Positioning of websites is based on basic activities, which include website optimization, content creation and link building. The report prepared by Paraphrase-Online shows that in 2018 an average of 48% of the budget spent on SEO activities was spent on link building. This is an increase of 15% compared to the previous year. In addition, over 40% of respondents confirmed that they assumed an increase in spending in the new year. This proves not only the significance of linking itself, but above all its effectiveness.
Acquiring links – analysis of competition
Link building is based on obtaining links from good quality domains. Assuming that the site has been properly optimized for both search engines and the convenience of users, and the content is systematically implemented, building a link profile becomes the basic activity. Good quality domains do not necessarily mean the same for every page. For many industries, especially niche, it is difficult to find thematic portals that publish unique content and have a satisfactory number of organic entries. Therefore, the first step is always to analyze the competition. Thanks to tools such as Ahrefs or SurferSEO, we can download a list of domains linking to the competition we are interested in.
Manufacturer of handrails and balustrades – case study
We started cooperation with a client producing balustrades and handrails at the end of March 2018. It was a newly created site, so it did not struggle with a lot of technical errors. The basic optimization activities contributed to a significant increase in visibility – from 55 to 162 phrases in the top 50 – already in the first month of cooperation. The beginning of May is also the beginning of obtaining links. We started by analyzing the profile of competition links.
Niche industries and whisper marketing
Companies operating in the construction industry, such as the production of balcony balustrades and aluminum railings, to a large extent gain links from the catalogs of companies and forums. We collected the addresses of valuable websites that run business catalogs and added business cards with a link to the client’s website. Whisper marketing is mostly links with the nofollow attribute, but in the structure of incoming links also they should be. Adding business cards and mentions to the site in places where competition has them contributed to the visibility increases.
Subsequent months of cooperation are a calm growth of position caused by optimization, building content within the site, adding meta tags and the beginning of paid publications. August 2018 is the moment of a big update of Google algorithms, which unfortunately also reflected on our client’s website. The chart shows a significant drop in visibility. The end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 is the time of implementation of the new link building strategy, the aim of which was to rebuild high positions.
High quality links from thematic portals
The large decrease in visibility caused by the update of Google algorithms meant that we were looking for places to publish with greater intensity. We focused mainly on high-quality thematic portals. We measure quality by checking visibility and keywords in Senuto, as well as data in Ahrefs, thanks to which we can check how many users are looking at a given page, how trusted they are by the search engine and what its link profile is. It is also important for us to search organic, which is the actual number of people who reach the page directly from the Google search engine. This increases the chances of getting hit also on the positioned domain.
Each month, we prepare unique texts, which are then published on portals in the construction industry, finishing and furnishing. During the year, from April 2018 to April 2019 we managed to increase the number of referring domains by over 300%.
Because the site at the beginning of our cooperation was relatively new, that’s why we started linking from the beginning in terms of the diversity of links leading to the domain, so there appeared an exact match, a partial match, as well as brand links. Over time, we’ve developed a link profile for the URLs themselves or with the brand leading both to pages with categories and to the home page. We’ve achieved a satisfactory percentage of brand links and URLs for exact matches links that do not exceed 25%.
In addition, thanks to links from directories and forums, we have also developed a satisfactory ratio dofollow links to nofollow, to differentiate and provide a reliable profile from Google’s point of view.
How link building has translated into the success of the site?
According to data from Google Analytics, the website has been recording systematic growth of new users, which can be seen in the chart below. It is worth noting, however, that due to the industries we have to take into account the seasonality of the site.
The website also has a high rate of new users who, according to data from Analytics, reach the site from organic results as well as links leading to the site from other places, such as catalogs and publications.
In the list of users from particular months, from April 2018 to March 2019, a significant increase in visits from organic search results can be noticed.
It is also worth checking how the number of phrases in Top 50 and Top 10 has changed over the last year. March 2018 means 60 keywords in Top 50 and 15 in Top 10. Currently, these numbers look as follows: Top 50 – 467, Top 10 – 47. This means that the website of our client can be found after entering different over 400 different combinations of phrases. The link building strategy carried out by our company is adapted to the industry and to the status of the site at the beginning of cooperation. In this case, we were dealing with a new page to which the minimum number of links ran. Thanks to this, we had the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the form of dofollow and nofollow links from catalogs, business cards and thematic portals of good quality, which are the starting point for further link building activities.