At Convident, strengthening your backlink profile through link building is an important part of search engine optimization. Thanks to our years of experience, we know how to achieve strong and sustainable links that increase authority.
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What is link building?
Maybe you have heard of it, received an email about it or simply know (almost) all the ins and outs of it. In our experience, for some business owners it is a difficult concept to grasp while others are dealing with it on a daily basis. In both cases, Convident can provide good support. Link building is (still) one of the most important ranking factors to organically score higher in Google. Organic means being shown in Google without running an ad through the search engine giant. Google’s algorithm decides where your display will rank in the search engine. By applying link building, the website develops a strong backlink profile which benefits organic results.
"Rise in organic search results with link building"
Link building is most easily explained through a metaphor.
“Suppose there are two painters, one painter knows 100 people and the other painter only one person. Chances are that the painter who knows 100 people will receive many more orders than the person who knows 1 person.” And this is (roughly) how it works with link building too.
What is link building?
In a nutshell, link building is the gathering of links from third-party pages. A page owner may choose to place a (hyper)link on his or her webpage and forward it to your site or shop. This means you have received a backlink from an external page or third-party website. The more of these backlinks you receive, the more authority a page builds up in search engines like Google. Actually, you should see backlinks as a kind of vote of approval. The more backlinks, or votes, a page contains, the more trustworthy it looks in Google’s eyes. However, this does not mean that you have to be happy with all backlinks. And that is precisely what makes it so difficult!
How does link building work at Convident?
At Convident, during a link building process, we will first start by taking stock of the current link profile. We do this by taking a 0 measurement and noting the current backlinks in our link building file. After all, we don’t want to send duplicate backlinks to a domain.
- What is the current backlink profile like?
- Are there any sites among them that are not relevant?
- How authoritative is the page already at the moment?
- How many backlinks does the domain (and its competition) contain?
- Do the current backlinks match within your industry?
- Are there any pages among them that are detrimental to your domain?
Once the current backlink profile has been mapped, we will look at which backlinks in which industries or niches match the branch of sport your platform is in. Every month, our marketers will work for you to place as many (relevant) backlinks as possible that refer to important pages. Each month, we report on these placed backlinks, blogs and articles. Our content marketers create valuable content on various industry-related platforms, blogs and both local and national news blogs. In this, Convident has a network in diverse industries. Options are manually checked to see if they are relevant to the niche and worth referring to the domain. If this is the case, a blog owner will be contacted and asked if this person is interested in pointing a backlink to the domain.
Why is link building important?
Link building is one of the bigger parts of search engine optimization. However, it is difficult to measure this value properly, the process takes a long time and is therefore less measurable. However, it is an essential part of the optimization strategy that should not be forgotten. Nowadays, the way search engines look at references is changing a lot. Quality is preferred over quantity. This makes expanding your profile more challenging but also offers opportunities. For instance, by adopting the right approach, it is possible to catch up with competitors. Working with Convident ensures sustainable and natural monthly growth. In our experience, this way of expanding your profile is received very positively by search engines like Google. Consequently, we have achieved wonderful results, even in competitive niches.
Link building is thus an important part of the overall search engine optimization strategy. It ensures sustainable positions in Google, which means that less budget needs to go towards advertising. However, we often work with a broader deployment of marketing options. Especially for new websites, using SEA is a great way to get immediate results. This gives room to gradually build up organic findability.
What are good backlinks?
A good backlink comes from a page that matches niche or industry. If you have a business that specializes in selling consumer electronics, a link from Tweakers will obviously fit in incredibly well. So backlinks are preferably obtained from websites that are actually relevant and contain good content. The best backlinks are links from which Google cannot tell that you are deliberately link-building. However, this is easier said than done. This is because the number of backlinks (quantity) also says something about a backlink profile. So you want to maintain a good balance between incredibly strong links, blog page links and homepage links. This is how you maintain the balance between quantity and quality. Because of our experience running marketing routes, we have a lot of reference for setting up a natural profile.
Where do you place a backlink?
