High quality backlinks are a major piece of Google’s algorithm and they will continue to be, as they can be the deciding factor that pushes a website to the top of the search results. While link building efforts are done solely for search engine optimization purposes, they are beneficial for several other reasons.
Google is constantly rolling out new updates and data refreshes in order to penalize low quality websites that use spammy link building techniques to manipulate the search results. When building links a great rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “What would Google say if they were doing a manual review and they saw this link?”
Would they see it as non-spammy and something that actually provides value to the content?
Would they feel that it wasn’t overly optimized anchor text?
Not only does this help you stay out of potential penalty trouble, but it also helps to ensure your links will provide value to you in other ways in the event that Google wakes up one day and decides to not reward high quality links. Not many people think of the benefits of link building outside of the SEO benefits. Here are five additional benefits that high quality links can provide.
1. Build Your Brand Authority
Sure, getting links on popular websites is great for your SEO efforts, but they also help to build the authority of your brand. The same way Google looks as these links as a good indication that your website provides useful information, consumers see it as a good indication that your brand is one that they should take an interest in.
So, while high quality links on popular websites will greatly benefit your SEO, they will also help attract consumers to your brand simply by association. This also helps to present your company as an information source within your industry, and can even result in websites linking to your content, giving you natural backlinks, which Google loves.
2. Drive Steady Referral Traffic on Autopilot
Not all website traffic originates from a search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another search engine. Referral traffic is also a large percentage of all traffic, meaning that people are clicking on links within content and being taken to the linked content.
High quality links on sites with a lot of traffic will not only help your SEO, but they can also drive targeted traffic to your website around the clock. A single link on a popular website can continue to push traffic to your website for years. The beautiful thing about referral traffic is that it is highly targeted. Just think about how much money is spent on paid search. Some businesses have extremely high CPCs, so every referral click is driving high quality traffic without a cost per click associated with it. If you currently have a company handling your link building use these tips to evaluate your SEO company.
3. Long Term Directory & Resource Links
The internet is one big source of data that will continue to grow and always be there to access information from. If you obtain high quality links form reputable directories and other resource websites it can help to drive traffic to your website for years to come.
Imagine if your business sold “blue widgets” and you obtained a link on a directory of all blue widget manufacturers. For years, consumers searching online for blue widgets come in contact with your link and click through, landing on your website and converting into sales. Links like these can continue to attract visitors several years down the road.
4. Create New Relationships
When someone reads good content and sees a backlink pointing to the source or creator, there is a very good chance that they will click on the link to learn more about who or what is responsible for what they just enjoyed.
This can lead to that individual joining your newsletter or performing some other measurable action on your website. They might connect and follow your social media profiles or they might read your blog and then bookmark it or subscribe to your RSS feed. A simple link can bring a company and consumer together without the aid of search engine rankings.
5. Brand Name Exposure & Recognition
When someone is reading content online they can quickly identify the visible links within the content. When a consumer sees your brand name linked throughout great content they begin to associate your company with the particular topic(s) that they are seeing your brand name linked to.
The days of spammy anchor text links are long gone, and brand name anchor text is now a solid choice for safe link building.
When someone is reading content that you created and sees your brand name anchor text they will do one of two things. They will either click the link and visit your website, or they will register your brand name with the content they are reading. Even if they do not immediately visit your site they will now begin to associate your company with the content subject. This can lead to website visits and brand interaction down the road.
The main focus of a link building campaign will always be to improve the organic position of a website, but that doesn’t mean that it should be the only factor to use when evaluating the performance of the link building effort.
What if the rankings were slowly improving but during that time referral traffic was driving a large amount of traffic that converted into sales. That would be considered a successful link building effort, correct? Of course it would! So, while organic search rankings will remain the top priority, don’t forget to take these other five benefits into consideration when evaluating your link building efforts