Link Building and List Building Explained

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Two integral services Internet and Inbound Marketers offer are Link Building and List Building and to some people, it is confusing as to which each means.

List Building (or Opt-in Email):

The strategy in building a “list” of subscribers is to offer something free that will encourage readers to offer their names and email addresses.  Wikipedia calls it “Opt-in Email“.   Upon gathering the names and emails, you can build a list to later use for an email campaign, whether you are just sharing information, offering content, or offering other free items like eBooks, Audios, Videos, Whitepapers, Reports or announcing upcoming events, podcasts, seminars or webinars.

Link Building (or Website Linking):

The strategy of creating links to a website; also called Website Linking by Wikipedia, is an important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic.   Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Alexa (to name just a few), will crawl through a website and count the links that are coming into a site – and they particularly love one-way “relevant” links where your website url resides and points directly to your site.  There are also reciprocal links where your url is listed on someone’s site and their’s is listed on yours.

In the past and even these days, people can pay for their website url to be posted all over the internet but often the sites where the link is inserted may have absolutely no relevance to their site.  Search engines used to count the number of links but didn’t really differentiate between relevant and non-relevant links.  Today, search engines are much more sophisticated and actually can penalize sites with a huge number of “irrelevant” links (which can also be referred to as “black hat SEO”) and it can result in a website’s rating being much lower.

A good article by Hubspot on Link Building provides a list of Directories where you can post your website url which will create a relevant link.  You can also search for industry-related sites where you can list your site which provides a relevant link.

As well, excellent links are Social Media links.  Every time you join a Social Media site, you are encouraged to insert a link to your website.   And since search engines now crawl through Social Media sites and their content, it becomes increasingly important to count Social Media into your Link Building plan.

Link building is usually accomplished over time because it is a time-consuming task but since the search engines count link building as such an important part in Search Engine Optimization, it is well worth the effort.

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