The Importance of Link Building

The SEO landscape is always developing, and the importance of building high-quality links has never been higher than it is today.   

You’ve probably heard about link building before – it has been on the digital scene for some time. But it remains a powerful method to improve organic rankings, visibility and ultimately, drive traffic and sales.  

The need to create high performing digital campaigns is essential to get anywhere online. Link building should form a key part of an SEO strategy and it’s a topic we’re regularly asked about. Read on for insightful pointers on link building and how you can use it for your business.  

Why are links so important?  

We all know what a link is. But do you know how valuable they are to Google? Links are part of the search engine’s algorithm that ranks your website. Google uses links as trust signals to understand how authoritative your website is. Much like you get rewarded for a well optimised website with great content, you get rewarded for great links too.  

Across the nation right now, more people than ever before are at home. Users are flooding online to get their digital fix and you need to ensure you’re in the mix, ranking highly on search engines – particularly if you’re selling products or services that people can find through Google.  

Links play a big role in achieving higher organic positions in the SERPs. Even better, if you can rank higher organically, you’re in a position to reduce your investment in paid media.  

This is all well and good but if you haven’t considered link building before, why should you now?  

Why should you care about links?  

If you’ve not been persuaded by the argument that links can better your organic visibility, have you considered that your competitors are probably already doing it?  

If your competitors are driving high quality links, making iterative website improvements and being aggressive with their SEO strategy, you can quickly get left behind. But links aren’t simply about getting ahead. It could also even be a requirement to maintain your current position so you can continue driving more sales and traffic than your competition.  

How do you get links?  

There are a few different ways to get links. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you can gain links naturally through people mentioning and linking to your business on forums, posts and in news outlets. However, the more common method is to proactively drive links through link building activity such as digital PR and outreach.  

What’s the difference between outreach and digital PR? 

We often hear about confusion between the differences of digital PR and outreach. These two tactics go hand in hand, work alongside one another to drive more links and support your SEO strategy.  

So, what’s the difference? It heavily comes down to the types of sites they target. 

  • Digital PR: The general approach to digital PR is to target high domain sites and relevant media news outlets. Links gained through this tactic are centred around the media and mid to higher tier domain authority (DA) sites which are great for your brand’s SEO.  
  • Outreach: With outreach the aim is to gather links on sites that are more targeted to your niche. This could include universities, councils, tourist boards, shopping centres and niche bloggers. While these sites don’t always have high DAs, they are extremely relevant to the brand and therefore powerful at supporting an organic strategy.  

How do outreach and digital PR work together? 

Digital PR and outreach are two tactics that can work collaboratively to drive quality links at volume. As a link building agency, this is the approach we find to be most effective to deliver results.   

Using in-house developed tools, we’re able to conduct DA bandgap analysis, link gap analysis and competitor analysis alongside extensive keyword research. Our approach is to really understand your position in the market versus where you want to be, allowing us to spot untouched avenues that can be used to improve your performance.  

There are too many websites out there for one team to tackle alone. Taking this dual approach with two specialist teams working together has the ability to earn an impressive mixture of links across a variety of sites. Having a range of links from a range of sites with a range of DAs, creates a naturally varied backlink profile which is seen as trustworthy in the eyes of Google.  

How do we use content in digital PR and outreach?  

High quality, well-written content is the foundation of an effective organic strategy. As comprehensive, expertly crafted content takes time to create, it’s important to get the most out of it.  

Every time we acquire a new link, we’re not necessarily using a completely new bespoke piece of content. Extensive research goes into producing larger content pieces such as white papers, sector reports, creative infographics or an extensive blog that conveys your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness to satisfy Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Whatever the content produced, our expert in-house wordsmiths always ensure it’s optimised, thematically relevant to your business and of the highest quality.  
 
Taking that well-researched content, we push it out to relevant high DA news platforms using digital PR tactics, considering what will gain interest with the press at that given time. The content promoted through digital PR is typically adapted to create interest with the readership by including elements such as graphics, stats and data.  

For Outreach, the same content is utilised although adapted to suit a number of relevant websites. The angle may not be exactly the same and it’s important to ensure there will never be content duplication. However, we do always make the most of the time and money invested in creating content to make it work as hard as possible for your business. If you want to know more about how we do this, take a look at our previous webinar with Head of Content, Emma Sibbles alongside Cheryl.  

What type of content is used in digital PR and outreach?  

There is variety of content types that can be used with digital PR and outreach. Again, it’s best to have a mix.  

  • Evergreen content: Evergreen content is a must have for any online business as it’s great for driving links over time. As an ‘always on’ tactic, you can leave a campaign to run that features high-quality evergreen content and feel confident that it will keep delivering links.  
  • Seasonal content: Seasonal content, also known as reactive content, is exactly what it says on the tin! These pieces are usually news focused activities ideal for when you want to drive volume at a specific time.  

The combination of evergreen and seasonal content running at the same time is an effective technique. With digital PR, campaigns can be tailored to what is happening in the media, whereas with outreach, the opportunity is there to drive consistent links. Leveraging both seasonal and evergreen content can help you drive results in both areas.  

Key takeaways 

If you’re not thinking about link building, maybe now is the time to. It can be hugely beneficial to your organic visibility and to get ahead of the competition. Here’s a list of the top takeaways:  

  • Look at what your competitors are doing – you don’t want to be left behind 
  • Conduct backlink analysis – this can gauge opportunities to determine the best strategy  
  • Combine outreach and digital PR – don’t think of them separately, they complement and strengthen each other 
  • Produce evergreen and reactive content – a mixture of both helps you cover all bases 
  • Don’t just look at the volume of links – consider the quality, relevancy and mixture of links 

As a digital agency with a difference, our digital PR and outreach specialists are dedicated to driving performance through high-quality link building. Hear advice from our PR Associate Director, Cheryl, and Outreach Manager, Vickie, who have a combined total of over 25 years working in the industry, by listening to the webinar above.  

Working with leading brands on link building strategies, we have increased Peter Vardy’s DA by 18% and achieved 161 links, earned links with a DA 95 for Tickmill and helped increase revenue by 62% for Premier Polytunnels. If you want to find out more about our approach and what link building can do for you, get in touch with our team of specialists.  

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