What is Link Building? - Definition, Types & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Link-building can boast a positive impact on your overall search ranking, as well as increase website traffic and brand awareness. In this lesson, you'll learn more about link-building and some types of links that are useful.

Strengthening Your Chain

Do you remember the childhood playground game Red Rover? Children would form a chain by grasping hands and stand facing another chain of children grasping hands. When a person called out, ''Red Rover, Red Rover, send Bobby right over!'', Bobby would let go of his chain and run toward the other line of children in an attempt to break through their chain.

If Bobby breaks the chain, he claims one of the weak links from that chain and returns to his original team. If he fails to break the chain, he joins the opposing team.

Whichever team ultimately has the strongest chain wins. Link-building, another type of chain, is a similar idea. The better you are at building links, the more customers and business you are likely to win.

What Is SEO?

Because link-building is a part of a company's overall SEO strategy, we first must understand what SEO is. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of boosting the traffic to your website by making changes and improvements to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results. The higher you appear in search engine results when people are looking for particular keywords, the more likely it is you'll be seen and your website link clicked on.

Link Building in SEO

Link-building is another process for strengthening your website's ranking in search results; this time, by acquiring links to your website from other websites. Consider it a sort of virtual street connecting one website to another, with the link as the road that users travel to get from one point to another. If you think about a blog post or article you've read that featured a link to another website, you'll see exactly what link-building is all about.

Link-building directs traffic to your website

Quality links to your website from other websites can impact your brand or business in numerous ways including:

  • increasing brand awareness
  • achieving more conversions (new customers and sales)
  • better positioning in search engine results

The reason that links from one site to another are so important is because search engines look at the number of links pointing to your page, and the quality of those websites, to determine your own website's search result placement.

There are numerous types of links you might want to acquire to help with your SEO building. Here are a few of the more popular options:

  • Organic links: These are created through writing quality content, discussing popular topics and news and integrating your links into your blogs and social media channels. Organic links come from other websites and customers who want to share the content you've posted.

Example: You're reading a website post about a new gardening technique on a popular home and gardening website. Halfway through the article, the author mentions visiting the webpage of XYZ Greenhouse because they have a great new hybrid flower to check out. You click on the link based on the recommendation of the popular, trusted website you're viewing.

  • Reciprocal links: This occurs when two websites mutually agree to share each other's links for the purpose of acquiring mutual traffic.

Example: Acme Auto Parts and Hot Car Magazine have partnered their websites to refer to each other and provide links from each site to the other. Acme Auto Parts has a subscription link on their website for Hot Car Magazine, and Hot Car Magazine has mentioned Acme Auto Parts' link on a relevant page within their website.

  • Resource links: This might be a listing of all the restaurants in the area, and you want to be included on it. Or, a list of the Top 100 websites for planning a vacation. Simply, you contact that website owner and ask to be included as a resource link for people looking through their lists.

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