A big part of search engine optimization is getting backlinks—that is, having other reputable sites link to your own. Backlinks have always been a critical component in Google’s search algorithms, signaling that your site is a trusted resource and therefore worthy of attention. Because of this, SEO companies have traditionally put a lot of emphasis on building links.

How Link Building Has Changed

For a long time, though, link building practices had something of a duplicitous nature. Rather than earning links, or getting them organically, black hat SEO companies would actually buy them—literally paying for backlinks in online directories and from professional linking services. Needless to say, this undermined the whole point of backlinks, and these practices now result in steep penalties from Google.

Today, Google wants you to get links through more honest means—ideally, by creating a website that’s good enough and valuable enough that people will want to link to it, without you having to pay them.

There are many ways to get links today, some of which are fairly simple—like signing up for a citation in a local directory. Most link building is done through building relationships with other websites and bloggers, though—earning their trust, and in doing so, earning their links.

How Relationship Building Works

As a result, it is arguably smarter to think not in terms of building links, but building relationships. What does this actually mean for your SEO endeavors, though? How do you effectively build these important relationships?

Here are a few general relationship and link building strategies we recommend:

  • First and foremost, make sure you offer value. Nobody is going to want to link to a page that is all fluff. Provide meaningful information with actionable implications.
  • It is also important that the information you provide is free; information that’s hidden behind a paywall isn’t likely to win many links.
  • Focus on readability and ease of use. Ensure that your online content is formatted in a way that makes things easy on the reader; that means subheadings, bullet points, etc.
  • Do some linking of your own. When applicable, link to some other relevant websites, articles, or blogs.
  • Don’t forget about outreach. The best way to get links is to ask for them. Email reputable webmasters and bloggers and introduce yourself, tell them about your site, etc.
  • Don’t be too pushy, but, if you write an article that cites another source, email the author of it to let them know that you quoted them or linked to them. They might return the favor!

Start Building Relationships Today

At Sefati Consulting, we’re experts in relationship building—and we’d love to start building some on your behalf. We invite you to learn more about what relationship building means within the context of a SMART digital marketing strategy. Start the process by contacting our team today.