If you work in digital marketing, then you’ve no doubt heard that links are important for SEO. But why are links so important and how can you build quality links that boost your website’s rankings? Let’s take a closer look.
Why are links important for SEO?
It is important to build high quality links into your website as this sends out a trust signal to Google that your website has a good authority. If you are linking to good quality websites then Google can determine that you have a good website therefore you are likely to benefit in Google search result rankings as a result.
Okay… so how can I build good links to my website?
When building links to your website, it’s important to ensure the link is a natural connection to your business. Spamming forums, creating tonnes of directory listings, paying bloggers on fiver to link to your website… these are all unnatural ways to build links to your website. And google will penalise you for it. So, instead of trying to
We all appreciate it when publishers feature our brand in their article. However, sometimes publishers mention brands without linking to the brand’s website. Whilst This can be frustrating, its easy to maximise these opportunities to make sure a link is secured. The publisher has already mentioned your brand – so the hard work of getting the publisher’s attention has already been done. A simple email thanking the journalist for featuring your company and requesting a link can turn an unlinked mention into a high quality link. Tracking brand mentions online is also very easy to set up – there are several web-monitoring tools that help you do this, such as google alerts (free), Ahrefs alerts and Gorkana. Whilst Some publications may have editorial policies not to include external links, it’s always best to email and check.
Now that GDPR is in place, media databases with journalists opted-in contact details are more important than ever for sourcing good quality PR opportunities and contacts. There are a variety of tools you can pay for, as well as free databases that scrape public email addresses from across the web.
A relatively cost-effective way to find publication feature opportunities is through journalist alerts. These are email alerts that journalists send out through media tools to source contacts or information for the features that they are writing. PR’s can then respond to queries that are relevant to their brand, offering information, product reviews or quotes. Not only do these tools allow you to effectively build links in a natural way, but they also allow you to develop relationships with key journalists in your market without the need of a pricey media database. Building your own database of journalists that you have successfully worked with makes it easier to work with them again in the future, as you can either contact them or they may contact you if they have any upcoming features that you might be interested in working on.
Whilst big-budget content campaigns can bring in a lot of high quality links, exploring your local link opportunities can be a good cost-effective way to build links on a smaller scale. Investigate whether you have any current connections that you could source a link from. Is your Managing Director an alumni of a prestigious university? If so, perhaps they could make a donation or share their business expertise. Is there a local charity you could work with? Or a local group linked to your industry? Explore current connections that your staff and management currently have to see if there are any natural links that could be secured.
If in doubt, check your competitor out. If a key competitor outranks above you for several of your keywords, then a backlink analysis is a great way to see what kind of outreach work they are performing. Tools such as Ahrefs enable you to identify which publications your competitors are receiving links from as well as spark ideas for potential link opportunities. Are there any high quality review websites that your competitor has a link on? If they do and your brand doesn’t, then this can be an area to explore. Do they have any links from high quality bloggers? Again, if they do then you can then get in contact the blogger who wrote the article to introduce your brand and highlight what you can offer them should they be planning any relevant articles.
The key to effective link building is to secure natural link placements. It is far better to secure a few strong links a month, than build 100s of low-quality backlinks in a short space of time.
Looking for more tips on outreach and link building? Check out these easy-to-action tips we picked up at Brighton SEO in how to secure links for your website.
Did you know: Cedarwood Digital offers a cost-effective online PR service. Check out our SEO services page for more information.