1. Link on homepage
Where a backlink is placed on a page also says something about the strength of this link. Preferably, a backlink is placed prominently on the homepage of a website. As a result, this link is often seen and gets a lot of power from this page for the search engines. The homepage of a site is often seen as the most powerful by search engines. After all, a link on a homepage of a company or a heavily visited platform has to be good right? Yet in practice, it is rare that a link can be placed on a homepage.
2. Link in the form of a blog
This is why we often choose to post a blog on third-party websites. This allows a fun fact or news to be shared and preferably allows multiple links to be applied in the article. This way, we ensure that the content around the link is relevant to the topic of the page to be promoted.
3. Link on a partner page
Many blogs have a so-called partner page. These are often pages that are somewhat hidden. A webmaster often knows that link building is an incredibly important ranking factor in Google. Therefore, the domain owner chooses to create a partner page. This page is nothing but a listing of hyperlinks that all redirect to other domains because a link exchange has been done. When the link is placed on such a page, it will be less powerful than a homepage link or a blog article. Despite this, it still makes sense to post such options from time to time. After all, these are also indexed by Google and contribute to the number of links referred. And so, over time, posting links on a partner page will also strengthen the link profile.
"Working on a natural link profile in different ways"
Projects we are proud of
De Vries XL
Does link building take a lot of time?
Link building is a process that can take a lot of time and energy. Moreover, it is a process that is never finished, as the competition does not sit still either. As an organization, it is therefore a challenge to keep up.
One of the reasons why link building can take a lot of time is because you have to give the search engines time to index your uncollected backlinks. In other words, Google needs to notice and rate your new backlinks. Achieving links is a labor-intensive process which takes place over a longer period of time. The experience is therefore that it is difficult for organizations to achieve good levels themselves.
Another way is to buy this service in bulk. In our experience, this has negative effects on the results. We would therefore always strongly advise against fiddling around on your own. When many links are redirected to a domain in one batch, this can be seen as spam. Google will see this as manipulation and will mark these links as spam. It is better to work on your link building several days a month. This way, you gradually place backlinks during the month. This results in the search engines seeing the link-building activities as ‘natural’. If you place dozens of backlinks in one day, the search engine will see this as unnatural and flag it as spam. So working on your link profile is a process you need to work on gradually and invest time in.
Does link building cost a lot of money?
If link building is going to be a time-consuming process, it can cost a lot of money. Exactly what the cost will then look like varies from one approach to another. For instance, there are a number of ways to get free links, but you can also get backlinks for a fee. Below are four ways to get free links:
- Submit your business to relevant online business directories and home pages
- Post links on other websites and/or social media accounts that you control yourself
- Ask partners of your business to post links
- Place internal links
1. Listing your business on relevant online business directories and start pages
Signing up with your business or organization to online business directories and start pages will provide a link. It is very easy to have your business listed in local business directories. Consumers looking for, say, a local hairdresser, contractor or specific retailer will find your business when searched for. In addition, the business directory or start page has placed the link which ensures a stronger link profile towards the search engine. On start pages, in addition to placing a backlink, a link to the page can also be placed in the running text of a blog. Start pages often contain specific topics that are written about. If your company or organization is connected to one of these topics, the placed backlink is therefore very relevant. However, be careful when placing start page links and/or business directory links. This is because there should be a healthy balance between high-quality links and start page/business directory links, which are generally considered less relevant. In this case, apply the 80-20 rule.
2. Post links on other websites and/or social media accounts you manage yourself
If you own several sites, it is easy to place backlinks on them. Make sure the links are placed on websites with a strong score and relevant content for this page. Also, you often own a number of social media accounts linked to your business. It is easy to arrange to place a link on your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter account. Despite the fact that these links will not be indexed by Google, it is yet another place where you are mentioned on the internet. So it is always wise to include this!
3. Ask partners or business associates
Physical partners of your company, such as customers, suppliers, intermediaries and/or interest groups can also place a backlink to the site on their page. You possess a good relationship with these parties, so having a backlink placed is easily arranged. Sponsoring foundations can also be a great way to receive strong references. These pages have sometimes been around for years and have therefore built up a strong authority.
