The Complete Guide to SEO Link Building for Businesses

Link building is one of the most effective solutions to growing your business today. Any digital marketing expert today would tell you to build backlinks if you want better SEO results.

But…

Link building has become a lot more competitive, and quality links are harder to get. If you want your web pages to move to page #1, you need to learn everything about the backlinking process and how it works.

That’s exactly what we’ll help you achieve with today’s guide!

We’ll teach you everything you need to get started with backlinking. We’ll also share with you expert tips on how to build high-quality backlinks and transform your business.

Ready?

What is a Backlink in SEO?

A backlink, also referred to as “an inbound link” or “an external link,” is a link going from one website to another. It’s like a vote of confidence from site A that the content on site B is informative and valuable.

Backlinks are an essential SEO factor that can make or break your business. The more relevant inbound links you have, the higher your domain authority will be.

That’s what will help you outrank everyone and claim the highest spots.

Why Are Backlinks Important for SEO?

1- Better SEO Rankings

Search engines are only algorithms performing the specific functions they were coded to run. That’s why they can’t tell the difference in value between two pages unless they get help from us humans.

Whenever a new page is indexed, Google has to decide if it should be at the top. 

backlink SEO results

The way it does that is fairly complex, but we can narrow down some of the important factors like backlinks and on-page optimization.

Search engine algorithms look at the number of backlinks the site has. And it considers the quality of each backlink by taking into account domain authority and PageRank.

To put this in simple terms:

If many webmasters are vouching for your content quality, search engines will favor your pages in the SERPs. Your site will appear at the top for search users to get the best value.

2- Faster Indexation

Google robots are continually crawling the web to find newer, more useful content to add to the Google index. And indexation can happen a lot faster when multiple robots discover the same page. 

But…

The only way crawling spiders can move between pages is through hyperlinks on the web. 

That’s where backlinks become essential.

A backlink helps search engines find new web pages faster by driving more spiders to them. That can speed up the indexation process and get your pages discovered within a few days of their publication. 

3- Direct Traffic

On top of their clear SEO benefits, backlinks are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website.

Visitors will click on direct links and visit your website voluntarily. That makes them more likely to stay and read your content for longer.

With a strong backlinking profile, you can expect to get hundreds of visitors to your site each month.

Does Backlinking Still Work?

Let’s be honest here:

Google used to rely too heavily on backlinks to assess SERP rankings. That often happened without any check for the quality of the page or the backlink.

Consequently…

Greedy SEOs conquered the web with spammy link building techniques to claim top ranking spots. And that made it impossible for good content to rank high.

Thankfully, lots of things have changed today.

SEO link building

Backlinks aren’t as strong as they were ten years ago. Search engines are no longer considering them as the only factor for SEO. 

Lots of updates have been made to ensure the best user experience to search users.

But despite all that…

Link building is still one of the key factors Google looks for when it comes to rankings. If you build quality backlinks to your site, you’ll outrank all your competitors in the SERPs.

What Makes a Quality Backlink?

We’ve been using the word “quality” repeatedly to describe backlinks in this guide. But we haven’t given a clear explanation for what that means.

A high-quality backlink is a link that passes the link juice when created. And that link equity is going to make your domain stronger and help it stand out compared to others.

Now, the real question is this:

What makes some backlinks pass more link juice than others? 

It’s simple.

1- Relevance

Is the site linking to your page relevant to your niche?

Google gives relevant backlinks more value since they’re in the same industry as you. 

The reason for that is straightforward:

Webmasters in your industry have better expertise around your subjects than random people. That makes their opinions more accurate, which makes their links more valuable to your site. 

2- Authority

A backlink from a new site shouldn’t have the same value as a backlink from an established website. That’s similar to real life where the opinion of high-status individuals is more important than that of an unknown person.

High-authority websites are more trusted and valued by search engines. So, it all depends on domain authority.

If an authoritative website links to your page, Google will be more convinced of its value.

3- Scarcity

Getting a backlink from Pinterest or Facebook is in no way similar to getting a backlink from Forbes Magazine. 

Social platforms give backlinks to millions of sites with no limits or conditions. They say yes to any link that comes their way, so that makes their backlink value drop significantly.

The basic rule of thumb is this:

If all your competitors can get a backlink from the same source, it won’t do you much good. 

Quality backlinks should come from sites with a low number of outbound links because that’s what search engines are looking for.

4- Traffic

Not every backlink you get is going to bring visitors to your site. It all depends on your link placement and how many visitors the page linking to your site gets. 

For example:

A link embedded within the body of the page is more likely to be noticed and get clicks to your site. That makes it more valuable than a footer link.

Link building benefits

So, obviously…

You should be after backlinks that drive visitors to your site and increase traffic.

5- Anchor text

The anchor text on your link helps crawling spiders better understand your page. That’s why it should be relevant to your content if you want it to provide more context.

The best way to do this is to include the right amount of keywords in your anchor text.

Meaning:

  • Don’t use generic words such as “click here”.
  • Don’t make it keyword-heavy by including lots of keywords at once.

What Are the Two Types of Backlinks?

1- Dofollow links

Dofollow links are links on the web that pass link juice. If you get one for your site, it will help improve your SEO rankings.

Here’s the HTML code for a dofollow link:

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2- Nofollow links

Nofollow is the HTML Tag ref=” nofollow” that tells crawling spiders to ignore certain web links. It’s a way for site owners to inform Google that they want to link to the resource without voting for it. 

