Not sure when you should start building links to your website? In this blog, we'll explore the factors to consider and give you some tips to get started.
Link building is a critical component of any successful SEO strategy. But knowing where and when to start can be tricky if you've never done it before.
Ideally, you should start link building as soon as you have the basic elements of your website in place. Typically, this takes around four months but in practice, it can be much quicker or longer. Once you’ve done that, it's time to get started with link building! Like with all things digital marketing, the earlier you start, the better.
It's important to remember that link building is not a one-time task you can finish and forget.
It's an ongoing process that requires consistent attention and a ton of resources—which is why so many businesses struggle to get their link building strategies off the ground. To be successful, you'll need to continually monitor your backlink profile, identify new link building opportunities, and reach out to relevant websites.
Ready to get started? In this blog, we'll explore when and how to begin link building to help you get a headstart on your journey.
How Do You Know You're Ready for Link Building?
Although there are countless benefits of link building, it can be difficult to know when you're ready to take the next step. Before you start putting your strategy together, here’s a checklist of elements you should consider:
You Have Clear Goals
Having clear goals is vital before you start link building. It helps you stay on track and determine whether your campaign is working. For example, how much traffic do you hope to gain from building links? How will you monetize this traffic? How much money do you hope to make?
Your Website is in Good Shape
When you have an established website, other websites are more likely to view you as a reputable source of information. After all, high-quality websites want to link to other high-quality websites.
To ensure your website is ready for link building, it needs to have a strong foundation in terms of SEO, user experience, and mobile-friendliness.
You Have a Good Amount of High-Quality Content
Producing high-quality content is one of the most critical components of successful link building strategies. This is because other websites are likely to link to it if your content is interesting, useful, or informative.
To create high-quality content, you need to understand your audience and what they're looking for when they visit your website.
You can do this by conducting market research, analyzing your analytics, getting direct feedback, or delving into what your competitors are doing. Once you know your audience, you can begin creating content tailored to their needs and interests.
Your Pages and Posts are Indexed and Appear in SERPs
Before you start building links, you need to ensure that your website's pages and posts are appearing in search engine results. This means that search engines have indexed your website.
If you find that your pages and posts aren't appearing in the search results, you can do a few things to improve their visibility. This might include optimizing your website's structure and navigation, using relevant keywords in your content, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly.
You Have Something Valuable to Link to
If you want to generate links from high-quality websites, you need to have something valuable to offer. This might include high-quality content, industry expertise, or unique insights that other websites will find useful.
Before you start building links, it's important to take a step back and assess what you have to offer. Look at your existing content and identify areas where you can improve your content, expand your offering, or ensure your content is up to date.
You Have Enough Resources to Launch a Campaign
To make sure you have enough time and resources to devote to link building, you need to assess your current workload and determine how much time you can realistically commit to it.
This may mean adjusting your priorities, delegating specific tasks to other team members, hiring specialists, or working with a dedicated link building agency.
In addition to time and resources, it's essential that you have a plan for how you'll measure the success of your link building campaign.
This may include tracking the number of backlinks you've earned, the traffic and engagement generated by those links, and the impact it has on your search engine rankings.
3 Reasons to Start Link Building Earlier
As we’ve mentioned, most businesses begin their link building campaigns once they have clear goals, an optimized website, and valuable content.
But there are a few reasons why you might want to start link building earlier in your digital marketing journey, even if you haven't achieved all of the above.
Here are three reasons why some businesses start link building earlier:
You're in a Competitive Niche
If your business is in a highly competitive niche, building high-quality links as soon as possible can help you stand out from competitors and establish yourself as a reliable source of information.
If you start link building earlier, you have a better chance of establishing a solid backlink profile that helps you rank higher in search engine results. This can be particularly important if you're a new or small business going up against larger, more established competitors.
You've Changed Your URL or Rebranded
Changing your URL or rebranding can be risky, as you may lose some of the audience and brand equity you've built over the years. However, rebranding can be a vital part of your business's long-term strategy.
If you've recently changed your URL or rebranded your business, link building can help you maintain your search engine rankings and minimize any negative impact on your online presence.
