28 Jun SEO: Link Building The Natural Way
After all the time you spent carefully crafting a website, researching keywords, uploading quality images, and writing informative copy, you still aren’t climbing the Google search result ranks. Search engine optimization is an ever changing game, but you know that already. However, there might be one thing you missed in your SEO strategy: link building.
What is link building?
Link building is an SEO tactic that gives you ranking power. When you use internal links you are essentially “voting” for the page you are linking to. In other words, you are saying, “Hey Google, this page is about X.”
Link building is just one of many SEO strategies, but there are benefits to link building besides giving your website that ranking power.
Additionally, there are several ways to build links naturally.
What is natural link building?
A few years ago, link building was such a popular tactic that some businesses paid blogs and websites to link back to their site. Often times, the content surrounding those links was poorly written and often didn’t make sense with the links.
This isn’t okay anymore. It simply won’t work as a strategy.
If you try to build a linking strategy based on paid link building, you’ll probably find that your site isn’t climbing in the search results. Instead, it’s going down.
Search engines like Google now recognize quality content, which includes anchor text and links.
Natural link building is the process of integrating links into your website’s content without disrupting the flow of the content. Natural link building also includes links that direct traffic and search engines back to your site that you haven’t paid for. The second type of links are extremely beneficial if the link is coming from a highly credible source.
Benefits of Link Building
We mentioned above that there are a few benefits of link building. Not only is it great for your SEO strategy, but link building helps your user experience and makes it easier for search bots to crawl your site.
Links and SEO
When it comes to link building, many experts argue that it carries the most SEO weight. Search engines use links as a sort of “vote,” meaning every time you use a link, you are voting for a page, which helps it climb higher in search results.
Internal links are one of the best ways to help your website climb search results. From your site’s navigation to hyperlinks in the text, there are plenty of great ways for you to naturally add links.
Your site’s navigation is kind of an automatic “vote” for pages. Because your navigation lists the specific pages, it helps Google and other search engines know what those pages are about. For example, let’s say you own a home remodeling company. You offer all types of remodeling, but you focus on kitchen and bath remodel. So, your site’s top level navigation may include Kitchen Remodel and Bath Remodel. Including those pages in your navigation is essentially telling Google that those pages are about kitchen remodel and bath remodel, thus casting a “vote” for those pages.
But, internal linking doesn’t stop there. To really boost your rankings, the content on every page of your site should also include links. While you don’t want to stuff the content full of links, having a few on every page can help your SEO strategy.
These links need to have specific anchor text that identifies what the hyperlinked page is about. By being specific and descriptive in your anchor text, you help Google and users know what the page is about, which, again, is like a vote for the page.
Better User Experience
While user experience certainly helps your SEO, it’s also about the user and making sure they can get to the information they are looking for.
Links on your site help users navigate the pages and find more information. Your web traffic can, theoretically, come to your site from anywhere online. Blog posts, social media, other websites, and search engines can all be driving traffic to your site. And that traffic could end up on any number of pages on your site, from your home page all the way to your contact page. It doesn’t really matter what page they first land on, what matters is that once they are there, users can easily access and find the information they are looking for.
There are a few different ways to do this:
- Navigation- We already mentioned how important your site’s navigation is for SEO, but it’s also critical for user experience. The links on your site’s navigation need to be concise and simple. The actual top navigation needs to have as few dropdowns as possible. Keep it simple and easy to understand.
- Internal Links- We also already talked about internal links and how they effect SEO, but they also help with your site’s user experience. How so? Internal links direct web traffic deeper into your site for more information. The anchor text you use should help users understand what type of content you’re offering on other pages.
- Site Maps- Sometimes, your web traffic will know what they’re looking for, but they may not be sure how to find it. Offering a site map somewhere on your site helps users find the information they are looking for, while giving you the opportunity to include more links to your pages a much more natural way.
Search Engine Crawling
Lastly, links help search engines crawl and index your site. What exactly does that mean? It means that search engines, like Google, go through your site’s pages and content and index all of it. Then, when someone searches for a term or keyword phrase, Google goes through its massive index of sites to find the best results for the search.
The links on your site help search engines find all of the pages. When you use internal links, you essentially create a spiderweb of links that the bots can follow and index. So, while you’re “casting your vote” for your site’s pages, Google is indexing the pages and following your links to better understand your company and offering.
Link building is great for your site, for your SEO, and for Internet marketing. When overlooked, link building can lower your ranking in search results and create a poor user experience. But, when done effectively, link building helps your site climb search result rankings and create an incredible user experience.
Having trouble deciding where to add links to your site or how to begin your SEO strategy? Iconic is here to help you create a digital marketing plan that includes SEO.
Want to learn more about driving traffic to your website and climbing up the search results? Here are a few posts you might find helpful: