Links, also known as earned media, link building and blogger outreach is a much talked about part of SEO. How important links are is up for debate within the SEO community even today. But the expert SEOs at Moz, who have a lot of data at their fingertips, note that ranking without any links isn’t really possible.
One issue that can arise between you and your SEO agency is about the number of links they achieve per month/year for your site. Links, or inbound links, are sites and blogs that have a clickable link pointing to your site from theirs.
The problem with gauging the number of links you achieve is that you and your agency could lose sight of link quality. Both clients and SEOs can become obsessed with the number of links a site gets, but if you are only looking at numbers you can miss the plot.
For example, are the links from spammy sites that will link to anyone for a fee? Are those links on platforms that are authoritative and have an actual audience? Or are they drawing in any referral traffic?
Links can benefit your site in two ways:
- Bringing what is known as “link juice” (the authority marker for search engines) to your site, making it stronger and more reliable.
- Driving traffic to your site. As with search, links can drive traffic to your site, increasing the number of ways potential converters can find you.
During the course of your campaign, avoid asking “How many links am I getting?”. Instead try to ask: “Which links are helping my site the most and how?”
Links that are obtained primarily for link juice should always be relevant to your site, or else it would be bad SEO, but these usually reference you or your brand as an example or reliable resource. They are not intended to market to your customer audience and therefore are very unlikely to drive referral traffic that converts.
A link meant to drive traffic with potential to convert might, by contrast, include links to specific product pages and be targeting buyer sites rather than news sites.
It’s fair to say that regardless of what your website advertises, SEO will help it be found by more people. But SEO isn’t about finding a quick trick to get your site or brand noticed, only for it to fall off the face of search a couple of months later. SEO should always be about helping your site be in the best position to put buying customers in touch with your company.