From your website’s landing pages to your blog posts, your content plays an important role in establishing your authority. High-quality content empowers an authoritative source to share their expertise with anyone who may be in need of it. The best content is relevant, informative and serves a clear purpose; and (like any good advice) authoritative content stands a greater likelihood of finding a wider audience due simply to its value. A wider audience means more traffic, and more traffic means a greater likelihood of your content ranking higher in Google search. But link building plays a crucial role in making any of this a reality.
What is Link Building?
A hyperlink (or ‘link’) is a means of easily navigating between pages on the internet. Whether you realize it or not, you see links all the time. In fact, you can examples throughout this article, allowing you to navigate to related content. Links are easily discernible from other text on ta page (normally presented in a bold typeface or use of a secondary color). In this case, we’re linking to our own content to explore the connectivity of our topics – but links play a far more valuable role in the wider scope of SEO.
When someone enters a search query, Google crawls it’s index of the internet, analyzing pages to identify the content most likely to satisfy the user’s query. Part of what Google (or any search engine) is looking for when crawling and indexing those pages are high-quality links.
Why is Link Building Important?
Think of a link as an endorsement from the site providing it. If content is of genuine value, other sites will acknowledge its value by linking to it within their own content. A link can help to validate the contributor’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness while exposing their content to a wider audience. More links to a page may indicate that it’s of higher value, making it more likely to grab Google’s attention and rank higher.
Remember when we talked about search signals? In Moz’s recent breakdown of signal types and the influence they have on Local Search Ranking Factors , linking signals sit atop the list. In fact, they can be more influential than on-page signals, or those that come from Google My Business, reviews, and social media when it comes to determining how well a page ranks.
The Reciprocal Nature of Link Building
As with any relationship, link building is a two-way street. This blog post, for example, is intended as a very ‘ground-level’ introduction to link-building. It’s part of a series designed to introduce SEO fundamentals without going into too much detail. But what if we wanted to recommend a more in-depth look at link-building for those of you interested in a deeper dive?
We might link to our own content, of course, but we might also link to another trusted authority. The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building by Moz is a perfect example of authoritative content that would serve our intended purpose. This willingness to link to other content of value speaks to our intentions as content creators. If Google’s intentions are to provide their users with the best possible content, it’s important that we mirror that intent through a willingness to build relationships. Referral traffic is a great means of doing so. But not all link building doesn’t need to exist between topical authorities to be of value.
Local Link Building
If SEO is about establishing oneself as a wide-scale authority on a topic or idea, Local SEO is about establishing oneself as an accessible local authority. Geography plays a more important role in doing so, and challenges businesses and organizations to better communicate their role within their respective community. Enter the concept of local link building. As with local content , local link building is about advertising your community to the world and provides a means of creating organic linking opportunities.
Sponsor a local team, event, organization or scholarship. Host an event or local workshop. Donate to local causes. Chances are, you’re probably creating (or at least sharing) related social media posts, but are you linking to any of the associated landing pages? You should be. By promoting your real world relationships through valuable links, you’re expanding visibility for both you and your partners. Better yet? You’re doing so with minimal effort.
Link building is one of the most impactful ways that you can improve your search rankings. The process (as with any component of an SEO strategy) is ever-evolving, but we’ll continue to explore the changing nuances in future installments of ‘Just the Tip’. So stay tuned!