Link building Strategies and Techniques – A Tour
Getting traffic to one’s site (let me correct it); getting quality traffic to one’s site has been the most toughest task for webmasters. One evergreen technique to driving relevant content and rankings is link building Therefore, the power of link building can never be underestimated. Google has a simple point of view; the more the number of relevant links, the greater is the relevance and authority of websites. So, your backlinks can be understood as ‘votes of confidence’. We discussed about what is link building and its need in the previous article. Here we will be discussing about the strategies for building links and the various techniques for building quality and safe links that Google will love.
Let’s suppose that you have a website based on dog grooming. You get 2 backlinks:
- From a blog, explaining the “benefits of coffee”
- From a website featuring an article on the “best foods for dogs”
Needles to say, the backlink from the second website would be much more beneficial and valuable to you for the very simple reason, because that website is relevant with your business.
While the quality of the sites (that you link to) are of utmost important, it is equally important that those sites are relevant to the category/line of your business. So, it’s better to approach only those sites to feature your content or offer you a link which have keywords that are important to your business.
Google’s ranking algorithms dictate that if a user finds the search results that you offer as effective and useful, you are likely to rank well.
Go through the following points to analyze whether your backlink is relevant or not:
- Approach for links from site that functions under the same industry.
- Just in case, if the site is not directly connected with your industry, make sure that a particular section of it is related to your business/product in some way or the other.
- Links earned on a particular page should be in sync with the content on that page.
- If you are getting links from unrelated websites, make sure that the content of the page that is providing the link is in sync with the content of the page that is receiving the link.
Keep your Anchor texts natural
The days where you could do excessive link scheming, keyword stuffing and other black hat SEO and still escape Google’s punishment are history now.
If link building has gained so much importance over time, the significance of anchor texts cannot be underrated as well.
It is useful and beneficial to put keywords in some anchor texts here (if and only if they it is relevant to your website/webpage) here and there, but if you follow the policy of flooding keywords in anchors for all the inbound links, you are in for some great trouble of coming under Google’s black hat practices radar and the following consequences. For instance, you are a website which sells dog grooming products.
Now, in order to earn a backlink from a leading E-commerce website like Amazon, you write a guest blog on ‘How single product/website retailers are losing their competitiveness’ and get a reference back to your website using anchor texts like best dog products, best seller for dog foods etc. Would it make any sense?
So, the bottom line is that stop using keywords in your anchor text just for the sake of it and keep the links natural. Until, the link is consistent with the context of your content, you have nothing to worry about.
Keep your link building strategy diversified
Earning links is not about following a static link building strategy for a long time. In the landscape of Google’s ever changing algorithms, sticking with just one or two tactics for link building is not going to help you in any way. There is definitely no hard and fast rule or way to get you tons of high valued and qualified links. Try employing new tactics, if it works, continue with it for some time and keep improvising. Some of these ways include:
- Create, publish and promote high quality content
- Try and get recommendations and citations from important, reputed and valuable sites
- Guest blog for some highly trusted sites
- Immerse and involve yourself and have a strong social media presence
- Interview someone, highly regarded in your industry
- Write testimonials about your business product/service
- Take up membership in local civic organizations, marketing groups, Chamber of Commerce etc
Focus more on Brand building
In the race for driving as much of the traffic they can and increasing the number of conversions, most SEO practitioners tend to forget this very important element of SEO – Brand building.
Building a strong brand presence should be the utmost priority of every webmaster. The wider is the brand awareness, the stronger is the brand image and hence it would require lesser effort to voluntarily get high quality inbound links if the brand is well known.
Now, in order to establish your brand well, it’s very important to use your own trails rather than copying your competitors. Your link building strategy should be completely different from that of your competitors in order to create your own value and prevent the confusion for the users. If both of you are featured on the same industry blogs, it would reduce your brand effectiveness and uniqueness. Once you are through with the approach for framing your link building strategy, let’s go on and find out about a few techniques for building links.
Link building techniques
Forums turn out to be a great tool for promoting your link to your niche and get even more involved within the community. On entering a forum, always concentrate on giving more and taking less while replying to threads, answering question, offering advice etc; try and contribute more in terms of value that is required by the member. This will, in a way build the trust in other’s eyes about your genuineness and will also establish your reputation as an expert in your niche.
Use your forum signatures effectively, generate curiosity on them to make them clickable. On very unique way to do this is by periodically starting off with any controversial topic in your niche inviting passionate debaters and heated arguments. Another very important point is, try to “Do-follow’ forums so that your the link to your site in the signature is easily crawled by the search engines. Some examples of such forums are V7nforum, Siteowners forum, Joomla forum etc.
