Link Building Basics (+ 5 Best Practices)
Link building is often considered one of the best ways to increase search traffic to a website.
However, it needs to be done correctly.
You need to have a solid SEO foundation and make sure you are building the right kind of links for your goals/website. Otherwise, all of your link building efforts will potentially waste your time and money.
In this guide, you will learn:
- What link building is
- Why backlinks are important (for SEO and growing your business)
- The different types of backlinks to build
- All the link building jargon explained
Link Building Basics
- Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website.
- Backlinks are one of the primary ways that search engines rank sites.
- Think of links as a kind of vote to indicate that the content is valuable.
- Build authority + credibility
- Improve rankings + get more organic traffic
- Increase sales/conversions
- Improve brand awareness
- And LOTS more…
- Editorial Backlinks
- Relationship-Based Backlinks
- Guest Blogging
- And LOTS more…
5 Link Building Best Practices
If you’re like most marketers, you understand the importance of link building and are always looking for new ways to get links.
But how do you know which techniques will be the most effective for your website? And more importantly, which ones will actually deliver results?
Below, we’ll share seven of our best link building practices. These tactics are tried and tested (through lots of trial & error), and they’ve helped us build high-quality links for both ourselves and clients.
1. Set your own backlink quality guidelines
Backlink quality is not a single metric…
… It is more of an assessment based on a range of link building metrics, to help you figure out how much of a positive or negative feedback a link will have for your website.
That being said, it is important you set guidelines for the types of links you DO want, in order to avoid the types of links you DON’T want.
Here’s a quick summary of what we check here at Loganix:
Domain and Hosting Details
- DNS and A record
- Uses SSL / https
- Hosting country
- No hyphens in domain name
- English TLD and language
- No poker, pills, adult sites
- Indexed pages: >10
- Organic Traffic: 100/mo+ (minimum)
- Ref. Domains: >50
- DR: 10+
- DA: 10+
- TF to CF ratio
- Traffic origin (>50 from country of origin)
Site History and Trends
- No penalizations or expirations
- No wild swings in traffic or links
- Traffic trending up
- Ref. domains trending up
- Ref. domain anchors
- Ref. domain types (real, quality sites)
Manual Content Review
- Last updated <30 days
- No anchor text abuse
- No links to poker, pills or adult
- Less than 50% paid posts
- No obvious PBN designs
- Authors (country, verifiability)
Read more: How to Quickly Assess Backlink Quality for SEO
2. Pay attention to link metrics
Each of the backlink metrics listed below are useful for both SEOs, webmasters and small business owners to know.
Consider them a starting point for determining the worth of a backlink. We recommend using these as a starting point for further investigation.
These are the link building metrics you need to know:
- Domain strength
- Page strength
- Anchor text
- Number of links
- Linking root domains
- The relevance of the linking page
- Position of links on the page
- Cost Per Link
With these link metrics, you can begin building your link-building strategy. Understanding these metrics (+ the value of links) helps your link acquisition processes.
Furthermore, knowing how to maximise your link equity will help you maintain a positive ROI and increase organic traffic.
3. Use proven link building strategies
In the past, link building was all about quantity rather than quality.
Today? Link building is a different game.
If you’re developing a link-building strategy, keep in mind that it won’t happen overnight. It’s a slow and steady process—at least if you do it correctly.
The quality and authority of the pages where you intend to get links is important. And so are the methods you pick, as not all link building strategies are created equal.
Here are some proven link building tactics to try:
- Guest posts (either DIY it or use a done-for-you guest post service)
- Buying backlinks (like authority links)
- Content marketing (like linkable assets or editorial links)
- Tried and tested SEO methods (like blogger outreach, broken link building
- Using what you’ve got (link reclamation and brand mentions)
4. Use the right link building tools
There are A LOT of SEO tools out there.
You don’t need hundreds of link-building tools. You just need a few of the right ones for the job.
If you want to keep it super lean, you could build some pretty good links just using:
- Google – to source link prospects
- Ahrefs – to qualify link prospects
Link building tools can help you find and create links to give your site a boost in the SERPs. There are a number of different tools available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Check out the full list here: 25 Best Link Building Tools to Use
5. Set goals for your link building campaigns
You’ve likely heard the phrase:
“without a goal, you can’t score”
Well it applies to link building too.
Starting out on a backlink building campaign without first knowing what you want to achieve with your links is a potential recipe for disaster.
Of course it might not be, but why make it harder on yourself? By setting a few simple goals, you can work towards making your link building a success (hopefully).
Here are some link building goal ideas:
- Rank for more relevant keywords
- Increase referral traffic
- Build/maintain organic rankings
- Increase brand awareness
- Help bump up keywords stuck in the SERPs
- Own your brand name + top keyword searches
- Build a diverse backlink profile
- Get new pages/sites indexed
Link Building Terminology
Do you ever see some link building terms and wonder what they actually mean?
Like a lot of areas of SEO, link building terminology can be confusing if you are new to the space. To help, we’ve put together a few key definitions:
Link building terminology:
- Anchor Text – text on a page that contains a clickable hyperlink.
- Authority – a qualitative metric that improves a website’s overall exposure and ranking.
- Deep Link – an SEO approach in which hyperlinks point to a specific web page rather than the homepage.
- Do-follow – allows Google (+ other search engines) to direct traffic to your website or blog.
- Domain Authority/Domain Rating – third-party metrics to determine how “rankable” a website is overall.
- Inbound Link – when another website links back to yours.
- Internal Link – connects two pages on the same website.
- Link Bait – is the practice of generating material to attract backlinks.
- Link Equity/Link Juice – the concept that specific links transmit value/authority from one website to another.
- Natural Link – when other websites link to your material (without being asked).
- Nofollow – instructs search engines to disregard that link and not transfer PageRank.
- Off-Page SEO -actions performed outside of your website to improve rankings.
(Don’t forget, we also have an extensive SEO glossary you should check out.)
Now that you understand the basics of link building, it’s time to put your skills into practice.
So, what do you think? Are you excited to start building links to improve your SEO? It can be a lot of work, but the results are worth it.
Remember to keep your links diverse, relevant and valuable. The more high-quality links you can accumulate, the better.
Or if that feels you with dread, sign up for our dashboard and let us make link building easy for you.