How to Build the Best Links for Your Business – And What to Avoid
There are a multitude of tools and practices a business should implement to strengthen their online reputation and credibility. In one of our previous blogs, we discuss useful tools for having a successful SEO strategy. A key optimization practice to increase your business’s credibility and trustworthiness is authoritative link building.
What Exactly is Link Building?
Link building, or building “backlinks” are terms often thrown around in SEO. Link building is simply building a network of endorsements online. By having an authoritative site link from their website to your website signals to Google that your website is a trustworthy source – a source in which they are willing to raise their hand and endorse. Sites that are deemed worthy of citation, through extensive backlinks, tend to earn higher rankings in Google’s search algorithm.
Building links over time will not only increase your online credibility, but also drive referral traffic to your site which is valuable to increasing your organic rankings.
White Hat vs Black Hat Link Building
Now that we know what a backlink is and why it is important, how do we actually build these links in a manner that Google will reward? Google has a long history of rules and regulations regarding link building. As the Google algorithm continues to grow in sophistication, it is more important than ever before to ensure your link building practices are ethical and in accordance with Google guidelines.
You will often hear industry experts discuss white hat vs black hat link building. As their names would suggest, white hat link building techniques are pure and worthy of reward whereas black hat link building techniques are questionable at best.
White Hat Link Building Techniques
White hat links are those which are showing relevant relationships between websites. Examples can include having your name linked from an organization’s website you have donated to or from a blog or press piece you have been quoted in. Although these links require the most time and effort to build, their quality is unmatched by ANY other type of link. Below are a few of our suggested white-hat link building techniques.
Natural Link Building
Providing unique and high quality content on your website is the first step. Quality content will often result in information people actually want to link to and cite from their own website. A pro tip would be to include charts, statistics, and easy to digest information in your content; items that would be great resources to others.
Reviews and Local Citations/Local Directories
Another low hanging fruit option for building links is to utilize third party websites or mentions about your services on directory and local citation websites. These organic citations will often have a place for you to link back to your business and thus can be helpful in building your website’s authority.
Building links from organizations and companies which you work with and have built a strong relationship are extremely valuable. By linking to organizations you work with offline, Google is able to understand more about your business’s values, interests, and goals. The more Google knows about you and your business, the more able the search engine is able to provide you as an answer for their searcher’s query. Examples are linking your name from websites where you serve on the board, have lectured, or even volunteered.
Black Hat Link Building Techniques – What to Avoid
Link building can be a tedious and time-extensive process, so inevitably you could start to look for ways to quicken the process. There are companies that boast quick link building, with the promise of creating hundreds of links going back to your site in a month. However, these types of links can be dangerous.
Google continuously updates its algorithm to account for the quick and easy ways businesses try to get ahead, which includes quick link building. Quick links tend to have low domain authority and may not be counted as the Google bot scans through the page. It costs money and time to do things right, so many businesses will try to find shortcuts for these processes and achieve quick results. Sites with options for ‘submit a link here’ also run into the problem of low authority and the possibility for the link to be ignored.
Remember, the purpose of building a link is to establish credibility and legitimacy for your company, so the links that are used to cite your business’s authority need to seem authentic. This means no reciprocal link building, no link building outside of your domain, such as barnacle link building, and it means that your business will be better off if you dedicate time and effort to building links versus going the express route.
The Necessities of Link Building – How your Hard Work Pays Off
Quality over quantity is an age old saying that finds homage with link building. One strong and credible link is worth more to the current Google algorithm than 10 weak links. Google continues to update itself, sometimes without warning its users. Working hard, building your authority over time naturally, and playing by the rules is essential and will prevent any potential domain penalties when Google updates again.