We talk a lot about how external links can benefit your SEO ranking. As Google gives higher ranking positions to sites with high quality links pointing to them, it's worthwhile focusing your time on a link building strategy.  

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The rules about link building

As you've done your research about SEO, you're likely aware that Google has guidelines when it comes to link building.

Google Webmaster guidelines has detailed the rules on what you can and cannot do. 

Your site will be at risk of penalties if you:

  • Buy links
  • Sell links
  • Do excessive cross linking: where websites link to each other.
  • Do large scale article & guest blog campaigns which are rich with keyword anchor text: in Google's eyes this just looks like you're trying to cheat the system.
  • Use automated programmes that can create links to your site.

 

As you're working to increase the ranking of your site, looking at the different types of links that are linking to your website is an important practice. 

Google will judge your website on what type of links you have. If you have lots of websites with low domain authority and other penalty factors, linking to you, Google will view your site as a bad egg. 

It's all about the quality of websites that are linking to your website.

You can increase the ranking of your site by getting high quality websites to link to you. What type of sites are these? High quality websites are sites that have high domain authority, have regular visitors and other positive ranking factors

Your site link building

But as you read above, there are guidelines on how you can get links to your site. It can feel like a minefield when it comes to Google and link building, but it is possible to actively increase your links without being hit by penalties.

Increase links + Google happy = higher rankings 

The secret to this is to get people to link naturally to your site. Google will only get suspicious if it discovers you're trying to be sneaky with your link building. Here is how you can naturally boost the number of links to your site:

 

1) Create valuable content

If your website is filled with valuable content, people will naturally want to link to it. Create fact filled and relevant information on your website and in your blog. Your blog is an excellent opportunity to get people to link to you because you can focus your content on your particular niche. 

As an inbound marketing agency, we understand how most people go to the internet to find answers. Use your blog to give professional advice and insight into your industry. Once other websites see these posts, they could link to your site. 

2) Be an authority

Discuss and debate on forums to get your voice and opinion out there. As you participate in more discussions, it's likely your name will become recognisable in your niche and if your opinion is respected, people will want to link to you. 

3) Guest post

You want to get natural links? Then you should consider guest posting. Write articles and helpful content about your industry for other websites.

Relevance is the big rule when it comes to guest posting. You need to submit your work to relevant websites that are related to your industry and have your target audience.

4) Encourage your suppliers and vendors to link to you

Ask regular suppliers and vendors to link to you if they write a review or make a recommendation online. Putting a link helps future visitors find you easier, compared to just writing your company's name on a blog. 

5) Get your site in relevant directories

As mentioned in the guidelines above, you should never pay for links but there's nothing stopping you getting your site in respected and relevant directories. There are directories out there that are free to enter and are respected. Before you consider submitting your site into any directory you should:

  • Check if you have to pay
  • Have a look at the domain authority
  • Consider if it is a relevant directory for your site
  • Find out what people say online about it
  • Look to see if there is anything dodgy about the directory 

E.g. of a good directory: if you're starting a business in Manchester, it's worthwhile to join a directory for businesses in Manchester - because it's relevant to your site. 

A good example of a directory:

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When it comes to link building, you need to be careful but as long as you abide to Google's Guidelines you can't go wrong. Getting natural and high authority links will help boost your SEO rankings.

Want to take a major SEO shortcut?

Save time on your SEO strategy by focusing on the important factors of SEO. Download our FREE Google cheat sheet to help improve your website and increase your rankings in search engines.

Ranking Factors Cheatsheet 

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