Beginners guide to link building

Link building is an important part of SEO, but building links is also one of the most difficult to get right. A lot of people do link building wrong or without understanding how it works. If you’re looking for some advice on how to do link building the right way this article has everything you need!

What is link building and why does building links matter for SEO?

Link building is a way of promoting your website’s ranking in search engine results by acquiring relevant backlinks from relevant websites.

That definition can be a bit dry, so let’s break link building down into smaller pieces.

Link building is trying to acquire backlinks from other websites

What are backlinks? A backlink is a link from another website pointing to your website. For example, if you have a post on how to do link building tactics to help SEO the right way and someone else has a post where they link to your article, then you have a backlink.

You can think of it as “credit” for your website – someone else has recognized the quality of your content and provided another web property through which people can find it.

How does acquiring backlinks help?

Google place value on certain things when trying to determine the ranking of web pages.

One of those things is how many websites link to your web page and how relevant/authoritative those websites/backlinks are to the linking page.

If you want your website to rank higher for certain keywords, then you need as many quality backlinks as possible from as many trusted sources as possible.

Link building tactics are important for SEO because it’s an indication of how many other sites are willing to link to you. It shows the importance, prestige, and authority of your site among other things.

The more links you have coming in from reliable sources, the better SEO rank you get in Google.

How can link building tactics help my business?

Link building is a very powerful tool for a business because it can help them rank higher in search engine results.

For example, if you have a business that makes pots and pans and you notice that people are searching for kitchen utensils, then you can do link building so that your site shows up as the first one on the page.

You might ask yourself “how does getting a higher ranking from search engines matter?”

Well, let’s say there are 100 people looking online to buy kitchen utensils.

If your site comes up on the first page of results then 10 people will click through to your site where they might buy one pot or pan from you. However, if you’re not ranked on the first page then only 5 of those 100 would have clicked through, so you only sell 5 items instead of 10.

Why do people often get link building wrong

There are many ways to do link building wrong, but the most common mistake is this:

People try to get backlinks/credit without providing any (or enough) value in return.

And it makes sense – you want all the benefits of having quality backlinks, but you don’t want to put time or effort into actually trying to build relationships with other people. Unfortunately, the law of reciprocity applies here and you will notice no results if you don’t put any work into it.

The top 5 mistakes people make when doing link building for SEO

1. Using automated tools to build links

This one is a biggie and I see a lot of people making it. If you’re not familiar with SEO then this might be a little bit hard to understand, but stay with me.

As you’re probably aware, there are a number of sites on the internet that allow you to generate backlinks for free.

The problem is if you use automated tools like this then it’s no longer an indicator of how many sites link to you – it’s an indicator of how many automated tools are willing to link to you.

Google sees this as spammy behaviour and your site will be penalized for it. You’ll get bad SEO results that won’t last if you do this.

2. Using an automated tool to get links from the same domain

Some of these tools will also allow you to get backlinks from within the same domain and generally speaking you should avoid this for a number of reasons:

You don’t want your link profile to be full of links from the same domain. It makes it look spammy to Google so you’ll get bad SEO results.

You don’t want all your links to come from the same place because it looks too planned.

You want a varied link profile so Google can’t pick up on any patterns in where you get your backlinks.

You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket – if you get too many links from a single domain then one day that website goes down and you have all those backlinks.

3. Buying backlinks from SEO companies

Not all links are the same. You come across a lot of people selling “quality” backlinks or inbound links for cheap nowadays.

The problem is Google has got wise to this and it won’t be long before your site is penalized for having too many cheap, spammy, low-quality backlinks or inbound links pointing at you.

If you want to rank well in Google, then you need backlinks from high-quality sources that are relevant to the content on your site.

Google measures the “authority” of a website by how many quality websites link to it. If all your links come from low-quality authority sites (e.g., some random blog with no authority or a small forum) then it looks spammy to Google and they will throw your SEO results out.

Just remember: if you buy backlinks from an SEO company, you might rank well in the short term but you’ll get penalized in the long term for having too many low-quality links.

4. Not considering where you’re getting your backlinks from

I’ve made this mistake in the past and I know a lot of other people have too. It’s an easy mistake to make when you’re doing link building, but it can cost you big time if you don’t check where your backlinks are coming from.

Let’s say for example that you got your SEO company/outsourcer to do all your backlinks for you. The SEO company submits them to directories or posts articles or comment on blogs, etc. You put these links into your backlink checking tool and then go ahead and submit the URL to Google Webmaster Tools.

