In this day and age, if you’re unfamiliar with absolutely anything, say, a new word you just learned or a brand new gadget you want to tinker with, both kids and adults will agree that the natural thing to do is go on the Internet and click ‘Search’. The question you typed will probably result to about a hundred search entries but you will most likely click only a couple, if not just one.
This competition among the hundreds of thousands of websites for selection rather goes unnoticed. However, if you own a website or are planning to own one, you will sure want to be at the top of the list as soon as someone clicks ‘Search’.
In this article, ExplodeSEO explains the world of Link Building and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) without the technical niceties. Remember, it is impossible to talk about either one without the other. If you have already tried searching for link building on the Internet and still cannot wrap your head around it, this definition might help: link building is a strategic way of making more people visit a web page or a website through numerous relevant links spread across the World Wide Web (WWW).
Think of it as a treasure hunt. The treasure represents the website, the clues represent the links that you want to lead to your website, and the participants of the game represent your target audience. As the organizer of the treasure hunt, your objective is to make it easier for the participants to find the treasure.
How will you be able to achieve that?
You need to leave not one, not two, but several relevant clues in different areas that would lead to X – ‘as in X marks the spot’. Links, much like the clues in this analogy, steer you towards different web pages. Leaving as many effective clues is the same way that you want a handful relevant links to drive people to your website. The process of mapping links in different web pages, connecting it from one to another until it lands on your website, is link building.
Now, link building is a type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. In online marketing, SEO exists to rank links in the search results based on link popularity. The more often a particular website is visited, the more it is relevant to an audience, the higher it is ranked in search engines.
How does this happen?
Search engines are closely patterned after libraries and directories. They contain all the information there is on the Internet, from informational websites, profit-generating websites, personal blogs, to social networking channels, not to mention the information in the different pages within each website. When a search engine comes across a new website through a link, it sweeps through the entire website and takes in the new information. This behavior facilitates the search engine to figure out which links work best and those that are rarely clicked, allowing it to rank websites based on link and content quality.
So why is link building important?
Now that you know the science behind search engines and how it is able to rank links, it will be easier to understand link building as a way to push your website up on the list of search results. As an effect, it is able to drive not just website visits but also a number of other rewards for your website.
With link building, you are able to:
1. Grow your network and build relationships
Much like the clues in the earlier analogy, leaving your link in a handful of other websites relevant to yours expands your audience and allows you to meet key-players in the industry. This creates awareness for your website and makes it easier for your target market to have “web-recall”.
2. Create your reputation
It is one thing to be top-of-mind but it is certainly a different story once you have built a solid reputation and established credibility in the industry. This will open doors for new visitors and regular patrons. At the end of the day, you want to be your target market’s trusted source because they have started to believe in your brand and vision.
3. Rise up the ranks
Once you become credible, your website link will be used as references in online articles, blogs, or even news bits. This will create an even larger audience.
4. Generate profit
With enough credibility, a huge following, and patience, your website can eventually be profit-making.
At the end of it all, what you need to remember is whether you have a profit-generating website, an informational website, or even a lifestyle blog, link building enables you to grow your website along with your vision. It’s all about bringing in the right audience, at the right context, at the right time.