The Benefits of Link Building

Why New and Old Sites Alike Stand to Gain Big From a Solid Backlink Profile
Published on 
January 21, 2024
Updated on 
January 21, 2024
Posted in 

The benefits of link building and the case for a comprehensive link building strategy are stronger than ever in this era of sweeping Google search updates. 

Content is still incredibly important, but things like Google’s RankBrain, which sorts and ranks front-page content, are increasingly making hard-to-quantify content quality and user experience evaluations that often seem to defy what we’ve traditionally thought of as SEO “best practices.”

On-page optimization tactics like the use of meta tags and satisfying search intent are still important parts of Google's (allegedly) 200-factor-strong list of ranking variables, but what you do off-page (i.e., link building) is of paramount importance. 

In this article, we will attempt to drive home the primary benefits of link building and why search engines still view links as one of the most important considerations when deciding where you should appear in the search engine results pages. 

Links build your credibility and authority 

Your backlinks are an integral part of building your credibility and authority–both among visitors and search engines. 

Google sees your backlinks–at the page and domain level–as indicators of quality and trustworthiness. 

The idea is that trustworthy, high authority websites will link to other websites that it believes are also credible. Sites that have built their brand and reputation up don’t want to send their visitors to low quality pages and spammy websites, so Google uses backlinks as a proxy for quality. 

SEO analytics companies like Ahrefs and MOZ use Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA), respectively, to rate the ranking potential of a domain based on its backlink profile, and the correlation is surprisingly stark. 

graph that shows correlation between domain rating and how many keywords website ranks from
Source: Ahrefs

Above is a graph from Ahrefs showing that the more high authority backlinks you build, the more search engines view you as deserving of a higher rank in the SERPs. 

You give yourself a massive competitive advantage

Another reason to take link building seriously is that you can give yourself both a competitive advantage and, depending on your niche or industry, a competitive chance through link building. 

The benefits of link building are especially apparent for new websites. 

Ahrefs did a study which found that two-thirds of pages don’t have a single backlink, meaning that simply by focusing some time and energy on building links you can potentially outrank the majority of the webpages in your niche. 

If you’re a new site in a highly competitive niche, but you are going after commercial keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, or ones where the competition hasn’t yet built many backlinks, you stand a reasonably good chance of claiming one of the top search engine results page spots. 

Google wants to show its users the best results possible for a given query and the more links a page has, the more likely Google is to view that page of being worthy of the top spot(s).

It’s worth considering that the number one search result in Google tends to get a third of all search traffic. 

The compounding effect of backlinks

One of the most compelling reasons to invest in link building, whether you undertake it on your own or recruit the help of an experienced and reputable link building service like, is that links tend to beget more links. 

Backlinks, when you build them the right way, tend to create a positive feedback loop, whereby the more links you get, the more links you build on the back of those existing links 

This boils down to a couple of things. 

Firstly, it has to do with the effects of link building. The more high quality backlinks you build (as we’ve established), the higher up the search engine results page you are likely to appear, meaning the more credible you are going to be seen by other websites. 

When sites are creating their content and inserting external links, they are conscious of what kind of websites they are linking to. If you are the type of website that appears at the top of the search results, then odds are you are a safe external linking bet. 

Which is to say, Google isn’t going to look down on an external link to such a site. That isn’t always the case. You can absolutely include outbound links in your content that Google frowns upon and end up hurting your SEO. 

That’s why good quality websites have strict editorial processes in place that dictate the external links they use. 

Secondly, the organic traffic effect of link building is also going to influence how many links you get. 

The more people exposed to your content, the more likely it is that they will link back to it. 

If you create stellar, high quality content that adds value, eventually, people will find it, use it (i.e., hyperlink to it in their own content) and you get the coveted “editorial” links that Google loves to see. 

Other people read that content, presumably (hopefully) recognize its value as well, and they link to it too. 

Boom! Compounding links. 

Similar to the truism that to those that have, more will be given, the more links a page gets, the more it tends to accrue because of it. 

Internal linking benefits

Another of the major benefits of link building is that more backlinks helps to buttress your internal linking. 

Building internal links is a fundamental part of good search engine optimization.

Internal links do two things: they help search engines crawl and index websites and they allow you to distribute “link juice” to your most important pages. 

Crawling and indexability

First of all, the easier you make it for Google to index your pages, the quicker and easier it will be when it comes time for Google to index new pages. 

Internal linking is an often neglected part of a link building campaign, with inbound links given priority over everything else. 

Internal linking and link juice (or link equity)

Another reason to develop a careful internal link building strategy is to ensure that you are distributing SEO value where you want it to go. 

When other websites link to various web pages on your site, you don’t really have that much control over where the links point and the anchor text used. 

Sure, you might be able to negotiate with the referring domain, but when you acquire backlinks organically, it’s at the other website’s discretion, not yours. 

What you can do is structure your internal links strategically so that you are sending trust and authority signals to the pages you most want to rank. 

Maximize ROI

If you manage to avoid most common link building mistakes, link building is very likely to be one of if not the highest ROI search engine optimization investment you make. 

Content and links are, arguably, the two main pillars of SEO. You need content to build links, but a lot of people spend a lot of money and time on their content, only to then do no link building (see the: two-thirds of pages have no links stat from earlier on in this article). 

