5 Things You Didn’t Know About Link Building

Link building is one of the toughest elements of SEO to get on-point.

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous providers out there promising to hand you the keys to the kingdom with their link-building strategy. The problem is, these paid link building services seldom actually work.

Here at Jackson Digital, we take a much more organic approach to crafting diverse backlink portfolios for your web properties. We recently managed to boost web traffic for one client site by 103% in the middle of a global pandemic. Check out a brief case study right here.

What is Link-Building and Why Should You Care?

Whenever another website included a link like this to your site, this is a backlink, invariably abbreviated to link.

Links do more than improve reader experience, though. The number of links to your site is one of the main metrics Google uses to rank your site in search engine results. To get more links – think of these as digital referrals – you’ll need some form of link building campaign.

Now, this used to be pretty easy in the wild west days of SEO. More really did mean more, and all you needed to do was pepper links throughout as many external pages as possible. Since Google Penguin, though, spammy link-building tactics could see you completely taken out of the SERPs instead of soaring higher. Even worse, you might initially find this approach seems to work – it still can in the short-term – but then you’re confronted with a sharp downward spike in rankings and a possibly penalty from the big G.

We mentioned the need for a broad link portfolio, but the quality of those links is just as important as the quantity. The days of snagging links from forum comments and article directories are long gone. Links need to be relevant and they need to come from authoritative sources.

Beyond this, you could also get away with using weak, spun articles or keyword-stuff content that would be completely out of the question in 2020.

So, with the SEO landscape continuously evolving, what works in 2020?

We’ll give you a snapshot today of 5 things you might not know about links.

5 Pointers: Link Building in 2020

  1. Make sure you have worthwhile content to back up your links
  2. Build trust rather than just building links
  3. Link schemes typically don’t work: spend your money elsewhere
  4. Don’t limit links to the homepage only
  5. Embrace social media but remember it won’t directly impact SEO

1) Make sure you have worthwhile content to back up your links

Now, however well you execute a link-building campaign, the links won’t stand the test of time if they are not linking back to high-quality, relevant content.

Make sure this content:

  • Is laser-focused and industry-specific
  • Fully addresses the topic
  • Looks great
  • Contains rich media like videos and infographics
  • Backs up any claims with sources

If you’re stuck for ideas, check out the first in our series of guides to writing great web content even if you’re not a writer.

2) Build trust rather than just building links

Rather than getting hung up on nofollow or dofollow links, view link building in the bigger picture of gaining trust and you can focus instead on the quality and relevance of your links.

You’re looking to win trust from both real people and search engines. Be patient. You can’t win trust overnight. The thing, almost every supposed hack or claimed shortcut in SEO has short-term results at best, and often disastrous consequences over the long haul. Play the long game, though, and you’ll end up like the proverbial tortoise catching the hare.

Here’s one easily actionable method of getting links the right way.

  1. List relevant authority sites in your niche
  2. Reach out to any that interest you and pitch a guest post for their site
  3. Produce a top-notch piece of content. If you can’t write this yourself, be prepared to pay and don’t be tempted to use rock-bottom content providers
  4. Include a robust CTA
  5. Talk about your branding – as an example, we might talk about the importance of finding a trustworthy SEO in Orange County here at JD – then make sure you pop this into a resource box on the guest post. With an external link, of course
  6. Engage with the readers of that site via the blog post comments

If you want to move beyond this and you don’t know where to go next, feel free to get in touch.

3) Link schemes typically don’t work: spend your money elsewhere

If you see people offering full-stack link building services, the prices are usually astronomical.

That’s only one problem, though. You’ll also expose yourself to far more chance of being penalized for using manipulative links.

If you use the services of a third-party link provider – and there’s nothing wrong with doing so – make sure all links comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

There are myriad lucrative link schemes out there so do your due diligence and avoid most readily available options for paid links. If it looks too good to be true, move on.

4) Don’t limit links to the homepage only

Target more than just the homepage of a site with backlinks.

If all inbound and outbound links point to the homepage, this looks unnatural and therefore spammy.

Branded content linking to the homepage is natural. If an article is highlighting a product you sell, though, it’s perfectly natural to link to that product page. This, of course, has the added benefit of (hopefully) increasing conversions.

5) Embrace social media but remember it won’t directly impact SEO

You shouldn’t neglect social media when you’re building links to a web property, but you should also understand that social media will not impact rankings on the SERPs.

The thing is, your site’s primary purpose is not SEO. You’ve probably got a combination of services, products, and information to disseminate to your customers. Doing on social media is natural, almost expected. Social media also offers a rich opportunity to connect with your users somewhere that they hang out.

So, look to create share-worthy content and you should see those likes and retweets stack up in the background.

Final Thoughts

Link building isn’t something you can approach with no knowledge or skills and hope to pull off with long-term results.

Let us do the hard work for you the right way. Call us today at 562-257-6426 or fill in this contact form.

About Author

Ryan Jackson

SEO and Growth Marketing Expert

I am a growth marketer focusing on search engine optimization, paid social/search/display, and affiliate marketing. For the last five years, I have held jobs or had entrepreneurial ventures in freelance and consulting. I am a firm believer in an intense side hustle outside of 9 to 5’s. I have worked with companies like GoDaddy, Ace Hardware, StatusToday, SmartLabs Inc, and many more.

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