The most important part of an SEO strategy is getting links from other sites to your own. That’s because Google has made it clear that the number and quality of external links are one of the top factors they use in determining rankings. Simply put, if you want to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), you need links. Lots and lots and LOTS of them! But here’s the thing: too often, people focus only on obtaining inbound links and forget about off-page link building–and as a result, they’re missing out on opportunities for competitive advantage!
To understand why this is so important, let’s first take a step back…
In the past, search engine results were based on a search algorithm that ranked pages based on their content and popularity. But as spam increased over time, those factors alone couldn’t ensure that the most relevant information would surface at the top of SERPs, so Google had to develop new ways to determine rankings. By looking more closely at how web pages were linked to each other, they developed PageRank. This method essentially determines a page’s relevancy by looking at how many “votes” it gets from other sites linking to it. The more votes the better the ranking!
This is why off-page SEO (the act of getting links from other sites) is so important today. And because of that, SEOs have been working hard to build links through various link building strategies, including article marketing outreach (or guest posting), blog commenting, forum and social networking sites. The problem is that many people get carried away with inbound link building–and forget about getting external links from other sites to theirs!
Taking a narrow view of link building is a big mistake. Why? Because the best SEOs don’t just do inbound link building, they also work hard to get other sites to point outwards. In fact, back in 2007, when people were (wrongly) convinced that all you needed was links from authoritative domains in order for your site to rank, I showed how this was a flawed strategy and why you needed off-page link building. And now, with Google having made it clear that the number and quality of external links are two of their top ranking factors, getting links from other sites has never been more important!
Getting backlinks doesn’t have to be hard. Some of the simplest and most effective ways to do this include:
1. Search Engine Submissions: Google has asked us SEOs to submit our sites for indexing to make it easier for search engine algorithms to crawl them more completely and frequently.
2. Social Media: Getting links from social media sites is also important because they are usually from “dofollow” sites. That means that you can link to your site (which Google loves) without having to worry about “building” a link; rather, the other site builds it for you!
3. Blog Commenting: Another simple way to get links is through blog commenting on relevant “dofollow” sites. (Here’s a great article with some helpful tips for getting the most out of this strategy.)
4. Guest Posts: Finally, you can get links by writing articles that go on other sites and then using your author bio section to link back to your site. (Check out this guide for more detailed information about guest posting.)
As we can see, there are lots of ways to build links! And while you should do both inbound and off-page link building, don’t forget that getting external links is a critical part of your SEO strategy–no matter what type of site you’re working on or what your goals. It’s not worth taking a narrow view of link building any more.
So forget about only getting inbound links! You need to actively work on getting external sites as well! After all, the best SEOs know that it’s not just about quantity–but rather, quality and RELEVANCE. This is something I’ve been talking about for years now–and if you want to truly succeed in search engine results, it’s something that you need to work on and embrace.
Think about it: If you have the best product or service around but no one knows about it–will anyone buy? Of course not! The same is true with your site. Even if your SEO strategy is awesome, if no one links to your site, it won’t be found. That’s why getting external links is so important and why you can’t afford to only focus on inbound link building.
If you want more proof that this approach works, check out Moz’s Whiteboard Friday video where they showed the correlation between total backlinks and rankings for the SERP’s top 10 for several different keywords. For example, if you look at these two graphs they show:
As you can see, not only are some of Google’s top results getting thousands and even tens of thousands of links to their pages–but in fact, they appear to be getting MORE backlinks as they go up in the rankings!
This is a great reminder that building links IS important for your SEO strategy–but so are all of the other factors. Yes, you need to focus on content, user experience, and social media integration as much as you do backlinks if you want to rank. But without backlinks from external sites, no one will find your content. It’s as simple as that!
So why are you still only putting all of your efforts into getting links from other sites? Get started today and make the most out of everything that you do. Use these strategies to get more backlinks, drive traffic, and grow your site’s online presence.
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This article has been a great introduction to the importance of off-page link building for your SEO strategy. If you’d like more information on how to do this, please visit our site and sign up for an account! We offer many different packages that will fit any budget or need so don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way 🙂