Link Building Basics
Google’s ranking algorithms determine how its search engine prioritizes search results. While the exact way the algorithms work is a closely guarded secret, SEO agencies have an idea of the criteria Google looks for, including content quality, content structure, and the number of relevant keywords that appear on the page.
What Makes a Quality Page?
In addition to on-page optimization techniques, one of the most reliable indicators of a page’s quality is the number of links pointing to that page from other websites, a.k.a. backlinks. Backlinks are based on the principle that you can only earn that link if other site owner believes your content is relevant to their visitors.
When it comes to SEO services, link building is one of the most popular and effective ways to increase search rankings and domain authority. The more high-quality backlinks your page gets, the more trustworthy it is in Google’s eyes. And the more trustworthy it is to Google, the higher your page will rank in relevant search results.
Not All Links Are Created Equal
Once upon a time, the link building process was abused and manipulated using dishonest techniques that tried to trick Google.
Some link building providers turned to spammy or untrustworthy sites to generate swathes of low-quality backlinks for the express purpose of appearing more authoritative without offering any real value to visitors. So in later updates, Google placed greater emphasis on link quality rather than relying solely on quantity.
When it comes to high-quality backlinks, the type and source of the link matter. A link given naturally from other authoritative websites will carry greater weight than those from, say, unmoderated blog post comments.
Link Building Tactics
There are many different link building strategies, the simplest being manual outreach. Manual link building is pretty straightforward: get in touch with owners of relevant websites and ask them to link to your target web page. Of course, you’ll need to give them an excellent reason to supply a backlink in the first place.
Manual outreach is a suitable link building tactic when you’re starting out, but it becomes too cumbersome for in-house marketers to achieve at scale. Enter: high-quality link building services. Good link building companies will be able to secure backlinks at a rate that corresponds to your company’s size-based needs.
Broken Link Building
Broken links point to a website or page that no longer exists. Let’s say a website points to a resource article that suddenly gets taken down. The website owner will naturally want to replace that broken link with a working one as soon as possible — and this is where a link building opportunity lies.
If you can offer your own content (such as a blog post) as a suitable replacement for that broken link, then you’ve effectively created a new backlink. Even if you don’t already have a suitable piece of existing content on hand, it can be worth the time and effort to craft high-quality content just to replace that broken link.
The real challenge with broken link building is finding them. We’ve developed a programmatic approach to this problem: we’re able to scrape hundreds of thousands of domains each week to find broken links, categorize those domains by niche, and automatically follow up on opportunities at scale.
Resource Link Building
Resource link building is the process of pitching content to be included in relevant resource pages. A resource page is a page that has a list of specific topics that the website’s readers may find useful. The idea is for that page to become the go-to authority for that topic, and the only way for owners to do that is to build links from relevant websites.
Resource page links are excellent for your own search rankings because they’re likely to be high-authority domains with lots of credibility to share. They’re helpful by nature, so people are much more likely to visit (and revisit) them.
As with any link building tactic, the challenge is finding relevant sites. Some pages have a link to suggest a resource, which makes your efforts way easier. After that, it’s all about reaching out and convincing them to include your content.
The approach we take to identify relevant resource pages at scale is the same approach we take to identify viable broken link opportunities, with a few tweaks to the filters in our proprietary tools.
Link Reclamation and Unlinked Mentions
Link reclamation and unlinked mentions work very well together because they’re link building strategies that work with websites that have already linked to you in the past.
Link reclamation happens when websites who have linked to some of your content in the past are no longer doing so. It’s often because your content is no longer relevant. A backlinking service typically applies the same strategies as broken link building here.
Unlinked mentions occur when a website or article mentions you, but doesn’t include an explicit link pointing to your site. Often, bloggers or webpage authors will neglect to provide a link to a relevant image (like your logo or an infographic you made). Doing an image search on Google can reveal which sites used your photo and which ones linked to you or not.
Unlinked mentions are incredibly easy to fix. After all, the website already found you worthy of mention, so it’s a small request to ask them to include a link. As part of your general link-building strategy, we recommend claiming unlinked mentions at regular intervals, such as every quarter.
Citation Link Building
In contrast to other mentions, citations deal with details of your business, such as name, address, and contact information.
Citations are essential for local businesses to rank high in Google Map searches. When people are looking for a personal injury lawyer in a particular city, for example, that lawyer’s website should be one of the top places recommended.
The easiest approach for citation link building is listing your company in relevant business directories. Compared to other link building strategies, citations are generally the least expensive. You’re pretty much guaranteed for a listing as long as you submit relevant business information.
But beware of listing your company in every directory you see. Not all directories are good directories; it’s important that your company is listed only in high-quality sites. Positive signs to look out for include a large number of visitors and a moderated listing.