Link Building for SEO: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
By Jason Turtoga
Updated On: October 11, 2023
This Article Contains
Link building is arguably an important yet challenging aspect of SEO.
Businesses and site owners still believe in the link building’s power. It is because 78% of people experience a positive impact and improved ROI from Link building strategies.
Whenever it’s about SEO, keywords are the first things we get in our minds. However, links are also imperative when establishing your online presence. Links can help search engines determine your site’s rank. These help the search engines to decide where to place your site in the list.
An Ultimate Guide On Link Building for SEO
Consider links as your site’s currency. Your web pages containing more are considered highly authoritative and rewarded with improved search engine ranking.
If you are new to link building, don’t worry. This guide contains everything you need to know about link building.
So, here we go:
Introduction to link building and its types to know
Link building is an SEO strategy for creating links to your web pages. It has been an imperative element of every SEO strategy due to its multiple benefits. The Link building process involves linking your one page to the other top-performing pages to increase traffic. In addition, you can also consider getting other authoritative sites in your niche to link to your web pages.
The process helps improve site traffic, ranking in SERPs, and site authority.
Link building strategy is important in finding your site’s credibility, authority, and visibility in search results.
Types of links
When it’s about link building, different types of links play a vital role in optimizing the authority and visibility of your site. Here we have enlisted different categories of links that you must know in this regard:
· Internal links
Internal links are the ones that you use to connect different web pages of your site. These are helpful for users in navigating your site. You can also use these to direct your visitors to relevant content and improve their overall site experience.
In addition, internal links also let the site crawlers discover and index your pages. A strategic interlinking placement can help you establish a hierarchical site structure. You can distribute link equity across your website and prioritize important pages.
· External links
External links are also outbound links from your site to other external sites. It is the practice when you put external site links in your content. The practice helps demonstrate that you have performed thoroughly and provided resources to your audience. External links also help in improving your site’s dependability and authority.
Backlinks are inbound links that direct visitors from other sites to your website. These are the most important ones to consider regarding search engine optimization. It is because your site’s backlinks serve as a token of confidence or endorsement for the content on your site.
Getting a link from reputable and high-authority sites in your niche will let search engines consider your site relevant and valuable. The practice will ultimately help in better rankings in SERPs.
You must consider building a high-quality and diverse backlink profile, as it is the backbone of every effective Link building strategy.
Here are different types of inbound and outbound linking types available out there. Let’s have a look at the details below to learn more about these:
· PR Links
PR links are a short form of Public Relations links. This link-building tactic helps you get a link from other sites via your public relations efforts. Public relations professionals help you get mentions and secure social media coverage and interviews. All of these practices let you create a hyperlink to your website or your preferred content type.
PR links are highly effective for improving search engine optimization results. It is because this type of backlinks will help you to improve the visibility of your website. In addition, it will also let you experience higher rankings in search results.
You must contact and pitch bloggers, journalists, industry influencers, etc., to obtain PR links for your site.
· HARO Journalist Pitching
HARO is a leading platform connecting reporters, bloggers, and journalists with expert article sources. Signing up for HARO can let you receive media queries daily via email. The media queries are related to your expertise.
Responding to relevant queries with informative and well-crafted responses will let you engage with HARO journalist pitching. Once your informative response is chosen, you will have an opportunity to get featured in the article by the journalist.
The journalist will mention your brand name or link your site to the article. HARO is a lucrative source to consider for link-building opportunities.
· Resource Page Link Building
This link-building type involves finding sites containing resource pages related to your site niche or industry. These pages feature a collection of references and links to informative and helpful content on a certain topic.
This outreach strategy requires you to contact administrators or site owners and provide your valuable content as a resource to add. If your content is valuable, informative, and comprehensive, the site owners will happily add it to their resource pages. Therefore, it is always important to offer highly informative content that’s in demand only to increase your chances of getting a backlink.
· Link Insertions
Link insertion is adding your article or site link to existing web pages. The practice involves identifying web pages and articles containing your brand mention. Reach out to those site owners and ask them gently to add your site’s link. It will help the site owner to learn about the reference, and you can get a backlink in return.
· Unlinked Brand Mentions
These are the instances where your product or brand is already mentioned. The sources can be anything from social media platforms to external sites without a hyperlink to your site. Just like link insertions, in this link building, you also need to connect with site owners or individuals to request them to add a backlink to your site. The practice will let you capitalize on the brand mentions you already have to diversify your link profile. Ultimately you will experience improved online visibility.
