A Dummies Guide to Link Building in 2021
Link building is an incredibly important aspect of SEO. Along with the once-off onpage work that will need to be done and the writing of copious amounts of top quality content, link building is the final piece of the puzzle.
Link building is a part of SEO that many people find difficult to grasp. It is that part of SEO that can’t be seen on the website and which takes some time to learn how to do properly.
In the past, building links was the easiest thing ever! Just about any link would do to give the SEO campaign a boost, and those building links would easily find new opportunities. These days though, the link building game has completely changed and in 2021, you need a new, short guide to point you in the right direction so that you build great links
Link Building Basics
The concept of link building is characterised by the creation of one-way hyperlinks which in the SEO world are known as “backlinks”. The ultimate goal of link building is to give a website a boost up the search engine rankings.
The practice is one of the 3 foundations of SEO, and it is still an incredibly important practice, if you want to ensure that your entire strategy works seamlessly.
According to PageRank, a Google Algorithm that has made link building so important, Google is designed to look at the number of links pointing to the website as well as trawl the page content. The number of links built helps to tell Google that the website has some pretty good authority, and as such it is an important website, worthy of more visibility. And with the arrival of the Google Penguin update, links considered to be high-quality ones, are given preference.
For this reason, making sure that the focus is on finding and building high-quality links should be what guides your process.
Finding High Quality Links
Google loves high-quality links. And they love these links because these links come from what Google considers to be an authority or professional on the matter. Getting these links can take some fairly hard work.
Not only do you have to find these links, but you also have to figure out how you can build the link in an organic, not spam like way. These links are not just given away as they are often not the sort of thing that you will find on a listings website.
When on the hunt for those high-quality links, these are some of the things you should do.
- Look at the domain authority
Finding the domain authority score of a website is quite easy when you have the right tools. Things like the Moz browser extension and the tool provided by Ahrefs will show you what domain authority rating Google has given to the website.
The higher the domain authority is, the higher quality the link will be. Ideally, you should avoid building links to websites with a domain authority below 30 as they are not going to give your site much of a boost.
Domain authority depends on a vast range of factors and often the age of the URL is a big determining factor. Newer websites all start with very low domain authority scores.
- Choosing your Anchor Text
Anchor text refers to the piece of text that you are linking in order to create your backlink. Usually, you would link your keyword or your brand name, and in 2021, it can be hugely beneficial link a long tail keyword. By doing so, you are helping Google to get a better idea about what you are trying to tell the search engine.
To make the most of your link building, you should opt for diversity and you should be natural in your approach. To achieve this, you should focus on:
- Building links to a page or a post title.
- Linking the words that are closely similar to the real keyword you are targeting.
- Linking your brand name.
- Creating a generic link, by ending off your text with “contact us” or “visit us” and then linking to those one or two words.
You should also consider doing an analysis of the top pages (those on page one) to see how they are approaching their linking strategy. Have a close look at the various anchor texts they use, and put them into an excel sheet for later reference.
- Dofollow or Nofollow
You can give Google a command to either follow your link (in which case when Google bots crawl the link, they will follow it back to your website) or not follow the link. No follow links can be used to great effect if you are working on a local SEO campaign as they can guide local people to visit your website, even if the Google bots don’t follow them.
If you want to make a powerful strategy though, and you are aiming to build links on high domain authority sites, then you should only use dofollow links, or else you are just wasting your time.
- Link Position
Where the link is placed on your page or within your backlink is very important. Links that sit higher up on the page are given more attention and considered more important than links which are sitting at the bottom of a page.
If you are building links on your own website, understand that those sitting your footer are not going to be given much Google love.
- Link-Content Strategy
When you are building links, you should definitely consider integrating your link building with your content strategy. Great content can inspire fantastic backlinking opportunities and to make the most of it, you should think about what type of content gets the most links.
Some content works better than others. The kinds of content you can focus on creating should include:
- Great visual content such as graphs and photos.
- List posts which are always super fun to read.
- Original content based on complete research and accompanying data.
- A complete, fully in-depth ultimate guide.
With the complete link building guide, you will be well on your way towards creating a powerful link strategy that will see your website climbing up the rankings.