Blog commenting helps build your relationships and authority in industry, which ultimately leads to organic links and traffic. Start by looking out for blogs in your industry; not just any blogs but, those blogs which receive a good number of traffic and engagement. Once you are done with this, follow the link of commentators and their respective blogs. In this way, you can decide on some places for placing your comments. Now, be very careful with your comment, don’t do it just for the sake of it. Read and understand the entire blog and then, go ahead and comment. Make sure you comment adds value and contributes in some sense to the same/related topic.
Guest Blog post
As explained in the section above, find good website in your niche that receive a good amount of traffic, engagement and comments. Reach out to them and request them to write a guest blog on your website and/or ask them if you could guest post on theirs. This is a very effective and simple way to building backlinks from quality websites.
Blogging is again a very good way of building backlinks and promoting your website. When you create unique, interesting and fresh content, people will voluntarily want to link to you. But, you need to create engaging content for that to happen including inforgraphics, video tutorials, how to, lists etc.
With internet becoming more interactive and users gaining more decisiveness on “what is good quality content and what is not”, building links through social bookmarking serves almost every online niche. You could submit your blogs or pages to the popular bookmarking sites including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon etc. Getting backlinks from these websites will help a great deal in your SEO as search engines really love these sites. But be careful in handling the tags which are important to broadcast your news on a wide area network.
Infographics are still a viable method for building links, though they aren’t as effective as they used to be. Infographics build links quick enough to influence a considerable change in PageRank, it builds links cost-effectively hence saving the big bucks of your budget and finally, it builds links safely, thus not inviting any negative attention from Google.
Infographics are concise and visual pieces of content that convey complex and significant information in a compelling, easy-to understand, engaging and interesting way. These types of viral content has a lot of advantages including wide reach, increased visibility of your business, but it’s link building still remains as it’s most important advantage.
Whenever an infographic is shared on a site, sharers post a link back to it. Now, any of their readers who might share the infographic, would also link back to the original, hence generating a large number of backlinks.
Link Exchange is another good way for building links. However, you need to be careful with this one. I am not asking to go around ‘asking people for links’. Just move subtly with it. How, you may ask? It’s very simple, whenever you mention or cite any person/business/product in your post, just email him saying:
“Hey, just mentioned you in this blog post http://www.xyz.com” .
It’s a simple message intending to convey, “Hey I did you a favour. Would you like to return the favour?” And well, the most effective way is to ask people whom you already know in your industry. In this way, you will be able to build yourself a platform for brand establishment. These types of relationships grow with time and helps to establish trust and respect amongst your industry peers.
Link baiting is another good method for promoting your website. It is simply content on your website, that people link to, not because you asked them to do so but, because they wanted to do so. These types of linkable assets can come in any form including great content, a helpful e-book, a viral video, time sensitive news, quizzes, images, infographics, contests, whitepapers etc. These assets turn out to be a great way for garnering links for your website.
Photo sharing is a very good technique to help buid your links. Images complement your web content and enhances visual experience. A great advantage of using image is that it builds your brand’s recognition, effectively acquires natural links and diversifies the types of links generated to your website. These images would include photographs, drawings/illustrations, typography, cinemagraphs, memes etc. Share these images on as many photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Shutterstock etc.
Similar to photo sharing, you can share the videos created by you and submit to sites like YouTube, Vimeo etc allowing people to see and link to it.
One of the most popular and simpler ways of getting backlinks and attracting traffic is to reach out to people and bloggers (of your niche) and request them to write reviews about your business product/service. This will naturally bring you links. Get listed on all the sites where you can likely expect a review like RateitAll, Kaboodle etc.
Many believe that directory submission is dead. But I think, it is just another source to get more of the targeted traffic. You just have to be effective and efficient while selecting the directories for submitting your website. While it is okay to submit your articles/blogs to general directories, niche directories are highly recommended. It for sure, gives delayed results, but is worth giving a try. Some good directories are Dmoz, Scrub the Web, Directory World, So Much etc.
Go with press releases or get involved in press, even a local publication would work well for starters. This can provide powerful backlinks from high ranking news domains. As pointed above, you can start with smaller local publication and then slowly work your way up with larger publications.
This is another useful method for garnering links. You can submit your articles on popular article directory sites like Ezine, Go Articles, Now public etc. This can also help you drive relevant traffic apart from getting you backlinks. Although Google now does not consider any article directory websites for SEO rankings, its still relevant for target audiences who would be interested in articles related to your industry or niche.