What Is Link Building?
Links are connections between webpages on the Internet. When you click from one page to the next on your website, you are using links to maneuver through the various parts of the site. Those are internal links. External links are those that take readers from one website to another. Both types of links are important for SEO purposes, but our focus here is on external link building strategies.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your site. There are many strategies SEO Consultants
use to acquire links, and all of them have been effective at one time or another, but not all of them are effective today. In fact, some link-building methods can actually hurt your website’s ranking in the search results.
So, when learning how to build links, it’s important to go about it the right way, so that your efforts have the intended effect and don’t end up getting you penalized.
Why Link Building Is Important
Search engines like Google and Bing use a variety of factors to determine which websites are of high quality and which ones are of low quality. They don’t want to send their readers off to a bunch of spammy websites with worthless content. So how can search engines know which websites are good and which ones are not?
There are many factors that affect search engine rankings, but the most influential is backlinks. When someone links from their website to yours, search engines see that as a vote of confidence in the quality and usefulness of your website. When there is a website that has thousands of links pointing at it from thousands of different websites, that is a strong signal that people consider that site to provide enormous value; that’s why they are sharing it with their own audiences.
So if you want your website to rank well in search results and be a traffic magnet, links are going to be the most effective way to make that happen.
What is Anchor Text and How Does it Affect Me?
Anchor text is the string of words inside an article’s text that is used to make up a link. When readers hover over that phrase and click it, they’re taken to another website. Sometimes you will have a plain link that consists only of the webpage address without any anchor text. It might look something like this: www.websiteexample.com. See? There’s no anchor text, just the website address or URL. The URL itself is the link. But when you hyperlink a phrase within your text, that’s anchor text, and it’s an important part of link building.
The anchor text helps search engines understand what the site you’re linking to is all about. It gives context to that link. So if you’re building a link on another website, you want the anchor text to briefly help explain why that link is coming back to your site. One way to do this is to use keywords as anchor text.
Keywords are phrases commonly used by people searching for information online. When someone goes to Google and types in “why link building is important,” Google will bring up the websites that it thinks have the best information on this topic. When you use keywords as anchor text, that creates a strong correlation between that search phrase and your website, and it can help you to rank better for those keywords -- as long as you don’t overdo it. We’ll talk more about that when we cover, “Good Links Vs. Bad Links”.
How Important Are Links in 2018?
Links have always been the most important factor in determining search rankings. Other factors matter too, but back links are still king and should be the cornerstone of your website promotional strategy.
The bottom line is that you must build quality links to make your website stand out from the millions of other websites out there, and your link building strategies must be based on the most current and best practices in search engine optimization.
Coming Up Next:
In the rest of this series, you’ll start learning how to build links in a safe and effective way to help your website improve its rankings and traffic. We’ll also explore some other questions you may have about link building, such as:
- Can link building benefit my business?
- What are good links vs. bad links?
- How can I plan my own link building strategy?