What’s going to happen? Your site is going to get penalized because all the links pointing to you are coming from either directory or comment spam on blogs.

5. Focusing on the number of your backlinks rather than the quality

It’s so important to understand this issue because I see it happen all the time! Here you are with 200 backlinks pointing at your site but they’re all from low-quality sites with little to no authority. You might rank well in Google for a while, but if it looks spammy then you’re going to get penalized and lose your SEO results!

You need to make sure that most of the backlinks you get are from high-quality websites without a lot of spam. I can’t stress this enough because it’s not just me saying this, but the top SEO brains in the industry! You’ll get much better search engine optimization results if you do.

Luckily there are much better ways to do link building and we’ll go over them in the next section!

How to do link building the right way

If you want to learn how to do link building correctly in an ethical and transparent way then this article is for you.

Here are some tips that will help you avoid common mistakes and achieve great results in your link building efforts.

Do your research into who would be interested in linking to your site before you even begin contacting potential sources.

You may find that saving time by just contacting those blogs or websites that are really relevant to what you’re offering – rather than casting the net as wide as possible – can save you a lot of time and effort.

Make sure you email the right person to get maximum success, especially if it’s someone high-profile like an industry leader or influencer.

Just sending out tons of emails with no thought for who you’re contacting can be counter-productive because you might just annoy people and not get anything back that way!

Link building strategy

There are many Link building for SEO strategies you can use to build links, but the one thing they all have in common is that you should use them with caution and avoid anything that feels spammy.

That said, if done correctly, link building is one of the most effective ways to get your website ranking higher on search engines such as Google.

Your first step when creating a link building

Developing QUALITY content

Quality content is the first and most important step in successful link building.

Take time to create something truly unique and valuable that is full of awesome information related to what your business does. Other webmasters will notice, trust you and hopefully want to link back to your site.

If you’re not creating great content like this then don’t even bother thinking about your link building campaigns or putting any effort into it. You won’t get anywhere until you do.

Once you have chosen a topic to write about, you need to ensure that you do your keyword research. If you’re familiar with SEO then this should be a no-brainer, but if not – here’s a quick explanation:

Keyword research means finding the best “keywords” or phrases that people search for online when they are looking for information related to something specific, such as your product or service.

For example, a person who is looking for a review on a particular model of Android Tablet may type into Google “best Android tablet reviews” – this is the kind of keyword you want to target in your content.

Don’t go overboard with keywords either! This can lead to negative SEO and make you look spammy even if you aren’t, so just stick to using words that are relevant.

Creating a subheading for each paragraph is one good way of incorporating keywords into your content without being spammy about it. You can also sprinkle them throughout the copy or use an SEO tool to find related words which you could include.

Check out the competition by typing your chosen topic to Google and checking out the search results.

The sites that are currently ranking well for these terms are your competition, but they’re also potential sources of backlinks if you can impress them enough!

After doing this research you should have a good idea about what’s popular in your niche and who is ranking at the top for various keywords. Your next step is to create a piece of content that blows them all out of the water and makes you stand out from your competitors.

However, it’s important not to get carried away and write an article or blog post which is full of pure fluff and isn’t related to what you do at all. You need to balance this with quality and try to ensure you use the keywords and phrases that will make people want to link back to your site.

If you are creating quality content, then here are some other things to think about when you begin your link building efforts.

Guest posting on blogs relevant to your niche

Conducting outreach campaigns with journalists who have written articles about topics related to yours in the past.

Focus on journalists who are more likely to be interested, for example by targeting those who have published content similar to what you’re creating.

Offering to write a guest post on a popular website or blog in your niche.

Finding content curators who would be interested in linking back to your website from one of their posts. This is different from guest posting, but the end result is the same.

Run contests and promotions

Hosting a contest or promotion on social media is a great way of getting ideas out there and can lead to a lot of potential backlinks. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that you need to be careful about how many contests you run as this can have negative side-effects as well as benefits.

Make sure your prize is something desirable as you never know who will enter or share it with others which could lead to a lot more links for your site!

The prize needs to be relevant, not too expensive and attractive to your target audience.

You should also ensure that you don’t do anything shady with the contest, for example asking people to vote for you or leave comments on your site in exchange for a chance to win. This is against Google’s webmaster guidelines and could lead to major negative SEO problems.

Contributing to online communities

There are a few different communities out there that you could get involved with and add value to, such as Reddit for example.

The key is to post unique content that other users will find valuable so this isn’t seen as self-promotion or spammy in any way.

