Link building is vital to improving your search engine rankings as well as getting valuable new visitors to your business’ blog.
Creating content, building an online brand and educating your audience are all critical components of a business today. Keeping up with social media is one of many businesses’ least favorite jobs but a favorite distraction. Responding to reviews and forums all over the internet is even more challenging. But one way to connect with your audience, be expressive and provide great content for your business is through a blog.
Blogs may feel a bit outdated considering that the first blogs started in 1994 and the term was first defined in 1999 long before the golden years of Gizmodo. (Feel old now?). But with a recent pull of softer and customer focused marketing blogs have had a huge resurgence. Blogs are all about connecting people to a broader conversation and like-minds it’s is appropriate that you understand link building.
What is Link Building?
Links, boiled down, are access, connections, gateways to your website. These are the pathways that are necessary for people to get to your blog or website. But they are so much more than that! They become a resource to support your topic, a reference and an increase in your online value (SEO). If you are looking to get Google’s attention you have to think of your links because that is how Google ranks pages and websites. So if you want to appear high up in search engine rankings, then you get to building those links!
Link building is the process of getting more and more backlinks. There are external links outside of your site or blog that lead (or link) back to it. This is also known as inbound marketing. These type of links are essential for increasing organic traffic and your search rank because they show popularity and relevance. But don’t think that you need to have LOTS and LOTS of links. Just like in AdWords, you win the auction with quality content rather than high bids. The more decent quality backlinks, the more authority a site or blog has. This authority is measure by Domain Rating and URL Rating on a scale from 0-100. With 0 meaning a place of no authority and 100 at the highest. It is about making the ecosystem easier to navigate internet users to content they would probably enjoy.
The Internet is a telephone system that’s gotten uppity.
Start With Internal Links
With your blog, you’re usually helping your visitors learn about your products or having discussions that relate to your business. A good practice is to link some of the ideas and topics to blog posts or articles that you have previously written about. Internally linking, meaning a link that doesn’t need to exit your site. This brings a lot of strength to content. And (fingers crossed) keep visitors on your site longer. This also signals to search engines, like Google, what your overall website content is like, and helps Google understand your site/content structure and your area of relevance.
Don’t get carried away. If your blog articles or post are about 1,000-1,500 words, then you may want to throw in 1-3 internal links. You also want to leave linkage space for the external ones to make those valuable connections. A definite must is to have your links as text. Meaning you are placing your links within your text rather than around your words in “http://www.” format. That means the link is naked, and we assume you want your text to be dressed and professional. Using anchor text also highlights keywords and points to what you want your reader to take a look at.
Internal links also present an excellent opportunity to have a call-to-action in your article, which could be done by anchor text, clickable images or a generic “Click Here.”
Linking to sources outside of your content is where you can better support your content, make friends and share content that you think is great. All support a stronger ecosystem and community in your industry. A bonus is that Google loves seeing things being connected especially to original content. Remember, most of your content is going to be ways for your customer to learn more or to educate themselves. So while you may want to make yourself a thought leader, you probably aren’t THE authority (yet) on a topic so making references enhanced the education. So the external linking also makes it easy to credit the source and build relationships.
There obviously should be a healthy balance of internal and external links. Think about a 3-to-1 ratio. External links do indeed lead people away from you; it is best to have less external than internal. This is also why you shouldn’t choose external links that are a rabbit hole of distraction. So use discretion, because by the end of the article/post you want your reader to see that you are the one with original thought and that they should be coming to you for information. Not to have the external links do all the heavy lifting for you.
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
Quick Link Building Tips
Here are a few more thoughts to make your blog even better:
Find out what their link structure is like. How many links do they have? Do other bloggers reference them when you search? Or maybe you will notice a structure or format you like.
Make sure your images are linkable to whatever you are references or to an internal location relevant to the content. And don’t forget to add “alt” tags!
Share and share and share
To get things connected, share your content wherever possible. Share on your social media profiles, newsletters, regular emails, video channels, etc. Make it clear you have a blog and that it is easy to find. Link everywhere!
There are many ways to create internal and external links. These can be in the form of infographics videos, guides, and images. Don’t think that text is the only form of links.
Maybe you are one of those super awesome content creators that write extra long posts. Well, you certainly wouldn’t want your reader to get scrolling fatigue. So consider Quick Links. This is a table of contents for your article.
Link Building For a Better Blog
This may seem like an obvious to-do for your blogs already, but it is undoubtedly an important one. Adding links creates depth and multi-dimension to your content rather than having it be just you talking away. Think strategically though. Have a healthy balance of internal and external links as well as not too many links period. It can start to look messy and distracting fast. Businesses want links that help with getting more leads and traffic. We at Teacup want that for you too!