The term ‘link building’ can be somewhat confusing when applied to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Even the most sophisticated SEO professionals can become overwhelmed by the diversity of techniques and the increasing sophistication of search algorithms.
Let’s discuss what a quality link is and the importance of building and maintaining these links to make your life a little easier.
When developing web content for SEO purposes, you must first consider the audience and the device they’re most likely to use.
In the past, the major search engines primarily targeted desktop users and used HTML tables to display web pages.
Since the emergence of mobile Search, SEO professionals have shifted their focus to mobile users and have developed a new generation of SEO tools and tactics specifically for smaller screens.
These days, when people enter a search term into a mobile device’s search engine, they don’t necessarily want to load a website’s full content onto their screen.
Rather, they want to quickly scan the titles and summaries of content (such as the article you’ve posted) for relevant information.
To accommodate this new way of performing searches, the search engines have adjusted their algorithms and created new types of content (such as featured snippets) to enable users to find what they want in shorter, highly relevant chunks.
This improves the user’s overall experience and encourages them to return for more.
As a result, SEOs now need to focus on creating high-quality content that is both valuable and interesting to the target audience.
Simply put, you must develop content that is ‘good’ enough to merit the click.
You never know what kind of content the search engines will slap together for your topic. The possibilities are endless!
Even though we’ve evolved as a society to a point where people regularly perform searches on their phones, search engines still see the web like it was in the early 2000s.
Back then, people primarily used desktop browsers and would click on links to load a new page.
As a result, SEOs needed to load new pages and create new links to receive credit for a site’s content.
Since the emergence of mobile search, everyone has become a content creator.
People take photos and videos with their smartphones, sharing them across social media channels.
As a result, the need for linking to external websites has diminished.
With fewer people using desktop browsers and more people using mobile ones, it’s crucial that you establish a solid connection with your audience through quality content.
Now that you know what a quality link is, you can begin considering the types of links you need to develop.
There are four basic types of links that you need to develop:
Lack of Follow Links
When a webmaster wants to link to your website, they will usually opt to do so without using a link tag.
This is because, when implementing SEO tactics, they want to avoid paying any sort of link tax, also known as pay-per-click or PPC.
Due to the decreasing popularity of traditional desktop browsing, SEO pros have shifted their focus to mobile users and developed a specialty in mobile SEO, machine learning, and AI.
As a result, the no follow link is a dead giveaway that you’re trying to game the system and trick the search engine into thinking your content is valuable.
As a general rule of thumb, you should never use no-follow links in your content.
When a search engine spits relevant content such as a blog post, article, podcast, or video, the content will often have several outbound links pointing to other websites.
These other sites may or may not be relevant to the topic you’ve posted, but they’re somewhere out there, and the search engine wants to promote content that is ‘good’ enough to make a person click.
Unlike no-follow links, outbound links are completely under your control, and you can decide whether or not you want to show a relationship to the linked website.
As a general rule of thumb, I would recommend using outbound links as much as possible.
The more outbound links you have, the more websites will recognize your content as valuable and the more credit you’ll receive for your efforts.
Inbound links have simply linked that point to your website. These links may or may not have been previously created by other websites.
As a result, they may or may not be relevant to the content you’ve posted.
However, because they’ve somehow found your content relevant or valuable enough to link to, you’ve got a chance to grow your audience.
Inbound links are often referred to as ‘free traffic’ since the search engines don’t charge webmasters for these connections.
Instead, they’re often a source of traffic that can generate sales or lead generation for your business.
Inbound links can also help build credibility and authority for your website since other websites have vouched for your expertise.
Internal links reside within a single web page or blog post. These links can point to other pages on your site or other blog posts on your website.
The advantage of having internal links is that you can create web content that is both relevant and useful to your audience and still can track the source of the referral.
This is particularly valuable when generating leads or sales through your content.
One disadvantage of internal links is that, since the content is already in your own domain, you won’t be able to track click-throughs or get credit for a new lead or customer.
You’ll also have to do a little more work to attract these types of users to your website.
However, if your goal is to generate content that is useful to your audience simply, internal links are a great option.
Now that you know what a quality link is and the importance of building these links, let’s discuss some of the best practices for doing so.
The first and most basic rule of thumb is to create relevant content. In today’s world, there’s no such thing as ‘just doing business online.
You will invariably be asked to provide some sort of value to the person reading your content. As a result, all of your content should provide some sort of value to the user.
This value can be in the form of knowledge, instruction, or entertainment.
