HomeResourcesBlogThe Power of Consistency: Long-Term Benefits of SEO & Link-Building Services

The Power of Consistency: Long-Term Benefits of SEO & Link-Building Services

What is the most important aspect of a successful business’s online presence? That’s easy – an authority website. 

But here’s the thing – you can’t have an authority website without a solid SEO strategy. No matter what marketing efforts you’re putting in, you don’t have a fighting chance without search engine optimization. 

However, optimizing your website for SEO is more difficult than some people might realize. With over 200 ranking factors, Google is sometimes very hard to please.

If you want to stand out among the competition, become the website your audience needs you to be and create a long-term SEO strategy that will yield great results over time, you need to be more specific and turn your attention to link-building. 

Despite the fact that SEO and link-building go hand-in-hand, link-building isn’t something you can take for granted or put on the back burner. Even though it has the potential to increase user engagement, bring consistent traffic, and show you as an industry expert, you need to do it right.

In the following case study, we will go over the preliminary results of our SEO and link-building efforts for a client that specializes in virtual event engagement. Continue reading to learn more about what worked, how it worked and what we concluded in the end.

Why Is Link Building Important?

As we all know, no business can survive solely on an optimized authority website. You also need to create a strong internet presence, and the best way to build that presence is through a great SEO campaign that includes smart link-building efforts.

There are two main reasons why you need a link-building strategy:

      • Get a high-ranking position on Google.

      • Make sure your website is connected to other relevant online businesses, platforms, and even communities.

    Thanks to links, Google is able to determine to what extent a certain website is popular and relevant. If you don’t have internal and external links on your website and if there are no links leading from other websites to your site, few people will be able to find it in their search queries.

    Simply said, SEO and link building are crucial to your success. Link-building increases domain authority, improves your SERP rankings, generates more backlinks, and does so much more. What’s most important of all, it allows you to generate more traffic for your website. The more links you have in the content on your website, the more likely Google is to get a full grasp of what your website is truly about and what it has to offer.

    While link building might not be easy and it can take a lot of time and effort to find the right keywords and blog posts, it’s certainly worth it. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors and establish authority in your industry, a quality link profile is a necessity.

    Conducting an SEO Analysis and Creating a Link-Building Strategy

    Improving your search ranking results is a never-ending battle. When we were contacted by our client, our first step was to conduct a detailed SEO analysis of the client’s website, with the help of tools such as Ahrefs, and create a strong link-building strategy.

    In the simplest terms, link analysis is a thorough audit of your entire link profile, which comprises all the links that point directly to a page on your website. The main goal of this analysis is to identify problems that affect your website’s overall SERP performance.

    This leads us to a link-building strategy and an SEO strategy. Every business, including yours, wants to bring more traffic to its website and ultimately, more revenue. And that’s where SEO strategy can help.

    When creating SEO and link building strategies for our clients, here are the proven steps we follow:

        • Closely examine current performance. We take a good look at backlinks, organic traffic, and keyword performance to get an overall view of how well your SEO efforts have gone so far.

        • Take a look at the SEO strategies your competitors use. Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are probably competitors who are getting the traffic you should be getting too.

        • Establish goals and KPIs. What are we trying to achieve? How are we going to track progress? This is exactly where goals and KPIs can help. Once we know what we’re looking to accomplish with the SEO strategy, we set KPIs so we can measure our progress against those goals.

        • Audit the content you already have on your website. A content audit is a process of closely inspecting all of the content you have on your website and finding ways we can improve it.

        • Grow topic clusters. Groups of interlinked pages that are all about one topic or subject are known as topic clusters. They allow Google to validate your authority on a subject.

        • Work on on-page SEO. Optimizing content for both users and search engines is a practice known as on-page SEO and it plays a big role in how Google ranks websites.

        • Work on off-page SEO. What is done outside of your website is just as important for your rankings, and this is where off-page SEO comes in.

        • Solve technical SEO issues. For Google to rank your website, it needs to find and crawl all of your pages in order to understand and index them, but it can’t do that if the website has technical SEO issues.

