Link building has been and always will be one of the most critical strategies in the digital marketing toolbox.
When done right, it has a chain effect on your website’s success and lasting value that helps your business grow. It puts cash in your pocket (if your site is monetized) and is way more effective than paying a guy to flip an advertising sign at the traffic light.
Link building is basically the most important way of telling Google to sit up and take notice of our site. And once you have Google’s attention, your site will climb in the search engine ranking and be seen by hundreds of millions of web surfers.
Here are 10 main benefits of link building in 2024.
#1 Higher Search Engine Result Rankings
Let’s face it, higher search engine result rankings are where it’s at. That’s the main reason why anyone does link-building.
When a website has inbound links from credible websites within the same niche, it sends signals to search engines like Google, telling them that other websites see value in whatever you’re promoting on your website.
This is a very simple way of explaining quite a complex process, but SEO strategists all agree that link-building is one of the most important Google ranking factors.
And when The Big G sees good quality backlinks to your pages, it often promotes your website higher in their search results.
This is important because the higher your search result placement, the more likely people are actually to click through to your site.
A recent case study by Firstpagesage proves this. (1)
They found that Search Ranking position number 1 gets almost 40% of all clicks, while those in the number 10 spot get only about 2.2%
So clearly, then, higher Search Engine Rankings make a huge difference in click-through rates.
#2 Better Domain Authority
Although domain authority is not a direct ranking factor that Google considers, it’s still a very important part of SEO.
Domain Authority or Domain Rating are key indicators of how well a site is doing and how likely it is to rank in Google Search Engine Results.
So domain authority gives website owners valuable insight into their overall health.
We boost that domain authority partly by building backlinks to our site. Now we’d be lying if we said that a simple backlink is enough to help you boost your DA score.
Several factors play a role here: site traffic, linking domains, and the overall strength of your backlinks.
But domain authority helps with more than simply evaluating your own site. It helps with sizing up the competition.
You want to outrank your nearest and most direct competitors, after all. So knowing their domain authority will help you build a link-building strategy that will yield the best results.
#3 Google Indexing
Here’s a good explanation of what Google Indexing is from the Google support page:
“A page is indexed by Google if it has been visited by the Google crawler (“Googlebot”), analyzed for content and meaning, and stored in the Google index. Indexed pages can be shown in Google Search results (if they follow Google’s webmaster guidelines). While most pages are crawled before indexing, Google may also index pages without access to their content (for example, if a page is blocked by a robots.txt directive).” (2)Google Support
In simpler terms, Google indexes websites and stores them in its “vault” of websites that are available to answer search queries.
These websites are then categorized by relevance, strength, and likelihood of answering a search query.
Ok, but why is this relevant, and how does my link-building affect indexing?
Firstly, without indexing, your website has no chance of ever appearing in search engine results. This means that all the time and effort you put into creating high-quality content is meaningless, as nobody will ever see it.
By building backlinks between our website and other relative sites, we allow Google’s crawling software to discover our web pages and store them accordingly. We’re essentially helping guide them along the way and making their life much easier.
Here’s a bit more on what Google bots do for websites.
#4 Attracts Natural Backlinks
A well-known link-building expert once said that an SEO should only do what any normal person can do in SEO.
By that, he meant that you need to make link-building look as natural as possible. When links are built naturally, legit, 100% above board backlinks are built to a website.
These natural links often have far greater value than links gained through link building as we need to invest time and money in building backlinks from high authority websites.
Here’s an example:
By linking to Google support here, I’m telling my readers that it’s a noteworthy page, that it will further deepen their understanding of a subject, or that there’s something else on the page that might pique their interest.
There’s nothing in it for the linking URL or the linked-to URL other than the exchange of information.
I wouldn’t choose to link to a website if I wasn’t completely sure that the site is actually legit and well respected for its knowledge on the subject.
But the target page won’t be known by me or any other SEO expert if it didn’t gain any traction by means of link building in the first place.
The best-case scenario is a snowball effect. You write content that appeals to your target audience. You then promote your content through various link-building strategies and then finally, once your target audience catches wind of your content, organic traffic gets generated.
The more people like your content, the more they link back to it. These backlinks are seen by other people and they then visit your site… the rest is history.
So link building often filters down to natural link-building opportunities.
#5 Builds Trust
There’s a saying that goes Trust is earned, not given.
It helps us appreciate that we must prove our worth to others. It’s not enough to blow our trumpet and expect others to believe everything we say.
Link-Building helps our website visitors trust our opinion on a matter.
When relevant websites from within our niche link back to one of our pages, they’re giving their stamp of approval on the contents of that page.
