Benefits of Link Building: How a Solid Link Building Strategy Will Boost SEO and Brand Visibility

10 min read
SEO/Content Marketing
By: Salini Vineeth

Picture this: You’ve written relevant, useful content for your target audience. And you’ve completed every step of your on-page search engine optimization (SEO) checklist.

It’s the content equivalent of a Van Gogh painting.

Now that you’ve done everything possible to optimize your content, it’s time to shift your focus to off-page SEO. You need to build excitement for your new content masterpiece and get people talking about it. Off-page SEO is a group of optimization strategies outside your website to improve your search engine ranking.

Link building, content promotion, and social media marketing are examples of off-page SEO tactics to build the buzz.

Getting a link back to your content from other websites, known as backlinking (or link building), is a crucial off-page optimization strategy. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of backlinks and how link building can benefit your brand.

Link Building for SEO: The Basics

Link building is an off-page SEO strategy that helps you rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs) and attract organic traffic to your website by borrowing a bit of reputation from other websites. According to a 2022 Serpsta study, 85.7% of surveyed brands use link building strategies

Let’s explore how backlinks from other websites can boost your SEO and why you need a link building strategy.

The Importance of Backlinks

You might wonder why backlinks are a big deal if you have kickass content that attracts your target audience.

Link building strategies help solve sticky SEO problems like:

  • Your website’s organic traffic is not growing.
  • You’re struggling to rank for highly competitive keywords.
  • You’ve launched a new website and need to outrank your established competitors for specific keywords.

Link Building Strategy and Its Significance

You can acquire good backlinks from other websites in different ways. The simplest way is to create quality content that compels other websites to link back to your content.

You might wonder why you need a link building strategy if you can naturally acquire links. Well, waiting and hoping certainly doesn’t guarantee that your webpage will acquire backlinks organically.

Attracting backlinks naturally without actively working for them takes time, and it might put your brand at a disadvantage. Your competitors who apply link building techniques might acquire more backlinks, traffic, and better ranking while you wait.

If you’re trying to rank for highly competitive pages like product or homepage, service pages, or category pages, you need a strategy for backlink building. You need to work at it to catch people’s attention.

Link building strategies often include:

What are the main elements of a link building strategy?

How much of a difference does a link building strategy make? Ahrefs ran an experiment to see how link worthy content, along with systematic link building strategies, can help a page rank highly on Google SERPs.

Ahrefs found that most of the SEO statistics pages that get a lot of backlinks were outdated. So, they created a better article including the latest statistics. They used a link building strategy where they reached out to 515 website admins through email. Ahrefs received 36 backlinks, out of which 21 came from high-authority websites (domain ranking 40 and above). This helped the Ahrefs SEO statistics article rank #1 on Google SERPs.

So, in the most meta way possible, Ahrefs created an experiment about link worthy content that turned out to be link worthy itself — and got a backlink from The Blogsmith in our article about backlinks.

Good and Bad Quality Backlinks

When discussing the importance of backlinks, it is vital to address the quality of backlinks. You might have seen people dropping unrelated links in blog comment sections, irrelevant forum pages, low-quality directories, or social bookmarking websites.

It’s kind of like someone stopping you on the street to try to sell something. It is intrusive, annoying, and irrelevant to the reader of that blog post.

While these tactics create a backlink to their pages, they’re more like acts of self-sabotage. How? Google considers these link building practices to be a violation of their spam policies, so they could result in SEO penalties. Your website could even be de-indexed from Google.

To avoid potential penalties, stay away from poor link building practices like:

  • Using link farms to get backlinks.
  • Spamming comment sections with links.
  • Paying for link placement.

To improve your SERP ranking and domain authority, you need to have good quality backlinks from:

  • Websites relevant to your industry.
  • Trustworthy websites with a low spam score.
  • Websites that have good organic traffic.
  • Websites with high rankings in domain authority (DA), domain ranking (DR), or authority score (AS) which are all similar rankings under different proprietary names from different ranking companies.
Good and bad link building practices.

So, how do you get reputable websites to link back to your content? As the old saying goes, “Just ask.” 

