What Is Link Building?

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Link building is done by securing a link on an independent website back to your own site. It is like building a one way hyperlink to a website with the intention of growing traffic. In simple terms, link building is done by getting other websites to link to a page on your own website. And these hyperlinks are called backlinks. While the end result might make sense conceptually and seem simple, the part that most people don't understand and can't seem to get right is this: the process. And this is usually done by emailing complete people and asking them to link to your website.

For example, if you have a marketing blog and you write about SEO and digital marketing, you're probably not going to want to link to a random person's post on Facebook ads just because they asked you to. In fact, you might not even bother replying or checking to see if their content is any good. Now, let's look at this from a different perspective. Let's say that you've been following a famous coaches' YouTube channel and blog for some time. You've implemented some of the strategies they've shared and got some great results for your site. Now, an email pops up in your inbox from that coach. A name and face you might recognize because you've been following our channel. And in that email, they've asked you to link to one of their pages. Would you link to them? Maybe.

Now, the final scenario. Let's say your mentor who helped you get started in digital marketing sends you an email. And she asks you to link to a page on her site from a relevant page on yours. You'd definitely link to her! She helped you get started in digital marketing, you obviously trust and respect her, and you'd be willing to bend over backwards for her.

What these scenarios are trying to show you is that link building is actually more reliant on relationships than anything else and can sometimes take more time than you would hope. You can't try to become friends with everyone just to get links, but usually your best links come from relationships that start with email outreach.

Why is link building important?

Link building is the process of building relationships with other relevant site owners who want and will link to your content because it enhances theirs. So this definition is not about you getting something. It also means building  relevant relationships, and a valuable exchange. Link building is difficult to execute, so it is important to understand why it's worth the effort. In short, Google uses backlinks to rank web pages. 

Backlinks are important not just because Google says so on their "How Search Works" page, but also because it's a mathematical fact. PageRank is a formula that determines the "value of a page" by looking at the quality and quantity of other pages that link to it. If other sites link to a page, it's a good sign that the information on that page is high quality.

Some studies have also found that there is a clear correlation between organic traffic and backlinks. So even though it may be harder to get backlinks than it is to create a blog post, they are still very important if you want to rank for competitive phrases. And the phrases that are the most competitive are usually the ones that will generate the most traffic and revenue for your business.