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Link building today typically involves things such as; offering to write a guest article for a blogger, asking a client of yours to write an article on their site about how great you are or setting up loads of directory listings etc. However these can often be relatively ineffective methods and be incredibly time consuming. The reason for this is that not all websites and therefore not all links are considered equal.
If a website has a low domain authority and page rank, then the link from that website or page is worth less. On the same note if a website has a high domain authority and page rank then a link from it adds more credibility. In fact, and this is the part you really need to listen to, a link from a web page with a very high page rank and domain authority can be worth millions of links from low page rank pages and domain authority sites. Please read that last sentence again, several times if you need to, as this should completely revolutionize what you should expect from a high quality SEO consultant.
Similar to domain authority and page rank, the relevance of the source linking to you plays another huge role in where on Googles search results you appear. Some of the factors determining relevance include; is the article about your products or services, is the website in general associated to your industry, is your keyword found in the anchor text (anchor text are words that have the link attached to them).
Keeping in mind what we’ve just learned about page rank, domain authority and relevance, what do we now know is the most effective strategy for offsite link building? Well of course, it’s getting links from website with very high domain authorities and page ranks that are very relevant to what we do. These websites typically belong to organisations such as government departments, well-recognised universities, big multi national corporations, renowned charities etc.
If you’re thinking that getting links from relevant, high-powered websites is not easy, then you are spot on and that’s why most SEO firms don’t offer proper online public relations as a service. It’s also why most SEO firms are using enormous amounts of your resources to get large numbers of low powered links to your site or are forced into positions where they have to knowingly break Google guidelines and do their best not to get you penalized in the process.
In order to get links from these high-powered sites, you have to offer something of a lot of value in return. Maybe it’s being a specialist guest lecturer at a University; maybe it’s giving training courses to businesses via government departments. In essence it just needs to be releasing something that you have or know, that will be of value to a large specific audience. Don’t get too worked up in the specifics of what your online public relations campaign should entail right now though. We are experts at identifying what you have to share that will be of value and getting it out to the right organisations. Just give us a call and we can talk about the potentials for online public relations in your business.
The final thing to keep in mind is that if all you’re focussed on is link building, then all you’re going to get is a link. However, if you have a genuine focus in real online public relations then you’re getting so much more than just a link to help your SEO. You’re getting the ability to position yourself and your business as an expert reference in your industry, just some of the things you’ll enjoy are enhanced credibility, greater brand awareness, improved trust with your clients that will lead to higher conversion rates and more sales!
As previously mentioned, the relevance of the website/web page, where the link to your site is originating from, is very important for Google to determine what search terms to rank you for. Relevance is determined by a number of factors, including, but not limited to; does the referring domain (website) contain content that discusses similar things to the search term just entered; does the target article (page on the website) contain content relevant to the search term just entered; does the anchor text (words that the link is attached to) contain the components of the search term just entered?
I know what you’re thinking, “that’s a lot to be relevant for are there even enough potential website out there that would check all of those boxes?” Well, the good news is they don’t have to. You see relevance is a sliding scale. You could have an article about your business that was relevant and a relevant anchor text, but have it on a website where the majority of the other pages are about something completely different. Google would still consider this very relevant. The trick is to tick as many boxes as you can, not get caught up trying to tick all of the boxes.
Before we discuss the role these two factors play in your SEO campaigns, let’s first acknowledge the difference between domain authority and page rank. Domain authority is how credible a website is as a whole, it’s overall domain strength. Page rank is an indication of how authoritative a particular page is.
Google calculates domain authority and page rank by determining the likelyhood of someone finding your website by just randomly clicking on links on the World Wide Web. Thus it stands to reason that the more links you have the more likely it is that a random clicker will find you. Additionally, if you have a link from a web page that someone was very likely to come across, then it will be worth more than a link from a website that someone isn’t likely to come across. In fact, high-powered links can sometimes carry more page rank and domain authority than millions of low powered links.
When Google is deciding how to order the results that it shows for a particular search term, page rank and domain authority play very big roles. So much so in fact that there are cases where websites get to the top of Google search results, in relatively competitive industries, with only a handful of very powerful external links.