Consequently:

Nofollow backlinks do not pass link juice and won’t help improve your rankings.

Here’s an example of a nofollow link:

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Dofollow vs Nofollow — which one is better?

Dofollow and nofollow links look the same to the average user. All you’ll see is a hyperlink on a page that takes you to another website.

The difference lies in the SEO benefits they provide.

When we talk about backlinks in this guide, we’re referring to dofollow links because that’s what has SEO value.

So, if you’re going to build backlinks for your site, be sure to focus on dofollow links instead of nofollow. That’s the only way to improve your PageRank.

How to check if your links are Dofollow/Nofollow

Being able to tell the difference between the two is crucial to you as a business owner. 

Perhaps you’re looking for sites that provide dofollow links and want to save time in the process. Or maybe you’re getting backlinks from industry webmasters, but you’re not sure about their type.

There are two simple ways to do that:

The manual technique is to check the HTML code of the page and look for the “rel=nofollow” tag.

First, right-click on the link you want to check, then click Inspect.

Check baclink type

Once you get the anchor text HTML code, look for the “rel=nofollow” tag inside it.

Backlink types

If you don’t find it, your link is dofollow.

The second way is quicker and more efficient if you’re in a hurry.

Install a Google Chrome extension called Nofollow to help you identify nofollow links quickly.

Each time you come across a nofollow link, you’ll get a red dotted border around the link to inform you about it.

How to Build Backlinks for Your Website

1- Publish Valuable Content

Content worth sharing can spread on its own without you getting involved in the process. 

Webmasters and industry experts will read your articles and find them insightful. That will make them more than happy to share that knowledge with their audience.

Your web pages must contain informative, long-form articles that answer user questions and provide solutions. Also, be comprehensive in your guides and share personal opinions to keep your content unique.

2- Create Shareable Infographics

Infographics are popular on the internet today because they’re easy to consume and share. They’re also more catchy and likely to stand out on any online platform.

That makes them a great way to expand on the original article and help users spread it across the web.

So:

Whenever you create a long-form guide covering a specific topic, try to summarize it with an infographic covering the essential parts.

Once done:

Don’t forget to pin all your infographics to Pinterest to gain more traffic and generate a few more backlinks. 

You may also get backlinks by submitting your creations to popular infographic submission sites such as:

3- Guest Post on Other Blogs

Guest posting is one of the most effective techniques to connect with new audiences and increase your brand authority. It’s also an excellent way to build quality links to your site and boost your SEO.

All you have to do is reach out to webmasters and companies in your niche and pitch them unique ideas for articles. The process gets a lot easier when you prove that you have the right expertise to contribute new insights.

Guest Posting for backlinks

Some of the search keywords you can use to find sites accepting guest posts are:

  • Keyword + write for us
  • Keyword + inurl:guest-post-guidelines
  • Keyword + guest post by
  • Keyword + become an author
  • Keyword + now accepting blog posts
  • Keyword + submit an article

Remember:

The easier it is to guest post on a blog, the lower its’ link quality. 

Be sure to reach out to high-authority sites that are serious about content quality and value. It may take more time and energy, but it’s all worth it in the end.

4- Find Broken Links On the Web

Broken link building is one of the most popular techniques to link building. It’s still significant, yet it has gotten a lot harder to perform.

Coming across a “404 Not Found” error is unpleasant to the user, let alone Google crawling bots. Yet, even the biggest websites today have broken links that their users will click on. 

That makes broken link building a win-win situation for both you and other site owners.

This technique consists of looking for dofollow broken links on the internet. Once found, you’ll contact the webmaster to inform them about their broken link and suggest that they link to a better article you have on your blog.

But now you might be wondering:

How can I find broken links online?

Don’t worry… We’ve got you covered on that too!

There are two easy ways you can find broken links online:

1- Download the browser extension Check My Links that highlights broken links whenever you’re surfing the web. 

If you’re on a niche-related website, you might come across broken links by chance. That will save you lots of time and open doors to many link building opportunities in the long run.

2- Use the free Broken Link Checker tool by Ahrefs to scan websites quickly and identify any broken links. 

Broken link checker by Ahref

Use this technique to scan high-authority sites in your industry for broken links. They’ll have hundreds of updated outbound links. So, you might find a few broken ones.

5- Host/Sponsor Local Events

Hosting or sponsoring an event is a great way to interact with your prospective clients. You’ll connect with them personally and understand their challenges and needs. 

It’s also a powerful way to prove your authority and domination over your competitors.

On top of all that:

You can use the opportunity to get backlinks to your site from well-established websites. That helps you magnify your local presence and gain more local SERP authority.

To find event hosting/sponsoring opportunities, you can use the following keywords:

  • site:craigslist.org +” sponsors”
  • site:meetup.com + “donation”
  • site:eventbrite.com + “become a sponsor”

Wrapping It Up

Backlinks are a primary ranking factor that you must work on consistently if you’re serious about SEO. Even with the best content in the world, your site needs a solid backlinking profile to get to the top.

Thankfully…

The door is open for anyone to build quality links and achieve outstanding results in the SERPs. 

So, what are you waiting for? Follow the techniques in this guide to get inbound links to your site and outrank your competition.

For more useful information, visit our Complete Guide to Local SEO for Your Small Business.

Ready to jumpstart your business with SEO?

Get started today with a comprehensive Digital Marketing Analysis to help you uncover excellent growth opportunities. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-280-2749 so we can discuss your project.