What Is Link Building and How It Works?

Link-building is one of the most important factors in search engine optimization (SEO), and it’s something you should apply in your marketing strategy. If you don’t have any link-building efforts in place, you could be losing out on a lot of traffic.

But it isn’t easy to do something you’re not familiar with. So we created this post for you. We’ll introduce you to link-building, tell you why it’s important and how to build links.

What is link-building and how it works
Image from Canva

Link building strategies refer to actions that encourage websites to link back to your site. These links are called backlinks or inbound links. 

Search engines like Google value backlinks and use them to measure a site’s credibility. According to Monsterinsights, it is the second most crucial ranking factor of Google, next to high-quality content. 

However, search engines don’t look at the number of inbound links but rather the quality and relevance. Meaning, getting 1-2 backlinks from websites with a high-domain authority under the same niche is better than getting 20 low-value links. 

When your site or page gets backlinks from reputable websites, Google will rank your site better and make it visible to more people. 

By definition, this practice looks simple right? But don’t let it fool you. Around 41% of SEO professionals mentioned that it’s one of the hardest SEO practices. 

What Is Link Building and How It Works? 1

Before we talk about the importance of building links, let’s discuss them first. 

Links have been around for a long time. They are a very important part of the web. Without links, it will be hard to find anything on the internet.

Aside from that, here are some other usage of links:

  • They help search bots navigate, crawl, and index sites. 
  • Businesses use them to promote content and gain traffic to their pages.
  • They are references for important information like stats, figures, research, and case studies.
  • Sites use links to connect with other websites they trust and help them provide better content to their audiences.

These statements show that links can help you in many ways, and link building is a strategy that you should look upon and use. 

Although link-building tactic is hard and time-consuming, 92% of marketers still believe that it will remain a crucial factor for search rankings in the following years.

Many companies still invest time and money in this SEO strategy, and as long as Google is encouraging websites to build links, we will have to take it seriously. 

Here are some of what it can do for you and your website:

Be more visible in search results

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When websites link to your site, they signal search engines that you’re a good source for information and should therefore be ranked higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  

Establish authority on your niche

Backlinks are a direct indicator of how well you’re doing at establishing trust within the industry you’re in. If you can achieve a high number of quality backlinks, it will help you gain authority in your niche and show others that you’re truly an expert. 

Build relationships

A successful link-building strategy has a good foundation of trust. If you want web admins to agree to link to your site, you must first learn how to connect with them and create a mutual relationship where you can benefit from each other. Once you establish the needed trust, it will be easier to get more backlinks.

In addition, establishing relationships online opens better opportunities outside your website.

Increase your site’s credibility

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Although credibility comes from the quality of a website’s content, it is not enough to generate traffic. You need the backing of other sites that trust you to be a valuable resource and a worthy addition to their audience. 

Drive traffic to your website

Links allow you to rank higher on the search results. You can also distribute your links to different platforms, reach more readers, and turn them into regular visitors.

Although posting your links on social media, forums, or blog comment sections doesn’t count that much, it’s still a great way to connect and put your site out there. 

Generate more sales

Once you’re on top of the search pages, people will be more likely to click your page and discover the products and services you offer. This allows you to attract more potential customers without paying for ads. 

Related post: What Is a Good Link for SEO? The Truth Revealed!

This strategy isn’t only about backlinks. It also includes external links and internal links. But since our main topic is link-building for SEO, we need to focus on backlinks for now.

There are various ways to get them. However, not all links pointing to sites are good, and although more tedious, some efforts give better results. 

To give you an idea of how this strategy works, here are the top four most common ways to acquire backlinks:

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This is the easiest way to get links, but it can also be the most expensive (and dangerous!) Many companies have been buying links ever since Google and other search engines included it as a top-ranking factor. 

A survey showed that 69% of marketers believe purchasing links can improve a site’s ranking. However, we don’t recommend it. 

Google is against buying links and considers it a black hat SEO. Purchasing backlinks is a form of cheating, and once they catch you, Google can penalize you. You need to take this seriously as Google can remove your site from the search pages, and you might get fewer to no traffic, sales, and leads. 

Moreover, you can only get good links if you’re willing to pay a great amount. Low-value links can cost around $50, while those websites with a high domain authority can charge over $1,000. 

What Is Link Building and How It Works? 5
Image from Ahrefs
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Adding links is another fast way of getting backlinks if your website is new. It’s better than buying links. But you should do it in moderation, as Google will view your links as spam. 

You may add your links on various platforms like: 

  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
  • Forums and Q&A Sites (i.e., Reddit and Quora).  
  • Business directories
  • Comment sections of blogs

Links added to platforms like forums and business directories have low value. And links from social media profiles are often no-follow. No follow means that the link has any SEO value to the site it points to. 

You can’t expect to get high-quality links from these places, but it’s still a good way to promote your content.

For example, you may use business directory submissions to be visible to the local market and get leads. Social platforms are a great place to build brand awareness and share links to help people. And establishing relationships through blog commenting can land a good-quality link in the future. 

3. Outreaching to relevant websites. 

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Outreaching is sending emails and connecting to web admins to gain a backlink. This strategy is quite challenging, but it’s one of the best backlinking efforts. 

Why? 

Because it allows you to choose which website you’d like to get a link from. Moreover, outreaching requires doing keyword research and analyzing the backlinks of various websites. You can discover more linking opportunities when doing so. 

Since many people apply this strategy, you should stand out. To do so, you first need to create link-worthy content. Before you even send an email, make sure that your blog post is well-written and better than your competitors. 

The next thing to do is to send a personalized email highlighting how the other website and its audience will benefit from your link. 

Some link-building tactics under outreaching are: 

  • Finding and replacing broken links.
  • Guest blogging
  • Sending product reviews or testimonials. 
  • Creating resource pages. 

Some SEO tools like Ahrefs can help you find links faster than manually checking pages and websites for broken link-building.

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This is the hardest of the four. You can only obtain organic backlinks by creating unique content and link baits such as infographics, statistics, case studies, and surveys. 

Most websites that earn links are already established and have good domain authority. Continuous content creation and promotion are needed for newbie websites to reach that level. 

Participating in interviews and article roundups is a great way to promote your website and expertise. 

Conclusion

Now that you know about link-building and how it works, it’s time to decide which of the following ways you’d like to put effort into. Remember that Google values good quality links, so you should focus on that rather than numbers. 

Although it takes time, this practice will be worth it. Make sure to partner it with other SEO practices and do it the right way! 

Make the Most Out of Link Building Using the Best Tools!

Search for link prospects, conduct backlink research, monitor link profile, and more!