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    Building Links to Increase Website Traffic

    Building links is critical for contributing to the success of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs) and overall online presence. In the world of SEO, backlinks act as votes of confidence from other websites — and tell search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website will likely rank on SERPs.

    Imagine the web as a jungle of information. Backlinks are the trails between different websites. Here’s how it works:

    Let’s say you have a website, Cavorting Canines, featuring the coolest dog tricks. Another website, maybe a famous trainer’s website, mentions your dog trick website in an article and includes a link to Cavorting Canines. That link is a backlink! The pet trainer has created a trail through the jungle, leading people to your website.

    The more high-quality websites (think reputable animal trainers) linking to you, the more people (animal lovers, Hollywood producers searching for talented pups) will find your website through those trails (backlinks). This method can make your website seem more trustworthy and important in the eyes of search engines (the jungle guides), potentially ranking you higher in SERPs.

    Search engines like Google see backlinks as providing the foundation of authority, functioning as endorsements, and verifying your content’s credibility and relevancy. The more of these “endorsements” you have, the more prominent your site’s ranking. 

    These links also play a vital role in driving traffic to your website. When users click on the hyperlinks from another website, the URL takes them directly to your content. Your website traffic gets a boost, and your brand awareness broadens organically by attracting a new audience.

    Keep reading to learn more about why backlinks matter and learn some strategies to build your own backlink bank.

    The Value of Building Links

    The concept of building links isn’t new. Backlinks formed the bedrock of Google’s original algorithm, PageRank. While Google’s algorithm has undergone countless refinements since the first PageRank patent was filed in 1998, backlinks remain a crucial ranking factor. Is it possible to rank without them? Yes. You should still include them as part of your SEO strategy. Here are a few reasons why.

    Trust and Authority

    Search engines like Google consider backlinks as a signal of trust and authority. When another website links to yours, it’s essentially saying, “Hey! This website has valuable content you should check out.” The more high-quality websites linked to you, the more credible and trustworthy your site appears in search engines’ eyes — translating to higher rankings on SERPs.

    Increased Organic Traffic

    Backlinks act as gateways, directing users from other websites to yours. Each time someone clicks on a link pointing to your site, it’s an opportunity to gain a new visitor. This organic traffic boost can be significant, especially if the linking websites have a large audience.

    Brand Awareness and Visibility

    Backlinks not only bring traffic but broaden brand awareness. When various relevant resources link to your website, the chance of people encountering your brand name and logo across the web increases. This wider exposure leads to a stronger brand identity and recognition.

    SEO Benefits Beyond Rankings

    While backlinks are a major ranking factor, their value extends beyond climbing SERPs. Links enable search engines to understand your website’s content better. The anchor text in the link (clickable text) can provide context about your content, which search engines use to improve how they categorize and present your website in search results.

    Relationships and Networking

    Building backlinks can involve reaching out to other website owners and building relationships. This networking can have benefits beyond the link itself. You might discover potential collaborators or partners or even learn from other industry experts through these interactions.

    Quality Trumps Quantity

    Keep this caveat in mind: Don’t rely on hundreds of low-quality backlinks from irrelevant (or spammy) sources. A single high-quality backlink from a relevant, authoritative website is far more valuable. Sophisticated search engines like Google can differentiate between these links.

    Building a solid backlink profile requires time, effort, and a strategic approach, but the rewards are substantial. Creating high-quality content, engaging in ethical link-building strategies, and building relationships within your niche can significantly improve your website’s ranking, visibility, and overall online success.

    Acquiring High-Quality Backlinks

    Here’s how you can acquire high-quality backlinks.

    Craft linkable assets. 

    Enticing others to link to your website requires content worth linking to — a blog post, video, software, quiz, survey, or anything inherently valuable and click-worthy. Often, linkable assets take the form of exceptional content, highlighting the strong connection between SEO and content marketing.

    Target link roundups. 

    Imagine articles dedicated solely to curating and linking to high-quality content — precisely like the content you produce on your website. These articles are called link roundups, which you can publish daily, weekly, or monthly. Here’s how to leverage them.

