Sadly, this blog post isn’t going to be paying homage to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s epic ballad The Power of Love (although it is a fantastic song), but rather extolling the benefits of what we in the online marketing world call link building.
You may have gone to great lengths to create high-quality content that appeals to both users and, in turn, search engines, but this is one of a number of key ingredients for greater visibility online. This is where building relevant, valuable backlinks to your site comes in – giving your website a better chance of ranking more competitively in organic search results and driving that all-important click-through. The even better news is that the right link equity delivers far more than organic visibility alone – and we’ll get onto that in a moment.
What is link building?
For the uninitiated, link building is a tactic used by many online marketing aficionados, wherein links to your website from external sites are actively built or, in some particularly worthy cases, naturally earned – resulting in link equity being passed from those external sites to yours. It sounds simple enough, right? Well, not quite.
Why build links?
Links are widely acknowledged as one of Google’s key ranking factors – meaning the right links in the right volumes help you to perform competitively in organic search. The value of an external link acts like an online recommendation that helps to build your brand’s authority in the eyes of search engines, which, in turn, aids your ranking performance for related keywords – helping you to outperform the competition for the terms that matter most to your brand.
In the early days of link building, there was a (now defunct) theory that suggested the more external backlinks your site had, the more likely you were to perform well in organic search results. This resulted in many brands employing what were known as ‘black hat’ techniques – including buying links in bulk, and from sites that weren’t exactly high-calibre in terms of content quality, relevance or overall authority, for that matter.
Thankfully, Google evolved to become more selective in its evaluation of inbound links, with a more discerning algorithm that placed greater emphasis on high-quality content and trustworthy sources. As a result, today’s link building landscape is no longer primarily about how many backlinks your site has, but rather the quality and trustworthiness of the sites from whom you receive links, and the relevance of their site to yours – the age-old ‘less is more’ mentality.
Of course, a winning combination of quality and quantity is the ultimate goal here – but if you can only have one or the other, choose quality.
Simply put, think of backlinks like word-of-mouth networking – if a site Google deems trustworthy links to another site, it assumes by association that the site receiving the backlink is trustworthy, too. This all goes towards boosting your site’s search ranking potential and increasing its perceived authority overall.
The added value of link love
For virtually any business on the face of the earth, achieving position 1 in Google search results is reward enough for their link building efforts – but the power of link love runs deeper still, offering a more holistic online marketing tool than meets the eye. Let’s take a look at a handful of the numerous benefits that come with building the right links:
- Referral traffic: As a byproduct of securing an external link from another website, you’ll naturally benefit from referral traffic, as their audience is directed to your target page via this link – whether it’s your homepage, a product category page, a blog post or wherever else. This means handpicking sites with a relevant target demographic to that of your own website could drive a steady stream of the right sorts of users from their site to yours – perhaps even resulting in conversions
- Brand visibility: Okay, so this one may sound fairly obvious, but it’s an often-overlooked benefit of backlinks as part of an SEO strategy. The exposure you gain by affiliating yourself with relevant sites in your sector understandably means greater visibility for your brand online. In cases where you’re able to align your business with a reputable brand, this can further enhance brand perception in the eyes of existing and potential customers – meaning any backlink from the right publication, even a link that isn’t followed and therefore passes little equity, offers value in the form of visibility
- Brand authority: As Google now places more emphasis than ever before on relevance and authority to deliver the best possible search results to users, it’s essential to understand how to build quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative sites in your industry. For instance, if you’re providing accounting services to SMEs, securing links from recognised authorities, such as SME advisory sites, will help you to gain crucial exposure to your target demographic and give you a chance to illustrate your own authority on the topic in question
- Brand credibility and trust: As with brand authority, associating your brand with topically relevant and authoritative sites will only serve to strengthen your company’s credibility in the eyes of consumers. This powerful link love from a reputable site acts like a much-needed ‘vote of confidence’ for your brand in a way that’s likely to resonate with potential customers who may not yet know who you are. As a result, this builds a greater sense of trust between users and your brand in a genuine way
The power of link equity offers huge potential for growing your business’s visibility online, but it goes without saying that link building is a tactic that should only be attempted with a commitment to quality and relevance at the heart of your strategy.
If you’d like to know more about how to build quality backlinks to your site and harness the power of link love, get in touch with our our expert team today. We relish a challenge – whether it’s working in a brand new sector, seeking out coveted coverage or whatever else may be on your link building wish list.