What Is Link Building? A Beginner Guide

If you want more traffic to your business, linking building is an essential skill.

In fact, there’s no factor within SEO rankings that is more important than link building. If you want to rank high, you need as many links as possible bringing people back to your website.

With this guide, you will learn everything you need to know in order to begin building high-quality links and boost your ranking.

Contents

  1. The Basics of Link Building
  2. What are High-Quality Links?
  3. How to Get Backlinks using Content Marketing
  4. The Penalties of Black Hat SEO
  5. Link Building Strategies
  6. Tips for Advanced Link Building

1.The Basics of Link Building

Links are one of the foundation pieces of Google’s search engine algorithm. In fact, Google came out and said that links and content are the top influencers of rank.

But why?

To answer this, let’s take a step back to understand what link building even is.

Link building is the process of receiving promotions from external sources, either other websites or social media, in the form of backlinks (also known as inbound links or hyperlinks).

The goal is to increase traffic from other websites to your own as a form of advertising.

But that’s not to say that you just need an absurd amount of links directed towards your website. Google focuses on the quality of the link, not the quantity. Quality links provide the best indicators that your website will provide the information people are searching for.

This seems a little vague though. What makes a link high quality?

We’ll answer this in the next chapter.

2.What are High-Quality Links?

Link building can result in one of two things happening:

  1. You build a high-quality link and watch as your ranking goes up and up and up, or
  2. You build a low-quality link and watch as your rank plummets.

This doesn’t leave much room for mistakes. It’s important to know what makes a link “high quality” in the eyes of Google…especially when the website is linking to you.

So what makes a backlink high-quality?

On a page with PageRank

Is the page that’s linking to you highly ranked on PageRank? If so, then it’ll have a huge impact on your own rank, especially if you’re a smaller page.

PageRank is an algorithm developed by Google that evaluates the quality and quantity of the links to a specific webpage. It measures the importance of the website’s pages, therefore influencing your rank. This information isn’t shown publicly, but it has a great impact on the search engine algorithm that Google uses today.

There are workarounds to finding information regarding your own PageRank or the pages that backlinking to you. Ahrefs can be a good indicator of the URLRating of the backlink.

From a relevant and trusted source

This is you. You need to have content that is of high quality and provides accurate information.

But it is also important that the website that is linking to you is relevant to your business or industry. According to an interview from an ex-Google engineer: “Today it’s more about relevance to the site’s theme in regards to your, relevance is the new PageRank.”

Not only do you need to have accurate information but the people linking to you also need to be related to your industry.

Non-misleading anchor text is used, the exact phrase is best

One thing that makes a link more clickable is knowing what exactly it is you’re clicking on.

When anchor links indicate exactly what the viewer is clicking on, the customer’s expectations are met. If you see an anchor link that says cute puppy video, you’re expecting that when you click on it.

The issue with anchor links is that they can to be anything. If the text says one thing and the link turns out to be something else, you’ll feel misled. That results in an unhappy customer.

Google sees anchor links using keywords and notes that the link was useful regarding that specific keyword. While it does help your SEO ranking, it’s important that the anchor links aren’t spammed because that will end up hurting your rank.

Editorial links

While there are a few different ways for a website to link to your page, editorial links are one of the most effective ways of generating leads and traffic.

Google puts a lot of weight on editorial links. This is because the algorithm sees that someone else find your article useful enough to spread the information you’ve posted.

Simply publishing content isn’t going to get you very far when it comes to obtaining backlinks.

Not all content and copy are viewed the same. Certain types of content are more likely to become backlinked than others.

In order to determine what kind of content will get a backlink, ask yourself: “What have I linked to in my own articles?” You’ll find it’s likely one of the following:

i. Visuals

This includes images, diagrams, infographics, and other charts or graphs.

These are linked to most because they are extremely useful for people and they are convenient to link to. Anyone that shares or uses your graph within their article to help confirm their message will provide a link to your website.

Visuals are a powerful tool that helps visualize information in a creative way while also making it easier and more interactive for viewers.

ii. List Articles

List posts are typically articles that condense information into little chunks. This can be tips, reasons why, myths, how-tos, and the list goes on. They can be just about anything

They are clear and concise pockets of information that are easy for viewers to read and easy to take information from to help prove the point of the article that’s linking to it.

List posts generate more backlinks that most other formats including videos and infographics, according to BuzzSumo’s analysis of 1 million articles.

iii. Research and Data

When a business reveals game-changing research and data, the industry goes wild.

Why? Because people need to know about the latest and greatest industry-related statistics, research, studies, and surveys in order to stay on top.

When new research is released, people will source the original material when spreading the word. The backlinks add up fast.

iv. Guides

Guides provide the ultimate insight.

