Link building has been an important piece of the SEO puzzle from the very beginning of SEO. As important as this is, many Websites aren’t paying attention to their links or building quality backlink profiles.
Links are the roads that connect the Internet. Search engines travel from site to site via links. Beyond using links as a way to access Websites, search engines also view links as votes of popularity. The more links to a Website, the more popular and important that site appears to the search engines.
As search engines have progressed, so to have their algorithms. Gone are the days of purchasing links through reciprocal linking schemes and black hat link farms. Quality, authoritative and relevant links are the way to go. Without a solid linking structure and proactive link building plan, your Website will miss out on important chances for search visibility.
Conduct a link audit to understand your baseline
Before creating a link building plan, you need to see where you currently stand. Find out who’s linking to your Website and analyze the quality of those links. Are you seeing a high number of links from an off-shore, spammy Website? Not getting enough links period? Understanding your starting point is vital to creating a successful link building program.
Consider a link cleanup
Once you’ve gathered and analyzed your current backlink profile, you may decide to give it an overhaul. With the recent Google Algorithm changes since the Penguin and Panda updates, a number of Websites have received link warnings, highlighting links that have been deemed unnatural or low quality by Google. If you have received warnings from Google in your Webmaster Tools account, a link cleanup is essential. Even if you haven’t received those warnings, a link clean up may still be beneficial.
Link cleanups require a lot of time and resources. You have to contact the Websites you would like the links removed from and request their removal. A lot of times, you won’t see any response or link removal. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Getting rid of poor quality backlinks can have an impact on your search visibility and rankings. Earlier this month, Google announced a new tool to disavow links causing problems for your Website. When search engines warn you there is a problem, you need to address it, Google’s new tools helps you do just that. Continue to monitor your backlinks and take action to have some removed when necessary.
Build quality links
Create a database of quality, relevant Websites you would like to establish a backlink from.
- Use search engines to search for your target key phrases and see what Websites have high search visibility. These are great sites to get a link on.
- Search your target phrases on Social Media Websites like Facebook and Twitter. Look for active, quality social media accounts and find the associated Websites.
- Think like your customer. What other Websites would they be on when researching your products or services? Think beyond your competitors to industry resources and more.
- Check out your competition. Where do they have links established? Go beyond what they have created to outshine them on the search engines.
Get in touch
Contacting Websites to ask for a link can be tricky. Countless Websites are trying to build their links, just like you. It’s important to distinguish yourself from the crowd when asking for a backlink.
- Make it personal. Don’t use a standardized form or automated email. Show your contact that you are really interested and care about the relationship as much as the link.
- Use the phone. Call someone when possible, this extra step will let your contact know you mean business and take this seriously.
- Know why each link would be beneficial. Explain why their visitors would benefit from a link to your Website. Show the value in your Website to establish a beneficial link relationship.
- Offer to do something for the link, write a guest Blog post, agree to be interviewed, etc. Offer your services or knowledge in return for the link. NOTE: We are not recommending paying for links, but offering your insider’s knowledge or name is an option!
- Ask your partners to link to you. From suppliers to distributors to other local businesses, asking those you know for links can be really beneficial!
Attract links naturally
Link bait is great content that others will want to link to without you having to ask. From groundbreaking articles to in depth industry information, the opportunities for link bait are endless. Whether you put a new spin on a relevant subject or interview a noted industry VIP, write something that people will want to read. Other sites will be more than happy to link to your content when it is educational or provocative.
- Look at creating videos or photo galleries.
- Write something provocative. This doesn’t mean it has to be offensive or inflammatory, but go beyond the status quo.
- Create a weekly or monthly series that others can use to keep up with the changing times.
- Identify what’s missing in your industry and create content about it. Write Top 10 lists.
- Create infographics, people love sharing photos!
Monitor and measure you link building campaign on a regular basis. Make it a point to look for more opportunities, links are that important. Link building has been an important aspect of search visibility for so long, it doesn’t appear that will be changing any time soon.
Contact E-Power Marketing today for more information on link building and for a free analysis on your current backlink profile!