4. Post internal links on your own platform
Besides getting referrals, you can also link internally. This involves placing links within your platform that then link to other pages within your own site. It is good to make use of these kinds of internal hyperlinks. Google also sees internal linking as link building and thus contributes to a strong link profile.
"At Convident, we believe in a strategic link building plan with objectives"
Components of link building strategy
To find out if a third-party website is a good fit for your target audience, you can partly use logical thinking or common sense. Is the topic of the third-party page about the same thing or is there a connecting topic that you have on your own site? Then it is often reasonably safe to proceed with a link exchange. Within Convident, we use special programs to see if an opportunity matches those of our clients. We always check pages for a large number of quality requirements. We do this before entering into any request. After all, we don’t want to put energy into a potential link if it is not authoritative or does not meet our own terms. Below are a few terms that we at Convident consider important in a link building process.
1. Trust Flow
Majestic’s own definition of Trust Flow is as follows: “Trust Flow is a Majestic Flow Metric score that is determined by the number of links from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL or domain.”
Majestic determines Trust Flow based on the amount of qualitative links referred to a page. The higher the number of trusted sites referred to a domain, the higher the Trust Flow will be. This also works the other way around; if Majestic sees that a lot of spammy links from, say, home page websites are being referred to a domain, then the TF (Trust Flow) will be lower than desired.
2. Citation Flow
The definition of Citation Flow given by Majestic itself is as follows: “Citation Flow is a Majestic Flow Metric score that is weighted by the number of citations to a particular URL or domain.”
So this says something about the number of referred backlinks to a domain. Ideally, the Trust Flow and Citation Flow are practically balanced. Is the Citation Flow of a Web site much higher than the Trust Flow? Then it means that many low-quality links are pointing to the domain.
3. Domain Authority
Domain Authority is another commonly used metric in the world of link building. This metric was developed by Moz. Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Domain Authority scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a high probability of ranking. Domain Authority is based on data from our Link. Explorer web index uses dozens of factors in its calculations. The actual calculation of domain authority itself uses a machine learning model to predict a “best fit” algorithm. This algorithm will correlate our link data with rankings in thousands of actual search results that we use as standards to scale against.
In doing so, Moz uses a machine learning model of its own design to figure out or actually determine how strong a page is in Google’s eyes. The higher the DA (Domain Authority) or PA (Page Authority), the better a site will be to link to.
4. Spam score
A common metric considered during link building is the spam score of a Web page. This spam score, again developed by Moz, shows the extent to which a Website has received a Google penalty or perhaps has been completely excluded by Google.
Within Link Explorer, spam score represents the percentage of sites with similar features to the site currently under investigation that we have determined have been penalized or banned by Google. Spam score is based on our machine learning model that identified 27 common features among the million banned or penalized sites in the data we gave it.
- A score of 1% – 30% is considered a low spam score
- A score of 31% – 60% is considered an average spam score
- A score of 61% – 100% is considered a high spam score
A high spam score does not mean that it is necessarily spam. It is a sign that you need to do some more research on the quality and relevance of the website. Read more about using spam score
"Develop a natural link profile with Convident"
As you have probably noticed, there are many different ways to work on link building. Therefore, there are also many different terms surrounding this topic. Below we explain some of the terms.
Anchor text can be described as a word or phrase on a web page that can be clicked on and redirects the user to a specific URL. When referring to subpages or pages with a complex URL, anchor text is used. The anchor text is then a relevant word or phrase linked to a URL. The (often blue) colored word “URL” is an example of an anchor text. It allows the user to click on it and go to the page where the term URL is explained. This page contains a specific URL. Thus, when the URL is too long or complicated to add in the running text, anchor text in the form of the word ‘URL’ is used.
This type of hyperlink links different pages on the Internet together. When choosing your anchor text it is important that you observe your search engine optimization. Relevant keywords related to the reference can be used for the anchor text. This way, one contributes to its ranking in search engine results.
In some cases, it is not necessary to use anchor text. The original URL is then simply used. The main reason for this is when the referenced URL is not complex. For example, consider www.convidentdigitalagency.com. For the user, the text is clear to read and indicates the content of the reference. The complete URL is then included in the running text, thus allowing the user to redirect to the page in question. Do add the hyperlink to the backend of the website, otherwise it cannot be clicked.