· Broken Link Building
Another effective Link building type here is broken Link building. This Link building practice involves finding broken links related to your industry or site niche on different websites. You can then suggest any relevant content page to replace the broken link you found.
Once you have found a broken link on any website, the next step here is to contact the webmaster or site owner to inform them about their broken link. Here you can also suggest them a link to your content that can be an ideal replacement for them.
The strategy is pretty effective for building quality backlinks to your site. You can get a backlink here by giving value to site owners and helping them improve their user experience.
· EDU and GOV Link Building
Here is one of the difficult-to-earn but highly effective Link building types you must consider adding to your backlink profile.EDU.GOV Link building practices refer to getting backlinks from different government and educational agencies. These agencies typically have their official sites with .gov and .edu domain extensions.
These domain extensions are considered highly authoritative and credible by search engines. Therefore, getting backlinks from the sites with.gov and .edu domain extensions will potentially increase your site’s credibility and search engine rankings more effectively.
Getting .edu and .gov backlinks generally involves outreach to different government organizations and educational institutes. Providing them with valuable feedback, resources, or partnership can help you earn a backlink that will significantly impact search engine rankings.
· Skyscraper Link Building
Another important type here is skyscraper link building. This Link building type involves creating comprehensive, high-quality, and value-adding content on a specific topic. The content must be better than all the prior content available on that topic.
Once you have created a comprehensive content piece, contact the sites or resources already linked to similar but less comprehensive topics. Provide them a link to your topic and suggest they update their links to provide their visitors access to a more comprehensive topic with the latest industry-related details.
In short, the practice lets you approach different resources to attract backlinks by offering a better and more valuable source of information.
· Moving-Man Link Building
This Link building strategy requires finding different online resources or sites recently rebranded, moved, or closed down. Once you have found a list of such sites, start approaching their owners.
Ask the site owners to replace their broken links with links to your site or relevant content. This Link building tactic is all about getting benefits from the opportunities that change in the online landscape present. You can use these opportunities as an effective Link building solution for you.
Typically, each type of link comes up with different approaches or practices to acquire these. It is always better to choose the most appropriate types of links for your site as per your industry expertise and site niche. The practice will help you to create a diverse but highly effective backlink profile. A diverse backlink profile always performs better in search engines’ algorithms. Consequently, establishing an online presence, enhancing visibility, and getting higher rankings in search engines will become efficient.
What does link building mean for search engines?
When you build a business online, you want to compete with your competitors to sustain in the industry for longer. Creating an effective Link building strategy is important to achieve this.
An effective Link building strategy is also imperative for your SEO practices. It helps search engines in two different ways, including:
- Discovering new web pages to use in relevant search results.
- Determining how well a web page can rank in search results.
Once search engines crawl a site page to add it to their indexes, they will decide if the page quality is sufficient for higher search engine ranking. The search engines won’t only consider your page’s content but also the number of links pointing to your site and these external sites’ quality.
Generally, more quality sites linking to your content means more chances of getting a higher search engine ranking.
Link building has been a dominating ranking factor for so long. The idea of link building is based on considering a link as a vote of confidence for a web page. The search engine believes a site will get a link from a high authority site only if it deserves that.
So, overall, getting high-quality links to your website means greater chances of improved search engine ranking and getting more referral and organic traffic.
What are the key benefits of link building?
Implementing an effective and diversified Link building strategy can offer you many benefits. Here are the key benefits of link building that will help you understand how it can impact your site traffic and online presence.
So, here we go:
Getting more referral traffic
Effective Link building strategies can help in search engine optimization. These practices can also help generate direct referral traffic to your web pages.
When someone finds your site’s link somewhere and clicks on this one-way site link, they will be directed to your site’s specific pages. It will, ultimately, help you experience improved opportunities for increased sales, conversions, lead generation, and engagement.
Quality backlinks to your site will serve as a pathway for users to know about your content, services, or products. The practice will lead to conversion and valuable leads.
Building links from high-authority sites in your niche can lead your brand to a wider audience. People who see your backlink on a reputable site will learn about your brand, services, or products. It will ultimately increase your brand’s exposure and improve customer trust, better brand recognition, and business opportunities.
Better search engine rankings
SEO experts say link building is a site’s 3rd top-ranking factor. (Source)
High-quality Link building strategies are highly beneficial for improved rankings in search engines. Acquiring relevant and authoritative backlinks helps enhance the website’s search engine ranking. Increased online visibility of the site and getting more organic traffic are the additional benefits of improved rankings in search engines.
Increased site authority
Getting links from highly reputable sites will let the search engine consider your site a valuable and trusted resource. It will ultimately help improve the authority and credibility of your website in your niche.
