Is Link Building Still Relevant to SEO in 2021?

Let me be completely honest from the beginning – of your content marketing strategy solely relies on “build it, and they will come,” you are facing defeat in the game of SEO.

Unless you have a domain with solid metrics, backlinks are required if you want to see some positive movements in your rankings in Google.

If you operate in a fairly competitive niche, you need to generate quality content and hunt for links with authority from websites in a similar niche.

Nearly half of all SEOs spend $10,000 or more annually on link building. (Aira) 5. 41% of SEOs believe that the cost to acquire new backlinks will increase further in the future as competition becomes tougher. (userp.io)

Woman bored of link building

Link building is still highly relevant in 2021

The 8 major ranking signals

According to Search Engine Journal, the 8 main ranking signals currently are:

  1. Backlinks
  2. Semantic saturation
  3. HTML tags
  4. Core Web Vitals
  5. User behavior
  6. Structured data
  7. Google My Business
  8. Mobile optimization

Naturally, your website must be mobile-friendly and fast as well.

Websites with more unique root domains on average outrank websites with less unique root domains. (Backlinko) 5. 95% of all pages online have zero backlinks pointing to their website: (userp.io)

Start by creating quality content.

Your main focus should always be on quality instead of quality regarding both content and link building.

Hopefully, your content is “link-worthy,” which means that users enjoy reading your content. Don´t just throw endless pieces of articles on the wall to please the search engines.

Your first focus area is creating meaningful articles that address the users’ intent behind the search query.

Are there any questions you can answer?

Can you provide additional information about a product or a service that might be relevant for your users?

It would help if you also examine your competitor’s content:

What kind of language are they using?

Do they have any questions and answers on their website?

How do they use words, phrases, H1-H6, paragraphs?

There is a brilliant tool that can help you with this entire process called Frase.

Frase would examine all your competitor’s content and provide you with a full content brief, so you know exactly what you need to cover and how to structure your content.

Frase is a real time-saver, and they offer a free trial at the moment.

If Linkbuilding is crucial, what kind of links should you build?

Many webmasters working with SEO have learned it the hard way: all links are not equal!.

So unless your goal is to harm your business in Google´s search results, I strongly suggest that you focus on quality instead of quantity when planning your link building strategy.

It might be tempting to build a few quick PBN links, but in most cases, those type of links does not carry any real value – and usually never send any referral traffic.

Your goal is to gain links from websites related to your niche, that both have authority in the eyes of Google, and it is even better if you can get traffic as well.

The idea link would be a contextual dofollow backlink within an article from a relevant blog.

How to optimize your link building doing outreach.

Outreach is a process where you contact other webmasters within similar niches or industry and make a deal where you provide an article (high-quality content) to post on their blog for their audience.

In return, they provide a backlink from this article to your website. This strategy is also known as guest blogging.

The outreach process can be done like this:

  1. Identify potential link partners/opportunities (Authority websites within the same industry)
  2. Send a mail to the webmaster (or the domain registrar) and suggest a guest blog post.
  3. If the person agrees, craft a well-researched article (It can be a good idea to ask for topics in demand and follow any guest blogging guidelines).
  4. Send your article with a backlink with your anchor text to your website.

It might look like this process requires a lot of time and tools. Granted, if you do it all manually, you might need several tools and a lot of time.

Speeding up the outreach process

Outreach is a great way in order to gain quality links

Life would be a bit easier if it would be possible to streamline the entire guest post-process using just one tool.

The good thing is that you can handle the entire process using one single tool call Link-Assistant. If you are interested in that process, please read my review of Link-Assistant here.

Only 2.2% of content published online produces more than one unique backlink. (Backlinko) 15. 65% of marketers believe domain rating/domain authority is the most important metric for overall backlink quality. (userp.io)

Do you want to dig deeper into Linkbuilding?

Fabian has created a nice in-depth article about link building. In this article, he covers:

  • LINKBUILDING IN THEORY
  • THE SKYSCRAPER METHOD
  • BACKLINK BUILDING WITH PRESS PORTALS
  • THE BACKLINK STRATEGY WITH INFOGRAPHICS
  • WRITE TESTIMONIALS FOR BACKLINKS
  • INTERVIEWS FOR A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT BACKLINK SETUP
  • INDIRECT LINK EXCHANGE FOR MORE BACKLINKS
  • LINK BUILDING VIA CONTENT UPDATES & ERRORS OF OTHER WEBMASTERS
  • BROKEN LINK BUILDING & MOVING LINK BUILDING STRATEGY
  • GUEST POSTS FOR LINK BUILDING
  • CHECK BACKLINK SOURCES OF THE COMPETITION
  • WRITE BLOG COMMENTS
  • WRITE FORUM POSTS
  • PRESENT RELEASE & BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
  • YELP PAGE

As you can imagine, there is definitely more than one way of skin a cat!. There are plenty of ways of gaining links from blogs or gaining mentions of your business or brand.

Conclusion:

If you feel that link building is a bit overwhelming, you are not alone:

65% of digital marketers state that link building is the hardest part of SEO ( SEO Tribunal 7). (userp.io)

And:

Nearly half of all SEOs spend $10,000 or more annually on link building. (Aira) 5. 41% of SEOs believe that the cost to acquire new backlinks will increase further in the future as competition becomes tougher. (userp.io)

Depending on your time (and budget), you might consider outsourcing this part of your search engine optimization strategy.

However, I would strongly suggest that you get familiar with the process before you consider outsourcing.

If you know the process, it is easier to understand what you buy into to avoid poor link campaigns.

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