Building, refining, and polishing your website is about more than designing a logo and picking out a colour palette. The last thing you want to think about is SEO. But a solid strategy is crucial to driving clicks to your page (after all, why go through the effort of shortlisting fonts if no one’s there to appreciate it?) and link building is a great place to start.

We promise it’s not as technical as it sounds. And when done right, link building can help improve your website’s visibility and authority.

The never-ending SEO ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered our top eight tips to help you boost your site.

Though you may have visions of SEO experts creating complex magic with their keyboards, link-building is actually pretty simple. It’s all about getting other websites to link back to pages on your site – whether it’s blog posts, consumer guides, or specific products (see, we did it to ourselves!). In SEO terms, these are called backlinks.

Let’s pause the SEO talk for a second. Link building is important from more than a technical standpoint. Your target audience will visit other websites in your niche and if those websites are linking to you, those visitors are more likely to trust your brand.

Links are a major ranking factor of search engines. The more high-quality (or high authority, as they’re called in the biz) sites that link to you, the more likely you’ll rank.

Let’s say you have a business that sells made-to-order baked goods. Your website has been featured in 10 news articles and on 50 food review blogs. You’re doing pretty well for yourself. Better yet, if your main competitor's only been featured in 5 articles and 25 blogs, you’re more likely to nab the top spot.

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that – nothing ever is. If those linking to your site are considered “low authority”, you might not do as well as your competitor who has backlinks on top chef’s blogs. But we promised we wouldn’t over-complicate it. So, all you need to know is that backlinks are good and backlinks on high-authority sites are better.

Now you know what they are, where do you start?

1. Look at yourself before looking at others

A good link-building strategy needs a foundation of clear goals before you do any of the grunt work.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you aiming to improve your search engine ranking? Increase website traffic? Improve brand visibility?
  • Do you want to build relationships with other brands to promote affiliate links?
  • Are you willing to create backlinks manually or wait for websites to reference you organically?

2. Research who’s doing what, when, and where

Now you know what you want, how do you get there? Clue yourself up on industry trends, your competitor’s online activity, and the best link-building practices. Understanding SEO will not only help you adjust your strategy when needed, but build confidence in your digital marketing choices.

No one’s ever made it 5 minutes into the world of online marketing without hearing “content is king” at least 78 times. And as much as we hate to sound like a broken record, content is king – especially with backlinks.

So, while it’s tempting to go straight to other websites and ask them to, pretty please, link to your site, it would likely waste valuable time.

Instead, focus on coming up with content ideas that add value – like guides, short-form explainer videos, or engaging infographics. The more high-quality the content, the more likely others will organically reference it.

4. SEO like a pro

Link building is a good start to SEO, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Optimise your website with relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags. Then, pay the favour forward by including high-quality backlinks to trusted external websites throughout.

5. Ready, set, guest blog

Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself – try sharing ideas and opinions (plus links to your own site) on other blogs. Guest blogging opens your brand up to a new audience and establishes you as a credible industry leader.

Look for authoritative and relevant websites or news outlets and see if they accept guest contributions. Smaller companies might let you contribute for free, but those with higher-traffic volumes may charge.

Next – write well-crafted, engaging content and link back to your own website. Easy.

6. (Out)reach for the stars

Right, now you’ve laid the groundwork, you can start reaching out to brands and influencers. But remember, no one likes cold calls. Don’t fall into that trap when you do manual outreach.

Personalise each message and make sure it’s mutually beneficial – whether that’s linking to their site yourself, sharing their product on your socials, or offering to pay.

7. Get social on socials

You don’t have to put the entire fate of your SEO in others’ hands. You can promote content and build links through your own social channels.

Create engaging content with clear CTAs on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – and be sure to link to your relevant pages. Bonus, encourage your followers to share to increase backlinks.

8. Keep your eye on the ball

Don’t make the mistake of putting in all the hard work, then sending your SEO strategy off into the ether with a vague prayer. Monitor your backlink profile with Google Search Console to analyse the quality, relevance, and performance of your backlinks – and identify any pesky broken links.

Do it all with Fasthosts

Link building isn’t a hard job, but it’s a time-consuming one. If it’s precious time you just don’t have, try our all-in-one SEO Manager to track your marketing activities.

Start streamlining your strategy today from just £11 per month. Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more.