SEO AND LINK BUILDING

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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When it comes to link building, there is a right way and a wrong way. For long term viability and performance of your website, your link building tactics should be done naturally, and follow the webmaster guidelines set in place by Google.

You might be wondering where these “nofollow” links belong. Nofollow links can be used in:

Referral traffic from relevant sites leads to more potential customers, which leads to more sales. Not only from the boost in rankings that link building will give you, but also from the highly qualified referral traffic that you’ve gained from different types of links. This means you can sell more products or services, and generate revenue from a new avenue.

White hat SEO vs Black hat SEO.

Why might you use a nofollow? They are actually more useful than you might expect. Nofollows allow websites to gain total control over the links that are added to its pages.

There are many types of link building techniques you can use, and while they all vary in difficulty and complexity, link building is one of the time-consuming parts of an SEO’s job. And not all links are created equal. For example, a link from the Guardian will be of a lot more value to you than one from an unknown travel blogger’s website.

Whether you’re new to link building, or you’ve been building backlinks for a while now, this blog is designed to help you understand link building, its importance, types of links, and how link building can benefit your business.

Link building strategies often involve outreach to relevant websites or blogs, relating to a piece you’ve created, an engaging infographic, or a promotion. While the main goal of outreach is, of course, to gain a link, outreach can help your business build long term relationships with key people in your industry. These relationships can help build your brand, build your network, and build authority. Whether they are a site owner or a key influencer, the value of connecting with others and becoming trustworthy in your industry is priceless.

Other than benefits to your SEO performance, link building can help to build your business or brand with many other considerable benefits.

White hat SEO is the process of using organic link building tactics to better your online visibility in search results. These techniques get a thumbs up from Google, but usually take more time than black hat techniques. White SEO link building techniques could include:

A good link from a highly-visited website not only earns you “link juice”, but also can lead to an increase in traffic. If you’re linking to websites that are relevant to yours, chances are their traffic is relevant, too. This doesn’t just apply to the high traffic sites – often a small, very passionate audience from a relevant blog is better than reaching a larger, more general audience.

Brand building.

As we’ve discussed, the importance of links make a difference to search engine rankings. The way we’ve interacted with and used link building has changed over the years, but it still remains a cornerstone of any SEO strategy.

A link to your site sends a signal to Google that your website is a quality resource on the subject, worthy of a citation. Sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings from Google. SEOs often refer to this as “link juice”.

There is also a “nofollow” attribute that can sometimes be applied. Note the rel=”nofollow” addition below:

Meaning that when using link building strategies, your focus should be on earning links because you’ve created great content that your users want to share – not just link building for search engines.

Learn more about the difference between follow vs no follow links to your site.

Relationship building.

Link building is an important part of SEO services because it helps search engines discover new web pages, and determines which pages should rank higher in the SERPs.

“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”

While SEO and link building have always gone hand-in-hand, the importance of building high-quality links has never been a higher ranking factor. It’s often the single reason that one page ranks more highly than a competitor’s, so it’s essential to understand the importance of link building as part of a high-quality SEO campaign to compete for online visibility and links to your site.

Remember the Black hat SEO tactics we mentioned? Well, in the times before the nofollow attribute, spammy SEO techniques were rampant, with SEOs trying to artificially boost their websites. With the introduction of the nofollow, most spammers won’t bother posting irrelevant links since they know they won’t get a “follow” link.

<a href=”http://www.website.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a.

Attributes can be added to links that tell Google’s crawl to “count” this link, these are called “follow” or “dofollow” links. Follow links are a vote of confidence for Google.

Most businesses find themselves mentioned in the press from time to time for one of numerous reasons, with some natural references and others coming about as a result of your PR team's efforts.

So how can you tell the difference between a good link and a bad link?

You may also want to consider goals such as brand exposure, links, and placements on certain publications, referral traffic, and more. It is all about measuring those things that matter to you as a business.

We’re all here to please Google’s tricky algorithm so we can claim the top spot in Google SERPs. Unfortunately, black hat tactics that afford you quick wins may seem nice at first, but they could negatively impact your site in the long run.

Link earning requires a great amount of effort but gives the highest reward. So, be prepared to invest time and resources into earning links. In doing so, you will land links that competitors will struggle to replicate.

Unlinked Brand Mentions.

When planning your link building strategy, it’s important to identify the type of links you will use for your site.

If you want your website to rank high on Google, you’ll need to incorporate all components of good SEO. One of those crucial components for ranking on the first page is link building.

When you earn a link, a third party actively decides to link to your website, meaning they are linking because they have reason to. This adds value to their audience and your site, as a result.

You would use a do-follow link if you wanted to:

Most natural links don’t live in sponsored or paid content and are also without tracking parameters. They are usually added within another blogger’s or webmaster’s content with the intent to provide value to their readers.

Usually, if the site has been around a long time, generates a healthy amount of traffic each month, is active on social media, and has elements that indicate it’s a secure site, this is likely a good link.

Building good backlinks can easily be done by posting your content on social media.

Having your content published on a relevant blog where you share valuable insights and expertise is a great way to build your profile. There are also instances where you will earn a link to your bio page or website, which is a bonus.

The success of a link building campaign can look like different things to different people.

It all comes down to the goals of your campaign. However, you must understand the metrics that should be considered when setting these goals.

1. Relevance.

Where you place your links is just as important as any other element of a good link as it can directly influence the visibility and performance of the link itself.

This link building guide is full of valuable strategies and tactics that will help extend your knowledge on link building so you can earn those top-ranking positions. In addition, you’ll learn which tactics are wasting time and resources and how some well-known tactics may be harming your organic visibility.

Keep in mind, no-follow links aren't known for helping your website rank better in SERPs.

It is not uncommon for this coverage to have no link and to just be a brand mention, but it is often easy to see this turned into a link with only minimal effort. The hard work of securing coverage in the first place has already been done.

Despite being a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and a tactic that is defined as a link scheme, paid link building is still relatively common because it guarantees results.

Earning links is hard work, and there is no denying that. Even manual link building and the wealth of quick-win tactics available still requires effort to see results.

A natural link is a type of link that occurs more organically than others. With this link type, you don’t ask other webmasters or users to give you a backlink.

How to Measure Link Building Success.

You can find brand mentions using the Semrush Brand Monitoring tool to receive notifications whenever someone mentions you but hasn't linked to your site.

There are six ways you will be able to tell whether the link is a good link or not.

Having a natural link back to your website is by all means considered a “good link” and has been dubbed one of the safest link building techniques. Natural links are also one of the best and most efficient ways to promote your blog or your website.

If you can analyze what a competitor is doing well with their link building strategy, then you can use that same strategy to your advantage. You can also improve their strategy by filling in missed opportunities for acquiring backlinks.

You can also make sure your social media profiles are optimized and include the link back to your website in the bios.

Like any other aspect of good SEO, you will need to put in the work consistently. While link building feels like more effort is required than most SEO strategies, it will be rewarding in the end and last for the long term.

The best placements for links are in the upper body of your content.

Google's Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging in 2014, but that was concerning how the industry abused the tactic to build links from article bylines on any site that would take their content.

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