Hey it’s Chris and welcome to search-pilot. In this post, we’ll be talking about arguably the most important and most challenging SEO strategy called link building.
And to kick things off, we’re going to talk about;
- what link building is
- why it’s important and
- the mindset you’ll need to have to be successful at it.
Let’s get started.
what is link building?
By definition, link building is the process of getting other websites to link to a page on your website. And these hyperlinks are called backlinks.
Now, while the end result might make sense conceptually and seem simple, the part that most people don’t understand and can’t seem to get right is the process that leads to the result And this ultimately boils down to emailing complete strangers and asking them to link to you.
let’s take a quick second to talk about how strange and awkward this might sound.
So let’s go through a few scenarios and then we’ll revisit this definition of link building. Let’s say that you have a marketing blog and you write about SEO and digital marketing.
Now, if some random person, let’s call him Scott, sent you an email and said “Hey, can you link to my post on Quora ads? It’s really good.
” Would you link to her? Probably not. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even reply or click the link in her email to actually Check and see if her content is as good as she claims.
Now, let’s flip the script a bit.
Let’s say that you’ve been following Search-pilot blog for some time. You’ve implemented some of the strategies we’ve shared and gotten some great results for your site.
Now, an email pops up in your inbox from me, Chris. A name and face you might recognize because you’ve been following our blog posts. And in that email, I’ve asked you to link to our free backlink checker from your page that lists the 7 best free SEO tools.
Would you link to me? Maybe.
Now, the final scenario. Let’s say your mentor who helped you get started in digital marketing sends you an email.
And he asks you to link to a page on his site from a relevant page on yours. Would you link to her? Definitely! He helped you get started in digital marketing, you obviously trust and respect him, and you’d be willing to bend over backwards for him.
The point of these scenarios is to show you that the process of link building is actually very relational and can sometimes take more time than you might like. With Scott, you don’t know him.
You don’t owe him anything. You don’t trust him. He’s blindly coming in, almost invading your inbox, and asking you for a favor without offering any kind of value in return.
In the second scenario when I hypothetically emailed you, you knew who I was, I had indirectly helped you, and you were a user of our product for years.
So while we may not have a real-life relationship, we’re still connected in some way. So the chances of linking to me are probably higher than linking to Scott.
Now, when your mentor asked you for a link, there’s a real relationship there. There’s a sense of trust, respect, and gratitude. of course you would link to him.
While you can’t and shouldn’t try to become “friends” with everyone just to get links, you’ll find that your best links will usually come from relationships that are sparked from email outreach.
So let’s redefine link building and set the tone for the rest of this post.
Link building is the process of building relationships with other relevant site owners who want and will link to your content because it enhances theirs.
This definition isn’t just about you getting something. It includes relationships, relevance, and a value exchange.
Now, since effective link building is tough, you need to understand why it’s worth the effort. In short, backlinks are used by search engines like Google to help rank web pages.
And it’s been this way since 1998 when Google created PageRank.
It is a mathematical formula that judges the “value of a page” by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it.
And Google confirms the importance of backlinks on their “how search works” page. Under their “quality of content ” heading they state: “If other prominent websites link to the page, that has proven to be a good sign that the information is well trusted.”
We also found a clear correlation between organic traffic and backlinks from unique websites in a study by Ahrefs for over one billion web pages.
So while getting backlinks may be harder than creating a blog post, they’re absolutely critical if you want to rank for competitive phrases.
And competitive phrases are usually the ones that’ll drive the most traffic and revenue for your business.
We have briefly touched on the main way of getting backlinks, but not all links can or will be obtained through outreach.
So in the next post, we’ll talk about 3 methods to get backlinks as well as The level of difficulty and effectiveness.