Everyone wants to attract more visitors to their website. That, after all, is the first goal of inbound marketing. One of the most effective strategies in accomplishing this goal is by establishing relevant, inbound links to your website. This is called link building, a practice which directly drives targeted traffic to your site.
There are two main reasons link building can increase website visitors:
- The number and quality of links to your site improves search engine ranking and increases organic search traffic.
- The right links on the right websites will increase referral traffic to your website, which can convert visitors into leads.
Link building and search engines
There are many aspects to search engine optimization (SEO), and link building is one of them. Through links, search engines can analyze the popularity of a website based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, along with vital industry metrics such as authority, trust, and spam.
According to Google, the relevancy of their search results is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. So, clearly, inbound links from relevant pages are important to search engine ranking and organic traffic.
We know, however, that it isn't the quantity of links, but rather the quality of links that makes all the difference. Google mentions specifically that, 'not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.'
Link building and the user
Links obviously play a very different role when it comes to the user. If you have quality links on a relevant external page there is a chance that users reading that page will click on your link. With every click your referral traffic increases, along with the chance for a new lead or customer.
Building quality links can also establish you as a leader in your marketplace. If users continuously see links to your website on pages within your marketplace or community, then your brand image and status will improve and you will be thought of as an authoritative leader.
Links shared through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ also play a role in referring traffic to your website. As more people discuss you and share your links the more likely your referral traffic is to increase, along with your status.
Now that you know what link building is and why it is important you may be asking yourself
'How do I get pages to link to my website?'
'What are link building best practices?'
Or maybe even:
'What makes a quality inbound link?'
Check out What is Link Building Part 2 and your questions will be answered!