Remember, it's important that you communicate these changes to other websites, influencers, and bloggers that you have relationships with. You may want to reach out to them and ask them to update their links to point to your new URL or brand name. The sooner you can do this, the better.
You Want to Rank Quickly
By its nature, owning a business can be unpredictable. If you need to make money quickly (to pay salaries, loans, or unexpected expenses), link building can help you drive traffic to your website and generate revenue faster.
It's never too early to start link building, even if your business is newly launched—although you should at least cover the basics of having an optimized website and high-quality content before implementing your link building strategy.
How to Get Started with Link Building
Define Your Goals
When setting goals for your link building efforts, consider what you want to achieve and how link building can help you get there.
If you aren't sure about what kind of goals to set, here are some examples to help get you started:
Improve your search engine rankings
One of the most common reasons marketers and business owners want to launch a link building campaign is to drive their website higher up in search engine results. However, before setting this goal, you should identify where you currently rank on SERPs.
Ensure your goals are realistic—if your business is currently on the 10th page of search engine results, you probably won't reach the top of the results in a month.
But, if you commit to your link building efforts and work with experts in the field, you can continually improve your position in search engine rankings.
Drive website traffic
Ultimately, link building aims to bring more people to your website. While getting to the first page of Google is an incredible way to do this, it's not the only way! Visitors can come to your website from other websites, blogs, news outlets, and social media.
Before beginning your link building campaign, analyze how many visitors you are currently getting, what sources they are coming from, and how much you want that number to go up.
Build brand awareness
Building links is a powerful way to introduce new customers to your brand or website. The more users see links to your website, the more credible you will become.
To build brand awareness through link building, you'll focus on building links from websites that have a large audience who may be interested in your product or service.
You could set a goal for how many times you want your brand to be mentioned on other sites, or how many shares you want your content to get on social media.
Become an authority in your industry
Establishing authority is a critical goal for many businesses and organizations, and link building can be a powerful tool that helps you achieve this— but you'll need to build quality links from authoritative websites.
To ensure your goal is actionable and achievable, you may want to set a goal for how many high-quality websites you want to link to your site.
Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is critical to the link building process. Through this research, you can identify the phrases and keywords that your audience is searching for, enabling you to create content that is optimized for their search terms.
Along with gaining greater insight into the topics and questions your audience is interested in, keyword research helps you identify link building opportunities. When you find websites in your industry that are ranking for the same keywords and phrases as you, you can reach out to them and request a backlink.
You can also look at how they build links and see if a similar strategy will work for your website.
Make Sure Your Web Pages are Optimized
On-page optimization helps ensure that your website is seen as a reputable source of information. By optimizing your website's content and structure for search engines, you can improve your search engine rankings, drive traffic, and attract more links.
Keyword research is an essential aspect of on-page optimization, but it's not the only factor. Here are some other factors you need to consider:
Your website is mobile-friendly
It makes use of H1s, title tags, and alt text
It is clear and easy to navigate
Your website loads quickly
Your content is regularly updated
Create High-Quality Content
Having appealing content on your website makes it much more likely that you will be able to attract high-quality backlinks from other websites.
The reason for this is simple. If you create content that is informative, engaging, and valuable to your target audience, other websites will want to share your content with their audience.
In addition to receiving quality backlinks, here are some more reasons why great content is so important:
It establishes your authority and credibility
It communicates your brand vision
It increases your website traffic
It encourages sharing via social media
Perform Manual Outreach
Manual outreach allows you to build authentic relationships with other website owners and editors.
While automated tools are available for link building, such as Ahrefs and Semrush, manual outreach is often more effective because it lets you personalize your outreach efforts and build relationships with website owners.
Manual outreach involves the following steps:
Identifying high-quality websites
Finding the website owner's contact information
Crafting a personalized outreach message
Following up if you don't receive a response
Building and maintaining relationships
Keep Track of Your Results
Keeping track of your results is critical! This is because it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your link building efforts, identify what's working and what isn't, and adjust your link building strategy accordingly.
Without tracking your results, you won't see the impact of your efforts and may miss opportunities to improve your performance.
