While SEO best practice has undoubtedly changed over the years, one thing remains constant – inbound links to your website are essential. But not just any links – high quality, relevant links. If you want to increase your organic search traffic, you must be link building. Here are five things to keep in mind:
It’s A Manual Process
The days of paying a sum of money to a third party to get X amount of links in return are long gone. These services might still exist, but it’s in your best interest to stay away from them. These aren’t links that you want. Instead, link building is a manual process that must be done by someone who understands the company, its website, its purpose, and its target audience members to determine whether a link is worth having. It’s about researching to find the sites that are relevant and learning how to get a link from them.
It Requires An Investment
Link building takes time, but executing a good link building campaign also requires money to pay for tools that can make your job much more comfortable. For example, as part of a link building campaign, you’ll want to look at the inbound link portfolios of competitors, industry sites, and any sites that are ranking for your priority keywords. To get this information, you need to invest in a backlink checker tool like Open Site Explorer, Raven, or Majestic.
It Should Be Ongoing
Link building doesn’t start and stop. You need to always be on the lookout for new link opportunities. Go into all marketing efforts with an SEO mindset. You never want to execute a marketing campaign to get a link, but it can be a great side-benefit. For example, if you’re exhibiting at an industry trade show, make sure that your listing on the trade show’s website includes a link to your site.
Paid Links Are Ok But Not For SEO
There’s nothing wrong with placing paid links on the web if they’re going to send traffic to your site, but don’t expect them to improve your SEO efforts. Paid links should always be “nofollowed” to tell the search engines that you aren’t trying to game the system.
There Are Easy Wins
Manual link building takes time and sometimes it isn’t easy but don’t forget to take advantage of the “low hanging fruit.” Set up Google Alerts for your brand, key team members, products, etc. and whenever they are mentioned on the web, ask for a link if there isn’t one already. Other accessible link opportunities include partner websites, sponsorships, and the search engine local directories.
When it comes down to its SEO link building isn’t a secret science. It’s just about putting in the time and doing the research to discover the sites where link opportunities exist and capitalising on them.