A strong site can improve your user’s trust, collaboration opportunities, and referral traffic.
More organic traffic
When your search engine ranking increases with link building, you will certainly experience a steady increase in your site’s organic traffic.
The number of backlinks your web page gets directly impacts the amount of traffic it will receive. (Source)
When your site is placed at higher positions in search engines, the more potential audience will click through your link to open your web page. The practice will result in more treasured and centered natural traffic.
Relationship building and networking
Creating a link profile typically involves reaching out to bloggers, other site owners, and influencers within your industry. You will get lucrative opportunities to establish connections and relationships with people in the industry by engaging in different Link building tactics.
These relationship-building and networking facilities will increase guest blogging, collaborations, and partnership opportunities, expanding your online reach.
How to build links for your site?
Regardless of which Link building strategy you are using for your site, most of these tactics fall into any of the following categories. Let’s have a look at a quick detail of each to make things more understandable:
Ask for links from site owners
Asking for a link means contacting a site owner or webmaster to provide a link to your site. The practice typically involves actively contacting others and providing them with a valuable source to get a link to your site.
You can ask owners to link your site to their blogs, eBooks, visual content, in-depth how-to guides, original research, data, and case studies.
Tools such as SEMRush can help you find prospects to ask for backlinks to your site quickly. You can then reach out to these prospects to earn as many links to your site as possible.
Add links to different sites manually.
Another process to get links to your site include adding links. The add-links practice typically involves manually going to other sites and adding your site link.
For instance, you can add your site’s link manually to different:
- Business Directories
- Resource pages
- Social media channels
- Communities, forums, and Q&A sessions on sites such as Quora.
- User profile pages
- Blog comments, and more.
It is typically the easiest approach to add links to other sites manually. However, it sometimes turns out to be the least effective if you have created no-follow links.
Due to this, this type of link doesn’t add too much weight to your link profiles.
It is mainly because you are creating such links. Search engines will consider that you are endorsing yourself, which Google doesn’t consider when considering sites for ranking.
So, whenever you consider adding these links to your backlink profile, the best bet would be to attract an audience from these sources to your site.
However, for link building to improve search engine rankings and site visibility, the best bet would be getting links from site owners.
Earn links to your site.
Earning links means linking your site to other high-authority sites without actively contacting or asking for a link. The best practice to earn links to your site would be creating comprehensive, high-quality content that people love to link to.
If you are creating valuable content that other sources don’t provide can easily let you earn plenty of backlinks. Here are different types of content that you can consider creating for link buildings.
- High-quality and informative visual assets such as diagrams, charts, infographics, images, etc.
- Original data and research include industry-related surveys, studies, proprietary research, and more.
- Creating online calculators and tools
- Writing in-depth tutorials and how-to guides.
You can also consider looking at the backlink profiles of your top competitors. The practice will help you to find more amazing content ideas to earn backlinks naturally.
Best Link building strategies you must consider
If you want to start link building, here are the key link buildling strategies you should consider for your site.
1. Perform competitor research
Performing research to understand your competitors’ Link building strategy is a fundamental Link building activity.
- You can think about it as the top-performing sites in your industry are getting higher traffic. These will also contain better link profiles than low-performing businesses in search.
- Therefore, studying their Link building strategy can make determining what would work amazingly for you easier.
- In addition, you can even work a bit harder to find the gaps in their Link building strategies. The practice will ultimately help you to fill these gaps and outperform your competitors; You might not be able to do otherwise.
Simply add the keyword in the Google search you want to create links for, search your competitors, and learn more about their Link building techniques. Tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, and more can make competitors link building research a breeze for you.
2. Reach out to website owners and ask for a backlink
Producing shareable and valuable content is the key to every successful Link building strategy. You must produce content that can provide value to your potential audience will increase your chances of getting more backlinks naturally.
Besides that, you can also consider reaching out top-performing and high-domain authority sites in your industry. Send them an email for collaboration and ask for backlinks. Some of these site owners will certainly allow you to get a backlink.
It is always better to start small and then keep growing over time.
3. Utilize your visual assets
visual assets typically include diagrams, images, infographics, charts, videos, and other content. You can utilize your visual assets as an efficient Link building strategy. It is because linking to visual assets is very easy.
For instance, you published an infographic on your website. Whenever someone shares your infographic, you will earn a backlink in return. You can use an infographic-sharing strategy to foster relationships like “share my infographic for free and link to me whenever you share it.”
Creating informative and high-quality visual content can give you more links than you may have thought. Presenting your information in visuals can result in more links than otherwise.
