July 2019

Link building

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What is it and how do you use it?

The one question we always seek to answer at upMention for all our followers is: how can you ensure that your website is optimally found and that it attracts the right visitors? In your search for answers to this comprehensive question, you have probably come across the term link building. In short, link building is about the number of other relevant websites in your field that mention or recommend your site. In this blog we will go deeper into what link building is, what Google's original intention is with it, how you can get started with it before finally dissecting its advantages and disadvantages.

What exactly is link building?

Other websites that link to your website say something about you. Think of it as a network: a person with a large and diverse network of other people around them is often someone with a certain degree of prestige. Other people like to be associated with that person, and the person in question gets a lot done by having their network. Link building works exactly like this: the more websites mention or link through your site, the more seriously your site is taken by Google. Having enough relevant external (back) links largely determines how well your website is found. Link building is about quality. You want relevant links from sites with a lot of online authority. This means that your website will rank higher in Google's ranking. After all, Google considers your website to be prominent in the field in which you are active. And that is exactly what you want.

How Google sees it

SEO specialists have named the phenomenon in which one relevant website recommends another relevant one as link building. In essence, link building is a response to how Google's algorithm functions, with the primary nature of website legitimacy. The power of online communication lies in the connection of information on the internet. One relevant source connects with another relevant source and provides the recipient with the most useful information. Google helps with this by setting the algorithm in such a way that well-connected content scores better in their ranking. Simply put, this means that websites with the ideal number of current links, from high-quality sources and with relevant anchor texts, will appear higher in the search results than content without these links. In fact, with link building you do nothing but link your content to other relevant content, so that Google qualifies your content as high-quality and rewards you with a high ranking. So 'doing link building' can totally pay off.

Find the right coherence

SEO experts often advice website owners to mainly focuses on how to get your website at the top of the search results with link building. There is a competitive element in having the most relevant content online. As an entrepreneur or service provider, you want to ensure that your content beats all other content. As many focus on just getting links, many often forget the need to have that very factual, relevant and up-to-date information to make it logical for other websites to refer/ point towards you. Therefore, try to put the essence of link building first by shifting the focus from just getting links to actually making your content relevant in the right context on other site and in (social) media as well. Forget about the competitive game. If you observe the essence of link building which is having the right and relevant information, your success in the ranking will come naturally.

Get started yourself

By shifting the focus from 'how does link building ensure that my website scores high?' to 'How do I build my links in such a way that I help the recipient in their search on the internet?', you are naturally doing link building as Google intended it.

So, herein, we give you a good five point step to building a good, sustainable and reliable link profile:

Determine your relevant link building partners

As initially stated, good link building is not just about the amount of links. It is just as important which websites are pointing to you. These should preferably be leading websites in your industry. They can be professional blogs, a trade association, Wikipedia, social media or important news sources such as Telegraaf, AD or NU.nl.
By keying in certain keywords that are relevant to you in Google and seeing which sites score well on them, you can determine from which sites you would like to have links to strengthen your profile. It is also very vital to determine the authority of the sites you have found. If the authority is good, the site in question can be an ideal partner for you. With a backlink checker, you can check from which sites you already receive links. Google Search Console, SEMRUSH and Linkody are backlink checkers you can use.

How do I get links to my site?

At this point, you now need to convince these website owners to include a link to your site.

This may include several strategies such as:

  • Signing up as a (guest) blogger and making a contribution with links to your site in your blogs.
  • Write texts for Wikipedia on the subject of your site while pointing to your website to improve your authority on the subject matter.
  • Write high-quality messages on the topic that are of interest to online authorities.
  • Interview and / or involve active bloggers in your post. Good chance that they also share your topic on their blog.

Be active and creative

  • In the texts you write, encourage social sharing. Have sharing buttons in your texts and encourage your readers to share by pointing out to your reader the usefulness of sharing your content.
  • Set a header, a meta description and a photo with your message in your social media. That increases the CTR - Click Through Rate.
  • Approach the websites who you would love to link to you either by email, direct message or social media, if a link to your site is of interest to them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
  • Tag relevant people or blogs behind a publication of your own.

Be careful who you link with

Gaining online authority takes a lot of time and effort but eventually goes a long way in building your authority as a brand. Because of all the work that goes into it, some people are tempted to take short cuts and buy links. Our advise: Don’t do it! It will cause you more harm than good. Nine out of ten times purchased links are irrelevant and come from sites with little authority. In addition, Google is very keen on these types of purchased links and therefore classifies them as SPAM or bad links. If your site has these types of bad links, Google will lower your authority and you do not want that. The more questionable links you have, the lower the authority score. With the link explorer of MOZ you can check whether you have badlinks and what your SPAM score is. Immediately reject the incoming link if you have these kinds of SPAM links. Report these badlinks to Google and describe what action you have taken to remove the link. Google will then not count them in the authority score.

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