Why You Need to Build Links to Your Website

When we talk SEO, the topic of link-building will undoubtedly come up. And this conversation always gets into “what is a good link.” There are plenty of other articles on what signifies a quality link (relevant website, high ranking pages, in-content links, etc.), but what a lot of people seem to throw in the mix is their disregard to attaining links on sites that place the “nofollow” tag on them.

If you set aside search engine rankings for a moment, and remember that the point is to  increase traffic to your site, then there may be many sites out there from which a link would be of great value.

So don’t discount an opportunity to gain a link from a site simply because it would be “nofollowed.” Before Google came along and we realized how important links were to our rankings, this is how we gained traffic anyway. As long as the link is relevant and offers the searcher value in some way, we say get all the links you can. A qualified visitor from another website is just as important as that of a search engine.

All in all, this is what drives the ever-growing landscape. Because links are so important, we are going to talk today about various link types and how they are handled.

Internal Links

Internal links are those that are on your website, that point to other pages on the same site. The navigation of your site would be a good example of this, but the SEO implications call for more attention. We need to not only consider the anchor text that we use to point to the pages of our site, but also where they are in relation to our content.

Internal links that point to a page of your site nested within relevant content will help to establish a page’s relevance to a certain search term. So, not only do we need the right anchor text, we need to discuss the link within our content.

The homepage of a site often touches on many aspects of the products, services or information that are also detailed in their own pages; like a ‘products’ page. Since we are talking about our products on the homepage, why not link to the right page with the right anchor text?

External Links

Also, known as inbound links. These are links that point to your website from another website. This is the meat of SEO today (and for the last few years). Getting links pointing to your site from other websites with a lot of links pointing to them, with a keyword for the anchor text is what we SEOs spend countless hours chasing.

When a website links to your site, we want to convince them to use a desired keyword or search term as the anchor text. Remember that this will help a search engine associate your site with that term. This is sometimes the tricky part, but that’s what we want.

Consider:

  • Links from important sites are good.
  • Links from relevant sites are good.
  • Links with desired anchor text from other sites are good.
  • Outbound Links

Outbound links are links on your website that point to other websites. You might be thinking “why would I want to give out my links to other sites, giving them credit?” At start I would say “you’re right. By linking to others, you are giving some of your link juice to them.” But there’s a bit more to it. There are also ways we can manage the juice we give to other sites.

Consider:

  • Linking to other sites will give some of your link credit or “juice.”
  • Linking to other sites should only be done so in a way that would benefit your visitors.
  • Excessive outbound links will have a negative impact on your site in several ways.
  • Don’t use one of your search terms as the anchor to an outbound link.
  • We can use the nofollow attribute to keep the juice on our site, but that isn’t playing nice.