As 2020 slowly draws to a close, it’s time to look to the future and start making plans for 2021. If you’re running an online business or even just a website, then your goal for next year should be to increase traffic and grow your reach. With the world turning to the internet more than ever, this shouldn’t be too hard. However, you’ll have to compete with all the other websites out there. Link building for SEO can give you an edge. When done right, this technique can be incredibly effective at improving your SEO rankings and giving your website more exposure.
What is link building for SEO?
Link building is the practice of linking to other pages and websites and having your websites linked to in return in a way that helps your search engine optimization. It’s a practice that’s vital to successfully develop a website and growing its reach. So how does it work? Google takes links to pages as recommendations of those pages. When another website links to yours, Google’s algorithm interprets this as an endorsement. The more influential the website doing the linking, the more significant the approval from it.
Different types of link building
When we talk about link building, we are typically thinking of backlinks – links on other websites that point users toward you. Those links will significantly help your SEO, but that’s not the only type of linking that matters. Proper internal linking is really important for link building as well.
Internal linking is linking to another page on your own website. It helps your users because it connects related content on your website, making it easier to find other relevant posts and pages. It also improves your website’s structure, making it easier for Google and other search engines to crawl, index, and understand. So when you’re developing your link building strategy, remember to consider both external and internal links.
The best methods for link building in 2021
Proper link building is not just about putting your link on another website. The link needs to leadto relevant content and be well contextualized. It has to add value to the website where it’s being posted and to your own page. Finally, it cannot just be useless spam. Posting the same generic comment that includes a link to your homepage on dozens of websites is going to raise some red flags with Google. Instead, you should follow thebest white hat SEO practices that will help your rankings.
Write guest posts
One of the best ways to get backlinks is to write guest posts for other websites. It’s an SEO practice that helps everyone involved – you get a useful backlink, the website gets good content to post, and the users discover a new website with more helpful information. So look for influential websites in your industry and find out if they accept guest content. Remember to follow any rules or instructions and write relevant, optimized content to maximize your chances of the post being accepted.
Be a source of relevant information
Usually, when you’re trying to build up your link profile, you need to be proactive. You need to find websites that accept guest content yourself, contact different web administrators, build relationships within the industry so you’ll be invited to write for other websites. But wouldn’t it be nice if other websites just linked to you without being asked?
This happens with big websites like Wikipedia or YouTube all the time because they offer a lot of highly relevant information. Of course, your website is probably not an online encyclopedia, so you shouldn’t really aim for the same level of reach that Wikipedia has. But you can still be a relevant source.
Research your industry, provide graphs and animations that other websites can use to illustrate their points, help reporters by giving them quotes and predictions about business. If you can become an authority on a topic and provide information others find useful, people will link to your content simply because it’s relevant – you won’t have to ask.
Fix broken links
Websites move, change domains, tweak URLs, and disappear all the time. When this happens, links leading back to those websites often end up broken. Unfortunately, none of us can track every external link on our website all the time. Many websites continue to link to pages that no longer exist simply because they’re not aware of the links leading nowhere.
But you can turn this into an opportunity. Either by merely browsing the web or using tools like SEMrush, you can find broken links on other people’s websites. Then, you can suggest your own content as an alternative. Contact the website administrator, politely let them know that one of their links is broken, and provide them with a link to your own page with similar content. Most people will be grateful when you do this and gladly add a link to your page because of it.
Turn mentions into backlinks
Sometimes, people will mention your business or products without linking to them. If they’re speaking about you positively, this is still a good endorsement, but Google will not notice it. You want to encourage those who talk about you to also link to your website.
This technique doesn’t work well for new and small businesses, as you’ll first need to work on your branding and make a name for yourself. But if you’re already reasonably famous in your niche, you can search for mentions of your brand on other websites. If those mentions don’t include a hyperlink, contact the website administrator. Just ask them to insert a link when they mention your business.
Use the skyscraper method
If someone finds themselves on the first page of Google, they’re clearly doing something right. And you want to do whatever they’re doing but better. We call this the skyscraper method. You check what the best-ranked websites in your niche are doing with their links, then you beat them at it. It’s a great way to learn from your competition.
The importance of link building for SEO
Link building for SEO can be hard work. It requires a lot of effort and time to do right, but it is worth it for the benefits it gives you. Your website will rank higher on Google and be easier to find and index. You will enjoy a boost to your reputation because you’ll be getting a vote of confidence from every website that links back to you. Finally, you’ll get more traffic because the readers of other websites will now be exposed to your content as well. So don’t underestimate the importance of a good link building strategy.
Stephanie Milton is a postgraduate student at Columbia University. She hopes to obtain her Ph.D. in marketing by summer 2022 before starting her own business. In the meantime, she freelances forLink Department to hone her practical skills. She likes to share her knowledge about and passion for digital marketing as she believes this is where the future of business lies.
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