    • Source your niche to find link roundups: Use search queries like “[keyword] + link roundup” on Google. Then, pitch your resource. Reach out and recommend that the roundups include your linkable asset. If your content aligns well with the roundup’s theme, you've secured a valuable link. Bonus points to you if they also share your content on social media. 

    A Streamlined Link-Building Guide

    We’ve compiled a list of various link-building strategies and categorized them for easy reference. Depending on your goals and expectations, some methods might be more appropriate or easier to implement than others.

    Reach out for links

    • Unlinked brand mentions: If you’re mentioned without a link, contact the publisher or organization and request one.
    • People you know: Ask friends, colleagues, or business associates to link to your website from their websites or blogs.
    • Industry experts: Interview industry experts and feature quotable content. This strategy can often lead to links from their sites.

    Content is king

    • Create high-quality content. Publish informative, engaging content that people will want to link to.
    • Target the right audience. Focus on content relevant to your niche and target audience.
    • Optimize for search engines. Make sure search engines can discover your content.
    • Publish regularly. Consistent content creation keeps your site fresh and attracts return (and new) visitors.
    • Use internal linking. Link to relevant pages on your own website within your content.
    • Optimize for sharing. Make it easy for people to share your content on social media.
    • Create evergreen content. Content remaining valuable over time attracts links consistently.
    • Leverage newsjacking. Write about trending topics to capitalize on current events.
    • Develop in-depth guides. Create and publish guides with plenty of valuable and relevant information to establish your expertise — and attract links.  
    • Share relevant data and research. Data-driven content is informative and can naturally attract traffic to your website (and backlinks).

    Get listed

    • Local listings. Submit your website to local business directories.
    • Chamber of Commerce. Join your local chamber and get listed on their directory.
    • Industry directories. Submit your site to relevant industry directories (like TeenLife!).
    • Resource pages. Target websites with resource pages linked to valuable content.

     Link building techniques

    • Broken link building. Find broken links on relevant sites and suggest your content as a replacement.
    • Guest blogging. Contribute guest posts to high-quality websites in your niche (ensure they allow dofollow links, which are standard hyperlinks on the web that influence search engine rankings). Dofollow links are better than nofollow hyperlinks, which instruct search engines not to follow them or pass on any ranking power to the linked website. While they have value, nofollow links won't help you to establish backlinks.
    • Blog commenting. Leave insightful comments on relevant blogs, including a link to your site (avoid being spammy).
    • Social media promotion. Increase your website’s visibility by promoting your content on social media platforms.
    • Newsletters. Include links to your content in your email newsletters or target other relevant newsletters.
    • Podcasts. Submit your podcast to relevant podcast directories.
    • Press releases. Issue press releases for newsworthy events to gain media coverage with links.
    • Video embeds. Create and share videos with embed codes to encourage linking.
    • Webinars. Host webinars to build your email list and get links from attendees.
    • Blog network. Collaborate with non-competing blogs to share content and increase reach.
    • Cobranded content. Partner with another brand to co-create content and share promotion efforts.
    • Host events. Organize industry events to generate buzz and attract links in event recaps.
    • Microsites. Create unique microsites on specific topics to attract links.
    • No-brand mention monitoring. Monitor mentions of your products/services or competitors' products to join relevant conversations and include links.
    • Reverse engineer linkable assets: Analyze successful infographics, visuals, or tools from competitors to inspire your own link-worthy content.
    • Speak at conferences: Participate as a speaker and earn a link from the conference website.

    Think of link building as appearing in a news article or being cited in academic research. As it happens more frequently, you establish yourself as the authority. The same holds true for websites.

    Studies show a clear advantage for businesses and organizations prioritizing link building. According to Siege Media + Clearscope, companies with a link-building strategy see a 45% higher success rate compared to those without. As this article shows, there are plenty of options for creating your link-building strategy — a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist. But regardless of which strategies you choose, a strong backlink profile is essential for website success. 

     

     

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