Ignore Link Building At Your Peril

At Rouge we build great sites, but we know that without traffic all our work is wasted., which is why, when our clients want it, we offer Search Engine Optimisation services to boost the traffic (and thus the money the site ‘earns’ for our client).

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Public Domain from pixabay

SEO is however an area that has a lot of bad feeling associated with it, too many businesses having been ripped off at some stage. This, and the fact that SEO keeps changing (although the basics do remain the same) means that people can get the wrong idea of what needs to be done and why it has to be done, all of which creates a whole range of myths and legends about what it good and what is bad…

One of the areas that has changed is that of the need for links to a site. Links have always been a powerful way of influencing Google to list a site, indeed, their PageRank algorithm was based entirely on links to a site. The idea here was simple, rather than just use the words on the page to decide what to list for what, count the number of links, note down what they link ‘said’ (the text you click on are the words that Google reads)  and give each link a ‘power rating’. When this power was totalled up you had the ‘PageRank’ power of a site and the best one won (for a particular phrase).

All of this was done, I suppose, on the basis that it was too easy to manipulate the text on the page, links would be a lot harder and so the best sites would get listed….

WRONG, the idea back fired on Google, to such an extent that one pundit said he could get a blank page listed on Google by just using the power of links.

Google has been fighting with this issue over the years and eventually it has driven them to use links (and the words on the pages) in a far different manner, thus SEMANTIC SEO was born.

One of the outcomes of all this was the myth that links were dead, you didn’t need links any more, all you had to do was to write good content..

Whilst this would indeed be Utopia, it is not the way things work in the online world (or indeed the off line one, ask any author who has written a really good book and has not had it recognised or bought). It is true that links do not have the same power than they did, but without them, a site will not get the ‘recognition’ it deserves.

Of course, getting this message across is not easy, so it was with some glee that we came across this blog post, it providing some concrete examples of why external  linking is so vital, as well as mentioning the importance of internal linking.

So, before we give you a snippet of the article in question, just think for a moment about your site and whether or not you are using internal linking properly.

To do this effectively, start with a simple question: “If I’m a visitor, and I land on the page about ‘Green Widgets’, what else would I want to see?” The list would no doubt include pages about different coloured Widgets, the history of the Widget and its various applications, possibly too about what other things you sell are similar to Widgets. These are the pages that you would link to in the body (not the navigation) of the page, NOT other pages that are not really relevant, no matter how important those pages might be deemed.

The reason for the above is quite simple, if you link ‘willy nilly’ to pages on your site you confuse both your visitor AND the Search Engines, both of which are bad ideas..

So the too snippet on the importance of links:-

The Unfortunate Consequences Of Ignoring Links

Think it’s enough to have great content and great PR? Think again. Columnist Andrew Dennis explores some high-profile examples of missed opportunities that result from ignoring link-building.

Why You Can’t Ignore Links

If you care at all about the online visibility of your business or brand, you cannot disregard links.

There seems to be a common misconception floating around the digital marketing sphere that you don’t need to worry about links, and instead you can just “produce great content” or focus only on “doing good PR and marketing,” and the links will somehow come through magic.

Strategies such as content marketing and public relations have their own merits and goals, but they are different from link acquisition. And no matter how great your content marketing, PR or other digital tactics are, links can’t be ignored. Links are too important — and if you don’t strategically and manually pursue them, you’re leaving valuable opportunities on the table.

Links are valuable online for a number of reasons, including:

  • Visibility in search
  • Visibility on industry-specific sites
  • Directing qualified traffic
  • Building brand awareness and reputation
  • Establishing meaningful connections and relationships

If you forgo strategic link acquisition and analysis, you’re forgoing many of these benefits.

If you’ve been ignoring links, the place to start is your own site.

The Importance Of Internal Linking Structure

Before pursuing any type of external link earning strategies, it’s important to ensure the internal linking structure on your own site is in check. Internal links help you get the most out of the external links you acquire.

Internal links offer SEO benefits, and they optimize your user experience. If you’ve worked hard to create compelling content, make sure that your readers can find it easily through internal links. Without proper linking, your best content and pages can quickly become buried on your site.

To learn more about optimal internal linking strategies, I recommend reading Erin Everhart’s post here on Search Engine Land.

Once you have your internal links in order, it’s time to direct your focus to link acquisition.
Concrete Examples for Active Link Acquisition

Optimizing your internal link structure will maximize the efficacy of any external backlinks you obtain. But you still need to actively pursue links to take full advantage of your opportunities.

Building a functional website with useful and compelling content is an important first step, and there’s no doubt that some links will filter in without any type of promotion (depending on your current traffic/audience). But is that enough? Can your business afford to leave valuable link equity on the table?

No. Even if you’re a large website with an active built-in audience, you still need to promote your work

For the full article on link building, please click the link!