Building Strategies for Improving your Website’s SERPs
Link building by itself will not dramatically boost your website’s ranking in search engines. That being said, most experts agree that search engines place a great deal of weight on various link-related factors. Search engines like Google and Bing calculate the ranking of websites based on the number of webpages linking to them. In addition to the number of pages, search engines’ algorithms use several other factors like trustworthiness, popularity and authority. Arguably, link building is probably the toughest part of SEO although it is also the most rewarding if done right.
As stated earlier, link-building cannot be effective in isolation. Before you begin the process of link-building, make sure your website has high-quality original content. Using recycled and irrelevant content to fill your website will inevitably backfire in the long run. After fulfilling this essential pre-requisite, start by contacting popular blogs for links to your website.
Guest blogging on reputed sites is also a great way to gain quality links. In addition to blogs, you must reach out to online forums, communities and even rival websites for links. If your website’s content is relevant and unique, you will be rewarded with several high-quality links in addition to the obvious publicity benefits. Quora and Reddit are both good platforms to start. This manual outreach is particularly important for new websites for generating awareness which in turn drives up traffic.
Another important part of link building is anchor text which refers to the clickable part of the text in a hyperlink. It is one of the most important factors used by search engines for determining a website’s ranking. Moreover, anchor text is used by search engines for ascertaining the subject matter of linked webpage. To the extent possible, use appropriate keywords in your anchor text that actually match the content of your website. However, on the flipside, using the same keyword stuffed anchor text repetitively to link to your website can have a detrimental impact on your site’s ranking. Search engines actually penalize exact matches as it indicates that the links might not have been naturally acquired. In this context, it is also worth mentioning that search engines factor in the quality of the webpage linking to your site. In simple terms, links from trustworthy websites with high quality content will push up your site’s ranking much more than links from shady pages.
Social media is another very important part of most successful link building strategies although it is unclear as to how much search engines value links from social media. Start by creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and LinkedIn. Merely creating a profile is not enough though and you must upload regular posts that your followers are likely to find relevant with links to your website. If your content is good enough, your posts will be re-tweeted, shared or reposted by other users which will go a long way in improving your ranking. On a related note, it looks downright suspicious to search engines if you are only receiving links from websites without receiving anything from social media sites. Social media is an inescapable facet of any modern link building strategy.
Finally, start using SEO and link building tools. This may seem a bit daunting for beginners but rest assured, it is an integral part of any successful link-building strategy. There are several high-quality analytical tools that are available for free. These tools are valuable because they can help you with everything from keyword research to in-bound link tracking. There is a lot to learn but the learning curve is not very steep. The only limit is how much time and effort you are willing to put in.
Mozbar is one such useful browser extension for examining a website’s Domain Authority and its in-bound and out-bound links. Moz’s Open Site Explorer is a far more detailed tool for generating link reports and a spam score for websites. New websites can benefit a great deal by using these tools for the tracking in-bound links of their highly ranked competitors’ websites. At the very least, this will give you some insight about the links used by rival websites to reach their rankings.
Last but not the least do not forget that content matters far more than best SEO practices or link building strategies. This is not to take away from the value of effective link building strategies or keyword optimization. Rather, this emphasizes that such tactics can only succeed if the quality of your content is worthy of being shared. Without original quality content, it is impossible to improve your site’s ranking despite using best practices. This is why many websites maintain a blog where they regularly upload fresh content with the right keywords. Maintaining a blog also makes it easier to gain links from other blogs and engaging your existing users.