SEO 220HWhat is Link Building?

Link Building is part of off-site search engine optimization. A link building strategy is needed to increase the number of incoming links to a website. The objective is to build “link popularity” that is an important factor in ranking and search engine results placement (SERP).

Link building is one of the most difficult and time-consuming disciplines of search engine optimization (SEO). People have tried to trick the system with abuses like link farms and link exchange tactics.  The recent Google algorithms were created to discourage and crack down on these practices by penalizing those sites with lower SERP and even taking them down. Search engines do not want artificially created, useless links

If this article is your first encounter with the concept of ‘link popularity,’ it is simply the number and quality of links that point to your website. Link quality is a reflection of the rank of the referring site. A link coming from .gov or .edu are very high quality. A link from your uncle's website probably has little value. A link is like an endorsement and a link from an authoritative website signals the search engines that your site must be important. Additionally an incoming link needs to be relevant to the content in your site.

The easiest way to start building incoming links is to register with business directories such as Yahoo Localworks (current fee available to 12/31/2014 - $29.99 a month, $359.88 per year) or a company like YEXT ($500 per year). Both offer a listing in 40 quality directories. Other listing companies are aggregators feeding off the big guys. The advantage to these services is they have been around a long time and guarantee consistency throughout all your directory listings. A link from Yahoo is one of the best you can get.

link buildingFollowing are just three tactics for Link Building best practices.

1) The oldest and best-known method of acquiring a link is to email the webmaster of the website that is complementary to your own and ask them to link to your site. If their site is Very important a letter would be better. If you use email, be sure to personalize it. You need to make a case for the benefits to them and of course offer a link back. Explain why a link to your site is an advantage to them and their visitors. Done right this is not a link exchange tactic.

The easiest way to find these good links is to do a search for your target keywords. The websites that appear high in SERP are the ones you want to contact because those sites rank higher than you. Of course, not everyone will give you a link. You can imagine this method is a lot of work, but the results will produce the best quality links. This link building method should be the stable of any link building campaign.

2) Be an expert in your field by writing useful articles and publishing them in an e-zine, content library or article directory. Your articles can also be offered to link prospects when requesting a link.

3) Social Marketing offers the best opportunity to build links to your website as long as the intention is right. Links inserted into blogs or other social content should be done with empathy by directing people to answers that may solve their problems. Search engines will see irrelevant links as spam.

These tactics just scratch the surface of a successful link building campaign. If you farm it out to a qualified vendor expect to spend thousands of dollars. Remember, quality counts more than quantity. Diversification is the key to well-balanced links pointing to your website. Build links from many sources using many different tactics and be sure they are relevant.

Imagine, Inc. creates internet marketing campaigns that naturally build quality links over time or we can create a link building campaign that will accelerate the process. Call us at 954.257.7066 and we can get you started on the right track.

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