4. Create high-quality and engaging content.
Creating shareable and valuable content is the key to developing a successful Link building strategy. You must create content that can provide authentic value to your potential audience. It will ultimately improve your chances of getting links from your audience.
You must create engaging blog posts, informative articles, useful resources, and captivating visuals. Ensure to create helpful resources for people in your niche or industry.
Creating high-quality content isn’t only important for organic link building. It will also help you to establish your presence as a reputable information source.
5. Consider guest blogging and outreach.
Another tremendous way to get backlinks from high-authority sites is guest blogging. The practice will help you to:
- Nurture relationships
- Exhibit your expertise
- Gather valuable backlinks
Guest posting is still the most widely used Link building tactic, as about 64.9% of people use this strategy in Link building. (Source)
For this, you must create insightful and well-thought articles that align with your target audience’s content needs. You can include backlinks to your site in your guest posts to get more referral traffic and increase site visibility.
You must outreach other top bloggers or sites within your niche. It will help you explore the potential of possible collaboration opportunities and ask for backlinks.
6. Avail wealthy opportunities from social media platforms
Social media platforms can also provide significant Link building opportunities and get more people to your website. Share your content on social media platforms to engage your audience. You can attract their attention, ask your loyal audience to share your social media content, and earn backlinks.
Interacting with your audience by sharing regular content, writing attractive descriptions, reply to their comments. You can also benefit from social media platforms to establish relationships and collaborations with influencers and other content creators.
Patience, consistency, and nurturing genuine relationships are essential for successful Link building. You should always focus on the following:
- Providing valuable content
- Providing unique perspectives
- Engaging with potential audiences and industry experts.
These strategies can help you establish a foundation for Link building and set the stage for success.
7. Podcast link building
Podcasts have also earned massive appreciation and recognition recently. These have become the fastest-growing channels to market your site or business.
You can also use the power of podcasts for Link building. When you leverage it properly, it will also impact your organic search.
For podcast link building, you can either consider starting your podcast or outreach a podcast team in your industry to be a guest of theirs and earn a backlink for your site.
8. Resource page link building
Resource pages are the ones that link out the informative and quality links on any given topic. These pages are available solely for link building. So, you can consider using these as your perfect Link building target.
Use the keyword you are trying to rank for and add helpful resources or use resources at the end to search top resource pages for link building.
See what other links here contain, and then find the best-fit content for the page to get a backlink.
Things to consider for link building
When building links, knowing the factors that make good links is imperative. It will help you stay focused on good Link building practices, resulting in improved rankings in search engines. However, here we have enlisted important.
According to 65.4% of SEO specialists, domain authority is more important than the total quantity of links on the target page for search engine rankings. (Source)
So, it is always important to check the domain and page authority of the site where you plan to put your site’s link.
- Anchor text
The clickable text, i.e., anchor text, is another important consideration. Always use relevant anchor text because your potential users and search engines will consider anchor text to determine what the linked page is about.
Bad neighborhoods, poor SEO metrics, and low-relevance links are the key red flags for you when deciding the link building. (Source)
It means site relevance also matters when you are building links to your site. It is always better to get links from sites relevant to your topic or niche instead of working on every backlink opportunity you find. It is imperative to get better results.
- Link placement
The position of a link is also imperative to consider. A good backlink should appear within your text’s main body.
Google also contains a patent specifically about link placement. It will let you understand the probabilities of the chances of a reader clicking the link as per its placement in content. Placing your link at a higher probability location will carry high authority.
Simply put, the link placed in the sidebar may not have the same authority as the link in the body of the page.
Therefore, it is always important to consider link placement for link building.
Mistakes to avoid when link building
Link building is advantageous for your site to improve its visibility, authority, and search engine rankings. However, avoiding common Link building mistakes is imperative to benefit from your efforts completely. Here we have enlisted some of the most common Link building mistakes that can ruin your hard work. So, you must ensure to avoid these and enjoy all the perks of link building on the go.
So, here these are:
· Avoid irrelevant and low-quality links
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when creating their backlink profile is not avoiding irrelevant and low-quality links. Getting links from inappropriate, low-quality, and spammy sites will also affect your rankings and reputation. Therefore, you should always avoid getting backlinks from low-authority or spammy sites. Instead, focus on creating links from highly relevant and reputable sources.
The sources must align with your niche, industry, and audience.
· Don’t over-optimize your anchor text.
Over-optimizing your anchor text and using exact match keywords sometimes appear irrelevant to search engines. You should instead practice diversifying your anchor text. You can achieve this by:
- Adding different phrases
- Use natural language
- Brand mentions
All these things will help you to develop a more organic backlinks profile.
