You Need Links for Your Domain, but How Should You Get Them?
November 26, 2019
One of the most important elements of supporting your domain is getting links established, pointing to the pages of your site. An inbound link is going to send referral traffic your way, but more importantly, it’s going to transfer domain authority, which is necessary if you want your site to rank high in search engines. Even if your website has brilliant content and compelling offers for visitors, it isn’t going to mean much if you aren’t showing up in search engines; in other words, links are your path to visibility. The question is, how are you supposed to get them?
Link Building vs. Link Earning
There are many link-related strategies you can use, but they ultimately fall into one of two categories:
- Link earning. Link earning is the process of cultivating content and building online relationships in a way that encourages other people to build links to your site naturally. Because this is a natural process, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of a Google penalty, but there are some pretty big downsides. Namely, you won’t have much control over how, when, and where links are built, since you’re entirely relying on others.
- Link building. Link building is the process of initiating the placement of links to your site. These days, this is generally done via guest blogging; you’ll write a high-quality article for an offsite publisher and include a link back to your site. The arrangement is beneficial for you, the publisher, and readers simultaneously, and it’s much more consistent and reliable than link earning.
The best link strategies incorporate elements of both link earning and link building.
Outsourcing or DIY?
Regardless of how you choose to mix your link strategies, early on you’ll need to decide whether you want to try to do the work yourself, or whether you want to make use of a link building outreach service. Doing the work yourself is possible, but it’s also very challenging and time intensive. If you’re not familiar with the process, you’ll run the risk of building unnatural links, which could earn your site a ranking penalty. And since you likely don’t already have standing relationships with offsite publishers, it’s going to take some time for you to build your authority enough to get featured on truly valuable sites.
Your alternative is working with a link building service provider. Here, you have a few options as well. You could hire a freelancer or independent contractor; they tend to be less expensive than the alternatives, but they’re also less reliable, and it may take you a while to find a good fit for your brand. In most cases, it’s better to work with an agency, since they’ll be able to accommodate any of your link building needs reliably, and still for less than it would cost to hire a full-time team.
Starting With Onsite Content
No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to start with a strong base of onsite content. Having an onsite blog full of well-written, detailed posts is essential to any link building strategy. Depending on which route you take, these may serve as evidence to your new publishers that you’re capable of writing informative, eloquent content. They may also serve as link fodder; if you want your links to remain in your article and forward ample traffic, they need to be valuable to readers. Linking to a strong, specific piece of onsite content is always preferable to, say, linking to your homepage or a practically empty page of your site.
Scaling Your Efforts
The best way to get the most value out of your link building strategy is with gradual scaling. You’ll start by focusing on low-hanging fruit—low-traffic publishers that are happy to take any and all guest blogs—and as you gain a reputation for yourself, you’ll work your way upward, reaching out to higher-traffic and higher-authority sites. You’ll also move from publishing a new blog every week or so to publishing several new blogs a week. It’s going to demand some patience, since link building is a long-term strategy, but after a few months of consistent effort, you’ll start to see some impressive results.
This article merely scrapes the surface of link building as a strategy to support your domain. Like most topics related to SEO, link building is complex, and a single article isn’t sufficient to cover the subject in full. If you’re interested in using links to support and popularize your new website, do some more research before committing to a strategy. Better yet, talk with a link building agency directly; they’ll be able to point you in the right direction, and possibly, provide you with the services you need to succeed.