What is Link Building and Why is it Important?

How prospects find you when they don’t know who you are but are looking to buy something you sell is a significant marketing question we all ask ourselves. One of the most effective ways is through your online search identity, meaning, building an effective search engine optimization program where your website comes up in a search when shoppers ‘Google’ what they are looking to buy. One of the most important tactics in an effective SEO strategy is link building…but you have to be diligent  in executing the program properly. Your site can be penalized if you are not careful and don’t think strategically about how to obtain the right links.

In general, links are like roadmaps, helping you get from one place to another.  But how do links relate to the online roadmap today?  Just like the landscape in your neighborhood, he landscape of SEO is constantly changing; therefore importance of online link building has never been higher.  So, like how OnStar ® or Google Maps ®, get you to where you’re going on the street, link building helps search engines navigate their way through the web.  And now we’re going to help you understand what link building is and how important it can be to your business.

In SEO terminology link building is the process of acquiring or exchanging links with other websites to connect them with your own. Search engines use these links to crawl the web between your own pages and between different sites.

Search engines use links in two fundamental ways:  to discover new web pages and to help determine how well a page should rank (in their results).  Once search engines have crawled pages they extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. Then they decide if they feel a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant keywords. However, when deciding the rank, they don’t just look at the content of the page they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external sites. The more high-quality websites that link to you, the more your link building helps your SEO.  In Google’s eyes if a site they think is an authority online links to you then you get to somewhat ‘piggyback’ off of them in relation to page/site authority.

While site ranking is concrete example of the importance of link building, there are other important benefits that come with this exercise.

 

Brand Building

Effective link building can help build your brand and establish you as an authority in your market. There are some link building techniques, such as content creation, which can show people the expertise of your company, and this can go a long way toward building your brand.

 

Relationship Building

Link building can often involve outreach to other relevant websites and blogs in your industry. This outreach frequently relates to the promotion of something that you’ve just created, such as a piece of content or infographic. A common goal of outreach is to get a link, but there is much more to it than just that. Outreach can help you build long-term relationships with key influencers in your industry, and these relationships can mean that your business becomes highly regarded and trusted. This in itself is valuable.

 

Referral Traffic

A good link from a highly-visited website can lead to an increase in traffic, too. If it is a relevant website, chances are that the traffic is also relevant and may lead to increased sales, as well. Again, in this situation the value of a link isn’t just about SEO—it’s about customers.

While not diminishing its importance in SEO today, this is a very simplistic overview of link building. There is much more to discover. For extensive help with link building within SEO and how it can affect your business, contact us at marketingrelevance.com or 847-259-7312.