Anybody working for a half-decent B2B SEO agency will talk to you at length about why link building is important. They will talk about it at conferences, they will talk about it in meetings, they will talk about it at funerals (sometimes mid-eulogy).
Essentially, it’s a big thing for SEO people, and for very good reason. But before we talk about why it is important, it’s a good idea to talk about what link building actually, you know, is.
Why build links?
The whole point of link building is to accumulate followed (this bit’s important) backlinks to your website. Followed links – i.e. links that don’t have a ’nofollow’ rel attribute – that point to your site are considered one of Google’s top ranking factors.
While every link helps, some links are better than others. To gauge the value of a link, we use a metric called ’Domain Authority’ (DA) that measures the authority of the site the link sits on. Developed by software company Moz, DA is simply a number between 1 and 100: it’s meant to suggest how authoritative Google believes each domain to be. The BBC, for example, has a DA of 100, which makes it more or less the SEOly grail; the blog on cats you started this morning is likely to be rather less trusted.
Better still, the more followed backlinks you accumulate, the more your own DA goes up. While any correlation between DA and search engine rank is unofficial – Google is very secret squirrel about how its algorithm actually works, probably because the second anyone notices that it can be exploited, they, well, exploit it – it’s generally accepted that the more votes of trust you attract (followed links), the better, which is why link building is important.
PR and link building
PR is an excellent way to build links – in fact, it’s one of the most effective link building strategies in existence.
The process of identifying online publications and agreeable journalists – and getting them interested in your company, its spokespeople, and what they have to say – is long and arduous, but it bears tasty, tasty fruit. Coverage and publicity are obviously a big part of that, but when you secure an article, blog, or comment piece with a media outlet, you’ll often be able to get a link in the author bio or somewhere in the text.
The more links the better
If you want to know how many followed backlinks currently point at your site, use Moz’s free Open Site Explorer tool. Got some good links from sites with great DAs? Yes? Amazing! Now check a competitor’s site. Have they got more links than you from better domains? Yes? That’s why they rank higher than you in the search engine results pages. Everything else being equal (i.e. you’ve got all your onsite optimisation right and you’re regularly producing great content), your keyword rankings will be dependent on the quality and quantity of links you (or your great B2B PR agency – FYI that’s us!) build.
We know exactly why link building is important and are pretty good at it in all its forms.
We’ve built thousands of quality links for our clients, helping them rank for tens of thousands of relevant keywords, attract millions of organic visitors and hundreds of thousands of leads.