Why Have a Link Building Strategy?
One of the ways Google ranks a webpage in its searches is by looking at how many other websites point to that particular page or website. Google bots crawl the web, jumping from link to link. If Google notices that your website is popular on the web, meaning a lot of external sites link to it, then it will rank your site higher. This is why having a link building strategy is important.
This has, of course, produced an industry of its own and prompted many websites to sell links. You may have seen spam emails in your inbox promising thousands of viewers from links you can purchase. This is not a healthy SEO strategy, as Google Penguin can identify these ‘fake’ links and will actually penalize you for it.
The best way to use linking is to include it as part of your holistic SEO practice. This means the links that point to your website should be natural, make sense where they are, and benefit those readers who come across them.
How to Create a Healthy Link Building Strategy
1. Put links where they make sense
Just as with everything in a holistic SEO strategy, we want the content we’re building to make sense and be natural. You could write a guest blog for a company whose audience would be interested in your products. You could be featured in a list article. Your cornerstone content could be the “read more here” link on someone else’s page. The key here is to create pathways that readers will actually want to follow.
Start this process by reaching out to companies, blogs, or news pages that have a similar audience to you or have readers that are your ideal clients.
2. Always create new content
When writing articles or blogs for other sites, make sure it’s original. This means you can’t recycle your old content to put on another site. This is called duplicate content and Google doesn’t like it! If you must use old content, rewrite the entire article, making sure each sentence is new, even if the message is the same.
3. Create links to many pages on your site
Again, we want links to your site to be as natural and as useful as possible to viewers and readers. If someone is reading about a product of yours on a review site, the link should go straight to that product, not your home page. If someone is following a link for ‘more information’ about a topic, the link should go to an article where that information lives on your site, not your homepage.
Not only will this decrease your bounce rate, but it will help Google see the value of your whole site. You will start to rank for specific content those pages are optimized for. If you’re not sure how to optimize specific webpages, have a look at my SEO Services.
4. Use social media
Social media links are important in building your strategy, even if the extent to which Google counts them is unclear. If you have many links on outside webpages, but none from social media, this may look spammy to Google. Also, gaining likes, shares, and clicks on social media is a natural and great way to expand your following.
5. Never buy or pay for links
This might already be obvious to you, but you shouldn’t be throwing money around to get a quick uptick in your Google ranking. The whole goal of a holistic SEO strategy is to create content that is useful to your customers and present it in a way that makes it easy for them to find. Don’t let the gimmicks get to you. In the long run, it won’t be beneficial and you might even get penalized. We definitely don’t want that!
Having a link building strategy is a part of holistic SEO, and if you do it properly then it will benefit your rankings and your readers! Always make sure your link building is natural and beneficial.