive effect. For example if your website is poorly organised and unprofessional then trusted sites will not be willing to link to it. This will be carried down through the chain of links that you build if you do not write quality content.
How should I start?
Start with your website. You should have a professional website that is organised, easy to read and easy to navigate. This includes browsing from a desktop or mobile device. If you don’t know how to achieve this then you should hire a professional digital marketer to resolve this issue. Any content on your website should be relevant to your product or services. Use graphics to break up the editorial on your website, it needs to look appealing to the customer.
Linking within your website
To make your website easy to navigate you must ensure the customer can move from one page to the next. While browsing the internet, consumers tend to lack any patience. If they have to work too hard to find something online they will give up. You should have a link to the main pages from every page. Your main pages will definitely include your home page plus any other pages you want to drive traffic towards. For example, if you want increase calls to your company then a link to your contact number should be available on every page. If you have an e-commerce website then a link to the checkout page should always be accessible. You could have a menu bar running along the top of every webpage that has links to all the main pages. This creates easy browsing for your customer. Furthermore you should create links within the text of some pages that link to other pages. For example, if you sell cardboard boxes and have a page that details to the customer all the different types of boxes available and you mention “boxes for moving home” then you should have a link here, imbedded in the text that leads to the product page for these specific boxes.
Links from other reliable websites
This part is a little bit harder. There are different kinds of links you can gain. The first is known as “outreach”. This involves emailing a link proposal to a blogger. Usually it includes detailing why linking to your website would be beneficial to them. Therefore you may have to do something for them in return. Adding your website to an online directory is also included as part of outreach.
The second type of link is creating a profile on a free website where you can post articles about near enough anything. This type of link has a lower status than the others and may not make a huge difference unless there are multiple profiles on different sites.
The third type is Editorial Links. This is when a website wants to link to your company website and so does not require anything from you other than great content. Creating plenty of content to provide for these links and finding reliable sites to gain links from is time consuming. If you don’t have a digital marketer in your business then it may be best to hire a professional agency to do create your link building campaign and your entire SEO campaign if that is what your business needs.
The role of keywords in SEO and link building
In order to help your website to rank in the search results you should have a list of keywords relevant to your products of services that you want to rank high for. Keywords are what the customer will type into the search bar on a search engine. In order to make your website rank high specific keywords you need to incorporate them into the content of your site. The same goes for links. The content on the page that links to your website must be relevant to your products and services. In other words it must have your keywords incorporated into the content. Referring back to the organisation of your site, your keywords should be spread out over a variety of links. If you stuff too many keywords into one article search engines will pick up on it. It is also likely that the content won’t make sense if you have every keyword dropped into a couple of hundred words. Search engines will trail through links to ensure that each link is relevant to the page it comes from and the page it leads to.