Link building is an important aspect of any successful SEO campaign. But when is the right time to start building links?
When you should start building links depends on website readiness, high-quality content, and good topical coverage to build links into.
There are different scenarios and factors to consider when determining the optimal timing for your link building efforts and we explain them further indepth.
The importance of starting to build links
If you are wanting to rank your website on Google or any other search engine, links act as pathways that connect different web pages. Search engines like Google use these links to understand the relevance, authority, and popularity of a website.
When other websites link to your site, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. This can positively impact your search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to your website.
However, building links should not be approached as a standalone tactic. It works best when combined with high-quality content and other SEO strategies.
Best way to look at this is the way I always explain to clients with zero knowledge when they hire us for our link building services:
Imagine a Lamborghini being your website’s structure and content. The fuel being the backlinks. If the Lamborghini is not reguarly maintained and looked after, it doesn’t matter how much fuel you put into it. It eventually will stop driving and performing at it’s peak.
How to know if your site is ready to build links
These are the 4 key factors to knowing if your site is ready to build links.
1. Website readiness
Before embarking on a link building campaign, it’s crucial to ensure that your website is ready to receive traffic and provide a positive user experience.
Ask yourself the following questions:
It’s important to have a strong foundation in place before actively seeking external links to your website.
2. Content quality and coverage
Links are more likely to be attracted naturally when your website offers high-quality content.
Publishing valuable, informative, and engaging content can make your site more appealing to other webmasters and influencers in your industry.
Focus on creating content that meets your audience’s needs and provides unique insights or solutions.
When your content is strong, you can leverage it to build relationships and earn natural backlinks.
Aim to cover a wide topic coverage before placing a heavy emphasis on link building efforts as it will give you plenty of articles to build links into.
3. Organic search traffic
One important consideration for deciding when you should start to build links is the current level of organic search traffic to your website.
If your site is already generating a reasonable amount of organic traffic, it can be a good indication that your content is resonating with your target audience.
Building links to a website that already has organic visibility can help accelerate its growth and further improve its search engine rankings.
On the other hand, if your website is relatively new or has limited organic traffic, it might be more beneficial to focus on building links to only your homepage before investing heavily in link building, as it looks more organic.
4. Competition analysis
Understanding the link profiles of your competitors can provide valuable insights into the right timing for your link building efforts.
Analyze the backlinks of your top competitors and identify their link acquisition patterns.
- Are they actively building links?
- If so, how many links do they have?
- What is their monthly link acquisition volacity?
- Can you identify which strategies seem to be effective for them?
This analysis can help you gauge the level of competitiveness in your industry and determine when to start building links.
If your competitors have a strong link profile, it might be necessary to start link building earlier to remain competitive.
Conversely, if your competitors have relatively weak link profiles, you may have more time to focus on other SEO tasks before prioritizing link building.
Best link building strategies to start with
These are some of the best ways to build links and still work today.
1. Guest posting and content contributions
Guest posting involves outreaching to relevant blogs that accept contributors, writing and publishing an article on their website.
This strategy allows you to showcase your expertise (EEAT), build relationships, and earn high-quality backlinks.
When you or your team are outreaching websites to guest post on, focus on those with strong authority, relevant topics, and engaged audiences.
2. Old fashioned outreach
Leveraging relationships with influencers in your industry can be a powerful way to build links.
Reach out to influencers, bloggers, or journalists who write about topics related to your website. Offer them unique insights, data, or expert opinions that can enhance their content and drive value to their audience.
In return, they may include a link to your website as a trusted resource.
3. Broken link building
Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and reaching out to the webmasters to suggest replacing them with links to your relevant content.
This approach not only helps the website owner by fixing broken links but also allows you to gain valuable backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources.
In order for this to be successful, you need to have a great email pitch to get through the noise as there are a lot of marketers using this tactic since it’s usually free to place a link.
4. Social media promotion
This goes without saying, but most authentic publishers or businesses are reguarly sharing on social platforms.
But, promoting your content on social media platforms can help attract attention, increase visibility, and potentially earn backlinks.
An example of social promotion going viral is a truck going on fire and the YETI tumbler kept the water protected.
Engage with your target audience, share valuable content, and participate in discussions to build relationships with influencers and other content creators.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to see results from link building efforts?
The time it takes to see results from link building efforts can vary depending on various factors such as the competitiveness of your industry, the quality of your content, and the strategies you employ. Generally, it can take several weeks to several months to start seeing noticeable improvements in search engine rankings and organic traffic.
Should I prioritize link building over content development?
Link building and content development are interconnected strategies that should complement each other. While building links can enhance your website’s authority and visibility, it’s equally important to have high-quality content that attracts and engages your target audience. Without valuable content, link building efforts may not yield the desired long-term results. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a balanced approach that prioritizes both link building and content development.
Should I hire an agency or do link building myself?
The decision to hire an agency or do link building yourself depends on various factors such as your budget, expertise, and available resources. If you have the necessary knowledge and time to execute effective link building strategies, doing it yourself can be a cost-effective option. However, if you lack the expertise or prefer to focus on other aspects of your business, hiring a reputable SEO agency or a link building specialist can save you time and potentially deliver better results.