Why Should Link Building Be Your Primary Focus for SEO Growth?
SEO is not a pure numbers game that gives you an exact output based on a given input. However, companies that engage in it are constantly voicing it as the channel with the best ROI.
And link building takes the biggest part of any SEO strategy, as a method that provides the most effective output. This effectiveness is largely because quality backlinks from reputable sites signal to search engines the credibility and relevance of your content, thereby boosting your rankings and visibility in a way that directly impacts your bottom line. Here’s why.
There are over 200 SEO ranking factors. Links affect all of them.
Yes, there are around 200 SEO ranking factors, most proven, and several dozen which are yet to be tested and confirmed. Yet links are as the name suggests, a joining factor between all of them.
Your website might be fully optimized (from a Technical and On-page SEO perspective), well-designed (following best UX and accessibility practices) and has a steady stream of blog informative, well-researched and engaging content on a monthly basis. Still, a dozen of “bad links” coming from suspicious websites can pummel your rankings into the ground.
Yet, the same goes the other way around. A dozen of “good links“ can boost your website up in rankings, even though other SEO requirements are not fully met.
But the key takeaway here is the impact they make. Out of all known SEO factors, links make the most impact on your SEO efforts. And link building takes the biggest part of your ongoing SEO strategy.
Link building allows ongoing optimization to stay ahead of the competition
Any SEO agency worth its salt will advise you that you first clean up your backyard before you start link building. This includes:
- Technical SEO
- Onsite SEO
- Content planning (creating linkable assets)
However, all of these are one-off services or are performed in a few stages over a year.
You can only gain as much SEO impact from these until your reach the ceiling.
Link building allows you to continuously grow and move that ceiling with each new link built.
And this continuous addition of new, quality links, is signaling to Google that you are constantly engaging with fresh content around the web, making your website a relevant source.
And link building takes the biggest part of any SEO strategy, as a method that provides the most effective output. Here’s why.
Link building generates new traffic:
- Directly (referral traffic) – when a user clicks your link in the content on a third-party website
- Indirectly (organic traffic) – by improving your rankings so that people who perform a Google search see your result and click on it
Link-building campaigns focus on the latter, as the goal of any SEO campaign is to increase organic traffic. And in most cases, referral traffic makes up 2%-5% of your monthly organic traffic generated by link building.
However, the content around the link, if well-researched, well-written, and adds topic relevance that resonates with the reader, can boost these metrics greatly.
This scales with time as the piece of content around your link ranks as well and increases the number of its readers/visitors, month by month. It becomes an exponentially scaling numbers game.
By assisting conversions and augmenting content marketing and PPC efforts
Did you read the previous section?
Any good link-building agency will audit your website to identify and create new linkable assets that will be used to guide both organic and referral traffic toward your conversion goals.
These linkable assets (blog posts, infographics, e-books, etc.) represent your top of the funnel, and each new conversion you make will most likely be marked and measured with Google Analytics as an assisted conversion coming from that content.
Content marketing campaigns are usually followed up with some social media PPC (i.e. boosted posts or Ads) to drive traffic to the top of the funnel. However, even big brands with huge audience engagement, struggle with driving traffic outside social media, as most interactions tend to stay there. And once the budget for these campaigns runs out, and campaigns stop, the traffic dies down immediately.
This is where link building kicks in, as it generates new direct sources of referral traffic and by improving visibility in search engine result pages, indirectly increases organic traffic. Which scales with time.
So even when you cancel or stop your content marketing and/or PPC campaigns, traffic generated with link building continues assisting future conversions.