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If your on-page SEO is in place, but you still have yet to see results, you could consider a link building strategy. Let's walk through what link building means, how to implement it, and how to keep track of inbound links to your site.
What is Link Building?
Link Building has been around since the start of SEO. Some pretty smart, old-school SEOs discovered that the more inbound links Google found for a domain, the higher it tended to rank. Unfortunately, this led to link spamming, and that iteration of the Google Ranking Algorithm is long gone.
Link Building is the strategy of working with different domains, partners, content creators and otherwise to generate strong, postitive-SEO links directing to your site. The purpose of link building for SEO is to use the concept of PageRank, or the SEO value passed from one page to another, to improve your own domain's SEO.
How Do You Start Link Building?
The best, and usually the easiest way to start link building for SEO is to work with current clients and partners to "get your name out there" Encourage clients to mention their work with you somewhere on their site. You can also work on content marketing and/or research. If you or your business specialized in a niche, there is likely someone out there looking to digest content about it. Be wary here, Google no longer passes on PageRank from guest blog posts. It's better to stick to publications, relevant news sources, etc.
Local review/rating sites such as Angie's List have a high Domain Authority - meaning Google views these sites as trustworthy and useful to readers. If you offer a product or service that makes sense to list on local review sites - go for it! It's a great way to multitask and ensure that business information is accurate on other webpages than Google My Business.
In general, the higher the Authority a domain has, the more PageRank will trickle down to your site. There are a few stipulations, however. Urls found in comment sections and non-relevant parts of site content will not magically pass on PageRank. This is what caused the link spamming crisis of the aughts and Google don't play those games no more.
A few other factors to consider:
- How high the link is on the referrer's page
- What the anchor text is
- If the link appears in-context or within the content
How do you track Backlinks?
There are a ton of Backlink tracking tools available out there. If you find that your site is gaining a ton of traffic despite not directing people there in recent memory, you've likely gained a useful Backlink, or link to your site from another domain.
SEMRush and ahrefs have simple tools to help you see which backlinks you've earned, lost, and even estimate how much traffic will them from them. These tools are also useful to see if any backlinks have broken.
Part of link building maintenance is keeping up with broken links, and reaching out to webmasters to ensure that backlinks are functioning. After all, even the highest-ranking sites cannot pass on PageRank if the url they're linking is broken/old/kaput/not #hwtk.