You’ve already got a website and your word of mouth is red hot. So what’s the big deal about links? Salesmen keep trying to sell you backlinks, and you’ve heard Timbuktu blokes online can build 100 backlinks in an hour, but it’s frustrating getting half-truths and buzzwords when you want a straight answer.
At Tradie Digital, we do build backlinks. But not by the hundreds or poor quality ones you might get elsewhere, because that’ll send your rankings down the drain. We build backlinks from relevant and trusted sites – because that’s how you improve your SEO. Read on to find out how many backlinks come in each SEO package.
QUESTION: Does Tradie Digital do link building?
If we finished this article here you’d leave thinking your link building question had been answered. And that’s exactly what many SEO companies want you to do, because they’ve got a vested interest in keeping you in the dark.
The truth is, link building is an umbrella term that covers the good, the bad and the downright ugly. You can build links that give your site a serious rankings boost, and you can build links that undo all your hard SEO work and send your rankings straight down the drain.
In this article we’ll cover the different types of links your website needs in 2021, show you what red flags to watch out for when it comes to link building, and explain our own approach to link building.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
Are all backlinks the same?
“Aren’t all links the same? I’ve heard of blokes from Timbuktu who will build 100 links for $100, why shouldn’t I take that deal?”
It’s common to ask that question when you see backlinks available on Fiverr or Upwork for a few bucks.
Link building is crucial if you want to improve your SEO – but you need to choose your links wisely.
There are over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to decide where your website ranks online, but anyone who tells you to learn all 200 of them is either a time-waster or has no clue how SEO works.
Successful SEO comes down to three pillars:
SEO-friendly website architecture
Backlinks that show your site is trustworthy
Quality content that helps solve people’s problems
Is your website loading fast or driving people away out of frustration?
Do you have enough pages to target your potential customers? (This is VERY important).
Do you have clear website architecture in place? (Inc. meta tags, title tags and other features that make it easy for Google to read what a page is about)
Do your pages “link together”? (Is a potential customer encouraged to go deeper into your site and learn about your business).
Do you have your phone number, address, and business information consistent across multiple sites that are linked to yours? (Known as your ‘NAP’)
What is the quality of sites that are linking to you? (The more quality sites that link to you, the better the results…more on this later.)
Is your content actually useful?
Do customers read it or do they quickly click to your competitor?
Are you supplying the information and answers to your customer’s queries and questions?
That list makes it seem like all you need are links from other websites and you’ll be ⅓ of the way to better SEO. But there’s more to the story…
Back in the day Google would rely on the quantity of backlinks to judge a website’s value. If there were 100 backlinks coming from all over the internet, Google figured the ONE website they were all linking to must be the real deal. So that website’s SEO improved.
This became a huge problem when people started sending hundreds of spammy, crappy backlinks to their sites (known as ‘link farms’). Google realized people were gaming the system, so the value of backlinks changed – and anyone still trying to game the system was penalised and their rankings scrubbed.
Google then introduced more sophisticated metrics, like whether readers were finding helpful information on a website. In 2021, the link building landscape isn’t one you can succeed in without a plan.
Quality always trumps quantity.
The Tradie Digital approach to link building is quality over quantity
Google cares about the quality of your backlinks now, not how many you get. You don’t want to collect them by the thousands if they’re crap
That quality comes down to the relevance of the site linking to you, which means links from sites in the same industry or similar industry are worth more. As well as the quality of the site linking to you, which means links from sites that are well known, provide great content, and are seen as trustworthy are worth more.
In short, all links are NOT the same.
If a bloke from Timbuktu offers to build you 100 links for $100, you can guarantee those links will be from spammy, crappy websites that put you in Google’s bad books – and leave you at risk of having your hard-earned rankings scrubbed.
How to tell the difference between a ‘good’ link and a ‘bad’ link?
Good links are characterized by:
The most commonly used metric for authority is a website’s “DA”, or Domain Authority. This metric (and others like it) come from SEO softwares (such as Ahrefs or SEMrush) that pull a list of links your website has earned.
Essentially, Domain Authority is exactly as it sounds – how much “authority” a website holds. If a website has a high authority score and it’s linking to you, then congratulations, your website is earning good links.
Good links also come down to relevance, or specificity.
If you have a link from a national home improvement store and you’re a home improvement business, there’s a good chance this link will shift you further up the rankings (assuming you’re ticking the boxes across SEO-friendly website architecture and quality content).
On the flipside, a backlink from a website that has nothing to do with your industry can hurt your rankings. For example, a backlink from a local online adult DVD shop when you run a mobile mechanic business (and this is WAY more common than you think).
At Tradie Digital we also provide citations to bring you local work
If backlinks help you rank on Google and bring in website traffic, then citations help you get more local work.
It’s easy to confuse backlinks and citations, but they have entirely different benefits.
Remember, backlinks are links from an external website to your site, usually from niche directories or industry blogs.
To read more about the four types of main links for a trades business go here.
So, what are citations?
Put simply, they’re links from local business listing sites. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Yellow Pages, Yelp etc, though there are many of these listing sites for your business to appear on (you’ve probably received a call from a few!).
People can click on these links and jump from whatever site they’re on, to your site. So not only do you get the SEO boost (because Google loves backlinks the same way neighbours love to complain about construction noise) but you get extra traffic to your website too.
These listings include a business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) and they’re also great for your SEO – assuming you link to the right ones.
It takes time and effort to build citations and make sure they are consistent across the web, with many of these listing sites wanting to confirm your listing (aka “try to sell you advertising on their site”) so those need to be followed up to confirm the link.
This makes citation building a time consuming, but highly valuable process.
“How many backlinks and citations does Tradie Digital create for my business?”