You can also comment on other posts in your niche and leave links to your site if you think it’s relevant, but make sure it doesn’t seem like blatant self-promotion.

If the focus of your site is something like designing t-shirts, for example, you could try posting on communities related to this topic. Things like Reddit are full of people who might appreciate what you have to say and could be interested in linking back to your site.

As a rule of thumb, you should aim to contribute at least once a week in a community and ensure that you’re creating content that is going to be valuable to the people who read it.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are some communities out there that have strict rules about self-promotion and won’t allow any links back to your site for this reason.

Commenting on blogs

Commenting on blogs and websites is a great way of getting links back to your site and has been proven to work for years.

You should try to comment on posts that are popular, well-liked and have plenty of blog comments already. This can be difficult, but if you’re creating quality content then the chances are you’ll be able to do this

Social media marketing

Be active on social media and promote your content

Another great way of creating backlinks is to use social media to help you connect with people in your niche who might be interested in sharing or linking back to what you’re doing.

Use Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin as a way of engaging with people and getting those all-important backlinks.

By consistently creating new content and providing value to the people you’re connecting with, you should be able to build a strong following which can bring plenty of benefits to your website.

Networking with people in your field

Networking with people can be a great way of getting attention for your business and building relationships which could lead to backlinks.

For example, if you speak or attend events related to your niche then this is an opportunity for you to meet others in the industry who might be willing to do something nice for you. This could take many forms such as providing a link, sharing your content or even promoting you on social media.

You can also use LinkedIn as a way to connect with people in your industry and reach out to others who might be interested in what you have to say.

Editorial links

Getting links through press releases is still a highly effective marketing method and can bring some great results.

If your site’s main focus is something like promoting the services of plumbers in London then you could use this as an opportunity to speak with local papers about what you’re doing.

When crafting your story, make sure you include all of the reasons why you’re one of the best companies in your area with plenty of happy customers for publications to speak to. You can also use third-party market research to prove that this is the case

You’ll find that some sites allow you to post links alongside your content, while others will require a full press release. The latter option is better as it gives you more opportunities to promote your brand and website.

You can also use newsjacking as a strategy for getting links back to your site, although it is worth noting that this does require a lot of dedication and perseverance since you need to be consistent with posting links.

Common pitfalls that come up when building links

One of the most common pitfalls when it comes to building links is being too spammy.

It’s not just about leaving a link back to your site, it’s more about providing quality content that is going to be helpful and relevant for the people who are viewing it.

Quality is key!

You also need to know what kind of content you can share without risking getting penalized by search engines.

This could be things like infographics, quizzes, videos and other media types there are appropriate for sharing with others.

It’s also important that you don’t try to build links by asking someone else to do it on your behalf because this could backfire on you if they’re not professional enough or they’re doing something which can get penalized by search engines.

Website owners shouldn’t be linking to the same page repeatedly within their content because this is when you get penalized by search engines.

It’s also a good idea to try and space out your backlinks so they’re evenly distributed across a few different blog posts or articles rather than being focused on one particular page of your site.

Paid links are another type of link which you should avoid using because they can get your site penalized by Google, so try and stick with legitimate, natural links which are mostly built through your on-site optimization efforts.

Building links isn’t an easy task but if you get it right then the benefits can be huge.

It’s also important to remember that link building is known to be one of the most complicated parts of SEO so make sure you review this article regularly in order to make sure you’re doing everything right.

It’s also worth pointing out that link building is something that changes and evolves over time, so make sure you stay up to date with the latest trends and strategies in order to get ahead of your competitors and bring great results for your site.

Finally, remember not to overdo it because there’s a fine line between link building and link spamming.

You want to get high-quality links for your site but make sure you don’t go overboard if you want to avoid any penalties from search engines.

Examples of good links you can build

Here are some good examples of links you can build:

  • Press releases – these are great for building high-quality links, but make sure you think of a good headline to include with your press release.
  • Guest posts – if you can send some relevant pitches to other sites then this could be a good way to build new backlinks for your site.
  • Quizzes, infographics, videos, etc. that are appropriate to share with others on social media and directories.
  • Directory listings – this may be one of the most underrated strategies for building high-quality links, so make sure you submit your site to relevant directories whenever you can.
  • Quality content on your site that provides value and is helpful and relevant for others
  • Newsjacking with blog posts and news articles relevant to the headline news stories of the day
  • Finally, don’t forget about blogging platforms like Tumblr and Medium since these can also help you build strong backlinks if you think they’re suitable for your website.