The Best Places to Start When Building Links
When getting your efforts off the ground, it's important to start with the right link building tactics to deliver results. Some of the best and most common link building strategies include:
HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
HARO is a free online service that connects journalists to sources for their articles. It allows them to send out queries to a large pool of sources, and for those sources to respond with their expertise.
Say, for example, a reporter is writing about the environmental impact of fertilizers. If you own a business that formulates eco-friendly fertilizer, you could be the ideal source to give them more
insight into the industry. If the journalist uses your response in their article, they will include a link to your website.
The best thing about HARO? It's a free service, making it an affordable and accessible tool for small and new businesses.
Guest posting involves writing high-quality content for other websites in your industry, and then including backlinks to your website within the content.
To write a guest post, reach out to relevant websites and offer to write an engaging article for their readers. Many authoritative websites are inundated with guest posting requests, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive a response from some website owners.
Along with the link building benefits, guest posting is a powerful way to build your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader.
The Skyscraper technique is often considered one of the best link building strategies. It involves creating high-quality, valuable content specifically designed to attract links from other websites.
Here's how it works:
Find link-worthy content
Look for existing content in your industry that already has a high number of links pointing to it. This could be anything from blog posts, infographics, or videos that have performed successfully on other websites.
Create something better
The next step is to create something even better than the content you found. This could involve creating a more comprehensive guide, a more in-depth analysis, or a more visually appealing infographic.
Promote your content
Then, promote your content to other websites in your industry. You can reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content instead of the content they currently have on their site.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and asking the website owner to replace them with links to your website.
First, you need to find broken links on other websites related to your industry. Doing this manually can become time-consuming and tedious, so you can use a broken link checker tool or browser extension to help you.
Once you've found a broken link, you will create content on your own website that's relevant to the broken link. This could be a blog post, a resource page, or another content type that provides value to the website owner and their audience.
Finally, reach out to the website owner and inform them about the broken link. You can offer to replace the broken link with a link to your content, which provides value to both you and them.
Have you ever come across a web page listing useful links related to a particular topic? That's called a resource page. It provides a collection of links to other websites, tools, or resources associated with a specific topic.
Resource pages can cover a wide range of topics, from industry-specific resources to general interest topics. For example, a business focused on real estate might create a resource page that links to websites providing information on buying and selling homes, mortgage rates, and property management.
The benefits of resource pages are two-fold. First, they provide value to the audience by giving them access to a list of high-quality resources related to their interests.
Second, resource pages can be a valuable link building strategy. By reaching out to other website owners and asking to be included on their resource pages, you can build high-quality links to your own website.
How Long Does it Take for Link Building to Work?
The time it takes to see the impact of a link building campaign can vary depending on several factors. Typically, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to see results.
Here are some factors that affect how long it takes to see whether your campaign is working:
Quality and quantity of backlinks
The quality and quantity of backlinks you build affects how quickly you’ll see results from your link building efforts.
High-quality, authoritative backlinks have a bigger impact on your search engine rankings than low-quality backlinks. Remember, spammy links can harm your ranking, so be selective when building links.
Competitiveness of your industry
If you're in a highly competitive industry, it may take a little longer to see results. This is because high-authority websites may already have relationships with your competitors. It will typically take more time to build high-quality backlinks, but be patient and don’t let yourself get discouraged if you face rejection.
Search engine algorithms
Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. Therefore, it's essential to keep track of significant search algorithm updates and respond quickly to ensure they don't negatively impact your link building efforts.
Your website's existing authority
If your website already has some authority and search engine visibility, you may see the impact of your link building efforts more quickly than if you're starting from scratch.
Take Your Business to the Top of SERPs with LinkBuilder.io
Looking to boost your search engine rankings? Then look no further than LinkBuilder.io! We're a leading link building agency that can help take your business to the next level.
Our team of experts will work closely with you to understand your business goals and create a link building strategy focused on high-quality content, manual outreach, and building relevant backlinks. With our customized link building approach, you can expect to see sustainable results that help your business thrive.
Contact us today to learn more about our link building solutions and how we can help take your business to the top of search results.