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Lucas Laporta

Toronto digital marketing tips.

A Beginner’s Guide to Link Building: How to Take Advantage of Google and Advertise for Free

Awesome Web Designs favicon

Written by

Lucas Laporta

A Beginner’s Guide to Link Building: How to Take Advantage of Google and Advertise for Free

Any SEO expert will tell you that link building is the best way to increase your website’s visibility online. This is because of the way Google indexes web pages. It trawls every page for links and follows them in order to track as many pages as possible. Naturally, the more places Google can find your link, the better, which is exactly why link building is such a necessity in today’s web building environment.

This post will take you through some of the best link building methods in the industry in 2019.

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Important metrics to consider while you look for links

The first thing you should do is download the free MozBar app for your web browser’s toolbar. MozBar will give you important statistics to consider while you look for places to put your link. The things you want to consider are page authority, domain authority, and spam score.

Page Authority

Page authority tells you how likely your specific page is going to rank in a Google search. You’re most likely going to use this to evaluate your home page.

Domain Authority

Domain authority is an estimation of how likely a site will show up in a Google search. This is more important for our purposes because we want credible sites to link to our own. Google’s algorithm operates on the assumption that reputable sources link to reputable sources. If you can get your link on a site with a higher domain authority than your own, it will likely contribute to increasing your ranking.

Spam Score

Finally, there’s the spam score. MozBar will review a page and search for specific flags that are likely indicators of spam. The higher the spam score, the more likely Google is to notice it. When Google spots a site with a lot of spam, it will intentionally leave it out of search results. These are pages you don’t want your link associated with because they will drag your site’s rating down with them. The first thing you should consider when you’re thinking about getting your link on another site is the spam score. Usually, anything below 10% is ok. You ideally want something that’s 5% or lower. Even if a site has a high domain authority, it isn’t worth it if it also has a high spam score.

Link building red flags

Keeping in mind that the spam score is the first thing you should look at, let’s start with things to avoid.

Avoid sites with mass amounts of links

For starters, avoid any sites whose sole purpose is to host mass amounts of links. When Google spots a page with too many outbound links, it considers the page spam. Sites that are designed for business listings are usually ok, but always be mindful of the content on the page you’re contributing to.

Avoid pages that list huge amounts of keywords

You also want to avoid pages that list huge amounts of keywords. It’s usually pretty easy to spot either of these red flags with the naked eye, which is why vigilance is key. Just watch out for those walls of text and you’ll be fine.

Avoid sites with no crawlable content

You also want to avoid sites with too much information in images. While a thinking human like you can read that text, all Google’s algorithm sees is a jpeg file. The whole point of getting your link on another site is so that Google will associate your link with certain topics, but if all that relevant information is inaccessible, all that page will be known for is a series of photos and links. You won’t get any meaningful SEO out of that.

How to get your name out there and boost your numbers

Now that we know what to avoid, let’s get into the methodology. There are a few ways to get your link on another site, but here we’re going to talk about two easy ways to expand your influence: business citations and guest posts.

Business Citations

Business citations are profiles of your business on another site. There are plenty of good places you can get listed on and they all link back to your domain. A good place to start is Yelp, because not only are you practicing good SEO, it’s pretty much the best listing site around. Lots of people use it and it’ll boost your domains discoverability for that reason alone.

Once you’ve made a profile on the first couple sites that jump to mind, you might feel a little lost as to where to go next. A good trick is to research where your competitors are listed and get a profile made there too. Even if you feel like it’s a site nobody would ever naturally go to, or there’s next to no user activity, that’s ok. While you want your profiles to be relevant to your business for the sake of client discovery, our main target audience here is Google. You got your link somewhere new on a trustworthy site and that’s what matters.

You can imagine how easy it is to make a bunch of listings once you get a good system going for yourself, but it can get a little tedious punching in the same information for hours on end. On top of that, Google wants to see a variety of different backlinks to your site. If it only ever finds the same one, that’s considered spammy and it’ll hurt your discoverability.

Guest Posts / Link Exchange

Cue the guest post. The idea here is to get in touch with the owners of other sites and ask them to let you write a guest piece for them in exchange for plugging a link to your domain. It’s a mutually beneficial scenario for both of you; they get free content and you get a fresh new backlink.
The added benefit to guest posts is you’re helping to associate your brand with quality content. By writing posts on sites with a similar focus as your own about a relevant topic, Google associates you with that topic. This means not only are you improving your search ranking, but you’re also improving your search relevance in your field.

While it may be more time intensive than making a business posting, you should see better results if you write a lot of guest posts.

A good way to find people who are willing to have you write guest posts is finding link exchange communities. There are lots of Facebook groups dedicated to sharing links. It’s easy to reach out and collaborate with others. Simply make or respond to a post and see where you go from there.

There are many other ways to practice link building too

Of course, these are just two easy methods to improve your SEO through link building. However, there are many different ways to get your link out there for Google to discover it. You can run a social media marketing campaign, organize linked and unlinked brand mentions, take advantage of influencer marketing, and the list goes on.

There’s a whole world centred around link building and taking advantage of SEO to improve your businesses search results on Google. In a sense, it serves as its very own form of marketing. If you can successfully get your site on the first page of Google’s search results in any capacity, you’re looking at a lot of potential traffic coming to your site.

So if you’re someone who wants your business to become a ubiquitous solution to every question anyone asks about your industry, consider hiring SEO experts. If the task seems a little daunting to you, you should reach out to Awesome Web Designs. With our expertise in SEO and marketing, we can help improve your Google results, guaranteed.

This blog is a place for everyone who is interested in marketing, whether you are a professional web designer, marketer or business entrepreneur. If you want to be part of our digital marketing journey, sign up for more awesome web design tips and tricks.

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