A great guide will provide comprehensive information about everything you need to know on a given topic. Everyone, from beginners to industry specialists, can benefit from it.

The ultimate guides pack a lot of extremely useful information all in one place, making them the go-to.

4.The Penalties of Black Hat SEO

If the links aren’t following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, they’re likely following black hat SEO practices, which can result in serious consequences to your ranking.

Google Penguin is an algorithm designed to detect and dish out penalties of spammy link building techniques. The only way to avoid its wrath is to build quality links and avoid any linking that seems fishy.

Additionally, Google can give you manual penalties based on unnatural links.

Unnatural links are intended to manipulate search engine results through the PageRank algorithm.

Unnatural links are considered to be the following:

  • Inorganic
  • Toxic
  • Low quality
  • Artificial
  • Deceptive and manipulative

5.Link Building Strategies

There are countless strategies for link building. We’ll go over some options in depth.

i. Resource Page

For those unfamiliar, resource pages are purely dedicated to linking out to other sources and providing valuable resources on a topic. You need to find content that other people can’t find very easily, and then make accessible through your site.

ii. Guest Blogging

This is one of the oldest link building strategies in the book.

How it works is simple: write an article for another website in your industry. Once that is complete, have the article link out to yourself since you’re the author.

iii. Other Techniques

Here’s a resource page dedicated to other link building strategies if the two examples above don’t suit your current needs as a business.

6.Tips for Advance Link Building

 

Once you have the basics down and websites are backlinking to your articles, it’s time for some tips that will help gain even more links.

In a perfect world, everyone would credit everyone. However, this isn’t always the case. When someone mentions your website or business, they should be linking to your website, but they don’t always.

With a kind message asking for them to provide the link, most people are happy to accommodate you for this request.

The real struggle is finding them. BuzzSumo is a great option for uncovering. They will find the unlinked mentions of your website.

Another way of discovering some unsourced content is through reverse image sourcing. Similarly to name mentions, a quick nudge towards a link will straighten that right out.

Link building is a very complicated process and it takes a lot of trial and error to get right. This guide is meant to set you up for success and help you grow your backlinks to gain traffic to your business.

Beginner’s Guide to SEO Split Testing

When it comes to making landing pages, email copy or even ads, it can be hard to gauge what will perform the best.

Relying on guesses or chance for your marketing decisions is risky. You’re much better off split testing.

Most people have heard of the term A/B testing before. SEO split testing is relatively new to the marketing world but is quickly becoming an essential tool for conversion-driven companies.

What is Split Testing?

Our goal with SEO split testing is to compare multiple versions of the same ad or landing page and see which performs better.

Imagine you’re at the optometrist, getting an eye exam. Split testing is similar: you try out different variations until you’ve found the option that suits you best. When it comes to SEO, the best option is the one that most effectively achieves your goals for the campaign.

In order to begin split testing, you’ll need some ads. The best practice is to create two or more ads that have minor changes to the design, copy or layout (more on that later.) You’ll then show each ad to similar target audiences and monitor their performance.

The Benefit of Split Testing

Simply put, split testing is valuable to businesses because it’s low cost with a high reward.

You could pay someone to write five articles per week, but they may only generate 10 leads. Imagine the savings you could earn by only writing one article in the time it takes to write two but split testing the calls to action (CTAs).

You may find that the number of leads goes from 10 to 20. The extra time spent writing the article means it’s of high quality and unrushed. Even if the test doesn’t yield the results, you can use the knowledge you gained to make data-driven changes for the next time.

The eventual success of your tests will ultimately set you off better than a business that didn’t test.

It’s easy to determine which title has a bigger impact or which button is most clickable using testing. Minor changes and adjustments can make your conversions take off and keep people on your page for as long as possible.

How to Run Split Testing

Before You Run the Test

Step 1: What do you test?

Before you do anything, you have to identify the aspects of the ad or landing page you want to test. It may prove to be a longer list than you bargained for.

However, it’s a good idea to only one variable at a time. That way, you’ll know whether (and exactly how) the change made an impact. These changes don’t have to be major. Even changing the colour of your CTA can improve your results!

If you want to test multiple variables, that’s perfectly fine! The best practice is to test them individually and identify the top performers.

Now, there are times when it does make sense to test multiple variables instead of just one. This is called multivariate testing. This method takes longer to set up and requires more traffic to complete. The more you change, the more combinations you have to test to get useful results.

Step 2: What are your goals?

It’s important to identify the specific goal you want to focus on throughout the test.

Though you’ll end up monitoring multiple metrics for each test, you should choose a primary focus before you start testing.

Why? Simply because it allows you to identify which variable will influence what metric.

You should identify where do you want the variable to end up when the test is done.

Step 3: Creation

It’s time to create your various tests!