What are referring domains?
Referring domains are very important when thinking about link building. Referring domains are domains that contain a backlink to a website/webshop. Thus, the external page that links to your website is a referring domain. So the number of referring domains your web platform owns is equal to or less than the number of backlinks it owns. Keep in mind, though, that posting multiple backlinks through one referring domain will not always make for a stronger link profile. On the contrary, if Google sees that the same site is constantly being referred to on one website, it will have a negative impact on your ranking.
A small example: A local joiner painted the shed at your house. You are very satisfied with the result and show this by telling people in the neighborhood that the painter is very good at his work. The moment you start telling everyone in the neighborhood how good this painter is, this can be experienced as irritating or even as spam.
You are the referring domain in this story and show with your voice (the backlink) how positive you are. Yet the painter benefits much more if several people (referring domain) from the neighborhood talk positively about him.
Conclusion: the number of referring domains has more influence on the domain authority of your website than the number of backlinks. There is certainly no shame in having a few backlinks placed on the same referring domain, but it does create too much of a negative effect.
A link partner
A link partner is someone with a relevant page who wants to place a backlink to the website. The owners of pages on which the links to the platform are placed are called link partners. So a good network of such partners is essential to perform this service correctly.
What is internal link building?
Internal link building is placing links within your own website. These links can be clicked on, leading the user to other (sub)pages or content within the site. Internal link building also adds value to a link profile and allows the search engine to get a clearer picture of the most essential and interesting pages of your platform.
Link building through blogs
Obtaining references through blogs is a strong way to obtain in-content links. Often only a hyperlink is placed on the partner page of an external website. Users usually do not look at these pages and they are more there for the owner of the page to get rid of his links for the search engines. When a backlink is integrated into a blog, the link to your area becomes much more prominent. In a blog, you can discuss relevant topics related to the business. The written blog includes hyperlinks that contain a URL pointing to the website. Writing a relevant blog takes a little more time than posting a backlink on a partner page. This is well worth it because Google gives it a much higher score.
What is an ABC link exchange?
In link exchanges, when two site owners agree with each other to place backlinks to each other’s websites, Google will recognize this. This results in Google ranking the backlinks placed as less valuable. A stronger way of link exchange is through an ABC link exchange. This requires three websites: A, B and C. Suppose you manage two websites yourself, namely A and B. You would like to perform a link exchange with C, only he also wants a backlink on your site. In this link exchange, it is then possible that C places a backlink to your A. And in return, you place a backlink from C on your B. With this approach, there is no direct link exchange between two pages and thus Google will see the placed backlinks as more valuable. Just make sure there is no link between your A and B, because then Google will recognize the direct link exchange.
"We have many link partners and provide quality ABC link exchange opportunities"
A link graph
Majestic’s software also provides a link graph in its overview. A link graph displays the network of top links surrounding a site. By making a graph of this, it is possible to chart how the discovered links are all connected. Right in the middle of the link graph is the Web site for which link building is performed. Around it are several clusters of sites on which backlinks have been placed.
Thus, a link graph is good to use to find out where there are natural unnatural networks around a page, and/or to get an overview of how clusters are connected.
The link profile
A link profile represents the profile of a website built from the backlink data of that website. This backlink data consists of various criteria such as Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Domain Authority and Spam score. On Majestic’s software, the link profile is displayed in the form of a scatter diagram. Based on the way the various points on the scatter diagram are aligned/dotted, one can tell if the link profile is healthy. A scatter diagram where the different points are spaced far apart and not around a linear line indicates a weak link profile.
Baiting through linkbait
The name linkbait actually gives it away a bit, you are enticing people to link to your page. This can be done in different ways, for example by writing a strong page that people use as a source. It can also be deployed by putting something funny on your website. A light will go on for many people when it says: isitalreadyweekend.co.uk. A similar idea can of course be applied to your own website or webshop. Linkbait is often known as something negative, however, this does not have to be the case at all. In 2006, Matt Cutts, the head of webspam Team Google, revealed that this will not have a negative impact on your website.