Link Building 101

In the world of SEO, SERP rankings are not only dependent upon stellar content and creative keyword usage, but also external links that reference or use your website as a source within their own content.

Inbound links to your website from trusted sources will provide your content and webpages higher SERP rankings within their respective keyword fields.

When search engine crawl webpages, they also check for external and internal links that link back to your webpages and make a choice on how trusted and relevant the webpage’s content truly is.

This is why SEO agencies constantly market link building opportunities in their services package  – for example, an inbound link from the Cato Institute or WebMD means that your source content is highly relevant and will apply to user searches.

Link Building 101: What is Link Building?

Link building refers to hyperlinks that address certain keywords in their anchor text to link back to your website or webpage. For anyone who’s pursued a news article, they have probably seen certain keywords with hyperlinks attached that take the user to a different webpage.

Wikipedia is a common example of a site that uses link building to link to different Wikipedia articles. In this example, this is a form of an internal link, which occurs when a web domain hyperlinks to a different page within their domain. An external link refers to an outside domain that links to your website or when your website links to an outside web domain.

It is important to understand what anchor text is because it can be a useful way to insert keywords into a hyperlink, which if researched and capable, can have a great impact on SERP rankings. A hyperlink is made up of a start link tag, link referral location, anchor text, and the closure of a link tag.

Within the anchor text is where webpages can insert specific keywords that both show up within content and stand out to users within the URL.

Here’s an example: <a href=””>Link Building 101<a>. Link Building 101 represents the anchor text and, for external domains, this is usually what will be referenced when creating the hyperlink to your inbound link.

Why Link Building is Important

Social signals are now becoming a more relevant way to judge user trust of certain web content, so why focus so much work on link building to begin with? Well, link building is still a major factor in SERP rankings and continues to improve your websites visibility within searches. This can create brand awareness, attract more visitors, and create a reputation of trust for your web presence.

Google and other search engines repeatedly create updates every year that can help to find manipulation within SEO practices, so creating a reputation of trust goes a long way. Hand-in-hand with brand exposure comes social media relevance – a rise in social signals to your website can also communicate trust, relevance, and of course, higher SERP rankings! An inbound link to your website will also have a positive SERP impact on all of the webpages within your website.

Link building can also create new relationships with highly reputable firms, which will be more likely to link back to your domain. For websites that have suffered from a generally negative backlink profile, disavowing bad backlinks can be monumentally helpful for your website’s SERP rankings. In terms of reaching new visitors, creating a greater social media presence, and promoting your brand, it’s obvious the impacts that these relationships can have on your business.

Link Building Tips

The first link building tip, and the most obvious, is to create good content that other websites will be more willing to link to. Research strategic keywords and implement them throughout your website to create content that will rank, and then apply this to your anchor text. Once you’ve created quality content and conducted research, promote this content on social media or even present to companies you have built relationships with.

For companies that sell products or services, it may be as simple as placing your item on the market or in front of reviewers or bloggers to get the name out. Writing guest blogs and shopping them around to other websites and bloggers can be a good way to create new relationships and link building opportunities.

Creating external links on your own web domain is another example of a symbiotic relationship of link building that could be created. Creating client based case studies on your most successful clients will make it very likely that your clients will link to your website in the future.

You don’t need written content to be linked to. Websites that offer free web tools, retail products, images, share published works, etc., will be heavily linked back to.

Link Building 101: A Reminder

Link building has so much reach into other fields of online marketing and SEO practice that promoting good inbound links will have a positive domino effect of SEO benefits to your website. Remember link building is about building trust –  bad links or link manipulation will easily be spotted by most search engines and hurt your reputation.

It’s important to control the anchor text of your hyperlinks so that keyword usage can be implemented and can be indexed higher for a SERP. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have control over external links from other domains, and your link profile should be continually analyzed.