You have your variables and goals, so all that’s left is to make them. The first step is to make a control – an unaltered version of whatever it is you want to test. If this is a landing page, you would design and create copy how you normally would.

Once that is finished, it’s time to build your variant page or ad. This will be whatever you’ll be testing against your original. For example, if you’re wondering whether videos or images provide higher engagement, you would set up your unaltered version with just images. Your variation would then replace the images with videos.

Step 4: How Significant Do the Results have to be?

It’s easy to say that the results just have to be better than the original.

But by how much? If you got one more conversion than the original, is that worth it? Probably not.

Statistical significance is the most important part of the testing process. You may recall the term confidence level from your old statistics class. Typically you want to have a 95% confidence level, but the higher the percentage, the surer you are that you’ll have the results you think.

During the Test

Please note that you shouldn’t run more than one test for a single campaign. If you do, it can complicate your results. If you have an ad campaign that directs to a landing page that you’re testing, how do you know which one is actually generating leads?

Step 5: Test the Control and Variant at the Same Time

To begin your test on a website or email, you’ll need to use a testing tool.

Using Google Analytics’ Experiments, you can test up to 10 versions of a web page to monitor the performance.

Once you have that in place, you’ll need to run the campaign at the same time. If you were to run test A about furnaces in the winter and then test B in the summer, you won’t know if it was actually affected by your changes or if it was just the time you ran them.

Step 6: How Long Should the Test Last?

Oftentimes one of the downfalls of testing is limiting the amount of time to see the results.

You won’t see results overnight. It typically takes a week or two to see the variations in the different tests.

So don’t panic if you don’t see results yet!

After the Test

Step 7: Was the Test Significant?

It’s time to reflect on the test you just ran.

Looking back on your original goal, did you meet it? Which performed better?

Once you determine that, it’s time to find out if the test results were statistically significant. Can you justify the change?

Hubspot offers a free split testing calculator for you to use if you don’t want to do it manually.

Step 8: Improve!

These tests are all about making improvements to gain traffic and conversions.

So use the information you’ve gathered to improve your results.

If the test you just ran didn’t work out how you thought, then run another one with a different change! If you were successful, use that in your next campaign.

Use your tests to discover new ways to develop your own content and improve!

Which Type of LinkedIn Ad Campaign is Best for Your Target Audience?

LinkedIn is a powerful and under-utilized social media.

It is a gateway to company executives, business-driven people and many other influential users.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Why?

Because LinkedIn’s Ad targeting strategy is so comprehensive and has so much data from users to take from.

LinkedIn is set apart from other social medias because it is made up of:

  • 500 million active users
  • 45 million decision-makers
  • 73 million senior level executives

Now that you know the impact LinkedIn Ad campaigns, it’s time to find the best targeting options for your needs!

1. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content on LinkedIn is native ads that you come across when scrolling through your feed.

The goal of sponsored content is to engage viewers quickly while simultaneously delivering the objectives of the ad.

Sponsored content builds relationships through the use of relevant content based on the LinkedIn algorithm. This has been proven to be an effective method of creating leads and engagement. In fact, 25% more consumers look at sponsored content than display ad units.

LinkedIn is great for sponsored content because of their audience targeting software. You can build you perfect audience using your own profile’s audience. You can even move beyond that target audience using LinkedIn’s Audience Network.

The best part is that you can follow the campaign performance within the LinkedIn Insight Tag.

2. Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is used for your core audience.

Using LinkedIn’s messaging system, you can send custom messages to the active members. Think of this type of advertising to be similar to a newsletter.

55% of organizations give their personalization efforts a grade of C or lower, this is the perfect method to change that.

One of the best features within sponsored InMail is the call to actions. These CTAs are optimized for conversions and leads. On both mobile and desktop, the CTA is always visible while the user scrolls, giving them every opportunity to go further down the funnel.

Not only is it viewer friendly, but it’s user friendly too! Anyone can have a perfectly formatted layout without worrying about its responsiveness. InMail automatically formats the content you provide it to look good on any screen.

3. LinkedIn Text Ads

This is a perfect choice for those looking to expand their reach within LinkedIn without breaking the bank.

Text Ads are simple ads on the right side or top of your LinkedIn desktop feed. It is what it says it is: text and a small icon to accompany it.

Create a text ad using bids based on pay per click or cost per impression. You control how much you want to spend.

How can you make the most of text ads?

You will always get the best results if you have accurate audience targeting. When creating your ads, in order to tailor the ads to the desired audience consider:

  • Using creative visuals
  • Using CTAs that link to a landing page that also matches the ad
  • Continuously test and make adjustments, 3-4 ads in each campaign is best practice

When it comes to running a LinkedIn ads campaigns, there’s no set way. It’s all dependent on who you’re targeting and what you want out of the ads. LinkedIn allows you to take control of everything, even your own profile, and get the traffic you want.