Gaining backlinks is one of the most important ranking factors in search engine optimization (SEO). At Virtual Visibility Media, we will help you organically increase the number of links to your site. You’ll see great results from high-quality links leading to great content on your site. To start increasing the number of backlinks on your site, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our contact form at the bottom of this page. Below, you’ll also see a quick bullet point infographic illustrating the benefits of outsourcing the acquisition of links. Building links, and doing outreach, is only one part of our SEO service. You can find our other SEO solutions here.
For most businessmen and -women, outreach means something else than what it does to many SEO companies. In SEO lingo, outreach is the proactive acquisition of links from highly relevant websites for your industry and business. In other words, in terms of link building activities, the outreach email is very important. It’s the first contact you make to start building relationships with a wider audience. However, there are some misconceptions about how you should do link building/outreach and what is best practice for creating links. To answer some of these misconceptions, we’ve expanded further under the image below.
Who benefits from inbound links?
While all sites benefit from inbound links, some backlink types are better than others. There are various factors that impact the usefulness of a link, mainly depending on whether the link to your site is from another strong, reputable site. Other factors include if the link is organic or not (we’ll discuss this in more detail later on). If you optimize anchor text and subsequent internal links on your page is another aspect. Another important element is how sustainable it is in the long run. In other words, while any webmister benefit from having links pointing to their site, the question is how you gain these links, and how useful they are overall.
Common misconceptions about gaining links
There are some common, possibly harmful, misconceptions about link building tactics. If you’ve been doing DIY SEO for your small business for a while, it’s likely that you’ve been looking into gaining links too. If that’s true, you’ve most likely come across blog posts that mention, and companies that offer, PBN backlinks. You’ve probably also read about link exchange, and niche directories. We want to quickly outline some helpful information on these link tactics below.
Private Blog Networks (PBN)
PBN stands for Private Blog Networks, and is technically an artificially created network of sites which are created to publish content relevant to the site they are created to link to. The practice of PBN links can be seen as either gray-hat or black-hat SEO. Depending on the quality and integrity of these PBN sites, and whether they are exploitative, it’s generally a very bad idea to gain links from PBNs. Generally speaking, PBNs have been targeted by Google Updates for spammy content and artificially influencing rankings in search engines. The simplest way to think about it is to ask yourself “what is the purpose of Google?” The answer is that they want to make useful information as readily available as possible. A private blog network works against this ‘code of conduct’, as it is not created for the benefit of the end users. It’s created to cater for the website it links to, and to influence the algorithm evaluation of a site. Therefore, it’s not an ideal way to gain links – if this link building tactic is abused, you might face a manual penalty from Google
This is why we focus on organic link building activities. We will execute a quick site audit to find opportunities for growth for your site. We then identify pages on your site with excellent potential, and provide you with feedback you can use to build on the content on that site, and then we start contacting potential sites who would significantly gain from linking to this page. This will create a strong backlink that is relevant, helpful, and topically consistent throughout.
There is no doubt that there are link exchanges online. After all, the web is very collaborative, so the notion of “I link to you, you link to me” was quickly adopted from the beginning. However, excessive use of this cross-domain interlinking practice can put you at odds with Google’s guidelines. You should ask yourself “is this useful to my (or the other domains’) audience?” – if the honest answer is yes, you might get away with it. However, the moment you start having to unnecessarily convince yourself that this interlinking makes sense – you’re on thin ice. At its best, it can be marginally useful. At worst, it can be directly harmful to your ranking in search engines.
This is because it is seen as a link scheme, a tactic made to influence algorithms rather than help users. Even if you own multiple sites yourself, you really must be careful not to create excessive interlinking. First, it’s considered dubious since interlinking is generally seen as a scheme. Secondly, it might also be interpreted as a PBN. As we’ve already mentioned, neither are great for your site(s).
Rule of thumb
With this in mind, at no point will we offer a monetary, or similar, reward when we acquire links for you. We will simply reach out to sites we believe will help your ranking, and that will benefit by linking to you only because it will be useful for their audience. If someone offer you links in exchange for links, do yourself a favor and don’t consider it unless the answer to the following is ‘yes’:
1. Will my audience benefit from a link to this site and page?
2. Is this site and page relevant to what my site is about?
3. Is this site and page beneficial to my content by offering in-depth/additional information?
4. If I was not approached, but saw this page myself, would I link to it?
If you clicked on the “seen as a link scheme” link above, you might have seen that directories are also considered a potential link scheme, and therefore potentially harmful. In essence, Google sees low-quality directories as unnatural links. Furthermore, Google may see them as violating their guidelines.
