Why Build Links?
There are now dozens of strategies you can use to build and improve your online visibility in today’s marketing world: social media, PPC, blogging, content marketing, on-page optimization, contests, partnerships, etc. So why would you bother with the old tactic: links?
According to Search Engine Land’s June Link Week Column, there are six reasons to continue building links.
Link-building is still the best way to improve your search ranking. “Links are still the core of Google’s search algorithm,” states Jon Ball. Not all links are beneficial to your ranking though. Google’s ability to detect unnatural links and manipulation (link stuffing, for example) is leaps and bounds ahead of what it was in 2012. You need to make a great website, designed and developed around the user experience and informing customers, so that people will want to link to it and share the experience. The key is to build relevant links to something that is useful and valuable.
Links aren’t going anywhere and may in fact be the litmus test for future signals. Because the world’s number one search engine, Google, updates nearly 600 times per year, SEO professionals must learn to stay on their toes. But despite all of the fast-paced changes, links are still extremely important to Google’s ranking algorithms. Why is this so? Because social media is not all cooperative with Google; usability metrics require too many pre-requisites; authorship adoption isn’t widely used enough; and links are still king in search quality. Need I go on?
Well, I will. The third reason links are here to stay, according to Search Engine Land, is that link-building can increase brand exposure. Naturally created links are a vote of approval and confidence from one site to another. People reading links on a site that is relevant and trusted within their “community” inherently trust those links. So link-building will always be about linking people to people; finding targeted communities and websites, promoting your own sites in the hopes of receiving a link. Good links are not just given away, but earned through positive communication and conversations, improving your brand, business, and ultimately your website exposure.
Building links naturally complements other online marketing techniques. You need something worth linking to, including:
- Strong, relevant content
- A unique resource for customers
- Business values that meet customers’ needs
- A strong brand presence within their industry
- A social presence
Creating a user-centric mindset and conversation, naturally results in referral traffic. The more platforms on which you create these conversations, the more opportunities for natural links.
Link-building can help create and propel new relationships. Building links and building relationships is a sort of symbiotic process. Not only can links come from relationships, but relationships can come from link-building. “The best links…add value to the website linking out, their audience, and the website linked,” states Ball. Natural links are proliferated because they involve real people who are genuinely interested in your products, company, and insights.
Good links create positive signals to Google to amend a bad backlink profile. In 2012, Google didn’t have a good enough system to distinguish between good and bad links, so the strategy became fast and hard; quantity over quality. But with the latest and greatest of Google update packages, it is recommended that you implement link removal/disavow system that replaces bad backlinks with legitimate and relevant links that make sense.
Thank you to Jon Ball at Search Engine Land for his great advice and resources. If you would link to learn more about Law Firm Sites, Inc. and our products and services, click here or call us today at (800) 932-8242.