SEO Marketing is when a business hopes to attract organic, high-quality traffic, highly-convertible leads, and industry opportunities to their website. They do this by utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to boost their website’s rank on a search engine’s results page (SERP).
As is the case with all forms of digital marketing, there are at least half a dozen approaches to this.
One such approach is called “link building,” and it doesn’t receive nearly as much recognition as it deserves. A lot of marketers have written it off as a “dead” strategy due to Google’s algorithm, but don’t be fooled. Link building’s not dead; it’s just a bit difficult to pull off.
If you succeed, this SEO marketing strategy is so worth it.
What Link Building Is …
Link building is basically the process of having other websites link back to your website in order to drive traffic and improve website authority.
Prior to Google’s Penguin algorithm (which launched April of 2012), marketers would perform “link building” by leaving links in virtually every website capable of hosting or displaying them—even if they had nothing to do with their brand or industry.
These links would lead back to their blog, landing page, online store, or whatever they felt like boosting the traffic of. It was a pretty solid approach to getting websites to rank higher on Google’s SERP … until Google fired up the Penguin algorithm.
After April 2012, Google’s quality standards for link building got a lot stricter.
… and What Link Building is Not
After Google Penguin, any attempt to randomly sprinkle hyperlinks in unrelated websites counts as a mark against you. Search engines use crawlers to crawl through websites to check links, and if the website and linked page don’t seem relevant to each other, your SERP ranking is affected.
Link building is therefore not just leaving links wherever you can and hoping for the best.
Proper Link Building Strategy
If you want to use link building to actually improve your SERP rank, boost traffic, and generate highly-convertible leads, then you need to do link building right.
High-quality SEO marketing strategies involve high-quality content. This means that for link building, the links you leave should be related to well-written material and extremely valuable pieces of original publication. Some companies will produce content specifically for creating these kinds of high-quality links that will lead back to their domain.
You also need to be aware of where you’re leaving such links. The best practice would be to embed them in high-authority websites that are related to your brand in some way (i.e., industry, market, product/offer, etc.). In doing so, you’re putting your brand out in front of high-quality traffic (and high-quality leads).
Why You Need Link Building in SEO Marketing
1. Brand Visibility
As mentioned earlier, placing your link on high-quality websites puts you in front of high-quality traffic. Even if they don’t click on the link, they are now at least aware that your brand exists.
There’s also the matter of guest posting, which is one of those high-quality link building methods we mentioned. Every source that you contact (or who contacts you) for guest posting opportunities is an opportunity for new readers (aka new traffic) to be exposed to your brand. If a site they look up to deems your content worth posting, it follows that your site might be worth looking in to.
Which leads us to point number two…
2. Brand Authority
When high-quality websites host your link, they’re essentially recommending you to their following. They have dubbed your content on the same level of quality as (or higher than) theirs. Since their audience has no reason to doubt their credibility (as they’ve been following the host website for a while now), they have no reason to doubt yours, either.
This puts you in the unique position of establishing yourself as an industry leader. The more people endorse your content, the more people will start to see you as a source of strong, thoroughly researched, and well-put-together information. They will start to depend on you for solutions and quote you as a viable source.
3. Partnership Opportunities
Exposure to new traffic also means exposure to other authorities in your industry. Aside from attracting new readers, link building can help you attract new partnerships or sponsors. If they click on the link and like what they see, they could invite you to post on their website as well or be featured in some of their content (like podcasts and interviews).
Building partnerships with other high-profile brands and companies in your industry through SEO marketing—particularly link building—can further cement Google’s opinion of your website as one that is credible, reliable, relevant, and worth visiting.