Even if you’re new to developing a business website, you’ve probably heard about link building as a strategy to raise your search engine rankings. If you’re planning on thriving online, you need to have a plan that helps you build a high-quality site that uses effective content to be competitive. Link building is one aspect of SEO that some believe isn’t relevant in today’s organic search. Take a look at why links are still important for your website and how link building services can help you rank higher in search engine results.


What Is Link Building?

To know whether you need link building services, you have to understand the importance of links. Links help users navigate between web pages. The real value of links isn’t about user experience, but about the search engine crawlers that determine page quality and content. Crawlers are bots that examine the content to index web pages for search results.

Google uses over 200 elements to score a website, based on a very secret algorithm. Some elements, such as content and headers have more weight than the age of your website, but the crawlers look at each factor to determine whether your site offers users a good experience and will provide relevant information for their search. Link building, also known as backlinks, is one factor that shapes your SEO strategy.

When you’re building links on your website, it’s not the outbound links that count. Outbound links are those that take the user to another site. The backlinks that are important are those that direct users to your website. You have to get other websites to link to your site to give users the opportunity to visit. Because you can’t make other websites link to your site, it makes link building complicated.


Benefits of Link Building

Obviously, the biggest benefit in link building is in SEO. By having backlinks to your site, it increases the chances that your site will rank higher in search results, giving you more customers. Link building offers other opportunities that aren’t immediately obvious.

  • Building Relationships: When you work with influencers or local businesses to build links between your sites, you’re creating brand advocates. Through these relationships, you build trust within your industry and community.
  • Referral Traffic: When you have links on other sites, it sends potential customers to your site. They clicked on the link out of interest, which gives you the opportunity to increase sales. Choosing the right audience for link building services gives you a chance to reach out to people who are passionate about your industry.
  • Brand Building: Effective link building goes a long way toward promoting your name in your industry and community. Marketing is no longer just about selling. It’s about showing your expertise and increasing trust with your customers. Consumers see thousands of marketing messages every day. When you establish authority in your industry, it makes people remember you.


Building Links by Earning Them

An effective link building strategy doesn’t start by asking other sites to link to yours. Your campaign must begin with high-quality content that another site will want to share. You must provide compelling and valuable content. You don’t want to send your customers to a low-quality site, and neither do the sites that link to your page. Good link building services begin by developing high-quality content that appeals to your target audience. When you build links around your brand, it draws customers to your site.

Another tactic in creating link building is to have an engaged community that interacts with your website. You need to be aware of your audience and customers to know where they hang out online and where to reach out to them. When you connect with online influencers and bloggers, you’ll get people talking about your brand.

A third component of link building is to promote your website. You won’t build links if no one knows about your website. You will need to create an outreach strategy that reaches your target audience. If you have shareable content, your audience will read and share it.


The Dark Side of Link Building

Link building focuses on the long-term goals of SEO that are sustainable to your business. When you focus on short-term gains, you might see an immediate boost in traffic that doesn’t have any impact on your revenue. In the past, some sites used link building services to trick users into visiting websites that weren’t relevant to their search.

Google and other search engines have guidelines for SEO strategy. White-hat SEO techniques are those that fall within the guidelines. The techniques listed above are white-hat techniques that won’t get you into trouble with the crawlers or your users. White-hat SEO focuses on adding value to the user with the byproduct of increasing search engine rankings.

When you operate outside the guidelines, you could run a risk of losing traffic. Google does penalize websites that violate search engine guidelines. This is black-hat SEO. Black-hat techniques include keyword stuffing or hidden text. Black-hat link building includes buying links or link networks. If you worry about black-hat techniques, ask yourself, “am I adding value to the user or is this just for the search engines?” If it is just for SEO, crawlers might assume it is black-hat SEO. Using black-hat SEO could get your site banned from search engines.


No, Link Building Isn’t Dead

Link building is still an important aspect of SEO. The landscape has changed over the past decade. Your site must use current techniques to drive traffic without violating search engine guidelines. Having a good backlink strategy will help your site reach out to more customers. The strategy you choose will vary depending on your industry, your audience, and your resources. Don’t overlook the value of link building services.


Mike is a former SEO Manager at Boostability and has been in the online marketing industry since 2012. He has extensive experience with SEO, email marketing and link building campaigns for in-house and agency teams around the country.