“In my opinion, we will continue to see links in Google’s ranking systems for at least the next five and probably the next ten years.”
Rand Fishkin, Moz
Link-building is a fundamentally competitive thing. Without knowing how your competitors are performing and what their link profile looks like, any link-building project you undertake is essentially founded on guesswork.
Beyond that, it’s important not to become too focused on the raw numbers, as a profile of 1000 linking root domains by no means suggests there are 1000 valuable ones. Understanding which links are strengthening your competitor’s site is the first step towards establishing the kind of link profile you’ll need to compete with them.
We need to know:
- Where the client’s link equity currently stands, and where you’d like it to be
- Which sorts of sites to pursue for links – likely to include sites linking to competitors, influential industry sites and those that are popular with potential customers
- How to earn these links – including a range of tactics subject to your industry and the individual prospects
And once we know all that, we have the basis of our link-building strategy.
Effective link-building integrates content marketing with digital PR and good old-fashioned relationship building.
We have a proven track record in blogger outreach and bring existing relationships with influential bloggers across a range of diverse industries – but more importantly than that, we have a process that can be instantly applied to any sector.
It’s an established fact that links have a massive impact on the way a site performs in search – but savvy marketers also understand that reckless link-building presents a significant risk. Put simply, earning no links gets you nowhere while building undesirable links can seriously hinder your site’s performance.
For these reasons, an effective link-building strategy needs to involve a range of complementary tactics.
Regardless of the tactic in question, our approach to building link equity is largely relationship-based and supported by quality content. We do it this way for two reasons:
- It works. We earn valuable links for our clients which have a powerful, positive impact on their overall business objectives.
- It adds value for the client far beyond the link itself. At GNT Media, our link equity projects are designed to create significant and lasting value for clients beyond the raw number of links earned.
Link-building can be measured in a number of ways, and indeed should be – as tracking one metric while neglecting the others can be dangerous.
In terms of the links themselves, the factors that contribute to a strong link equity are:
- The volume of links – this should naturally be a part of the overall measurement process, but certainly not used as a standalone metric. Quantity over quality is a recipe for link penalties if you don’t keep one eye on the credibility of your backlinks at all times
- The popularity and size of the linking community – search metrics such as Domain Authority (DA) are undoubtedly relevant here, but there’s no doubt that a big site people are actually visiting makes for a desirable link prospect
- Referral traffic from links – truly great links pass equity but also send visitors to your site. Quality coverage on a site prospective customers are visiting is an ideal example of a link likely to send referral traffic and add value well beyond pure link equity
When it comes to the actual value links can have for your business, there’s not exactly a space for link equity on your company’s balance sheet. Clients will always be keen to see the progress of a link-building project – but the best way to measure its success is not by examining the links themselves but how they:
- Increase traffic from organic search
- Increase conversions from organic search
- Increase revenue from organic search
That way, we can determine whether a client’s link profile has positively impacted their overall business goals.
Ready to discuss link-building? Get in touch to find out how we could boost your equity today.