Published on April 13th, 2020 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Businesses Shouldn’t Focus on Building Backlinks
Every business leader operating in the 21st century knows that the success of their business rests largely on their Google search ranking. Roughly 88 percent of consumers use the internet to research their options before making a buying decision, and over half of all web traffic first flows through Google — thus, businesses that show up higher on the search page are more likely to attract the attention of web users who could eventually convert.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a tactic for modifying one’s web assets to improve one’s search ranking, and by far the most effective SEO practice is building backlinks. Backlinks are links to a business’s webpage that are located on different domains. Search engines count backlinks almost like points; sites that have a higher number of backlinks generally rank higher than those lacking backlinks.
Still, businesses shouldn’t try to build their own backlinks. Here’s why.
Building Backlinks Is Hard and Expensive
Twenty years ago, building backlinks was ridiculously easy. Domain owners could submit their website to link directories, post links in comments sections or forums, purchase links on blog networks and rack up hundreds of links in a matter of hours. These links didn’t necessarily improve other websites or demonstrate that a webpage was valuable in any way, but they were counted by search engines nonetheless.
Today, search engines are proficient at identifying spammy or worthless links, and they take steps to eliminate those links and penalize websites engaging in these practices. As a result, it can take days, weeks and even months to gain just one high-quality link that positively impacts search ranking. Business leaders inexperienced in SEO almost always find that link building is prohibitively difficult because the process:
Requires knowledge about linking rules. Some links are spammy while others are not — but knowing the difference requires research, experience and intuition. The stakes for a bad backlink are high; webpages can see their rank lower significantly with just one link, and some search engines will remove entire domains de-indexed due to poor linking behavior. Following the rules is critical for building backlinks.
Requires network of publishers. Few websites develop backlink profiles naturally. Many communicate with a network of publishers, who share links amongst themselves for mutual benefit, and others pay their publisher network for content and links. In either case, businesses need to work to identify other domains that have appropriately high authority and relevancy.
Requires a budget for content creation and link placement. Paid links aren’t ideal, but they are practical for businesses with websites that need to improve their rank. Generally, publishers that accept paid links require content to go with them, and quality guest blogging doesn’t come cheap. However, developing a budget for linking can be difficult when one lacks SEO experience, and the ramifications of underpaying and overpaying are severe.
Requires time communicating, creating content, monitoring links. A backlink profile is not something a business builds once and forgets about. Links require consistent maintenance; ideally, businesses should perform a full backlink audit every few months while updating and adding new links every week. Because backlinks require constant attention, businesses need at least one SEO expert on staff — or outsourced link building services they can trust.
Link-building Services Are Affordable
Ultimately, businesses shouldn’t focus on building backlinks because they should be able to rely on a third-party SEO agency. Outsourcing SEO, and outsourcing linking especially, is much more cost-effective than trying to manage the practice in-house. SEO is simply too technical and time-intensive for business leaders to manage on their own, and SEO experts demand high salaries and require costly resources to do their jobs well. In contrast, SEO companies have highly trained employees armed with the best tools for reaching ranking success, and they have established track records with other clients, which businesses can evaluate before acquiring their services.
Businesses need backlinks to practice SEO, but that doesn’t mean businesses need to devote their own time and energy to building links. Ideally, business leaders should gain a bit of SEO understanding, but they should outsource the majority of SEO processes to a more experienced and more efficient third party.