Link Building Explained
What is link building? Link building doesn’t really have a definition but it’s an SEO technique that many companies spend hundreds and even thousands of pounds on per month. It seems to be one of those SEO techniques that invokes a lot of confusion amongst SEO’s and marketers alike.
This is hardly surprising because SEO isn’t exactly something that is taught at universities so many people are unaware of what it is and all of its various concepts. So now the big question is, what is link building? How does it benefit your business?
That is what I’m seeking to do with this post and hopefully once you’ve finished reading you’ll have a solid grasp on what link building is and exactly how it will help your business increase conversions and develop brand awareness.
Why Should You Bother with Link Building Anyway?
So why should you even care about link building? Well, the answer is actually quite simple. You should care about link building because it’s a proven way to rank higher in Google and it’s a great way to generate traffic for your website.
Even Matt Cutts from Google has recently stated that link building is an important part of SEO at the recent SMX Advanced conference.
Danny Sullivan: “Is link building just dead? You keep saying a new tactic is dead, or must not be followed, is it really you just don’t want people to try and build links at all?”
Matt Cutts: “No, link building is not dead. And a very small percentage of links on the web are not followed. There’s a lot of mileage left in links.”
It seemed as if Sullivan was trying to bait Cutts into saying that link building is dead but Cutts made it quite clear that link building is still a valuable SEO technique.
One of the major advantages of link building that many people are unaware of is that it has the ability to drive other marketing strategies. For example link building complements another SEO technique very well; content marketing. If you use link building and content marketing then you will see great results from your marketing efforts.
It’s important to remember though that they are both completely different. Content marketing is something that is based around disseminating a brand message rather than building links.
Link Building in the Past
Link building has been around for a long time, perhaps longer than what you realise. Link building was first used by Eric Ward who used this technique to help build Amazon.com back in 1994.
Link building developed a bad reputation in the past because of the way it was being manipulated by various SEO’s and marketers. Everyone knew that links were an important part in Google’s algorithm and they also knew there were ways to manipulate the algorithm. What they did was engage in black hat SEO tactics whereby they used poorly written content submitted to content farms for their backlinks.
Link building is not something that marketers can manipulate anymore because Google has cracked down on many of the black hat techniques that were being used to manipulate search engines. Therefore, marketers have been forced to change their approach to link building so they are now only using genuine links.
If you think that you can still manipulate Google with link building somehow then you will find out very quickly how wrong you are and will more than likely end up experiencing heavy penalties from Google by way of their Penguin update.
Link Building as it is Today
Link building has changed since the days of the past where it was something that was easy for marketers to manipulate. Now effective link building requires a bit of ingenuity and creativity. At a recent SMX conference in June, Cutts admitted that it’s possible to do effective link building as long as you use smart tactics and creativity.
If Cutts has said it then it’s definitely true. All he means is that he wants businesses to use link building tactics that enhance a users experience, not one that is designed to manipulate the search engines and basically diminish a users experience.
This is something that everyone should want because the internet is the greatest communication tool the world has ever seen so why wouldn’t anyone want an internet experience that has a users best interests in mind.
Links are also Another Form of Promotion
Link building is a marketing technique and without a doubt this firmly places it as another marketing technique. Think about it this way; if a popular website is linking to another website then it’s a vote of confidence. It is essentially promotion of another website and helps to build brand awareness.
This is why link building is such a powerful marketing technique. Think about the kind of trust and authority that a natural backlink conveys about your website. It tells people that your website is high quality and that users can trust you. This is a powerful form of currency on the internet and think about what this will do for lead generation for your business.
This is how link building has become such a powerful form of promotion on the internet nowadays.
So now you have a good idea about what link building is and how it can benefit your business. So to summarise, link building is:
A process that involves finding high quality links.
A proven marketing technique to increase brand awareness and conversions.
An effective form of promotion.
Link building is a valuable marketing strategy and it’s one that every business on the Web should be using. Just make sure that you are using it correctly or otherwise you will find your website being heavily penalised by Google.
Have you found link building to be an effective way to grow your business?