      Background

      The client from this case study contacted us in the spring of 2021 with the goal to strengthen their backlink profile. Their business is in the virtual events industry, focusing on improving employee experience through various activities like virtual happy hours, lunch-and-learn events, and holiday parties.

      Their website traffic was at under 10,000 visits per month and the number of keywords they ranked for was far from optimal. So we decided to implement the good old SEO strategy that’s worked for our clients countless times.

      It all starts with an SEO audit and keyword research.

      SEO audit & keyword research

      Thanks to an SEO audit, we can spot certain mistakes that might not be obvious but could easily hurt your rankings.

      When performing the SEO audit for this client, we did the following:

          • Found any pages that weren’t indexed, which means they weren’t in Google’s database.

          • Checked if there were any duplicate versions of URLs on the website.

          • Performed a site crawl.

          • Checked if the client’s website had received a manual action (happens when you violate any of Google’s spam policies).

          • Checked if the website is mobile-friendly.

          • Checked the loading speed for each page on the website.

          • Analyzed all of the internal links on the website.

          • Checked the status of the website’s organic traffic.

          • Compared the website and SEO results to their competitors’ websites.

            • Performed keyword research and saw what crucial keywords they may be missing.

            • Saw if they had any backlink opportunities that they had missed.

            • Focused on top pages and saw how they could improve them.

            • Kept a close eye on metrics.

          All of these findings helped us pinpoint any problem areas that we would need to later remedy in our SEO efforts and allowed us to focus on the second step of this process – keyword research, the main puzzle piece in the overall SEO landscape. It is the process of doing research on popular and frequently used keywords within the client’s industry.

          To perform keyword research, we used Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. We started with general keywords the client’s target audience might search for and went from there. When picking the right keywords, we kept an eye on a few important metrics such as the keyword difficulty, search volume, parent topic, and the type of keywords (branded/informational), just to name a few. We used advanced keyword research tools, saw the keywords their competitors were ranking for, and also learned about the hidden traffic potential.

          After researching relevant keywords, we started the backlink analysis for the given keywords. This allowed us to find websites that were already linking to sites similar to theirs since these websites are generally the perfect fit for backlinks.

          Competitor analysis

          The next step was competitor analysis, which is the process of identifying websites that are our clients’ direct competitors in their niche and industry. We also researched all the different strategies their competitors were using.

          As part of the SEO competitor analysis, we:

              • Identified the biggest competitors in the industry but also for organic and paid search.

              • Created a profile for the competitors’ target audiences and customers.

              • Identified all the strengths and weaknesses in the competitors’, but also in our client’s strategy.

              • Analyzed how much engagement the competitors’ content was getting.

            This gave us valuable insight into the client’s industry and competitors, as well as showed us what we should do and avoid in our strategy.

            Detecting specific needs and goals

            We take pride in our proven tactics, but also in the fact that we personalize our approach based on the client. In fact, the key to any successful link-building strategy is detecting the specific needs of our clients and setting goals.

            To start off, it’s important to pay attention to keyword ranking. As we already explained, keywords are an integral part of any SEO strategy as they allow your target audience to find your business much more quickly. This is why keyword ranking and finding the best keywords for SEO optimization are among our primary goals.

            When performing a website audit, we paid attention to our client’s keywords to see which are dominant and which leave room for improvement. This helped us rank the keywords from most to least successful as well as determine which keywords to include in the link-building campaign. Paired with the most popular keywords in this industry, this gave us a lot of insight and ideas for the next stage of the campaign.

            Another equally important aspect of SEO we paid attention to were the website metrics. When creating a link-building strategy, we generally don’t want to settle for backlinks from any website. The quality of the websites linking to our client’s site is crucial, so we always consider website metrics as important factors. 

            In this case, our goal was to acquire backlinks from websites that:

                • Had a strong domain rating.

                • Had a high number of monthly visits.

                • Were relevant to our client’s industry.

                • Had some sort of authority. 

                • Published quality content on a general basis.