· Don’t ignore link context or relevance.
Link context and relevance are also important aspects of Link building strategy. You should not place your site’s link to irrelevant or unrelated sites. It is because these backlinks won’t help you to capture meaningful traffic. Even more, it will also not help you to provide any value to your potential audience.
So, finding opportunities to get contextual links from sources relevant to your niche or content would be better.
· Don’t neglect link diversity.
It is always risky to rely only on one Link building type or strategy. Instead, it would be better to aim to create a diverse link profile. You should consider getting links from multiple popular and high-authority sources for this. Consider adding different Link building approaches to your strategy. Create your link profile from a mix of reputable sources. These may include:
- Guest blogging
- Social media mentions
- Industry directories
- Industry relevant forums
The diversity can help in enhancing the authority of your site. It will also help in mitigating the algorithmic penalty risk.
· Never ignore the ethics of Link building.
Engaging yourself in sustainable and ethical practices of Link building. Don’t place links to your site on spammy forums, leave comments on irrelevant posts for creating a link only, or get involved in different manipulative practices.
Instead, you should consider the following:
- Fostering genuine relationships
- Abiding search engine guidelines
- Offering appreciated collaborations.
You can avoid these common errors in link building. It will ultimately help you to focus on creating natural, high-quality, and relevant links. In addition, the creation of engaging and original content will also help you generate organic backlinks. You can ultimately have greater opportunities for legit link placements. You can also decorate Link building efforts with a strategic and moral approach. It will ultimately help you create a robust foundation for your long-term success in link building.
SEO tools that can aid in Link building practices
It is possible to create links with a Gmail account and brain power. However, you can use a variety of tools as well to make your Link building process accelerated and more efficient. These tools can make the process of getting backlinks way easier.
Are you ready to learn about some effective tools that can help Link building practices? Then you must look at the details below to find helpful tools to make your process easier and more efficient.
So, here we go:
1. Ahrefs webmaster tool
This webmaster tool by Ahrefs is a suitable solution to explore all the links pointing to your website. You can use the tool to check your top-performing links. Most importantly, the tool allows you to filter your links with different SEO metrics to see which benefits you the most.
2. Free backlink checker by Ahrefs
Fortunately, this is a free tool that you can use in your Link building journey. It will help you get a list of the top 100 links pointing to a certain URL or site. You can easily use this tool to find the top links pointing to your competitors’ profiles.
3. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is another effective tool that can aid in your Link building process. The tool will help you get a notification whenever a phrase or keyword is mentioned on a newly published page. It can serve as a great source for quality link prospects.
4. SEMRush’s link-building tools
SEMRush Link building tool is another powerful tool that can let you build high-quality backlinks quickly and easily. The three-step process of link building is super convenient to help you:
- Explore new resources for backlinks.
- Finding and flipping between different sites to use the best backlinks opportunities. You can add these sites to your “connect list” to make the most of these opportunities later.
- SEMRush Link building tool can also give you a detailed look at the sites you want to connect with for link building.
- Above all, you can use this opportunity to track your Link building campaign. It will help you see what’s performing and what you need to remove from your backlink profile.
5. Site Explorer by Ahrefs
Here is another lucrative tool to help you in the Link building process. You can use this amazing tool to explore the Link building strategies of any URL or website. You can even use different filters and sorting options using different SEO metrics to find the best-performing links of a site easily.
This tool would be effective to consider for competitor Link building research.
BuzzStream is an email outreach tool. The tool can help you in sending personalized emails for outreach at scale. It is considered one of the most popular email outreach solutions. It is because this end-to-end outreach platform can help you grow your Link building results while staying organized. You can create highly qualified lists within half the time you would do the same job with other tools.
The list of best SEO tools for link building doesn’t end here. These are a few options to make your link-building process easier.
Link building is an important aspect of an effective and profitable SEO strategy. It supports you in enhancing the credibility, authority, visibility, and traffic of your website. Efficient Link building strategies such as guest blogging, content creation, and social media platforms can help you create a diverse link profile. The practices will help establish relationships and create valuable backlinks within the industry.
At the same time, you must consider avoiding common Link building mistakes. These commonly include low-quality links, neglecting link relevance, and over-optimizing links. In addition, you should also focus on ensuring ethical Link building practices and diversify your link profile to have a firm Link building base for your future success.
Jason is a full-time digital marketer, a blogger, and affiliate marketing expert with 10 years of experience. He manages a small digital marketing team from a small number of affiliate, SaaS and product review blogs.