Link building is a part of off-site SEO or external SEO where the goal is to acquire links to your website. The reasons why you should acquire links, is the fact that search engines perceive the links to a website as a vote of trust. They assume that if someone links to a website, this website must have done something to deserve the link, which is why it increases the importance and influence of that website.
However, not all the links are perceived equal by the search engines. If a very influential website with high page rank links to your website, this will be much more relevant and it will have greater influence on your SEO and the positioning of your website, than having a dozen of minor websites linking to you. This is because the search engines algorithms presume that a popular website with lots of visits and top search engine ranking would only link to truly credible sources, to websites, which really have high quality content and thus those deserve to be linked to.
When working on improving the positioning of your website in the search engines, you need to develop a strategy to increase the number of website linking to you. There are several approaches to link building activity, and the goal of this tutorial is to help you explore the tasks and benefits of each of these approaches.
Link building introduction
First part of the activity is to determine who you want to contact. As said, your website will benefit from more popular website, which is why you should focus on such websites first. We recommend using MozRank to determine the popularity of a website.
You will also have to explore other terms related to link building, such as anchor text, page analysis, etc. The following article contains all of the information about link building and understanding the basics of this activity: http://www.seolution.com/link-building-introduction/
Link building based on competition
This approach to link building is focused on analyzing the link profile of your competitors, and the main activities include:
– Identifying your competitors
– Identifying the websites appearing at the top of the results for the keywords relevant to you
(have in mind that these two researches might or might not yield the same results)
– Identifying “achievable” links
– Reaching out in order to establish contact and eventually acquiring the link
Read more about this part of link building here: http://www.seolution.com/link-building-based-on-competition/
The following video also focuses on the topic of link building based on competition:
SEO Link Building Tutorial: How to Get Links Where Competitors Have Them
Since the links from authority websites, i.e. popular websites with high page rank, are much more worth than other links, one part of link building activity should be focused on acquiring links from authority websites.
You will first have to identify authority websites and choose only those that are really related to you and the type of business you represent. The following stage is establishing contact through which you hope to acquire a link.
There is a set of ways to help you identify, and sort the list of authority websites you will contact, and this task is focused on helping you with these goals: http://www.seolution.com/link-building-using-sites-with-authority/
Find out more about link building tips from this presentation:
How to contact journalists
The online media represents authority websites, and thus getting these kinds of websites to link to you is very important for conducting a successful link building strategy. There are several ways to find such websites, including search method and social media.
The idea behind this approach is to try to contact journalists who will recommend you or post a review about your company. However, in order for this approach to produce results, you have to:
– Choose relevant online media/journalists
– Have high quality content that will be the reason for getting recommendation
In order to find out more about this approach, how to find and contact journalists, you should read the following article:
More about this topic:
How to Find Journalists to Follow on Google+
The goal of influence marketing is to target people who are popular and enjoy great amount of influence, in order to spread their influence to you brand or company by promoting it.
Before you start developing the approach for this part of link building, you have to identify people to target, i.e. influencers. If you want to benefit from this strategy, you have to choose the influencers that are related to you business, as those are the people who have power to influence potential customers in that specific market. You also have to analyze the influence a specific person really has, in order to determine the effect of that influencer promoting your brand.
There are several ways to find influencers, with social media being the most recommended way, as this gives you the possibility to immediately assess the influence someone has, by analyzing the number of social followers, interaction with the followers, etc.
The following article shows the importance of the influence marketing, as well as the recommendations on which sites to use to find and reach influencers: http://www.seolution.com/influence-marketing/
This video explains the influence marketing in more detail:
How to Earn the Amplification of Influencer
When it comes to using link building as a strategy to enhance your SEO efforts, it is recommended that you combine all of these tactics above in order to maximize the number of links you can possibly acquire. Some approaches will be more effective than the others, as each business is different and it offers different possibilities and opportunities, which is why it is so important to explore each of the link building strategies in order to find the one that will get the best results. When implementing a specific link building strategy, you have to have in mind that authority links provide much more value, which is why you should focus on those links in particular.
