As mentioned in a prior article, link building is one of the surest ways to increase the stature of your website. However, link building must be done properly otherwise it may lead to severe penalties against your site. In order to be done correctly, a substantial amount of time and effort must be invested in link building: you must satisfy relevancy guidelines, conduct research and usually generate original content. In this article we will discuss a few important points business owners must consider when they attempt to improve the quality of their website through link building.
In the world of SEO, authority (as measured by indicators such as page rank, page authority, domain authority, etc.) can be transferred by association. Link building follows directly from this premise: sites attempt to obtain links from other sites which already have high authority so that some of this preexisting authority may be “passed” back onto them. However, though this principle is simple enough to grasp, it is difficult to put into practice. First, you must verify that the sites you are seeking to build relationships with have sufficient authority; to do this you must download an SEO metrics toolbar which will enable you to view the quantitative metrics of sites. There are a variety of toolbars on the market from which you can choose.
Along with authority, you must also make certain that the sites you are trying to contact for links are sufficiently relevant. Relevancy is an exceedingly important concept in the link building process; if you obtain links from a site which is patently unrelated to the purpose of your website, you risk incurring penalties. There must be a clear connection between the site you are trying to build links with and your own site. For instance, if you operate an automobile repair shop, you should never attempt to build links with a site from a completely different industry, such as investment banking or pharmaceuticals. In SEO parlance, you want to build links which are “natural” – natural links flow logically from an organic relationship between two sites, whereas unnatural links appear forced and contrived. Relevancy requirements are becoming increasingly stringent and so it is very important that business owners avoid unnatural link building practices.
After screening for both authority and relevancy, the next step is to do the legwork in building relationships with your desired sites. As with any other type of relationship, link building is based on reciprocity: the sites you contact for link building will want some form of benefit if they agree to host your link. You can reciprocate for hosting your link in a number of different ways. One way is to offer original content for the other site: perhaps you contribute an article which is topical and has the potential to draw readership and drive traffic. Or, perhaps you can engage in a “link exchange” and so one of their links will be hosted on your website. Whatever path you take, creating relationships with authoritative sites can be a strenuous task and usually requires considerable effort and energy.
These are just a few points which business owners should be aware of if they are thinking about utilizing link building as a strategy to improve the quality of their website.
Business owners interested in learning more about SEO in general should check out this presentation by Huddleston Tax CPAs.