Link building in SEO (search engine optimization) is one of those things that is dreadfully boring to anyone who has done it, but highly effective.
So what is link building in SEO exactly? Simply put, it’s casting ‘votes’ for your web from other web sites.
That is to say (as we’ve talked about before), there are two primary ways to rank for a phrase you want your business to rank for.
- On-page activities
- Off-page activities
The first, on page activities, has to do with what YOU tell Google/Yahoo/Bing your page is about.
The second, off page activities, has to do with what everyone else tells those search engines your page is about.
Why Link Building In SEO Is Necessary
In the early days of SEO, getting highly ranked by Google involved little more that on page activities. We could simply add keywords to a page (on page) in the right places and with enough of those keywords, we had a fair chance of ranking higher than the competition IF our page screamed loud enough that it was about a certain topic (ie keyword or keyphrase).
Then, spammers joined the party and began ‘stuffing’ (over using) keywords on their pages. By overusing keywords (using them far more than any average web page or legitimate business site would), they gained top rankings over those legitimate businesses.
If you are a search engine, and your algorithm is retuning spammy sites above ‘real’ business sites in an given search category, this is bad for business.
SO, Google and the gang decided that they would include other factors (many others, but let’s keep it simple) to affect rankings. From now on, they would check a page to get a basic theme, then check to see if OTHER web sites were validating the claim by linking to that web page.
See, if you tell Google your web page is about blue widgets, that is a good start. However, if my ‘similar industry’ web site clearly links to your blue widgets page for ‘great site to buy blue widgets’ then that is considered a ‘vote’ from an industry peer. It’s a clear sign that your widget site (especially the blue widget page) really is in the blue widget business!
The question then becomes, how do we get other web sites to link to our own business site page? Clearly, it would be best if other business sites would just ‘find’ our page, think it’s great and link to it. It doesn’t always work that way though.
Everyone is busy, every business owner is busy. Even if I like a peer website, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will take time out of my day to link to it from my site even if I think it would be a good idea to do so….the road is paved with good intentions.
Link Building Strategies To Consider
So, how do we as business site owners get other sites to link to ours? How do we go about this business of link building in SEO?
We could probably write about this topic for days, but here are some strategies that Word Tracker recently wrote about.
- Write great content that people WANT to link to. This is very general, but it is my favorite. It is time consuming and often requires that a business owner REALLY take the time to craft something unique. Write good stuff though, share it, and folks should naturally link to it.
- Build a resource page on your site. This is a great one and should be easy enough for any business to do within a specific industry. Organize useful links on your web page, tools, websites, anything you can think of that your site visitors would find useful all on one page. Folks will very likely link to a page like this on your site.
- Create and share infographics. These are creative visuals (graphics) that tell a quick story. Think USA Today and how they always share great statistics with a picture, a pie chart, etc.
- Guest post on another site. Write a page of content for an industry peer site. Every site owner is looking for great and unique content these days for their own site, whether they write it or not often times. If you offer to take that burden off of a site owner for a day, they should allow you to link back to your own site!
- Online tools. Are you in the mortgage industry? Build (or have some build) a killer calculator that is unique. People will want to use that calculator often if it’s done right….they will link to your site!
Now, these are five great ways (there are a gazillion others but I do have to get draw the line somewhere today) that you can slowly begin link building in SEO for your website. Get creative and go build some links!