              We made sure to keep Google’s guidelines in mind and avoided the websites that:

                  • Practiced cloaking (showing one content to viewers and another one to search engines)

                  • Appeared to be doorways (multiple websites and domain name play to guide users to them)

                  • Appeared to have hacked content (redirects to suspicious content)

                  • Harbored hidden text and links

                  • Used keyword stuffing

                  • Practiced link spamming, etc.

                Link Building Execution (12-18 months)

                We have answered the question of what is linkbuilding, but haven’t touched on the subject of why you need linkbuilding services. The answer is quite simple – for more efficient and high-quality link-building execution. To learn more about this, take a look at our article about how a link building agency can skyrocket your rankings.

                The reason behind a good link-building execution is that our professional link-building services are a result of our team’s accumulated experience, expertise, and enthusiasm we have for each of our client’s campaigns.

                In the execution process, we focused on:

                    • Backlink audit. As we already mentioned, low-quality backlinks could hurt the overall link profile, so we performed regular backlink audits. This helped us follow backlink health and, if necessary, ask site owners to remove links.

                    • Essential pages and target keywords. For proper link-building execution, we needed to know which website pages and keywords had more SEO value than others, so that we can use them accordingly.

                    • Strong anchor text/keywords. It’s not just about adding links but also about using compelling anchor text to ensure website visitors would click on the link. This is where long-tail keywords came in handy. During the first part of our 18-month-long strategy, we used both exact-match and long-tail keywords, but our focus was on the exact-match ones. In the second half, we turned our attention to the long-tail keywords exclusively which helped the client rank for keywords they haven’t ranked for before.

                    • Not overdoing it. Having more links doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a more successful link-building strategy. It’s better to have fewer links but make sure they’re high-quality. This is our mantra and one of the most important things to know when executing a link-building strategy.

                  Time and resources

                  Potential clients often ask us how much time and resources link-building takes and when they can expect results. The truth is that SEO is never truly done, but the first real results can be expected after the 6-month threshold and sometimes even after a year. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Link-building execution is a process, not something that you can set and forget, and it’s different for every website. 

                  The time and resources you’ll have to set aside for your website’s link-building will depend on a lot of factors, including:

                      • Your website’s current domain authority

                      • The niche/industry that your business operates in

                      • The number of competitors in your industry

                      • The number of services/pages that you are willing to improve

                      • The budget that you allocated for the link-building process

                    With that in mind, it should be mentioned that the campaign Shortlist executed for this client lasted from June 2021 to December 2022, which falls within the typical period you can expect a link-building campaign to last – anywhere between 12 and 18 months.

                    Quality of links            

                    The number of links you have in your link profile isn’t nearly as important as their quality. As the matter of fact, as much as 93.8% of link builders say link quality is more important than link quantity. 

                    But what are the factors that show us the quality of a link?

                    We consider a link to be high-quality if it has the following characteristics:

                        • It is published in a well-researched, unique article that follows Google’s guidelines.

                        • Shows website authority and has a good amount of “link popularity”.

                        • Has great placement in the published content.

                        • Has a high-quality anchor text that is easy to understand and concisely describes what the website visitor can expect from the linked page.

                        • Leads to a page that provides value to the website visitor, comes from a relevant website, and can be placed on other prominent websites, which is one of the main goals of a successful link-building campaign.

                      Another factor that determines the quality of a link is the difference between nofollow and follow links.

                      A do-follow link is generally regarded as more valuable because it tells Google that it should transfer a small portion of that website’s ranking to your website. On the other hand, a nofollow link is great for raising awareness of your business, but it doesn’t affect search engine rankings even if it’s from a high-authority website. Some benefits of using nofollow links include:

                          • Nofollow links drive traffic, even if it doesn’t count towards your backlink profile.

                          • Nofollow links build brand awareness. 

                          • Nofollow links can lead to do-follow links. 

                          • Nofollow links can improve the domain authority.

                        While it’s advised to use both, do-follow links cast the strongest votes when Google is deciding how to rank websites.

