What is link building in SEO? An introductory look

Posted: 12 Nov 2021

If you’re just starting out in SEO, link building can appear a little confusing at first. There are numerous approaches to link building for SEO – some more successful than others – and your chosen approach will depend on your overall goals, the industry you are in and the resources you have at your disposal. 

In this introductory look at link building, find out what exactly it means for your SEO and how you can increase your website’s authority through links. 

What is link building? 

Link building is the SEO practice of creating hyperlinks (also known as ‘backlinks’) to a website. The purpose of link building is to boost the ‘authority’ of your pages in the eyes of Google and other search engines so that these pages rank higher and bring in more search traffic.

Why is link building important for SEO? 

Links remains one of the top-ranking factors for Google. If you want your website’s pages to perform better in search engines, you are going to need links. And high-quality ones, at that. Even in 2021, pages with more backlinks tend to rank more highly in search engine results. 

Key factors to consider when link building for SEO: 

  • The trust and authority of the linking pages
  • The SEO and content optimisation of the respective sites
  • The anchor text of the incoming links

Link building takes time and effort. It is also hard to get right, which is why it is often beneficial to take on the experience of an SEO consultant who can successfully execute tactics to build better links, in order to see significant growth in organic traffic and revenue.

If you remain hesitant to start SEO link building, the main reasons you need to focus on it are:

  • You will rank higher on Google 
  • Google will find new pages on your site faster
  • Your business will be seen as more trustworthy 
  • You could benefit from referral traffic

If your overall SEO strategy is going to be a success, you simply cannot ignore link building. For your link building to be a success, you must be able to identify high-quality links. 

How to identify high-quality links

Not every link is equal. Links are only considered high-quality if Google finds value in them. Unfortunately for some content makers, their links will be considered low value to Google and therefore won’t make any great gains with SEO. 

To identify links that are actually worth building, you need to look at the authority of the page and the authority of the site itself. 

Page authority 

This refers to Google’s original PageRank algorithm, which assumed that “more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.” The aim in current SEO should be to get links from high-performing pages that are more likely to attract backlinks over a period of time.

Website authority 

Although Google denies the existence of any website authority metric for SEO ranking, it cannot be ignored. Links from high-profile websites should bring more value to your website than links from lesser-known sites. 

How else can link building help my business? 

Link building for SEO will not only help to improve your site rankings and increase traffic from organic search, but it also has a range of other advantages that can benefit your business. Link building can also help you to build relationships with others in your industry, and it is these relationships that can help your business to appear trusted and reliable. When done well, link building can also help you to build your brand awareness and establish you as an authority – this is especially so if you operate in a niche industry.

The bottom line

Links continue to remain a decisive ranking factor for Google, so high-quality link building must play an essential role in any successful SEO strategy

If you’re keen to raise your website’s profile online, please do get in touch

You might also be interested in… 

Is it worth fixing broken links for SEO?

What makes a good SEO backlink?