October 19, 2023

What is Link Building?

Link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO that often gets overlooked. Having a strong backlink profile will make ranking for keywords easier and allow you to rank higher against stronger competition. But what is link building?

Link building is the process of acquiring links to your website from other high quality websites. This is important to increase your website’s domain authority and allow it to rank easier on search engines. This can be done by writing high quality content or finding guest posts and linking opportunities.

Read on to find out more information about what link building is, why link building is important, what a good backlink is, what strategies you can use, and what the best resources are for link building.

What Is Meant by Link Building?

The process of link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO that often gets overlooked. Link building is a way to increase your site’s search rankings by receiving links from other high-quality sites. 

By receiving links from higher ranking sites, you’re essentially receiving a tick of approval from a well respected website. Google sees this and may rank your site higher because a well respected site has considered you respectable or helpful enough to link their users to. 

Why Is Link Building Important?

The way that Google ranks sites is through domain authority (DA). Domain authority is a rating that Google gives each site to judge how much authority it has. A higher DA will allow you to rank easier on search results and a low DA will struggle to compete for keywords that have a lot of high ranking competition.

By receiving links from high DA sites, you’re receiving a “vote of confidence” in your site’s quality and content. This shows Google that your website is valuable to users and increases your own domain authority. Because backlinks are so essential to increasing your domain authority, you’ll have to do some form of link building on your site if you want to rank effectively.

For more information on domain authority, read our guide on what domain authority is and how to increase it.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks, often called “inbound links” or “incoming links”, are links that go from one website to another website through anchor text. These links are considered votes of confidence from one website to another, as search engines such as Google will see links to a page and consider it relevant, high quality, and authoritative.

Find out more in our guide on how many backlinks you need to rank.

What Is a Good Backlink?

Understanding what makes a good backlink will help you find the best opportunities, and save you time that you could waste chasing poor links. Here we break down what to look for in a good link, as well as what to avoid. 

What Should You Look For in a Backlink?

Authority

A good backlink will always be from a high DA website. The higher the DA the better here, although you’ll be lucky to start out with a link from a high DA site like BBC News. Therefore it’s important to compare it to your own DA and be realistic. If your site has a domain authority of 6, then a 37 is still good. However if you’re already at a DA of 54, that same 37 might not be worth putting too much effort into.

Relevancy

How relevant the referring site is to your site has a big impact on how much ‘link juice’ is passed across. This means that you should always vet websites before investing time into receiving a backlink.

This also means that paying for links from random sites isn’t the way to go. Aiming for high quality, relevant links is essential to maximising the amount of link juice you receive and increasing your domain authority.

Anchor Text & Placement

How a link to your site shows up on the referring website’s domain is another important factor to how much authority will be passed across. This includes both the physical position on the page, as well as the anchor text that’s used to describe the link.

Google uses specific algorithms to decide the probability of a link being clicked on a site. This means that if your link is placed in a sidebar or all the way at the bottom of the page, it’s much less likely to be clicked than at the top of the main body of content. The more likely your link is to be clicked, the more link juice that’s passed across.

Anchor text is the text that’s included in the clickable link. This is important because both Google and users read this to understand what the link will take them to. The more relevant this anchor text is, the better Google will understand why it’s included in the content and why it’s relevant.

Which Backlinks Should Be Avoided?

Spammy Links

Many website owners that don’t understand the points above will pay for cheap backlinks that don’t actually affect your domain authority at all. These are often spammy sites that place hundreds, if not thousands, of spammy links from one low authority site. 

While these don’t actually lower your authority, they also provide absolutely no benefit because the site won’t be relevant, the positioning and anchor text will often be wrong, and the authority score of the site will be low.

Low Authority

Sites with a low domain authority won’t offer much link juice for your site. While it’s important not to ignore medium-low links if you have a fresh site with an extremely low DA, don’t waste too much time on receiving links from low DA sites as it won’t be worth investing a lot of effort into.

Nofollow Links

Nofollow” is an attribute that you can give to a link that tells Google and other search engines that they shouldn’t follow the link. These are generally used to link to another site without providing a stamp of approval. 

