SEO 101: What is Link Building?

Nick Fitzgerald

Link building is the process of getting other websites to add links back to your website. When a site links to your website, it is called a backlink. Search engines see backlinks as votes of confidence for your site. Backlinks are acquired by pitching relevant, uniquely useful content to other websites (i.e., blogs, publications, and industry authorities).

Why search engines value backlinks so highly

Link building is a vital component of any SEO strategy. There are literally hundreds of factors that affect rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), yet you’ll be hard-pressed to rank without a robust backlink profile. All other factors being equal, links are the deciding factor when search engines choose which sites to rank—and which ones to bury 100 pages back.

In order to maintain the continual stream of search traffic that pays its bills, Google needs to give users a good reason to return — carefully curated organic results that exactly satisfy searcher intent. Refining the algorithm is how it continually improves the accuracy of the results it provides year over year. 

Google has found that backlink profiles are the best barometer for the value and authority of a website and its content. Sites don’t link to just anything—they’ll link to useful, relevant, or authoritative content. The more industry-relevant sites linking to a page, the more likely that site has helpful, relevant content that will provide a good experience to the user.

How link building helps your hearing practice

Link building increases SEO ranking, but it provides many advantages for business as well.

Build relationships: when you build your links it requires you to reach out to other businesses, often to relay information about promotions and other activities related to your business. Although your primary focus for reaching out is to improve your link, there are also residual benefits as well. You can foster long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial to both businesses. Guest posting services and strategies have increased by 112 percent in interest since 2005.

Referral business: Strong links can improve traffic to your site as well as improve your ranking. If your site is linked to a relevant and often visited site, it can boost your sales as well. Further, those sales can easily turn into repeat customers, so you can reap the benefits far into the future.

Brand building:  good link building also helps to promote your brand. It can help to show that you are an authority in your field through links to relevant content. It can also help to promote the expertise of your company as well as the strengths of its goods and services.

Not all backlinks are measured equally

Google deems a backlink as a “quality link” by measuring the website’s E-A-T components: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust. Website browsers who propose a strong user intent to search engines expect the same level of care in return, and Google’s primary source of SEO ranking is based off of a website’s ability to be qualified as “expert, authoritative and trustworthy.” 

This form of website measurement was introduced with Google’s Medic Update in 2018, which was created to protect the financial, physical and emotional wellbeing of website users. Backlinks are essentially used to direct users from one website to another, almost like a recommendation. So if an external link measures up to the E-A-T scale by Google, it will rank highly. 

How NOT to get backlinks

  • Spamming forums like reddit with unrelated comments that are not helpful to people actually using the forum
  • Buying links- this is against Google’s guidelines
  • Participating in link schemes like Private Blog Networks that buy up old domains and use them to place links to manipulate the search engines

The best way to get links: quality content! 

Businesses and individuals are constantly in search of quality material to link to so that they have something of value to offer their website visitors. As you’ll notice, few people link to a homepage, product page or shopping cart.

Of course, there’s a difference between creating content that is simply stuffed with keywords and links and creating top-notch blogs and articles that are specifically geared towards helping you build authoritative links to your website.

High-quality content:

  • Is well-researched and provides accurate information
  • Speaks directly to your target audience
  • Contains impeccably written copy
  • Uses supplemental images, graphs, videos or infographics, when appropriate
  • Is as complete and up-to-date as possible at the time of publishing

If you’re wondering how SEO services can help your practice’s website, we’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services.