This way, others see that our peers trust us as an authority on a subject.
For example, if you read that the best way to cure a stiff back is by doing pilates stretches for 15 minutes every morning, you’d likely check if that advice is backed up by someone credible before reaching for your exercise mat.
If you had chiropractors, sports doctors, or fitness experts linking back to that specific article, you’d feel reassured that the advice is sound, not so?
So backlinks give you the backup to build trust on a topic.
#6 Natural Promotion
Companies have traditionally promoted their brands by means of ads and banners. While these digital marketing strategies do deliver results, they’re often short-lived.
That’s because everyone hates them. Let’s be honest. Seeing an ad or banner pop up on your screen while reading an article is annoying.
You’re more likely to try to click away or search for the little x in the top corner of the ad to get rid of it than follow the link.
Effective link-building strategies will help you build links from websites naturally.
This means that links to your website URL get inserted within the context of published articles. And this means a natural promotion of your brand.
Web users are more likely to follow a link if it appears naturally in the context of an article that they’re already interested in, which translates into more referral traffic for you
#7 Promotes Online Visibility
A good website is worth nothing if it’s not visible to web surfers.
So one of the most important benefits of link building is that it increases online visibility. As your website climbs the search engine results pages ladder, more internet users will be exposed to your site.
But to improve your online visibility, you need content that’s worth linking to.
You need to create a blog section that covers a wide range of topics within your niche that will satisfy the search intent of your target audience.
Once you have a solid blog section, you can set up a link-building campaign that promotes your content. And the more websites link back to you, the more visible you’ll become to your audience.
#8 Builds Brand Visibility and Credibility
In simple terms, brand visibility refers to how recognizable a brand or product is.
A company that regularly advertises its brand to the public is far more likely to sell its product than a company that doesn’t advertise its brand.
People become familiar with a product when they see it on different social media platforms or websites, which ultimately builds trust in a brand.
Here’s an example of one such brand, Coca-cola.
So one of the major benefits of link-building is that it exposes your brand to the world. It builds trust in a product and reaches a much wider audience than conventional advertising.
Q: How do you create a successful link-building campaign to target brand awareness?
A: Target complementary niches or websites.
For example, imagine a company selling products related to mountain biking. A complementary niche would promote the outdoor lifestyle, fitness, exercise, and sports or hobbies.
By reaching out to one of these websites, the mountain biking site could appeal to referral traffic that’s already shown an interest in their niche.
#9 Continuous, Passive Earning
Passive earning means that you get to spend your day doing things you’re actually interested in while earning an income.
This is one of the greatest benefits of link building if your website is monetized or if you have an e-commerce website or affiliate site.
But to really capitalize on a link building efforts, you need to target an audience that’s motivated with the intent of purchasing a product.
Building links from a website that offers coupons for your product would be a good idea. The more links you build from websites that target buyers’ intent, the more traffic you’ll attract from people who are ready to purchase your product.
#10 Long-term ROI
Return on investment is one of the biggest causes of headaches for any investor.
How much profit did an investment make, considering all its costs?
It’s that ROI that justifies the time and effort we put into a project. Sometimes the returns are seen very soon, but the effects don’t last long.
Link building has a long-term or recurring ROI. That’s because there are so many websites out there, and the competition is extremely high for certain keywords.
But with high-quality links come high rewards. Link building is the gift that keeps on giving
Here’s a case study infographic that illustrates this point.
Notice that the cumulative value surpassed the cumulative cost (or investment) after about 8 months of applying various link-building strategies.
As you can see, the value continues to grow long after the initial investment.
That’s the beauty of link building. The links will continue to send referral traffic to your site for as long as the links remain live, without any work on your part.
There you have it, 10 benefits of link building that prove that this is still one of the most important parts of any Search Engine Optimization strategy.
But here’s a heads-up, the success of any link-building campaign in SEO depends on how well you execute the link-building strategy you choose.
Search engines rely heavily on links to determine the authority and relevance of a website, so it’s crucial to focus on building quality links relevant to your niche or industry.
If you were to acquire links from sites that aren’t relevant to your niche, you’ll be attracting the wrong kind of attention from Google and internet users.
Google’s algorithm knows when we employ dodgy link-building tactics or black hat tactics simply to build links and boost our website’s search engine rankings. And when they pick this up, they penalize the website, causing it to lose its organic traffic and tumble down the SERPS.
And that makes sense because these links won’t be sending referral traffic to your pages that are actually interested in your content.
Therefore, to achieve a successful link-building campaign, it’s vital to be strategic in your approach, focusing on high-quality, relevant links that will benefit your website’s overall SEO performance.