Understanding the Importance of Link Building

November 16, 2021
Understanding the Importance of Link Building

Link building is one of the most effective ranking factors. According to Google, the other two factors that can improve your website’s ranking are content and RankBrain. For many businesses, building backlinks to their websites is at the heart of their marketing strategy. It is considered the most reliable option for sustainable results, with numerous SEO agencies, like OutreachPete, specialising in it.

There are also several strategies of link building that can be used, although their success rates do differ. The one you choose will likely depend on your overall goal and budget as well as your knowledge of each method.

If you wish to see positive results, then choosing the correct strategy is of the utmost importance.

Throughout this article, you will be introduced to link building; this introduction will include leaning what link building is as well as all the different types of links, why it is so important, and how it could benefit your business.

 

What is Link Building?

It is what it sounds like; this is the process of obtaining links to your website from an external site. This can influence Google’s algorithm so the site being linked to will rank higher for relevant keywords. In some cases, it is easier to think of links as votes – the more high-quality links (or votes) directing to a website, the more organic traffic that website will receive.

In short, link building can allow websites to become more visible and accessible to the target audience.

However, it can be a tricky procedure to get right.

Link building is more than just getting links published; choosing the correct strategy is critical, if you want to see safe and sustainable results. There are some link building tactics that can decrease your site’s visibility. The wrong strategy could see very little to no improvements for your site or potentially penalties from Google.

 

White Hat vs Black Hat vs Grey Hat

Building backlinks can fall into several methods, such as white hat, black hat, and grey hat. These approaches are not limited to building links; they can be applied to any off-page SEO strategies, but are commonly associated with links.

Before you choose the method you want to work with, you should consider the benefits and drawbacks of each one. This will allow you to make an informed decision, and could prevent you from making serious errors in the future.

 

White Hat Link Building

Simply put, tactics used in white hat SEO follow the rules and regulations set out by Google to grow traffic organically. As a result, this is considered to be the cleanest and most ethical approach to building links. Webmasters consider white hat links to be “future-proof” as they benefit businesses’ long-term strategy.

Some examples of white hat link building include:

  • Links published by genuine 3rd party webmasters of editors
  • Promoting content
  • Building online relationships

 
These techniques can take longer to produce results, but they are squeaky-clean; there is no manipulation or cheating when you use white hat link building tactics.

 

Black Hat Link Building

While white hat techniques are considered the safest, black hat link building is the opposite. This approach to building backlinks not only puts you at the risk of Google penalties, which can see you being setback months or even years, its results do not withstand the test of time.

It is often the more tempting option as the results are quick to appear, but they can dwindle just as fast.

Most search engines, not only Google, will penalise sites that use sneaky, non-ethical techniques often associated with black hat link building. Due to this, we here at OutreachPete warn against using black hat methods; the risks certainly outweigh the benefits.

Below are some examples of black hat link building:

  • Private blog networks (PBNs)
  • Link farms
  • Keyword stuffing

 

Grey Hat Link Building

As you can imagine, grey hat link building is the method that straddles the link between white hat and black hat SEO. It sits between white and black.

While it may not be a strategy you would be penalised for outright, it still isn’t something you would willingly tell Google or other search engines about. The search engine is yet to state whether or not it supports grey hat tactics.

There are numerous tactics said to be grey hat link building, but they have also been reported as either white hat or black hat tactics. This shows the uncertainty of using techniques labelled “grey hat”, and hammers home that you should avoid seeking out grey hat link building to keep yourself and your website safe.

 

Dofollow Links vs Nofollow Links

Links can either be dofollow or nofollow. Both achieve the same outcome of one site linking to another, but there are important differences between the two that can affect the SEO and link building efforts of the site acquiring the backlinks.

Dofollow is the main type of link found in link building. This is the link passing the origin website’s authority to the destination website. A dofollow link will help to increase the destination site’s domain authority; as a result, it also improves the keyword ranking.

Bloggers can use dofollow links to endorse the linked site, which highlights to Google that site should be ranked higher.

On the other hand, links that are nofollow do not transfer one site’s authority to the other; it is very unlikely to see major ranking changes with nofollow links. Similar coding that is used on nofollow links can be applied when labelling links as “UGC” or “sponsored”. All three of these link variants offer less conclusive value than dofollow links.

However, it has been argued that nofollow links can still increase the number of people visiting the linked site. They can also increase the trust the site receives from Google and the target audience.

It is suggested that having a variation of dofollow and nofollow backlinks creates a more natural link profile for a website.

 

Why is Link Building Important?

Although you might feel like you should partake in SEO, you may question why link building is such an important part. The truth is, it is possible you are missing out on business if you do not use link building. Potential customers are much more likely to click on links from the first page of search engine results, even more so the top five; by building links, you are improving your chances at gaining one of those higher ranked positions.

But other than ranking higher in search engine, link building offers your business a variety of benefits. Some of the areas you will see improvement include:

 

Traffic

All businesses want more traffic coming to their website. It is said that traffic indicates the health of a website. This is why you should target high authority sites with organic traffic to link back to your site. By building quality backlinks to your site, you can create a stronger readership; this readership has the potential to convert into paying customers.

However, encouraging people to visit your site needs relevancy. If the content driving them to your site is not relevant, then they are much less likely to stick around or visit your website at all. Hence, you need to produce content suitable to your website as well as the site linking back to yours.

This is also an important factor to remember to avoid Google penalties – a link sloppily placed into irrelevant content will be a red flag.

 

SEO Scores & Metrics

Link building offers you the chance to improve your website’s health. This can be measured by metrics, such as Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR), spam score, and more. These metrics are also very important to search engines as they can affect your website’s rank.

If you can improve these aspects, your website will benefit from increased exposure and visibility.

 

Credibility

As previously mentioned, links can be thought of as votes. They can also be thought of as indicators of your DA. If your site is the recipient of many high-quality backlinks, then the credibility of your site will be higher. It’s essential that your backlinks are from various credible sites, too.

Remember that improving the user experience is the goal of a good website, and Google pays attention to that, so ensure the sites linking back to your own have a high DA. The quality of backlinks is much more important than the quantity.

 

Revenue

With an increased traffic visiting your site and healthier metrics, there is a good possibility of your revenue growing. The previous two aspects factor into where Google ranks your website, and it will definitely be ranked higher if you have improved traffic and metrics. As a result, you will see an increase in the sale of products and/or services.

 

Brand Awareness

Becoming a household name is the goal of most businesses, and link building can help make this a reality. It supports lead generation. You can tailor your link building campaign depending on your goals; for example, if you wish to target a new location, using a relevant anchor text can then build brand awareness in that area.

 

It’s never too late to make the most of these benefits by beginning your link building journey. If you don’t know how to get started, or would just like a bit of help, then you would be in very good hands with OutreachPete.

At the moment, we have free keyword opportunities audits as well as free ranking roadmaps on offer; both of which would set you on the right track for SEO success.

Sign Up Now