Link building is the process of generating relevant, authoritative hyperlinks pointing to your website. Generally speaking, the more high quality, relevant links that point to your website, the higher you will rank in Google. This results in more organic visitors, sales and leads.
In this post, we are going to talk about some of the important benefits of link building and why they position your business very well in the mind of the buyer/lead, persuading what you have to offer.
Importance of Link Building in SEO
Links are the differentiation between websites that rank at the top of Google and sites that cannot be found. Generally speaking, if you search for any medium competition keyword, you will see top results on page 1. All of which will have some high quality links pointing to them. The more high quality links, the higher you will rank, as a result the more organic sales you will make.
The reason links are so important is due to their difficulty to obtain. Building links is a very technical, resource intensive marketing strategy. Technicals and on-page optimisation can be learnt and implemented relatively quickly, but links are not something you cannot simply throw money at and earn, or “tick-off” as you can with a technical optimisation metric. Instead, links need to be approached in a structured process. Google knows this and knew this 20 years ago. This is why Google is where they are today and the other search engines have a tiny market share in proportion.
3 Core Benefits Of Link Building
1). Trust Signals & Social Proof
When building links on high quality sites in your industry, one of the great additional benefits is the trust signals from users associated with this. For example, if you imagine a financial advisory getting links from Forbes, they can then use the logo of Forbes and other authority sites stating “featured in”. This can build a lot of trust and social proof very quickly in the prospect’s mind. There is a good post on optin monster about social proof.
2). Organic Rankings
The second core benefit is, of course increased organic rankings. This is what drives the ROI for a link building service. It is why 18 links can equate to an extra quarter of a million dollars a year in sales, and why so many people invest so much into high quality links.
For anyone who is unfamiliar, organic rankings increase based on the number of high quality, relevant backlinks you have pointing to your website. The more of these backlinks you generate, the more trustworthy and authoritative your website becomes in the eyes of Google and hence the higher it ranks.
The process of organic rankings changes based on the current condition of the site, age of website, amount of trust, or content already established. As well as a number of other on-page and link elements. Regardless of where your site is, organic traffic through backlinks can result in more targeted leads and higher sales. It is an incredibly valuable inbound marketing strategy. We will talk more about the synergy and advantages of inbound marketing later in this post.
3.) Referral Traffic
Targeted referral traffic is the third major benefit of white hat link building. Referral traffic simply means the traffic that comes through from clicking on a link on another website. This depends very much on where your link is, how much traffic the linking website generates, as well as how valuable and informative your post is. It boils down to if your piece of content is valuable enough that a potential prospect, or even just another community member will take the time to click your link and read about what you are doing on your personal/business websites.
You can see referral traffic very clearly and easily inside Google analytics, although remember to check to see if any bots are skewing the results.
Referral traffic is also found to convert incredibly well vs paid, or social advertising sources. Making white hat link building an organic marketing strategy, with the added benefit that it just happens to rank your website as well. Not a bad added benefit for something that is going to generate 3 extremely valuable marketing benefits on its own.
The Key – The Kicker!
Most people know Google is changing very quickly. They are looking to make their algorithm more integrated to each individual piece, rather than individual ranking elements. For example, does this site in a micro-niche talk about something better than potentially a higher authority site. Previously, the higher authority site would rank and relevancy would take a hit, nowadays it is flipped, which is very interesting for us.
Another, in our opinion the most important, kicker to why link building is so important for your overall organic marketing effort is: TRAFFIC. More specifically referral traffic.
Traffic is going to become a ranking factor of its own very soon. We have started to see elements of this in our testing, but it is going to get taken a step further. Referral traffic is the number of users who click through on a link and visit the resulting website. In the future this is going to massively effect search in general.
All this means that if Google can measure how many clicks a specific link generates, it can use this against a number of other spam and quality metrics to determine the quality of a link. The better they determine the quality of links, the more relevant the algorithm and the more relevant… The less spam and essentially the more profitable the company will be.
This is why we build links with two very specific questions/criteria in place. Firstly, is this a high quality link and secondly, could this potential site generate traffic? If the answers are yes, then the link prospect will be outreached. Below we are going to talk a bit more about the synergy and benefits of inbound marketing in general.
Synergy Of Inbound Marketing
One of the reasons why inbound marketing is so powerful is the high amounts of synergy. Similar to what was discussed above, there are multiple synergistic elements that combine and implement a 1+1+1=10 approach.
The key feature of synergy is each individual benefit can be used in future marketing. For example, getting link placements on high quality, authoritative sites. You can implement the “featured in” elements into your outbound marketing. Or in the future, if you have already been featured in these sites it will make it easier to write for other websites that are not quite as authoritative.
These elements in turn improve conversions, which means more of your site visitors convert into leads, and more leads convert into sales or paying clients. Above all, the more authoritative a brand’s website, the higher it will rank. Building momentum in the shorter term or for new sites is the most difficult element. Once this is achieved, momentum starts to take over and you will find it easier to rank for new keywords you are looking to target. We help kick start this momentum.