                        Here you can see the number of followed and not followed backlinks we managed to acquire during this campaign. We focused on followed links, but also paid attention to the not followed links leading to our client’s website:

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                        Results: How Tactics Contributed to SEO Rankings

                        As you can probably see by now, link-building is necessary if you want your website to be successful, but it’s also a long and difficult process that combines the efforts of both clients and professionals. Shortlist has worked with countless clients to ensure better link-building, a healthier link profile, and spectacular SEO rankings. But these tactics alone couldn’t have been successful without our clients following our directions when creating fresh content. SEO is a complex process that requires the dedication of all parties involved.

                        In case you’re not an experienced SEO expert and link-builder, chances are that you won’t have the necessary skills and knowledge to use the right tactics. If you’re interested in the results we achieved for our client with link-building tactics, this section will be valuable to you.

                        Organic traffic and keywords

                        The organic traffic this client’s website was gaining was steadily growing by late 2021 but started increasing significantly in January 2022 (6-7 months after they started working with Shortlist) and reached its peak with 71,185 visitors a month in January 2022 (at the end of the 18-month period campaign). 

                        Overall, their organic traffic increased about 7 times for the duration of the campaign.

                        Speaking of keywords, in the graph below you can see how the use of organic keywords skyrocketed from June 2021 to January 2023 to an impressive 24,575 keywords. This allowed our client to bring in their desired target audience.

                        We started this process using only exact-match keywords and later transitioned to long-tail variations to mimic the way users search the web. On top of our link-building tactics, we encouraged our client to keep producing relevant content, as this powerful combo helped attract and keep new visitors on their web page.

                        We’re proud of these results because once again we used our proven strategy and managed to exceed the client’s expectations. It’s worth mentioning that these results were possible thanks to carefully thought-out tactics, smart link-building efforts, and properly used organic keywords, as well as our joint efforts and constant communication.

                        The long-term benefits of SEO link-building services

                        Hiring SEO link-building services means handing over the reins to professionals with enough experience and expertise to turn your website into a hotspot for your desired target audience. 

                        Apart from website credibility and authority and an increase in web traffic, working with link-building experts will provide you with long-term benefits such as:

                        •  
                          • Building important relationships. Not everyone in your industry is a direct competitor.  If you manage to get your links on high-profile websites in your industry, it could be a stepping stone to building a relationship with those businesses. In the long run, this could be mutually beneficial.
                          • Improving your website metrics. There are certain metrics that affect the overall health of your site and with link-building, you can improve all of them. They include page rank (PR), domain authority (DA), and domain ranking (DR).
                          • Increased brand visibility. The SEO strategy has the power to make or break your brand image. With the right execution, you will become increasingly more present online, and you can use this opportunity to showcase your product or service in the right light. If it gains enough traction, this tactic can place your brand in the limelight as a reputable source of information.
                          • Sustainable growth. Paid ads are notorious for producing fast results, but SEO and link building help organically increase your rankings. This, in turn, helps increase your traffic, domain authority, and other relevant metrics.
                          • Increased referral traffic. Referral traffic is the traffic you get from your links built on other websites. This type of traffic can help you increase your overall traffic and bring more exposure to your website.

                         

                        Improve Your Search Engine Rankings With a Long-term Strategy

                        Google is an amazingly intelligent search engine with complex algorithms that are constantly tweaked to provide the best and safest user experience. This secret SEO recipe is privy to Google employees, and the rest of us are left to guestimate on the exact combination of tactics needed to increase traffic and engagement and rely on years and years of experience. But what we do know for sure is that high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites are a great place to start.

                        Some business owners might think that some content creation, keyword stuffing, a single backlink, and a couple of internal links are enough to improve their SEO, but unfortunately, they’re not. If you want to make it to the top page of Google’s organic search, you need high-quality backlinks along with an evergreen content strategy. And you should leave both of these to professionals like our experts at Shortlist. 

                        Your external and internal link structure needs to be sublime, so make sure not to put building backlinks on the back burner. And don’t trust SEO agencies that can’t support their expertise with data and statistics.

                        In this case study, you could see how Shortlist was able to drastically improve this client’s website authority and backlink profile. If you want similar results for your website, contact us and let us take the concrete steps that will make your website an authority – both in the eyes of Google and your audience.

                        Let’s get you Shortlisted to the top!

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