Done right, link building is an effective way to improve a website’s performance on search engine result pages (SERPs) and can be an excellent way to increase organic traffic. According to a blog posted on SEMrush by Olga Andrienko in November 2020, “the more high-quality links that point to your website (and form part of your backlink profile), the higher you should rank on Google, and therefore, the higher level of organic traffic you should receive”. Alongside user experience, page speed and high-quality content, link building is considered as one of the main ranking factors when it comes to dominating search results. Therefore, it’s imperative to perform effective link building techniques within your campaign to be successful in SERPs.
Link Building Techniques- The Evolution
Link building involves reaching out to relevant and trustworthy websites and asking them to feature your website within a blog or landing page. Link building used to be a simple tactic and it was easy to manipulate Google’s algorithm by submitting your website to various Web 2.0 websites. However, since Google launched the Penguin algorithm update in 2012 these tactics became obsolete, and rightfully so. The Penguin update specifically targeted manipulative link building practices. Before the Penguin algorithm update, backlinks provided a massive part in determining a web page’s score and position on SERPs when being crawled and indexed by Google. The objective of the Penguin algorithm update was to stop the effectiveness of several black hat SEO techniques.
Nowadays, it’s much harder to acquire backlinks but many SEO professionals still use black hat SEO techniques to manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google’s position on link building is that links should be acquired organically and not artificially gained, in an Office Hours hangout in June 2021, Google Search Advocate, John Mueller explains that:
“Artificially building links, dropping links on other sites, buying links, is against the webmaster guidelines”.
Using these tactics could lead to Google penalising your website by ignoring links that have been artificially built or even demoting your website on SERPs.
Later in the office hours hangout, he further explains…
“There are ways that you can approach the topic of links in a way that is less black hat where you’re buying links from other sites. But where you’re actively creating content that you know will attract links and then going out and reaching out to other sites and saying hey, we have this interesting content, don’t you want to take a look at it.”
This suggests that methods such as creating high-quality content, informative infographics and great videos can help effectively build a strong backlink profile.
3 Effective Link Building Techniques
Link building possesses a greater risk now more than ever and it’s fundamental that you adhere to webmaster guidelines when building links. Below is a selection of link building techniques that are effective and won’t leave your site being penalized by Google.
1. Work with influencers
Influencer marketing involves a celebrity or public figure promoting a product or service. Working with influencers can help you gain better trust and credibility and provide your business with a much greater reach. Ideally, you should only target influencers that have a large social media presence and are recognised for their opinions and contributions. Only reach out to influencers that are involved within your niche or industry as you don’t want to be engaging with an audience that isn’t relevant to your business.
2. Create High Quality Content
It may sound obvious but creating engaging content is the best way you can gain high-quality backlinks from reliable and highly authoritative websites. Creating a blog or guide and covering everything there is to know about a topic can help to generate a large number of backlinks, social shares and much higher rankings in Google search. This content doesn’t have to just be a blog, it can be guides, videos, podcasts or even infographics.
You can also use websites such as Quora and Stack Exchange to gain high-quality backlinks by writing content around interesting topics. Once you’ve created an in-depth blog providing a detailed and relevant response to a question you can compose a short and concise summary of your answer and post that onto the Q&A websites along with a link to the blog.
3. Directory Websites
Submitting your website to general directory websites such as Hotfrog. Free Index and Yell are the quickest way for new websites to build a strong backlink profile of quality links. Here’s a great list of top UK business directories you can submit your website to.
Need Help With Link Building?
There are many different effective link building strategies to choose from so it’s always good to have a comprehensive link building strategy for your website. At Seed, we use content marketing, social media promotion and digital PR to help improve your website’s ranking in Google’s search result pages and in front of a relevant audience.