Why Linking For Your Website So Important
If there is one age old misconception about SEO that we still yet have to clarify, it’s that there is much more to it than keywords. Keywords are still an extremely important part, but thanks to continual advancement in technology and changes in algorithms, SEO has expanded beyond that. One such way is linking or link building, which is a great metric for both relevance and engagement.
Unlike keywords, which are determined through market research and understanding the terminology that your target market is using, link building helps you establish an actual presence across the internet in relevant spaces. In other words, keywords are necessary for even showing up in search results, but link building is a continual process which sets you further and further apart from the other companies that appear on the SERP alongside your own.
So how does it do that?
Unlike keyword research, something often conducted in-house by your marketing team or through a results based growth marketing company working alongside you, link building is something that happens whether you want it to or not. It happens in places where you have little to no control. And, as frightening as that may sound, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If people are sharing links to your site or linking your content to their own, such as blogs and news articles, you gain credibility through digital word of mouth. Some people are quite literally saying ‘Hey go look at these people, they really know what they’re doing!’, while others reference you as an authority figure on a particular subject matter. Then there are those who share it on social media platforms, which in some ways is more effective than a normal ad. More specifically, a link shared by someone on social media is like an endorsement, as the person posting is often encouraging all of their connections to check it out.
You might not be thrilled about your content being promoted on the social media page of a sixteen-year-old with no purchasing power, but let’s not forget what social media is intended to do. Social media helps you communicate with people that you see regularly but it’s intended for people that you don’t see regularly, people that you want to stay in touch with who are outside of your immediate environment. It’s not nearly as much of an echo chamber as some seem to think. Even if a person sharing links to your site isn’t able to do much with it on their own, it’s highly likely that they will have a handful of connections who find your content appealing.
It’s a lot like getting a gift that you don’t want or need – there’s nothing wrong with it, and rather than throw it away you donate it. They way it can catch the eye of someone who might not know that they even want it until they see it. (Let’s be honest, that’s how just about every trip to a thrift store happens)
There is too much of a good thing, of course, and when it comes to link building that means directories that exist solely for the sake of existing, links being shared over and over but never being clicked on, or too many backlinks existing on one website. When these issues arise Google’s team will happily work with you to get it sorted out. It will do wonders for your search ranking results.
There’s more than one way to link build, despite what the name might suggest, many of which fall under white hat SEO practices. White hat SEO refers to the SEO strategies that Google prefers to see, though they take a little longer to bear fruit, whereas black hat provide instant gratification but are often unethical. Keyword stuffing is considered black hat SEO. Hidden links, abusing data, and automatically generated content fall under this category. If Google catches you doing any of these things you could be penalized.
Rather than take that risk, and harm the impression you give visitors to your site, you can use white SEO strategies to flex your creative muscles and make yourself more easily accessible to online inquirers. Guest posting, or creating written content for another site, is one of the most common ways to get started. Anytime you provide content for another website you are able to include a little author profile with your name, credentials, and website or email. Think of it as a reverse job fair – instead of professionals looking for new hires, people are seeking out professionals to offer information and insight. The written content you created is your resume and the biographical information is your business card.
Infographics is another useful white hat SEO tactic for backlinking for two reasons. The first has to do with the ways that readers or audiences can find and interact with you. Infographics make content easier to read, because they break up the monotony of a block of text. They summarize key points in written content which can reinforce their importance, helping get your point across. Infographics are easier to remember than regular text as well. Infographics show up in an image search result and bring people to your website for more context.
Infographics can also be used by other online entities, so long as they credit you. You will see this a lot in content that aggregates information such as statistics and quotes. Think about articles mentioning a quantifiable shift, like changes in consumer behavior from five years ago to last year. You might see graphs or charts taken from a government website or organization like the Pew Research Center.
Pretend for a moment that you used an infographic for written content on your own website. The owner of the original image likes what you wrote, and asks if you would be willing to guest post for them or hop on their podcast. Or you share original written content on LinkedIn which leads to a request to be added to someone’s network. Backlinks do much more than generate organic traffic and reach your target market, they also catch the eye of prospective partners and professional connections. These connections strengthen your credentials or establish them if you haven’t already. And these aren’t just relationships with other businesses – these are businesses in the same industry as you, who have experience and resources that you can directly benefit from.
Credibility, creativity, branding, traffic, networks, visibility…perhaps a better question to ask would be ‘What doesn’t link building do for your website?’. It’s powerful and highly underutilized; many times people doing it don’t even realize that they’re doing it, so it becomes an occasional habit rather than part of a long-term, sustainable strategy.
Long-term, sustainable strategies are what results based growth marketing research companies specialize in. If you want to start a partnership with someone who can offer measurable growth and advance your brand without stepping on your toes, get in touch with Gold Lion Technologies and tell us how we can help you succeed.