Examples of bad links you should avoid

One of the worst backlink-acquiring strategies to avoid is using paid links.

These are links that you pay for and they can get your site penalized by Google, so make sure you try and stick with natural, high-quality links instead.

Another thing to avoid is linking to the same page repeatedly within your content because this can lead to penalties from search engines.

It’s also important that you don’t create spammy content like asking somebody else to share your link for you because if they’re not professional enough then it could backfire on you when it comes to penalties from search engines.

It’s also worth noting that link building changes over time, so make sure you stay up to date with the latest trends in order to get ahead of the curve and stay compliant with Google’s guidelines.

Finally, it’s a good idea to spread your links out evenly across different blog posts or articles rather than focusing all your efforts on one particular page, so that you avoid penalties from search engines if any one site starts getting penalized.

Don’t try and fool the search engines

In order to rank high on SERPs, SEO specialists have been using tactics that are called link building to create new links from other websites and blogs.

These links usually contain a lot of text and keywords so they appear as natural as possible.

There are many techniques to do link building and some of them may seem harmless, but they will eventually be detected by the search engines and you’ll get penalized for trying to fool them.

In order to avoid penalties and prevent your business from being affected, you shouldn’t try and fool the search engines. Instead, you should show them what real, quality link building looks like so they can rank your website without any issues.

While some tactics may seem harmless, they will eventually be detected and penalized, which could lead to a loss of ranking and revenue.

Linking out to other websites for high-quality links

One of the most effective ways to do link building for SEO is to find high-quality websites in relevant niches and ask them for links.

Of course, you’re not going to ask every website to link back to you. You’ll want to find high-quality websites that fit into your niche and then put together an effective outreach campaign.

You’ll want to find websites that are popular. Check the website’s social media metrics on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Don’t forget about domain metrics! Often links from lower-quality websites will not help you in the search engines.

Links from high-quality websites with higher domain metrics (Domain Authority or Page Authority) are much more valuable.

While backlinks from websites with a high domain authority are desirable, a good mix of links from both high and low domain authority sites is ideal.

Once you’ve found a relevant website that fits into your niche, it’s time to put together an outreach campaign.

Outreach campaigns can be very effective when done properly, but they are also very easy to mess up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Things like spamming emails and not crafting the emails properly will hurt you in the long run.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind when doing your outreach campaign:

  • Make sure to create a personalized message for each website owner.
  • Don’t keep sending the same email over and over again to different websites, make sure each email is tailored to fit the website’s content.
  • Don’t ask for a link right off the bat; it’s better to start with some sort of relationship that you’ve built first. You can then build on that relationship by asking for a link.
  • After your relationship is strengthened, you’ll want to offer something in return for the link. This can be anything from a free ebook to a broken link-building tool. The possibilities are endless!
  • Remember that backlinks from high authority websites will do more good than lower quality ones or spammy ones that don’t fit the website’s content.
  • But don’t forget to obtain backlinks from both high and low authority websites!
  • Don’t underestimate the power of social media
  • Choose the right person to contact for best results
  • Write effective email subject lines that get opened

Guest blogging

Guest blogging is one of the most effective methods for getting backlinks.

When you guest blog, you publish content on someone else’s website in exchange for getting a link to your site.

The act has many benefits including improved search engine rankings, increased social shares, and an increase in organic traffic to your site.

Guest posting can be extremely beneficial when it comes to improving your website because it builds traffic and links back to your site.

You’re probably wondering how can I get started? There are plenty of ways that you can go about this process, but here are the steps that I typically follow.

Finding places to guest blog

The first thing you’ll want to do is find websites where you can publish your content.

There are many different ways that you can go about this, but ideally, you’ll want to find sites that have an audience or readership similar to yours.

To figure out where the best places are for you to submit your guest blog post, you can use tools like BuzzSumo to look at the most popular content in your niche.

You will typically be able to find some good opportunities if you make a list of sites that are routinely publishing extremely well-performing content in your niche.

If you use Google Analytics, it’s also possible to see the sites that are currently sending the most organic traffic to your site.

I like doing this because it helps me find content opportunities where I already know I’ll be able to get attention because of the links they currently send my way.

Finding contact information for websites you’ve found

After finding a few different websites, you’ll want to find a way to contact the website owners.

If you look at the footer of the sites, it should have some sort of email address or contact information.

In many cases, it’s also worth looking around on social media because quite often people will list their Twitter accounts in their bios and profiles.

