Though challenging, link building is a vital SEO skill to learn. Actually, it’s more than just a skill–it’s the apex of various other skills: You’ll have to know how to create masterful content, understand sales, psychology, programming, as well as marketing in order for others to link to your website on a regular basis.
Due to the various skills involved, link building can almost be considered an art. It’s the most difficult part of SEO but plays the biggest part in success. It relies on creativity, a budget and a bit of hustle. No two campaigns are alike since the effectiveness of the campaign depends on your personality.
Building a Link Building Campaign
Just like with other kinds of marketing tactics, the first thing to do is figure out the goal. Link building is rather hard to measure, especially without any way to access how search engines weigh each link mathematically. Some of the metrics involved include the following:
A good way to figure out how much a search engine values a page is to search for the keyword that you’re trying to target with the page, especially within the headline and title tag. For example, if you want to rank for the specific phrase “coffee table,” getting links from pages that rank highly for coffee tables can immensely boost your campaign.
By looking at inbound links for a website that competes with you for a particular keyword, you’ll gain some insight as to what kind of links helped them achieve the ranking you’re looking to get. By using various tools, such as Open Site Explorer, you can find these links and help add them into your campaign.
Amount of Links Per Page
The original PageRank formula diluted a link’s value depending on how many other links were on the page. Because of this, getting a link to your website from a site that uses fewer links is better than having a page that introduces many links. It’s hard to measure where the fine line is here, but it’s still worth considering when you are creating your own link building campaign.
Examples of Strategies for Link Building Campaigns
There are an infinite ways to tackle a link building campaign, but most will come down to a few basic core rules:
Have customers link to your site
Do you regularly work with a partner? Are your customers loyal and in love with your brand? All of this are opportunities for you to capitalize on. Introduce some partnership graphic badges that link to their site, and offer one for your partner to link back to yours. This is similar to the Google AdWords certification. In the same way that retail customers might use bumper stickers or wear branded t-shirts, online customers can use links to perform the same kind of useful advertisement as well.
Be interesting or newsworthy
People link to engaging content, and the best way to write interestingly is to be interesting yourself. Not only that, but earning press and blogger attention can easily gain you some links. This might include promoting a free giveaway or beginning a controversial topic.
Develop an information archive
If you’re knowledgeable in your industry, create a company blog that can answer questions and solve problems for customers in an entertaining and engaging way. This is a very popular way to build links; blogs can uniquely introduce regular new content while creating points of participation.
Because of the benefits that link building can bring, it is recommended to spend a good amount of time on this facet of your SEO campaigns.