In the eyes of search engines, your link profile is one of the most important things in getting you to the top spot on the search engine result page (SERP). Building and maintaining a strong link profile is the first step to driving traffic to your website and achieving your organizational goals. Even as a digital marketing agency this is something we continually work on to stay up to date and looking as best as we can for search engines. It’s much more than just putting links randomly on your site however. How you acquire the link, where it’s placed on the page, the level of engagement it drives and a multitude of other factors go into how healthy your link profile looks to a search engine.
Quality and Quantity
One of this most common questions that comes up when it comes to building a link profile is whether or not you should focus your efforts on getting a large number of diverse links, or a small amount of high quality links. The answer is a balance of both. Search engines love to see a diverse link profile because it shows that your page’s content is relevant and endorsed by a multitude of other sites. On the other hand, if the sites that links to your page have little authority and resemble spam, search engines automatically penalize your site’s quality score. For this, it’s all about balance. Yes, you want a lot of links that point to your content so you can be seen as a quality site to search engines, but quality matters just as much, if not more than quantity.
Finding the right pages to link to, and to have linked back to you is difficult. In order to be sure it’s a quality link you can look at the site’s domain authority. Search engines like to see a link from a website that has a strong domain authority because it shows that the site is reputable. Even though it is sometimes difficult to get a link from a site with a high domain authority, you need to balance the effort with the outcome. A link from a site with a high domain authority will get more impressions because the site will rank higher than a site with a low domain authority. So getting in front of more users will increase the likelihood of your link being clicked and your site being visited.
Anchor text serves as the first description for a link to the user who is viewing it. Anchor text can be an exact match for the keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for, a partial or phrase match where the keywords are within the anchor text, or branded anchor text where the anchor text is the name of the brand. Using a variety of these will help you rank for more searches on search engines, as it broadens the opportunity to match for different keywords in searches. Even though having a keyword rich anchor text link profile might not influence rankings as much as other factors, it allows users to get a better idea as to where the link will take them and potentially drive more traffic to your site.
Getting passed everything that goes into getting an external link to your website, now it’s about whether or not the link is performing. User engagement with your link is extremely important to search engines. Through different analytics tools you can see which links are driving traffic towards your site. If they are, then search engines will see this and your page will rank higher on SERP for the keywords used in the anchor text. Higher engagement levels have shown a higher rank influence because the link has shown search engines that it is useful and relevant to users for those keywords, which is what search engines are all about. This holds a higher influence over the other factors due to the fact that it’s backed up by behavior instead of internal efforts to optimize.
Building and maintaining a strong and healthy link profile is an extremely important part of your search engine optimization strategy. It is a great way to prove to search engines that your content is reliable, relevant, and useful to users as well as drive traffic to your site and achieve your goals. Your link profile tells search engines who thinks your content is worthy to be linked to. Getting quality links from reputable sources that bring in high levels of traffic as well as high levels of user engagement will make your site look great to search engines and continue to push your ranking towards the top position on the SERP.