Yes I do talk a lot on this blog about link building and I am sure you think you have heard it all before, however I am of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with going over old things, after all repetition is the mother of skill.
So I have decided to put together a full explanation of how we structure link building at SEO wizz, focusing on what we look for and how we go about getting it.
I guess the ideal place to start is by highlighting what we try and achieve in any one link buidling campaign:
- Building authority:- Yes link popularity is important but we also need to build links from authoritative sources.
- Domain Diversity:- You must look to get links from a diverse set of domains to increase value.
- Deep linking:- A lot of the links will point to your home page, but you still need a strategy for deep links.
- Think Local:- Many businesses are targeting local key phrases, so why aren’t they building links locally?
- Anchor Text:- Yes the biggy, you won’t rank without it, ANCHOR TEXT!!
If you are not implementing all of these then you are missing vital opportunities and your campaign will not be as effective, however let’s look at these in a little more detail.
I guess the first thing to ask here is – “How do we know a particular domain is authoritative?” – and it’s a good question as there are very little indicators available to check a sites authority in a given industry or niche.
However at SEO wizz this is how we like to target authority sites in a given area.
1) First we search on 4 – 5 popular keyword terms in our niche.
2) We may scan back as many as five pages and take note of anywhere between 10 and 20 sites that seem to pop up on multiple searches.
3) Then we go through each site in our list and check the Page Rank from the Google Toolbar, then list the sites in the order of highest PR.
Obviously the links with the highest PR are likely to hold the most authority, if you can you should sort after link from these pages, however don’t get your hopes too high, as if you’re in a competitive niche there is a good chance none will link back to you, this is very common, however if you only manage to get one this is a good start.
Building Links To Authority Sites That Are Not Relevant
I am a big promoter of relevance, I think if you link build with relevance in mind it holds more value and any traffic you receive is more likely to stick around…
HOWEVER, and it literally is a big however…. There is also tremendous value in building links from websites that aren’t so relevant, every link counts. My advice when doing this is to only build them on established domains or domains with a good amount of links pointing to them as a whole and try and stay away from site wide footer links. The page you get you link from may be a PR0 but if the domain is strong the link will and does carry weight.
No matter how you look at it getting links from websites with authority is time consuming but necessary, you may be able to make some progress without them, but need them if you really want to dominate.
Now this can be a hard one to convince people of when all they can see in the SERPS is a multitude of sites ranking with thousands of footer links, site wide and anchored.
However, our research is showing more and more that a diverse link profile is an essential element to ranking well and better Google visibility. I always like to hearken back to my university days when trying to understand domain diversity, let me explain…
If a Professor had his work quoted thousands of times by 1 or 2 other academics this would be great, however if they had their work referred to thousands of times by thousands of other academics, they would no doubt be the ‘known’ authority in that area. This is what Google wants to show at the top of the SERPS the ‘known’ authority in a particular niche.
Again building links from a diverse domain is not easy, this is why I always encourage tracking your linking domains as much as possible, you may need to use them on a new site or venture.
Local Link Building
If you are targeting local terms it is imperative you try and get your links from local sources, businesses, local authorities, local directories and education authorities are all great places to get local links from, just one can change how well you rank for a particular local term, trust me.
If you are a business going for those local terms this is something you cannot fail to take into account. Getting these links increases your relevance and is particularly important if you are targeting a specific country. Want to rank well in the UK? Then wouldn’t it make sense throwing a few .co.uk domains into the mix?
There is very little research in this area but I think it’s a no brainer.
Anchor text, yes the Daddy of the link building strategy. The must! You are going to struggle to rank for anything without it. Anchor text is the major search engine signal; if you are trying to rank for “used machinery” then at least 25% – 40% of your links need to have it in the anchor.
If you are building links naturally then there is only one thing to be aware of, the search engines will punish ‘anchor’ over optimisation, well Google will, especially if all the links come in bulk, this is known as ‘link bombing’.
At this point many webmasters ears prick up and start shouting about social media?
Even the most viral piece of content is not going to acquire thousands of the exact same anchor, even when they do the rankings are usually temporary thanks to Google’s freshness algo.
All I am saying is to go publish 50 articles to multiple directories with the exact same anchor text, especially if your domain is less than 12 months old, is fatal.
Also remember, there are natural ways to get the anchor text you want. We’ll look into that a little more at a later date.
Anyway these should be the basics of any link building strategy, you need them if you want to beat off the serious competition and remember these links need to be hitting multiple pages of your site, not just the homepage.
I am going to go through each of these areas in a lot of detail over the coming month or two, explaining techniques and tips on how to make them more effective and work harder for you. All the info will be easy to follow and more importantly it will work, or even more importantly it will be free!
One thing I do want you to take away and think about though is this;
“Don’t think about building links, think about building pages”
Remember better pages equal better links, how are you going to make the pages linking to your website more effective?
We’ll spend a full post on this at a later date.Line Break
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.