But asking is only the first step. You need to give them a reason to link to you. That’s where the skyscraper technique can make a difference.

Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko and the inventor of the skyscraper technique, explains that just like the tallest skyscraper in the world gets a lot of attention, the best content for a keyword or a topic gets a lot of attention in the form of backlinks.

With the skyscraper technique, you’ll discover competitive content that other websites currently link to, create better content, and reach out to these website admins, requesting to replace their existing links with a link to your “better” content. In other words, you must find the content equivalent of the “tallest skyscraper” for your target keyword or topic and make a “taller” skyscraper in the form of better content.

The skyscraper method for link building.

The skyscraper technique works because it’s a win-win situation for both the content creator and the websites that link to the new content. The content creator gets a backlink, and the websites that link back get a chance to lead their visitors to better and updated resources.

For example, here’s how Backlinko used the skyscraper technique to acquire backlinks. First, they created a high-quality article on the latest SEO statistics. Then, they researched the top websites linking back to similar articles.

Then Backlinko made a smart digital PR move; they reached out to 160 website owners, informing them about their higher-quality and more up-to-date content. Of these 160 websites, 17 linked back to Backlinko’s new SEO statistics article. Since they received backlinks from several high-authority websites, the organic traffic to the Backlinko article increased by 110% in just 14 days.

While searching for high-quality links, you also need to remember to watch out for the hidden quicksand on the path — those spammy websites randomly linking to you and dragging you down.

Disavowing Spammy Backlinks

You might find your website targeted by a series of low quality websites linking back to your content. It could be a part of a negative SEO attack on your website, or these websites hope that you’ll link back to them eventually.

While Google is smart enough to identify spammy links and ignore them, you may also disavow links to your websites from spammy sites. That is, tell Google you have nothing to do with the shady websites and to ignore these inbound links while ranking your website.

So, a solid link building strategy is essential to improve SERP ranking, organic traffic, and authority. Your goal should always be to avoid spammy backlinks and instead acquire good quality backlinks.

However, creating and executing a link building strategy takes a lot of time and energy. If you don’t have the bandwidth for in-house link building, you can always outsource it to a reputable link building service  so you can focus on running your core business.

So, what path should you take? Is it worth spending time on link building or spending money on a link building service? Let’s see how link building strategies benefit a brand.

Benefits of Link Building

What are the benefits of link building?

Using proper link building strategies and acquiring good backlinks does more than just increase your ranking in SERPs. Let’s look at the benefits of link building.

Increase Organic Rankings and Traffic to Your Website

If a popular article links to your website, chances are some of its readers will click that link and proceed to your website. This is known as referral traffic.

Getting backlinks from websites in your industry or otherwise related to your business is great. Most likely, the audience that visits these websites will be your target audience, too. So, when they click through to your website, you’re getting visitors who are likely to be interested in your products or services.

For example, assume you sell gaming keyboards, and a popular gaming magazine links back to your content. People who read this magazine are interested in gaming may click the backlink and check out your products.

Backlinks from reputable websites can also boost your content’s ranking. Google uses backlinks from prominent websites as one of the factors to determine a webpage’s quality and trustworthiness.

Boost Authority

High SERP rankings and referral traffic aren’t the only benefits of link building. A link from a trustworthy website works as social proof. That is, it’s a vote of confidence from others that you know what you are talking about, much like a digital version of word of mouth.

When many reputable websites link to your content, it increases the credibility of your website, persuading people to trust your brand.

Link building also improves your domain’s credibility from an SEO perspective. When a website with high authority links back to your website, it conveys some of its authority to your website. This sharing of link equity will help you increase your website’s authority (DA/DR).

There are two types of backlinks used in link equity sharing: nofollow links and do-follow links.

Nofollow Links

Google introduced the nofollow HTML attribute in 2005 to fight comment spam. When a webpage links to another website using the “nofollow” attribute, Google ignores this for SEO purposes. It means the link equity of the original page most likely won’t be transferred to the destination page.

HTML code showing nofollow attribute.

