What is Link Building?

Marketing | |

Link building is a very popular marketing strategy many sites use in order to boost their rankings in search engines. Link building is the process of gaining direct links from third party sites back to your landing pages, whether that’s from writing a guest post, producing infographics or high quality visuals that people want to share or gaining links to your resources or product pages.

How Does Link Building Work?

The link building process consists of four main steps:

  1. Select your targeted keyword.
  2. Find relevant link opportunities based around that keyword.
  3. Offer other sites a service, for example, to write a guest post which then provides you with a link.
  4. Move up in the search rankings.

Gaining Effective, Reliable Links

When trying to gain a link from other sites, it is essential that you do not target any and every website as this can be seen as spam, unnatural or unreliable and search engines will penalise you for it. Therefore, it is important to gain links from reliable and relevant resources in order for those links to be seen as valid and worth clicking on.

External links should, therefore, come from:

  • Popular, high quality websites
  • Direct competitors
  • Industry resources and publications
  • Pages that rank for the same keyword you are trying to rank for
  • Relevant blog posts and news articles
  • Events and trade shows
  • Sites owned by unique entities

However, it is important to remember that the level of influence links have go down in search engines if they are out of date; resources are usually an exception as they can be useful at any future date.

Tracking Down Old Links

With this in mind, it is essential that you find any lost, old, spam or irrelevant links before implementing your link building strategy as those links will have a damaging effect on any new links you gain.

Google, for instance, may not trust you as much as sites filled with good, relevant, keyword rich links and will place those above yours in the rankings. Search engines even go as far as not showing your website or landing pages as a result of spam links.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Link Building

Before creating your link building plan, it is important you are aware of the main do’s and don’ts of link building. These change regularly so it is important to stay up-to-date and find the best strategy for you.

The three main do’s and don’ts we’d suggest are:

Do’s Don’ts
Focus on distribution: this will help bring the right people to your site if you target sites of a similar nature. Their users are more likely going to find your information valuable than those gathered from unrelated sites. Excessive link exchange: spending loads of time asking every website to link back to you will negatively impact your performance as it will most likely be seen as spam.
Link Value: if your links are of high quality they will entice the relevant users and will strengthen your position in search engines. Ask for anchor text: if you ask other sites to provide a specific anchor text, you may get carried away and cause it to lose value. Therefore, it is a good idea to let other sites post what they feel is relevant. This will also help you build a strong link profile.
Creating guest posts: writing posts for other sites is a great way to gain links back to your website. However, it is important to remember that content should contain keywords where natural and must be a useful source for users. Use web directories: this will not provide any value to your users and can, therefore, damage your brand’s image and search engines may not show you in their rankings.

How Can We Help?

Ballyhoo offer a unique, catered link building strategy that will help your website fly to the top in search engines and generate more enquiries and sales. We track down any old, damaging links to your site and distribute outreach emails to websites we feel can effectively link back to yours.

To find out more information, contact Ballyhoo on 0121 295 5352 or by email to [email protected] or via the contact form on our contact page.

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Anthony is Ballyhoo's Managing Director and Web Developer, responsible for building your website and keeping it online.