That said, if you’re listed in Yellow Pages, or high-quality industry directories (or similar), you don’t need to worry. These are industry standard and useful resources for people to find businesses in your industry. In other words, it’s not harmful to your site’s ranking. However, acquiring a host of backlinks from dubious and borderline useless directories, niche or not, isn’t something you want.
Luckily, Google has lately started to disregard such links rather than directly penalizing them. In other words, if you find that your site has been linked to from a great variety of poor niche directories, you won’t be punished. On the other hand, you won’t gain anything either. Best practice here would be to disavow the links. While we are happy to help you enforce your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) across directories, we will be sure to avoid useless and harmful niche directories.
The importance of getting links/outreach for SEO
Acquiring links to your site is very important to the SEO of your site. Links, together with content, are the top two ranking signals Google uses when evaluating sites for their search engine results pages (SERPs). There are SEO specialists out there who state that links are the singularly most important ranking factor there is. However, it’s not a very holistic way to improve the overall ranking of your site and pages.
As we’ve already mentioned, Google prioritizes and reward good links, as well as ignore poor ones. However, relevant, authoritative, and useful backlinks remain critical for increasing the ranking of your site. A useful way to interpret links is that they are a vote of confidence from one website to another. The value of this ‘vote’ depends on the credibility, popularity, and authority of the ‘voter’. In other words, the value of the link depends on the quality of the site which links to yours. Even gaining votes of confidence from mediocre sites is useful and indicates that your site is gaining favor. However, gaining votes of confidence from high-quality sites – sites of authority in their niche – will greatly improve the ranking of your website.
Value Generates Value
Our way of gaining these useful links for you is by contacting relevant publishers and sites who will benefit from linking to your site. They will benefit from the value of your content, and how useful it is for their site’s audience. To that end, we will also provide feedback and suggestions as to how you can improve your content. This way, not only will you gain links from our outreach activities, your content may well gain links on its own. Don’t worry though if our recommendations are beyond what you can implement due to time restraints. We’re happy to provide white-label content editing as well.
Why use an external team to help with backlinks?
By now, we know that links are integral to gaining traction in SERPs. However, it’s imperative that you gain these links in a careful and organic manner. As a consequence, we acquire useful backlinks even though this is difficult and time-consuming. This is where outsourcing this activity can be extremely useful for e-commerce sites and business websites, both large and small.
By outsourcing this activity, you will more easily be able to manage this process. Rather than investing time, and with it non-solidified costs, in acquiring links, outsourcing makes the cost element static. This will allow you to more clearly plan and budget for how much you want to invest in acquiring links.
However, you should know that we cannot give you a minimum “links per month” guarantee. After all, the way that we gain these links for you is based on mutual benefit and is inherently dependent on others seeing the value of your site. Therefore, you can set a maximum number of links, and we will work up to this limit. This will ensure that the cost will never exceed your budget, while making sure that the links are acquired in a useful and ethical way.
Let us organically build links for your site
With our expert SEO insights, we will be able to identify opportunities for your site’s growth. We will find pages that are on the verge of ranking well, and give you feedback on how to improve them. From there, we will actively contact and identify sites that will greatly benefit from linking to this content. To ensure best practice throughout this process, we will not guarantee a minimum amount of links per month. The simple reason for this is that we cannot guarantee the opinion of others. To balance this, we will settle on a budget roof. This budget roof will indicate how many links you would like to acquire per month, with a cost per link outlined.
This way, you will only pay for what you get, and we can confidently go about acquiring these links. This model allows our work to be done in a manner that adheres to Google’s guidelines while simultaneously benefiting your site significantly. We won’t scramble to find any and all sites that will link to you. We will find sites that will benefit you, that will benefit from linking to you, ensuring that it will, in turn, benefit the audience of both. If you’re looking to outsource your link building activities, please feel free to contact us using the contact form below. You don’t have to be ready to commit: we are more than happy to discuss this more in-depth and answer any questions you might have. If you’re looking for something else, we do offer a wide range of SEO services.