Ag Marketing

Link Building Strategies; the Key to Higher Search Ranking

Gate 39 Media Staff

Qualified leads are the lifeblood of any business, and one of the most qualified and cost-efficient forms of lead generation is the creation of organic traffic. To drive organic traffic, you must rank high enough in the search results to be seen, which requires ranking for specific keywords and content based on relevancy. Several factors contribute to relevance; chief among them is a robust link building strategy.   

Most people are marginally familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) yet far less acquainted with the specific practices that help optimize a website to achieve a higher ranking in search engines.  On the surface, linking within a website might appear to serve only a perfunctory purpose to get users from point A to point B. Still, there’s a much larger context in which those links operate to push websites up the proverbial chain into elevated search exposure.  

A quick trip to any website listed in the top 20 search engine results pages for any keyword in the world will reveal articles with links to other websites nestled within the text. Known as backlinks, these are hyperlinks that connect the article you’re reading to another related article, website, or piece of content.   

These links can be icons, graphics, or text and serve two distinct purposes. First, they offer additional reference materials and education and help create a positive user experience. Second, they serve a very practical marketing purpose: to help websites achieve the holy grail of relevancy based on search engine protocols.   

Let’s explore how a link-building campaign can lead to improved rankings.  

The Basics of Link Building   

According to Yoast, “For Google (or any other search engine) to find your post, it needs links from other websites. The more links, the better. But, beware, the quality of links does matter!” (Did you notice I created a hyperlink in that sentence using anchor text?)  

Search engines employ a strategy called “crawling,” in which their tool “crawls” pages on the internet to add relevant website pages and content to their indexes. The ranking factor criteria that search engines like Google use to determine rank include keyword and content relevancy, internal linking, and external linking.  

Successful link building involves a network of cross-links, backlinks, and internal links.   

  1. Cross-links connect a hyperlink on your website to another website.   
  2. Backlinks are connections from another website that links to your site and also help generate referral traffic  
  3. Internal links connect one page on your website to another page on your website.  

Many sources of conventional SEO wisdom have focused primarily on cross-linking and backlinking. And rightly so. Yet, internal linking is also critical to successful optimization.   According to– “Internal links help both users and search engines as they create a hierarchy of importance for your pages, improve your website’s navigation, and provide context about your content.”  

Balancing Ranking Goals with Excellent User Experience  

Because linking is a significant component of search engine optimization (SEO) and an immutable part of search engine protocol, it is wise to practice moderation.  

Although there will certainly be a temptation to go crazy adding links to your web pages in hopes of ranking higher in the search engines, we highly recommend exercising restraint and thoughtfulness in your linking strategy. There is a significant difference between the robust placement of meaningful, qualified links (or high-quality links) and link stuffing, which will accomplish the opposite of your intended objective. 

Crawlers are sophisticated and can detect “stuffing.” Websites that employ these types of practices are penalized with lower rankings. Be sure to strike a balance by integrating links in a natural, organic way- using links that make sense. In exploring higher rankings in search engines through link building, it’s worth noting that the consideration for linking strategy must always work hand in hand with a positive user experience. In other words, avoid it if the link isn’t relevant to the content and the user.   

Link building serves a dual purpose, where user experience and content relevancy are inextricably linked. For example, let’s say you contributed content to the Farm Journal; a good link strategy would involve cross-linking to the Farm Journal from your website and asking for a reciprocal backlink from theirs. Search engines will recognize the connection rewarding both websites with search credibility.     

Think of link building as a virtual neural network allowing users to accelerate their research by finding accessible pathways to equally relevant topics and resources. For example, say you write a blog post about precision agriculture, then linking to an article from Sustainable America would be a great example of a thoughtful linking strategy that will help boost your relevancy and serve the user with helpful content. 

Link Building is a Long-Term Strategy  

The basic tenets of link building are finite and straightforward, yet the results take time. No matter how succinctly or robustly you execute your linking strategy, it can often take weeks or months for those results to show up in the form of higher rankings.   

Yet, the result is worth the wait. The key is consistency and a commitment to the rules that govern linking strategy. 

Discover how Anthem Ag supports agribusiness clients through inbound marketing and custom agricultural technology solutions

Contact Anthem Ag or set up a call to learn more.  

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