In addition, if a website uses rel=”sponsored” or rel=”ugc” attributes as part of best practices to denote affiliate or sponsored content, Google doesn’t give weight to those backlinks. Instead, Google recognizes these as sponsored links or user-generated content rather than unbiased backlinks.

Nofollow links are believed not to add any weight to your domain authority or search engine rankings. However, regardless of what Google thinks, your target audience is still likely to view links on reputable websites as social proof, so nofollow links back to you could still improve your credibility as a brand and can certainly help with driving traffic and conversions.

Do-follow Links

When a relevant and reputable website doesn’t use the “nofollow” attribute while linking your content, you can expect their link to help improve your SEO. Search engines will consider the do-follow links as an indicator of the quality of the destination page.

Do-follow links are the brass ring of link building, and acquiring do-follow links is a big part of the goals of successful link building strategies.

Build Relationships and Network Within Your Niche

In addition to improving your SEO, link building benefits your business through building connections. You might uncover new business opportunities through your network that can be invaluable for start-ups that want to expand their business.

For example, if you’re an organic food manufacturer, getting backlinks from expert nutritionists is great. This will make your content trustworthy. Additionally, you may build more links and uncover branding opportunities by guest posting on prominent food blogs or appearing on podcasts with well-known nutritionists.

Link building strategies could also lead to collaboration opportunities with influencers and other brands in your niche.

Outperform Your Competitors

So, your content masterpiece is ready, but you don’t have a link building strategy. While you wait for reputable websites to link to your content, your competitors are out there hustling for links and actively improving their SEO.

Now, let’s reverse the roles. Assume you have a competitor who creates great content but doesn’t have a link building strategy. You can easily beat your competition by taking your content and boosting it with a strong link building strategy.

While your competitor naps in the shade, your link building plan is putting you ahead in the race by helping you find more potential websites to link to your website. It allows you to identify linking opportunities in different ways, such as:

  • Finding broken links on other websites so you can suggest your link as a replacement.
  • Reclaiming unlinked organic mentions to your website.
  • Finding collaboration opportunities that will result in backlinks.
  • Planning and creating more linkable content.
  • Finding guest blogging opportunities.
Link building strategies.

Improve Website Indexing Speed

If you have a new website or webpage, it takes time for it to show up in search results. Backlinks will help to get your page indexed faster.

When web crawlers scan an indexed website, they follow the links on those websites to discover new websites like yours that are relevant to the webpage being scanned.

When the web crawlers find backlinks to your content from multiple websites, your content gets indexed more quickly.

Promote Your Brand Organically

Unlike other digital marketing strategies, such as paid social media promotion or Google ads, link building provides natural organic promotion. Links to your website don’t appear as advertisements or paid recommendations to the reader.

Traditional ads often interrupt the user experience and annoy the users. They are seen as less trustworthy than non-promotion links. However, readers often find backlinks helpful when they need more information or a solution to a particular problem.

So, links to your website are a natural promotion that readers will likely welcome.  

Final Thoughts: The Importance of Backlinks for Your Brand’s SEO and Visibility

Link building is an essential off-page SEO activity to build your website’s visibility. Links from high-authority websites improve your website’s authority and credibility with readers. And it also helps your SERP rank and boosts organic traffic.

But to gain those backlinks and improve your off-page SEO, it’s crucial to have a link building strategy. However, creating a solid link building strategy takes time and expertise. It requires a significant investment in time to research potential linking opportunities and network with the website owners. We can get you started with an in-depth Skillshare class on getting backlinks without being annoying from The Blogsmith Founder Maddy Osman.

Sound like a lot of work? An experienced link-building company can take the burden off of you and help you create a link building strategy to recognize potential linking opportunities. At The Blogsmith, we create great content and optimize it for our clients. We help our clients to focus on their business while ensuring their content ranks high on SERPs through top-notch on-page and off-page SEO.

If you’re looking for a trusted partner to create and execute a link building strategy; get in touch with The Blogsmith today.

Salini Vineeth

Salini Vineeth

Salini Vineeth is a freelance writer with a decade of experience in the engineering industry. She is also a travel and fiction writer.

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