Making contact with websites you’ve found

Now it’s time to start making contact with people you’d like to work with.

Typically, the first thing that I do is see if they’ve already published guest posts.

If they have, I make sure to look at the post closely.

You’ll want to find a way to improve on or update their existing content, which means you’ll need to do some research on the topic.

Once you actually get in touch with someone, I typically start out by asking them what they want to be covered and making sure that your post will fit their needs.

Otherwise, the chances are that your guest post will end up in the trash bin.

Sending drafts to websites you’ve found for review

Once you have something written that you think is link-worthy content that is worth publishing, you can send it off for approval.

Typically, you’ll want to go back and forth with them a few times in order to make sure that your post is exactly what they want.

You’ll also want to make sure that it’s the best possible post you can create.

If they are happy with your work, they will publish it on their site.

I make sure to send my posts over as soon as I’ve completed them so that there are fewer chances of them being lost or forgotten about.

Guest posting is a powerful way to increase your search engine rankings, get more organic traffic, and build backlinks.

To do it right, make sure you find websites that are similar to yours in order for you to get the most out of the process.

If it’s possible, try building a relationship with them by emailing them about any updates you’ve made to your site or content.

The importance of diversifying your link building strategies

One of the most effective ways to build links is by guest blogging, but sometimes it’s not enough.

Your site will never be able to reach its full potential if you only rely on guest blogging for links. Instead, you should diversify your link building strategies.

A diverse link-building strategy means you are not putting all your eggs in one basket.

If you rely on one technique, and that technique fails, then your site will not be able to recover. Instead, if you have a diverse link-building strategy, and another technique fails at least you still have the others in place to keep your search engine visibility in check.

There are many ways in which you can diversify your link-building strategies, and they all have their pros and cons.

You will need to find a balance that works for you. Here are a few ideas on how to diversify your link building:

  • Guest blogging
  • Social media marketing
  • Blog comments
  • Forum discussions
  • Article submissions
  • Website-directory submissions
  • RSS feed/syndication

As you can see from this list, it’s not just about guest blogging.

Remember to keep your link building as natural as possible so as to avoid Google’s dreaded penalties!

How to use link building in the right way for local SEO

Link building is a great way to utilize SEO, and for local SEO it can be even more important.

As you may have guessed, this means that the links have to be from sources that are geographically close or at least related.

The best way to do this is by getting a link from a source that you have some connection with.

For example, if you’re writing about where to buy raw milk in your area then it’s pretty likely that the place where you get raw milk would be willing to put up a link on their website or blog.

The next best option would be to get the link from someone who has covered the topic before. Maybe they’ve written about how to buy raw milk where you live.

Another good option is to contact a local newspaper and offer them an exclusive for their first article about raw milk.

The last option is simply finding a site that has a lot of links built on it and getting them to link back to your resource page on raw milk.

With local SEO, Instead of focussing the majority of your time and effort acquiring high-quality, industry-specific links from authoritative websites you should instead focus on the following:

  • Correcting Name, Address, and Phone Number, aka NAP.
  • Building up a list of local citations.
  • Creating local content.
  • Building local links.

All of these activities help you establish a presence in Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for local terms in the local pack, as well as organic search results for geo-targeted keywords.

Content repurposing & syndication

Content repurposed to a specific format such as an infographic or video is a great way to take existing content and distribute it to get more backlinks.

Many of these formats are shared quite commonly across the web so you can find opportunities to syndicate your content fairly easily.

To repurpose your content, just take an existing piece of content and re-write it for another format. Your goal is simply to get the same piece of content distributed in many different places.

You can use Google’s keyword planner to find phrases that you can use to increase the number of opportunities for your repurposed content.

For example, let’s say we want to create a piece of infographics content and syndicate it. The phrase we’ll be targeting is “benefits of hiring millennials.” According to Google key planner, this phrase has over 12 million search results.

So we’ll create an infographic about the benefits of hiring millennials and try to distribute it on multiple mediums such as blogs, social media platforms and directories:

Additionally, you can syndicate your site to various websites.

This means that when you post a particular blog post other relevant sites will pick it up and post the content together with a link back to the source page.

Some websites publish the article as a complete document while others are able to publish an excerpt and provide an article link for you.

For example, we have the syndicated version of our current local SEO guide published on another site.

If you click on the link in the image above it will take you to the article which contains a live link back to our guide.

Obviously, this can be an effective way of getting more backlinks when done correctly.

You are what you E-A-T

Google’s sear