Good content needs (and deserves) a concerted link building effort. 

Yes, link building can be expensive, but, done right, your organic traffic and conversions (providing your sales pipeline is in order), can explode. 

Check out this case study we did on one of our superstart clients, Nectar. hectarHR case study

We took them from booking zero demos a month (their main conversion KPI) to more than 50. 

All through the power of link building and landing links like the below. 

Backlinks are good for brand awareness

This is one of those often overlooked benefits of link building, but backlinks are definitely good for brand awareness. 

This is especially the case if you’re building branded links, but any link (and accompanying mention) in noteworthy blogs and online publications can move the needle. 

When people see that websites they respect are linking to you, it automatically establishes a positive association in their minds. It’s similar to the way in which search engines view high authority backlinks. 

If a trusted, credible, relevant website is linking to your content, then you must be doing something right. 

HARO as a brand awareness tool

screenshot from haro website

One of the best ways to incorporate brand awareness into your link building strategies is to make use of HARO (Help a Reporter Out). 

We’ve put tougher an in-depth guide to HARO link building, if you’re interested in a deeper dive, but, in a nutshell, this is how you can incorporate HARO into your link building for both more traffic and increased brand awareness. 

HARO connects high authority sites and sources (i.e., you) with the end result potentially being the kinds of quality links that you would not be able to get anywhere else. 

Signup is dead easy. 

haro signup form

Go through the verification email process and you’re ready to receive HARO’s thrice-daily email. 

This is what the “Business and Finance” section of the email looks like. 

example of daily haro email

All of these are journalists and bloggers looking for expert opinion for their stories. 

You, as the expert, choose the queries where you have the relevant expertise (making sure the website that will be publishing the story satisfies your domain authority criteria) and, if they like what you have to contribute, you can very easily end up with very high quality backlinks. 

More referral traffic

This is another of those benefits of link building that is often overlooked by link builders who have domain authority tunnel vision. 

Yes, of course, you want to build your website’s authority, and more organic traffic is ultimately the main reason for building backlinks. 

But, referral traffic–the traffic you get when someone clicks on a link directing them to your website–is an important part of the overall traffic equation. 

A backlink in an article that is read by thousands, or tens of thousands of people (perhaps many multiples of that if it’s a syndicated article published across various platforms) represents both potential conversions and signals to Google that people are visiting your website. 

Establish an SEO foundation that limits your need to rely on paid advertising

By increasing your domain authority through link building, you are attempting to rise up the search engine results pages so that more people come across your website and its products and services while using Google. 

That’s really the long and short of it. 

You want to rise up the search engine rankings to increase your conversions and revenue now, but you also want to do it because it’s one of the best, most sustainable, highest-ROI digital marketing strategies over the long term. 

When you are doing business online, people essentially have two different ways to find you. 

They can either find you organically while searching words and phrases in a search engine (i.e., Google). 

Or, you can put your business in front of them with paid advertising (i.e., PPC). 

Both have their place in a digital marketing strategy, but PPC tends to be much more costly. Depending on the conversion rate of a particular product or service and cost to get your ads in front of your target market, it can make more or less sense. 

What always makes sense, however, are link building strategies aimed at providing your with a steady flow of traffic over the long-term. 

Shore up ranking with search engines

This is especially important if you are a first-mover in a newer niche. 

If you are able to do good link building early on in the life of your business and the life of your industry, it is easier to become one of the entrenched high domain authority websites that stays at the top of the pack indefinitely. 

There are certain niches and industries where the market and the search engine results page real estate is already so monopolized by the incumbents that it doesn’t really make much sense for new entrants to try an SEO-focused strategy. 

Anyone searching for the highest-converting and largest-margin keywords and phrases is going to end up seeing the biggest companies that dominate the SERP.

If you are fortunate enough or have enough foresight to be a first mover in a new or up-and-coming industry and niche online, early, strategic link building can help you shore up your position as one of the dominant players early on. 

The benefits of a carefully planned link building strategy

Website owners that don’t incorporate link building into their digital marketing efforts are losing out on brand recognition, referral traffic, increased conversions, and a long-term SEO strategy that can set them and their business up for sustained success. 

If you want to get your website and its most important pages in front of your target audience, then a solid link building plan has to be part of your strategy. 

Of course, we can go on and on about why you should spend time creating a solid backlink profile and the benefits that you will enjoy. 

It is another, entirely, to put it all into practice. You need time and money to build links, as well as processes and relationships in place to do it sustainably over time. 

If you’re interested in working with a highly-respected, bespoke link building agency, on a performance-based, contract-free pricing model, reach out to today and let’s talk more about the benefits of link building

Why Trust Us On SEO

Eric Carrell & Sebastian Schaffer have been working in SEO for over a decade, building their own projects - understanding and testing SEO strategy, along with building hundreds of white hat links per month for our projects. They take their learnings and experience and apply them to the strategy that drives our link building strategy for our clients.

Eric & Seb have always believed in quality over quantity, doing things the right way so we future proof our client’s websites against future Google updates and the evolving industry of search.

While Seb handles the company strategy around culture, processes and structure, Eric is constantly working to improve our service offering, customer experience, and following the industry in parallel with Google’s Quality Guidelines so that we are always one step ahead of our competition and aligned with what Google wants to see for your site to rank higher.

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