If possible, provide several different forms of value so that users can find the one that suits them best.
The next step in building a quality link is ensuring the content is also unique and of good quality.
As a general rule of thumb, you should strive to produce content that is as valuable as possible. To that end, you should avoid producing generic, keyword-stuffing content as much as possible.
Instead, develop topics that are both unique to your brand and provide good information for your audience.
When developing content for SEO purposes, ensure to include keywords throughout the copy in a natural and relevant manner.
However, you should never overdo it and try to game the system. Instead, use popular keywords where they make sense and are natural about the content.
Since the need for linking has diminished, the practice of using backlinks to rank websites has become less relevant.
However, if you’ve got a solid link from an authoritative source, it will still help bolster your overall SEO.
As a general rule of thumb, quality linking is still relevant, but it’s not crucial as it once was.
Ensure you link to high-quality websites relevant to your content so your audience can find what they’re looking for.
Just because you’ve got a link from an authoritative source doesn’t mean that all is instantly forgiven.
As a result of your link’s existence, you will still be subject to scrutiny, and your link may become less valuable if you don’t maintain it properly.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t worry about links that have already been created for your website. Instead, focus on creating new links and removing old, unusable ones.
We have all heard of SEO or search engine optimization in the last couple of years. When someone thinks of SEO, they often think of writing backlinks to improve a website’s visibility in search engines. While this is certainly one of the most essential and popular techniques to optimize a site for search engines, it’s not the only technique out there.
These are five tips you can use to improve your local SEO and gain more customers in your area.
If you want to gain traction in your area, you must ensure that you are local.
If your business is not registered in the local directory, then people may not know where to find you.
Having a local address, phone number, and website is a great start.
In addition to that, make sure that you include any special offers or discounts that you may have for your local customers.
This will help encourage them to find you online and not elsewhere when looking for the products and services you provide.
If you are new to SEO, you may wonder how to develop trust with your audience. You need to prove yourself to them over time.
This is why gaining trust is critical to any SEO strategy. Customers will continue to come back for more when they find you a valuable resource.
To establish trust with potential customers, you can offer them beneficial advice about their local businesses or even fix them up with a deal on your latest products.
With these small acts of kindness, you will prove to your customers that you are a respectable business that they can trust.
Besides getting local, building trust, and being relevant to an audience, content is one of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy.
Search engines love content, and they will give you a boost if you can prove to them that you are creating value-adding content.
Every industry is embracing content marketing as we speak, from building backlinks and gaining traction to using video marketing and social media.
With all of this content out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for website owners and local business owners to rise above the noise.
Use Long Tail Keywords
When we think about SEO, we often think about keywords.
Whether you are a small business owner trying to make your website seen by as many people as possible or a seasoned marketer performing SEO for years, you undoubtedly have a list of keywords you want to focus on.
While it’s important to have a list of keywords that you want to target, it’s even more important to have a list of long-tail keywords.
These phrases or sentences describe your product or service in that is longer than the usual keyword.
When people search for these phrases or sentences, your website will show up much higher in search engine results than if you were simply targeting your usual keywords.
Remember that you will need to optimize your site to work with long-tail keywords.
If you want to promote your local business, then videos are one of the best ways to do so.
Not only do videos allow you to show off your products or services in a quality and professional manner, but they also enable you to engage with your audience and provide useful information.
Moreover, you can record your videos using almost any smartphone or webcam, so you don’t have to have expensive equipment.
With good reason, Vlogging is currently one of the hottest trends in content marketing.
Create Social Media Accounts
If you are on social media, then it’s pretty likely that you have a Facebook account. With over 2 billion active monthly users, it would be hard to miss out on this platform.
Besides, many social media platforms allow you to create a personal account for free, so you don’t need to have a business account to participate in these platforms.
One of the best things you can do for your local SEO is to create social media accounts for yourself, your business, and your trusted sponsors.
Doing this will help improve your SEO, your social media engagement, and the number of people you can reach with your content.
If you are on social media, you must use some form of content marketing to grow your audience.
Getting backlinks, or inbound links, is one of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy.
When a webmaster or SEO engages with other websites through content or links, they provide value, which will be reflected in their ranking in the search engines.
The better your content and the more links you have, the higher you will climb in the search engine rankings.
This will, in turn, help generate more leads and customers for your business.
You can start by creating valuable content for your website and establishing yourself as an expert in your industry.
Then, you can start to approach other businesses and websites in your industry for partnership opportunities.
Finally, you can look for online directories that allow businesses to connect with other consumers.