We are about helping our clients get more inbound links to their sites, to improve their SEO performance. Building links is similar to building relationships and should be approached in a like manner. Keep reading to see what that means!

When discussing website and social media optimization tactics we are frequently asked, “What is a link?” Our quick answer is: Another web site that connects back to your site via a ‘link’ (blue hypertext)… with those inbound links frequently being keywords (industry terms or phrases).

That first link question is often followed by this one, “What is the importance of having links?” To that inquiry, our quick answer is: As an optimization tactic, links promote the popularity of your site content on the web, for both search engines and customer searches.

Authoritative, quality links positively impact a web page’s ranking in search results. In turn, rankings affect site traffic and traffic can affect conversions. Page ranking is the web’s opinion about what website pages are important and popular.

Here are three influencing factors that impact search engine ranking results of a website:

  • Site optimization – placing industry and local keywords in the right places on your website and making your website accessible to search engines
  • Site popularity – achieved through online and traditional marketing, and through link popularity
  • Link popularity – the more websites that link to you, the more people will find your website

Here is a simple link building example: Cobbler Bill’s has the best shoe repair in town (Portland, OR)! By providing the link to the Cobbler Bill’s site in this blog we have helped their SEO by giving them an inbound link.

Links are an instantaneous way to quantify Search Engine Optimization (SEO) activity, but as with all optimization tactics, real measurement of Return On Investment (ROI) is a long-term process. Reporting on the number of links doesn’t show ROI… it only reflects SEO activity.

While unique content can and does build links, it isn’t always that simple. Quality content will naturally attract links, and depending upon the strength and visibility of the site that posted the content, little marketing may be necessary.

Think of the link building process as a relationship building process… and the more relationships, the more links. Approach the link building process in the same manner you would approach any new relationship… be open, friendly, willing to share, and willing to extend yourself.

Some link building tips will be shared in next month’s Part Two of this blog, as well as the impact of Social Sharing on your ‘popularity’. For Part Three of this series, other optimization impact tracking and measurement techniques will be discussed.

Feel free to leave a comment with your experience in link building.