Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a complicated business that takes a lot of skill and know how (and we must admit, sometimes a bit of dumb luck). SEO practices can be split into two categories: on-page and off-page.
On-page strategies refer to anything you might do to make a web page more attractive to a search engine. This includes keywords, HTML, images etc. Off-page is any factor that might influence a website’s ranking away from the website itself, including link building.
In order to rank websites efficiently, search engines like Google use bots to constantly trawl the web and read the content of every site it finds. These bots, also known as ‘spiders’ and ‘crawlers’ find their way around by following links, the roads of the web.
A link to your website from an exterior source can be a signal to search engines that it’s authoritative and contains high quality content. However, all links are not equal and some hold more ‘link juice’ than others. Some links, if considered spammy or of really low quality, can actually have a negative effect on a websites ranking. This shouldn’t be an issue with the strategies we’re going to outline.
There are many common ways to build links, these are four of the most common (and often most successful):
#1 – Natural Links
We’ll start with an easy(ish) one. Easy because the only input it requires is that you create highly engaging, useful and unique content for your audience. People naturally link to and share great content because it adds value to their own website and audience. If you’re consistently creating good quality content you will soon find you begin to build links.
#2 – Outreach
Natural links are all well and good, but if you want to really speed up the process you can contact websites and bloggers and encourage them to create links to your content. You’ll need to make a case for why it’s in their best interest to link to your content. Many bloggers will link to content for varying fees so if you have some budget it can be worth paying for high quality links.
#3 – Guest Blog
Many websites are happy to let guest bloggers create content for their website on an area of expertise. Often the piece will need to be unique and solely to be used on the host’s website, but you can often negotiate a link back to your own website in return. If there’s an area you feel confident writing about then it’s worth contacting websites you feel would be a good fit and propose a piece you could write for them.
In addition, it’s worth noting that many websites will allow you to create your own links in blog comments, directory listings and forums etc. Whilst these links don’t usually hold the most ‘link juice’ they can have a positive effect in quantity. If you’re willing to play the numbers game and spend some time creating self made links then this tactic would work. Just be careful not to be spammy and only choose directories and blogs that are reputable and relevant to you!
For more information on link building or to discuss you own SEO strategy in more detail, we can help. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01254 878956 to set up a friendly, informal meeting.