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Link Building and Establishing Authority

You’ve arrived. You’ve created top quality content that users are searching for and that answers their questions. You’ve also made sure that your content can be understood by search engines so that your content will resonate with users and search engines, but your pages still aren’t ranking. If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to focus on link building. A little work in this area can go a long way to building authority for your site which will contribute to your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

External and Internal Links and How They Help your Authority

The two types of links you need to worry about are backlinks, also called inbound links and internal links. Backlinks are when another site links to a page on your site. Internal links are when you link from a page on your site to another page on your site. Backlinks are very important to your site’s authority because they demonstrate to search engines that the content on your site is valuable enough to be shared by other people. These backlinks serve as a recommendation of your site by other people. Think about it this way, if you were going out of town for the weekend and three of your friends all recommended the same restaurant for dinner you’d feel pretty confident going there. Search engines treat your backlinks the same way which is why they should be a major focus when you are building your site’s authority.

Internal links help signal importance, but in a slightly different way. Say you want to signal to search engines that your “Contact” page is really important. By linking to it often on pages throughout your site you will send a signal to google that this is an important page which could help rankings. Including internal links often also makes your pages easier to crawl which makes sure that all of your pages are being indexed. We go into this a little more in detail in our blog about on page SEO. Backlinks example graphic

When Creating Content Always Remember E-A-T

E-A-T is an acronym that Google has come up with that stands for expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. If your site doesn’t follow these guidelines it will be very hard to get it to rank well in search results. Creating your content with these principles as your goal also has the added benefit of pushing you to make the best content possible. Great content is the kind of content that other sites want to share which means that following E-A-T could earn you backlinks and valuable authority in search engines. In addition, the more popular a site is the more authority their backlinks carry. Consider Wikipedia’s popularity for example. Wikipedia is linked to numerous times by a wide range of sites which signals to search engines that the content on Wikipedia is very valuable. This doesn’t mean that you need enormous sites like Wikipedia to link to your site to gain authority, but when looking for opportunities for backlinks you should focus on sites that provide valuable and trustworthy content as that’s where you’ll get the most value for your efforts.

Keep your Link Profile Healthy

The link profile of your site is a quality assessment of all the inbound links to your site. Are your backlinks from a diverse range of sites or is one site linking to your site over and over again? Are your backlinks from other trusted sites or do they seem spammy? Questions like these contribute to how search engines determine the value and ranking of your site. Knowing these factors of your rankings it’s obvious why you should avoid practices such as buying backlinks or participating in excessive link exchanging (the practice of linking to someone else’s site so that they’ll link to yours) because Google will penalize your site if you’re caught and could deindex your site which means your site may not show at all in SERPs. Google also maintains a full list of guidelines for how they determine search quality ranking in case you ever need them.

Publish a Blog

Making a blog on your site is one of the few strategies for link building that is actually recommended by Google’s engineers according to Moz. Having a blog on your site is a great way to consistently have fresh and quality content going up on your site that people want to backlink to. Pay careful attention to the caliber of posts you are making, though. If you are posting low-value content just to have new post up on your page your company blog could have the opposite effect that we’re aiming for. If link building and a company blog are starting to seem like a big job it’s because they are, especially if you are trying to run a business as well as stay on top of things like your link profile. A professional SEO company can run your blog for you though and give your site the authority it needs through quality link building. Consider investing in SEO services if you feel like your online presence is lacking.