As a SaaS company or startup running an SEO campaign, you’re no doubt aware of the necessity of good SEO. This goes beyond keywords – you need the right onsite technical structure, content strategy and meta-data in place.
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But have you spent enough time on link building? Link building is (still) a vital element of your ‘off-page’ SEO (i.e. all the activities you do away from your site to raise your spot in search).
So you’re not already doing so, it’s time to put link building at the heart of your SEO marketing strategy.
What is link building?
As the name implies, link building involves the process of getting links to your site.
It’s about more than simply posting links pointing back to your domain everywhere on the internet. This scattergun approach won’t boost your rankings. Instead, you need to balance your strategy and build relationships with other authorities – only placing links when it’s valuable and relevant to users.
Here are ten major benefits to developing a sound link building strategy.
1. Links give you credibility
Links provide your site with credibility, since they act as third-party indicators to your domain’s authoritative strength. Google aims to provide users with the most relevant results. To do this, it factors in ‘authority’. The higher the number of quality of links directed towards your site, the higher your credibility factor.
Google works on the basis that good publishers will link to your content because it will enhance their user experience. Aim to only build links from authoritative sites – five good links always outweighs 50 bad ones.
You should also think about the number of domains you’re linking back from – it’s better to get 10 links from 10 different authoritative domains rather than 10 from just one.
2. Google uses links to rank your site
Without link building you’re not accounting for over half of Google’s ranking considerations. Links are very important to Google – in fact it’s almost impossible for Google to rank your site if you have no links to it, no matter how great the content on your web pages. In order to rank higher than your competitors you need more back links than they have.
Take part in practices that Google’s algorithms look upon favourably i.e. attempts to build value and authority. Create unique and original content and share it. Create links that are trusted, diverse and relevant to build better results.
3. Backlinks will get you an increase in web traffic
Link building is one of the best ways to attract relevant audiences from industry authority sites. By targeting relevant audiences and niches you will improve traffic from external sources – and web traffic is a good indicator of your website’s health.
4. Link building leads to higher site metrics and SEO scores
If you’re SEO savvy you’ll understand terms like Domain Authority (DA), Domain Rating (DR), Page Rank (PR), Alexa Rank, and so on. By building backlinks you’ll increase these metrics and your website will benefit, health-wise. This will also aid visibility and exposure.
5. Greater revenue opportunities and more sales
More traffic and better metrics mean more opportunities for revenue generation. Your site will appear higher in search results, leading more potential customers to you. This means you’ll be able to sell more products and services – as well as generate new avenues of revenue.
6. Improved relationships within your niche
By doing as Google recommends and focusing on building links within your industry niche you’ll not only be creating relevant links – but become connected more closely with authority players in your sector. This can open up opportunities for other avenues of collaboration too.
7. Help to stand out as an authority voice
Naturally, you want your brand to be at the forefront of your industry and sustained link-building can help you do this. As a brand leader you’ll experience better sales and revenues because people will see you as a trusted figure. As an authority voice you’ll be the company that dominates conversations in your field.
8. A continuous source of referral traffic
Once you’ve created a permanent link on an authority site you should get regular traffic from that link going forward. Compare this to traditional models of advertising and marketing – once an ad runs its course you no longer get traffic. By building high quality backlinks you’re ensuring your website sees traffic from external sources for the long term.
9. Increased visibility and exposure
As well as using link building to increase search rankings, it can support credible lead generation. For example, if you want to reach out to an audience in a new geographical location link building will help you do this by raising awareness in that location. This can have a big positive impact on your business, and help to quickly establish you as a trusted brand.
10. Lower bounce rates
Google defines ‘bounce rate’ as “The number of single page sessions”. In other words, the number of people who visited one page of your site then left without looking around the rest of your site.
When you’re link building don’t just think inbound links but internal links too – the mixture makes your backlinking look more organic. Not only do internal links make it easier for Google to navigate your site, they also make it easier for users to navigate your content. By making it easier for visitors to find the content they want you’ll keep people on your site for longer and reduce bounce rate.
We hope this post has given you the inspiration to get started with or improve your back linking strategy.
On a final note, if you want to achieve real success when it comes to link building don’t go down the route of buying links. You won’t even know if the links you’re buying will work – and there’s a chance they could even work against you in the long run.
Instead, while it will take up more of your time, aim to get referrals from high authority websites. Ramp up your content marketing (and make sure it’s high quality) and integrate your link building strategy across all your other channels.
Stevie Carpenter is the Head of Content & Outreach at accelerate, an SEO agency that specialises in SaaS. With over 10 years agency experience, his CV includes most content-related roles you can think, from writer and editor to manager. Presently he oversees two departments that operate across the world, delivering high-quality content for SaaS brands looking to scale.