Link building for SEO – A Short SEO Course, Lesson 7

You’re now more than halfway done with this course. Congratulations!

In this email, we’re going to get into the importance of link building for SEO. Link building means that you not only include links within your site to your own content (internal linking), but also build links from outside of your site to your website (backlinks).

The most important aspect of links, whether internal or backlinks, is relevancy. First, look at the links that you have on your site and then look at the links outside the site. You want them to be relevant to your audience, otherwise there is no point for the link. You can use Google Analytics to study this on your site.

Since you cannot control all backlinks that happen, don’t worry if some of them aren’t relevant unless they’re from a questionable site. If that’s the case, contact the site to have them removed if possible. But, the best course is to just work on getting higher quality authority sites linking to you instead.

Backlinking

The best way to get good backlinks is to simply share and promote your content in the right places. Every piece of content that you publish should be promoted across social networks as if it’s the best product you’ve ever created. Below are some other ways to get that process going.

Backlinks affect ranking a lot more than people realize. That’s because when someone takes the time to link to your site, it gives a signal that your website is authoritative, accurate, and relevant. Most people don’t even work on getting backlinks because it often happens naturally. But, if you can improve your SEO just by getting relevant people to link to you, why not give it a go?

* Use Anchor Text – While you’re not always in total control how your backlinks appear based on who is linking to you, when they use good anchor text it’s more effective. Let’s say your website is all about cooking chicken. A good anchor text for the link to your site might be something like poaching chicken. Google will see the link and say, “That site must be about chicken, let’s index it”. If it is indeed about chicken, you’re in luck.

* Guest Post – There are some who believe guest blogging is dead, but it’s not. What’s dead is putting out duplicate guest posts, paid guest posts, guest post sites (think article marketing sites), and publishing on unrelated sites. What works is guest posting on authoritative, unrelated (not your own), relevant sites that service your identical audience with original content created solely for the guest post, and then links back to an internal landing page on your website. This post should hopefully have the “do-follow” designation.

Additionally, creating an active and engaging social media presence, sharing all your content on social media, and keeping your brand values in mind will assist with your link building efforts.

Internal Links

There are plugins you can use to help with internal linking under blog posts. A good one to try is Internal Links Generator (https://wordpress.org/plugins/internal-links-generator/), but there are others. Don’t forget Yoast SEO which also has this capability. It’s always best to use fewer plugins than more.

What Internal Links Accomplish

Internal links help your audience navigate your website, outlines the structure of your website, and boosts page rank and authority throughout your website. Internal links guide your audience to view the content that you want them to see based on where they first entered your website, by pointing them to more relevant content.

Focus on Anchor Text

Internal links should focus on using anchor text over images. And when you do use images, ensure that you’ve created a good alt tag description. Did you know that originally alt tags were created to make the web more accessible to people who were blind? If you imagine that your whole audience is blind, you’ll start creating much more creative descriptions. These descriptions will be helpful to search engines as well as blind members of your audience.

Deep Linking Is Best

Don’t just link back to your homepage. There is hardly any purpose to that, since people can usually just click “home” to get there. Additionally, don’t link to the contact page on every single post, and avoid linking to other top-level menu items which are showing up on the menu anyway. Instead, create internal links that go deeper into your website, helping your audience find content that they may miss otherwise.

Keep It Natural

When you’re creating internal links, place all your focus on the audience and users. Ensure that the content you’re linking to will provide value to that reader based on what they just read. Your goal is to improve user engagement and make your site “sticky”; therefore the internal links you choose should be relevant.

Make Internal Links Follow Links

Nofollow links are great for helping you avoid duplicate content issues, such as when you have multiple sales pages for different platforms for the same product. For example, product A is sold on your site via ClickBank.com, Zaxaa.com, and JVZoo.com. But, if you’re linking to a blog post or article within your site that is not a top-level menu item, make the link “follow”, because that will help search engines know that this link is important and relevant to the content the user just read.

Finally, don’t go nuts. You don’t need to have 100 internal links on each page. Less is more. The reason is that you want the links to be super-relevant, and it might be hard to be targeted if you try to include a broad array of links. Of course, in some cases having more links is best and still relevant, so decide this on a case-by-case basis. To begin, go back to your old content that you’ve already published and add internal links that are relevant to each page.

Next time, we’re going to look at some traffic-building techniques to improve your SEO even more.

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