Link-Building Tips I Have Learned To Boost Page Ranking
Updated on: 29 April 2021
Got a great content strategy, but your SEO still seems to be coming to a standstill? You might be neglecting one significant ranking factor: Links.
Links are a crucial ranking factor in SEO, as I have learnt. Making link-building an intentional part of your SEO strategy can make heaps of difference to your page ranking!
So, if links have become a forgotten part of SEO for you, it’s time to get back into it and do something!
Why are links a ranking factor?
First, it’s important to understand why links are even a ranking factor. After all, it doesn’t seem to have any relation to how your content answers a searcher’s query.
However, links are related to website authority. From the outset, the importance of links was based on the assumption that having more inbound links reflects that a website had valuable and important content. Basically, if other sites linked to yours, it meant your site was worthy of being seen.
Links are judged as a ranking factor using the PageRank algorithm, initially conceptualised and named after Larry Page, one of Google’s co-founders. While there have been changes to the way links are evaluated in a site’s page ranking since the original algorithm was developed, the importance of links remains central to SEO.
Types of links
Before we get to talking about the best ways to optimise your links, let’s establish some key terms here.
Links: When clicked on, these take a user from one webpage to another. Links can appear as buttons, text, or images.
Internal link: Links that lead to a different page within the same website domain.
Inbound link/backlink: Links from another website domain to your website.
Outbound link: Links on your website that lead to another website domain.
Anchor text: The clickable text in which the link is embedded.
Link building for SEO
As a content marketer, I find it useful to know the best ways to use different types of links. This helps me create suitable anchor texts and openings for links. Whether you are an SEO strategist or a DIY marketer for your small business, getting the hang of these guidelines will help you create better SEO-friendly content and websites.
Tips for optimising inbound links
Inbound links are the most important for SEO, but they are also the hardest to get. It’s not something you can control directly, but something you must earn from other website owners.
The best way to earn this organically is to have awesome content that people simply want to share. However, there are also many SEO agencies that do link-building outreach to get links through partnerships.
For example, you could pay a fee to request a blogger to write an article on a related topic, then include a link to your site. Or, you could also request for a backlink to be inserted into existing content if there’s an appropriate place to do so.
Sometimes, you are able to propose the content you want the other website to publish. In that case, be careful about the anchor text you use. It’s tempting to use exact keywords as all your anchor texts, since this tells the search engine that your site is relevant to the keywords. However, when overdone, your website could be penalised for it.
Instead, strive to vary your anchor texts, even if they link to the same page. Besides keywords, mix it up using your brand name, and CTA variations like ‘click here’, ‘visit our website’, and ‘explore more’.
On a final note, keep in mind: quality over quantity! Links from high-authority sites will benefit your website, but links from low-quality sites will hurt your SEO efforts. Choose your partners carefully if you don’t want to jeopardise your page ranking.
Tips for optimising internal links
While inbound links are about building website authority, internal links serve a more user-centric purpose. It helps users navigate around your website. Great internal linking will reduce the number of clicks your user needs to get from one page of your site to another. Likewise, this will facilitate search engines in crawling your site more efficiently.
From a technical point of view, internal links also help you spread traffic around your website and distribute your PageRank across your site. This is important because the majority of inbound links tend to be concentrated on the homepage.
There are several ways you can – and should – use internal links:
Website navigation: These links are usually found at the top banner, footer, or sidebar of a website. They show the architecture of your site based on a hierarchy of topics and categories.
Related pages: On some websites, you will find a banner or section that suggests pages with similar topics which are likely to be what the user is interested in. These related pages help extend the time a user spends on a website.
Sitemap: A sitemap is a single page that shows the whole website architecture with links to all pages. Some users use this for navigation instead of going through the main navigation menu. For large websites, it may be sufficient for the sitemap to show only the main pages rather than every single page on the website.
In-content links: Sometimes, links are included within the main content of the page. These serve to provide more information to the reader while they are reading the content, for example, to an article that explains the key term, or a product information page.
Tips for optimising outbound links
Here is where things get a little confusing.
I’ve heard of theories about outbound links being bad for SEO, because they supposedly ‘leak’ your PageRank to other sites. I mean – if inbound links are good for your website, then your outbound links, which are inbound links to another site, are essentially helping another website’s SEO.
Due to this, many SEO marketers still avoid placing outbound links on their websites. Where necessary, adding a nofollow tag to outbound links can signal to search engines not to credit the link to the destination page.
While all the above is true, avoiding outbound links like the plague isn’t necessarily good for SEO, either. It becomes an act known as ‘PageRank hoarding’, which doesn’t reflect well on your site.
On the other hand, you will observe that good quality sites tend to link to other high-quality sites. So, establishing outbound links to high-authority sites may help to indicate that your site is also a high-quality site, thus boosting your credibility rating.
While these two principles seem to be at odds with each other, in reality, it all boils down to having balance. What search engines are looking for is natural links – so do what makes the most sense to the reader.
Talking about links in SEO opens up a huge can of worms – but I hope this puts you on the right track to get started!
The world of SEO may sound like a labyrinth of rules and checklists to tick off, yet it doesn’t have to be. If rules aren’t your thing, remember: just be natural! Nothing is worse than trying to earn links through artificial links or keyword-stuffed links, as all these will be penalised by Google.
And if all else fails, there’s always help! Our SEO services are comprehensive and effective, covering all your bases from content creation to link-building. Don’t wait any longer; contact us today to see how you can work with our experts in digital marketing in Singapore!