Fact vs. Fiction: Link Building FAQ

Posted on May 28th, 2021 by nms

Link building is an important component of search engine optimization (SEO). Creating links to outside resources and fostering incoming links to your agency’s site from external entities is critical in helping search engines to accurately index and rank your site. Unfortunately, the process of link building is fraught with myths and misconceptions. For insurance agency growth, understanding the realities of link building can assist with creating a strategy that improves search indexing and visibility, allowing you to attract new customers organically.

What is Link Building?

Search engines rank websites based on myriad factors. The most important factors, however, are considered the “pillars” of SEO:

  • Authority
  • Relevance
  • Trustworthiness

Search engines like Google evaluate the authority and trustworthiness of a given website by analyzing links pointing to and from it. When a website has links to other sources and has links incoming from outside resources – news outlets, industry directories, review sites, and information clearinghouses – this signals to Google that a given site is trusted as a valuable resource of its own. Link building, then, is the process of getting other websites to link to pages or content on your agency’s site. By doing so, you are not only improving your ranking prospects in search results, but you are also improving online visibility. The more people can discover your site, the more likely you are to experience organic insurance agency growth.

Myth #1: Can I Get Outside Links to Product/Service Pages?

It is a common misconception that outside resources cannot and will not link to your agency’s product and service pages. This is false; link building strategies to these critical pages is not only possible, but it is easier than many people think. The key here is to provide a valid reason for linking to your product and service pages. For example, providing details on why your products/services solve problems — or stand out from competitors’ offerings – can encourage outside sources to link to these pages. Imagine you have an innovative insurance service that is not offered anywhere else. News outlets and industry resources will want to create links to those pages, giving their readers the chance to learn more. To improve the prospect of getting a link, adding a special deal or offer on the pages you wish to have linked will help.

Myth #2: Do News Outlets Only Use Nofollow Links?

New outlets such as national or international news organizations are authoritative and trustworthy when it comes to linking to your agency’s website. These links carry a lot of weight in Google’s algorithm. Unfortunately, many people believe that new outlets insist on so-called “nofollow” links, or those that include a snippet of HTML code telling search engines to ignore the link.

While nofollow links are common when prominent news outlets link to other pages, it is a myth that this is their only practice. In reality, news outlets can and do produce followable links to other sources. Just like in the products/services page links above, your agency has to give news media sources a reason to provide a link. This can be as simple as gaining an understanding of the news source’s editorial policies or working with contacts in the organization. Some news sources simply will not provide a followable link; in those cases, it is a smarter insurance agency growth strategy to focus on news outlets that do.

Myth #3: Does Relevance Really Matter?

Relevance – or the ability of a given website or piece of online content to inform visitors – is one of the pillars of SEO. Over time, however, many digital marketers have downplayed the importance of relevance as an SEO factor. In fact, many believe that any link is a good link when conducting link building initiatives.

This is only partially the case. Any link helps, but relevant links still stand as a powerful way of standing out in the Google algorithm. To get the most from your link building endeavors, and to help spur insurance agency growth, you must focus not on the quantity of links but the quality. A single high-quality link may be worth 100 links of lesser relevance. Efficiency in link building requires careful consideration of your tactics:

  • Who do you want to link back to your site?
  • Are those links relevant and from trustworthy/authoritative sources?
  • Is the linking entity a well-known journalist, news outlet, or industry site?

By answering those questions, your SEO team can drill down to what they do best: helping to position your agency’s site at or near the top of search results. In today’s highly connected and online-centric world, insurance agency growth depends on great search visibility. Link building continues to be a critical component of SEO, allowing more people to discover your site and the information you share.

About Agency Tsunami

Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.