While these will still provide brand recognition and potential traffic to your site, they won’t pass authority, so it’s not worth targeting if you’re looking to increase your own site’s domain authority.

Learn more about Nofollow links in our dedicated blog where we go into more detail about the difference between Follow and Nofollow links.

What Are the Best Link Building Strategies?

There are multiple ways to find high quality backlinks for your website. While many of these will take a lot of time and effort on your part, this will pay off in the long run. We recommend dedicating a small amount of time to link building each month to slowly build this up over time.

Asking For Links

This technique involves contacting journalists, website owners, and relevant sites and asking them to provide a link to your content. This can be done as simply asking them to link to a blog, asking if you can write a guest post for their site so that they’ll link to your site, or providing guides and assets that they can use and put your site as a source.

You can be as creative as you want here. Some sites will pay for surveys to be completed on a newsworthy topic so that they can send the data to a journalist and receive a link. Alternatively, you can create infographics that will provide value to a blog and send it around to get other sites to post it.

For more information, read our blog on how to find guest post opportunities.

Earning Links

Earning links refers to gaining organic backlinks without asking for them. The easiest way to do this is by creating high-quality, valuable content that people want to link to. The reason this is the easiest is because this is something that you should always be doing anyway if you’re working on SEO!

When you create useful content, other sites will link to it within their own content as a source. You can also create useful infographics, research, tools or calculators, and tutorials that websites can link to in the same way.

Manually Adding Links

Manually adding links is the least effective of the three link building strategies. This includes manually adding links to:

Despite the fact that many of these options will come from high DA sites such as Facebook or Quora, you’ll get very little link juice from these links. Often, links from sites like these are also Nofollow links, so you might not receive any link juice at all.

What Are the Best Resources for Backlinks?

Having high quality resources to help you through the link building process is essential to save you time and effort on your link building journey. Here are the best link building resources that we’ve found for each step of the process.

Semrush

If you’ve been looking into SEO for a while, you’ll undoubtedly have at least heard of Semrush before. This tool is exceptional for keyword research, competitor analysis and more. However, it’s also a great tool for link building. On Semrush, you can complete backlink audits and analytics to see how your current backlink profile is performing and what your current authority score is.

Where Semrush really shines is its link building tool. Here you can find a list of link building opportunities for your website so that you can run outreach campaigns and find potential backlinks that would work well for your business.

Respona

Respona is a very powerful link building tool which allows you to view URLs linking to competitors and find blogs that reviewed your products. Where the real strength of Respona lies is in its link finding. 

You can input topics for guest posts and it will give you a list of websites accepting guest posts in that area, input keywords, and receive a list of resource articles that you could be linked in, and input a person in your industry to find podcasts that they’ve featured on.

Overall, Respona saves you time and effort trawling the web for potential links by providing lists of websites that may be relevant or already accept guest posts, it’s definitely worth a try.

Hunter

Hunter is one of the best tools for finding contact information to help with your outreach campaigns. Hunter pulls in data from multiple sources across the web to find accurate, verified contact information and provide it based on relevancy to your topic and whether they’re allowing guest posts and backlinks.

Link Building and SEO With Wildcat Digital

At Wildcat Digital, we specialise in all forms of SEO, from creating high quality content that earns organic backlinks, to detailed digital PR campaigns backed by creative link building strategies. Visit our digital PR page to see our full link building services, or read our guide on how many backlinks you need to learn more about link building. Check out our SEO page for more information on how we can help your website rank online or get in touch with a member of our team.

Post by

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

Senior SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

More blogs.

View all

What’s Happening in Digital Marketing? Your June News Roundup

June 17, 2024

There are constant changes in SEO and PPC, AI is a prominent and seemingly permanent feature to our news updates…

Thea Chapman

Knowledge Hub
News

What is Link Juice in SEO?

June 13, 2024

If you’re new to SEO, you might come across words and terms every now and again that leave you wondering…

Chloe Robinson

Knowledge Hub
SEO

Are FAQs Still Relevant in SEO?

June 10, 2024

Ever wondered if FAQs still matter for SEO? You're not alone! FAQs might seem like old news in the ever-changing…

Jasmine Savery

Content
Knowledge Hub
SEO