When it comes to SEO, even people who are just cutting their teeth on the subject of digital marketing quickly pick up on the concept of link building. Links, after all, are used by Google as a way of determining the value and relevance of content found on website pages.
Google has long used such links coming from outside sites pointing to another site as a "vote" for the target site when it comes to the keywords used to link to that site.
The essence of link building is either directly building a network of sites that points to your target pages or earning links by having third-party sites voluntarily link to you. Either way, websites need links to rise in search results. This is pretty straightforward.
The problem is business people's perception of link building gets distorted when they shop around for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) service providers. Depending on who you ask, you might walk away with a completely unrealistic view of the benefits of link building. There are a variety of link building strategies out there.
Please understand that getting links to the target pages on your site is very important, but it's only a part of the many "ranking signals" that Google and other search engines uses. It is not a magic bullet.
You can't focus only on link building, forget everything else, and expect your site to show up in the top three results of your target keywords. It doesn't work that way.
If you are not careful, you may have a distorted view of link building after talking to an SEO service provider. You can have a good yet realistic understanding of the benefits of link building. Here's the breakdown:
Benefit #1. They give credibility to your site
With billions of pages on the Internet, Google has to figure out which pages are related to which types of subject categories. That is an almost impossible task. Thanks to link building, Google can quickly figure out what subjects your website pages are all about.
This ensures that when Google users search for information found on your site, there is a higher chance that your pages will show up. The key to this is establishing credibility. This is what quality link building produces.
Benefit #2. The right links help establish the value of your pages
On a purely mathematical level, Google will look at the links pointing to your website's pages and compare them with your competitors'. Your ranking can go up or down depending on who links to you, the pages' content, and the anchor tag text used to link to you.
A lot of this turns on the content that third-party sites link from. It's important to understand this. High-quality link building establishes the context for your pages and the pieces of content linking to you.
This means that you need to pick SEO service providers that can provide contextual backlinks if you want your website's rank in Google to increase.
Benefit #3. Backlink building increases your website's overall SEO metrics
There's a lot more going on when it comes to Google rankings than just the raw numbers of links pointing to your pages. You also have to factor in how much trust flows to your pages. This is established by the existing authority or credibility of the third-party sites with links to your pages.
Quality backlink building must start with the right link sources. Whether you're building links, attracting them, or earning them, you have to get backlinks from sites that truly matter. Focusing only on getting as many links as possible in a short time is not going to help you.
Chances are that many of those pages are low-quality and zero-credibility pages.
Benefit #4. link building establishes expectations
When the right websites link to you, people are not only clicking on one link to go to another page, nor is Google just taking the link signal to rank you higher. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye.
When people click on links to your pages, a lot of the credibility of that page is passed along with that click. This credibility, in turn, turns on whether that page linking to you offers value to people looking for content related to the materials found on your site.
In other words, there has to be a high level of niche relevance. Google can figure this out based on the keywords found on the pages linking to you.
For example, your website is about bird cages, and you get plenty of links that talk about bird cages and how to clean and maintain them. The value of those links is going to be much higher than if they came from pages that talk about buying socks.
Context is becoming more important to search engines like Google because it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to rank sites. The tighter the fit between the backlink profile of your website and the niche, the higher that chance you will get more traffic from Google.
Benefit #5. link building can set up sales conversion
One of the less-talked-about benefits of link building involves sales. You should sit up and pay attention to this benefit because this is what will put dollars in your bank account. While it's great to get a lot of traffic from Google, there is no guarantee that that traffic will convert.
If you are building all sorts of links from many pages, but you don't care about the quality of the content on those pages, you can get quite a bit of traffic. Either you rank very high because of the sheer link volume, or people simply click on the links.
It wouldn't matter because there is a disconnect between the content of the pages linking to you and the context within which people click links and what they find on your site.
It would be a shame to get all that traffic, but nobody clicks on your ads or fills out your collection form, or does something that will put dollars in your pocket.
Creating a brand impression for the people who view your site is one of the most powerful benefits of link building if you set it up properly through SEO outreach or contributed content.
This builds trust and credibility to the point they will give their email address so you can market to them later or click on an ad to buy from you.
The Final Word on the benefits of link building
Please study the benefits above closely. You have to be realistic in what you expect from your link building campaign. Please understand that there is no magic bullet solution. At the end of the day, you still have to have solid content on your site for things to work out.
You also have to present that content in such a way that people would want to read it. Still, being clear on the benefits of link building enables you to put together a framework that would lead to a truly effective site that makes money.