An Introduction to Link Building
Back in September 2014, it was stated that 1 billion websites were active on the world wide web, today this is 1,203,489,584 …. wow, that’s a BIG number .. You can check LIVE Stats here. This number continues to grow as more and more websites go up.
Where did this all start?
It’s hard to imagine life without the internet now, but i was back in 1989 when Sir Tim Berners-Lee released the World Wide Web to the masses.
A copy of his original document is shown below. I love the fact he wrote at the top of this document ‘Vague but exciting’ as his draft proposal for what was to become the World Wide Web as we know it today.
This guy gave to the world something which has revolutionised how we communicate and how we access information.
He wrote 3 primary technologies which are fundamental to how we use the internet today.
- HTML HyperText Markup Language. The markup (formatting) language for the web.
- URI Uniform Resource Identifier. A kind of “address” that is unique and used to identify to each resource on the web. It is also commonly called a URL.
- HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Allows for the retrieval of linked resources from across the web.
Read more on the History of the Web here at WebFoundation.org. It’s really worth a look and it’s amazing, how he knew that in order for the internet to become what it is today, it needed to be released freely to the world, which happened in April 1993.
So, what happens when i click on a link?
Links are an essential aspect of getting around. On your website, links allow a user to navigate pages on your website to obtain more information. Top level links typically include Home, About, Services, Contact etc and sub-menus and incontext links allow a user to drill down for more specific information.
We all rely on links to find the information we need
If you want to know more about the the specifics of Link Building, visit Moz on the link here. Moz have written extensively about the subject and if you want to know specifics, that’s a great place to go.
Why did I link to Moz from here?
This post aims to help you get an overview of the subject and I am happy to provide some useful links to external resources to help you learn more, if you plan to do it yourself.
Links help us get access to the information we need
Links enable users to click through to relevant pages or external resources and are a fundamental aspect of the web.
When it comes to link building, it’s simple: you need good quality links from external sites to point to you.
The objective is to get your name and your link on as many websites as possible …. BUT, it must be relevant.
Aim for Quality Links
Create good quality, useful links to your site.
Avoid spammy links or posting your link in sites which have no relevance.
You are read a post about a new car that you fancy buying. The article covers performance, wear and tear, residual values, fuel economy and insurance, all helpful information which aid your buying decisions.
If the post offers links to websites which are relevant to your buying process e.g finance options, insurance quotes etc these would be relevant and helpful in-context links. These links can be to pages inside the main site or external, and are beneficial to the reader of the article.
Poorly placed links distract the reading flow
In comparison, poorly placed links within the article or unrelated links to Home Insurance or Clothing retailers as an example, would not aid the reader and would fail to add any value to the flow efficiency.
The objective when building links is to be RELEVANT
You need to fit in with the flow and aid the the users, guiding them to supporting information.
If they are looking for a car, they may well be interested in insurance, lease deals, finance etc but they won’t be interested in estate agents services, clothing outlets etc
Simple Links to get you started
Below, are some of the more popular places you can add a link. *TIP: Don’t just rush this and add a link for links sake. Complete the listing properly and ensure it’s correct and spelt properly.
Google+ may not be your first thought when it comes to Social Networking but it’s a good system and used by many. Check here, for statistics on use. (See: a relevant link has been placed here, for another article on our site which offers statistics on why you might consider using Google Profiles)…
Rather than creating one entry for Google, in this particular situation, you might consider creating one for each member of staff in your organisation. For those using G-Suite (previously Google Apps) each member within the organisation can easily enable Google + and configure their profile. Each one deployed, can create a link to the employer’s website.
This comes under the Local SEO area of backlinks. It’s a handy tool and one which is not used by many companies. As part of our SEO services, we address this for all clients. When a user searches for you or your service in an area, google will display a nice map and provide details to the most relevant business. If you aren’t on it, you won’t show up. Note: Sometimes, you will find incomplete or incorrect data for your company, so it’s worth looking to make sure you show up and it’s correct.
You can create a company profile and in addition, individual profiles for your employees. Make sure you select ‘Other’ when you set up your first link to create custom anchor text for your link. Also, there are two additional links available. As with all of these, spend time to make sure the profile is set-up to it’s fullest.
Digg is something you should have a look at. It’s not the big deal it once was, but it still offers some value and it’s free. You will have to do some ‘digging’ around (ooooh, sorry couldn’t resist it) to get the best out of it, but it’s probably worth your while.
I mention this one as it has some link value, but myself, i am not into the whole ‘check in’ style of using the internet. Foursquare is primarily for letting your friends know where you are and figuring out where they are. Secondarily, it’s for collecting points, prize “badges,” and eventually, coupons, for going about your everyday business. Rather than write about what this offers, click here for an overview.
Very active with highly engaged users. Again, you need to work out what this is before you jump in, but it’s an interesting proposition with link potential. If you haven’t come across it yet, check this YouTube video out for an intro.
With the Page Rank of 8, Squidoo is a choice platform to gain high quality relevant links to any pages of your website. Moz wrote an article to provide an overview of this one.
You may just ‘stumble upon’ something you didn’t know about before. An article discovery site that’s curious but very popular. Expose yourself to ‘who knows who’ but it may just work for you. StumbleUpon is one of the best traffic generators among the top seven social media sites, referring more than other social bookmarking and voting sites such as Digg and Reddit according to Statcounter.
From an SEO perspective, Google now takes into account a business’ presence on Yelp, such as the number of reviews it has and how positive they are.
This is quite a well put together site, with the ability to create a FREE Profile for your business. It encourages you to create unique content for it’s display listing and allows you to upload services, photos and invite reviews. It provides widgets to use on your website and in your email signatures. The Pro Version is £100 per annum and allows you to highlight your advert, generate a custom URL on the freeindex domain and receive enquiries from a 20-30 mile radius of your business. Overall, it’s a good system but not so sure, the premium version is worth the money. To be fair, that might depend on the sector you work in.
Local Business Portal which allows you to create a profile for your business. You can carefully use target keywords in the profile and description fields, but avoid being ‘spammy’.
This is well worth doing, especially if you have some nice videos to upload. If you don’t, consider making one up or paying someone to do it. You don’t need a blockbuster and there are some nice effects to be had via iMovie or similar, even if it’s combining a selection of photos, adding music and some animated text to create some movement for your page. Setting up the YouTube Channel is simple and easy and if you need help creating the artwork, visit Canva.com (our favourite tool for making social media artwork)
More to be added
Over time, I plan to add to this and extend the article to include more links that I find. If you know of some that should be added, please let know. Happy to add any link here which helps the masses.
In the meantime, pop over to one of our friend sites for some more information, as you might find some other interesting stuff to read about. Read more about White Hat Link Building at Niksto.com, a great upcoming resource for those wanting to learn more about helping their website perform better in the SERPS.