Getting links is not an easy task, but it is certainly a strategy worth exploring, as it can help you with increasing the influence of your own website, through increasing the reputation and the position of the website in the search engine result pages.
In the final part of this article, we want to share some additional resources related to the topic of link building, that will help you regardless of the strategy and approach you use to obtain links. The main purpose of these resources is to help you understand how to develop a link building strategy, which are the practices to use and to avoid, and how to be successful at link building. The resources will complete this link building guide with practical examples and videos to demonstrate best practices in link building.
The first video shows what to do and what not do when it comes to developing link building. Even though some internet marketers are giving up on link building, as they are not able to develop a successful strategy and they see no results whatsoever, link building is still one of the SEO practices, which can yields good results, if conducted according to the current best recommendations. Here are some suggestions from the video:
Dos – These are good link building practices, so you should focus on these tasks when you want to work on link building.
- Do link building as this is still important and can help you with ranking
- Focus on distribution of content rather than on actual links
- Conduct outreach, meaning you should try to distribute and get natural links from influencers
- Focus on quality of the traffic the link can generate
- Accept nofollow links because based on some evidence, Google still uses these links for crawling
Don’ts – Here are some practices to avoid, as those may lead to penalties
- Pay attention to the links that you control (signature profile links, guest blogging links, etc.)
- Avoid suggesting anchor text
- Do not add external links in footer
- Avoid site wide links
The Rules of Link Building – Whiteboard Friday
The next video focuses on different tactics that can help you with link building. The tactics from this video are focused on targeted approach, and thus you will see particular link building topics that are still important part of link building in general. The following tactics are explored in this video:
- Directories and their importance nowadays
- Getting ideas from sponsored results
- Research Central and Link Manager Help
Link Building Tactics Post Penguin
We also want to recommend a very valuable webinar recording, with Jon Ball speaking about the value on link building in modern online marketing. He addresses the different link building issues, such as whether the link building is dead as a practice, and whether this is a strategy that can help with positioning a website. Jon explains that building is far from dead, and that link building is a practice that has been present ever since the introduction of search engines. However, due to the large number of websites, link building has changed, but it still matters a lot in online marketing.
Other topics mentioned in this webinar include:
- Benefits of link building
- Developing link building strategy
- Developing your backlink profile
- Finding collaborators and influencers to contact
- Tools to be used in link building strategy
- Content marketing and link building
The Value of Link Building in Online Marketing
Search engine updates are introduced regularly in order to improve user experience, but these updates affect SEO practices used by online marketers. This is why you need to keep up with these updates and see how the practices you use change. You should change your SEO strategy accordingly. This refers to link building as well. The Google’s Penguin update has shaken the world of SEO pretty much. Even though the main purpose was to target web spam, a lot of websites noticed a huge drop in organic traffic. Some links were affected by this update, and they caused penalties, which is why you need to understand what this update means for your website in terms of link building. You should first detect whether your website has been affected and if so use recovery measures to remove penalties. The next step is earning quality links, as those are not affected by this update. In fact, quality links are what can help you with positioning your website nowadays. The following presentation is focused on explaining the Penguin update, and how this reflects on link building strategy.
Google’s Penguin algorithm and what it means for link building
Link building still is an important aspect of search engine optimization and it can help you with increasing the positioning of your website. However, you should not focus on the quantity, but on quality. You should try to get quality links, even though this means getting fewer links, as this kind of approach will have better effect on your own website.
General recommendation is to focus on earning links naturally, as this is the best way to get links that provide the greatest value. Self-created links, such as blog comments, forum signatures, etc. provide the lowest value and they can even be a reason for penalties, which is why you need to be extra careful when building up your link profile. Link neighborhood is also an aspect that affect you link profile. This is based on the fact that spammy websites are most likely to link to similar, i.e. spammy websites. Therefore, even if you manage to obtain links from a website, if that website is considered to be spammy by search engines, this kind of link will actually do you harm. Instead of helping you boost your authority, it will have negative effect on your reputation.