When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), links are essentially votes for your site. While link building is not the only factor that influences SEO, the importance and popularity of a page (and subsequently its search engine ranking) is determined by links. As search engines become more refined, the use of link data has changed over the years and search algorithms have become more sophisticated to recognize the nuances of link building. So how can you use this technique for your SEO needs?
Create a Strategy
Developing a strategy should be your first step. You need to ask yourself how you plan to build links point your website before you actually start building. Some excellent examples of how to improve your links include running creative projects such as infographics, seeking guests posts or bloggers, and reaching out to webmasters through social networks, networking events, telephone, and email. You also want to decide what type of anchor text should be used, and you want to make sure you have enough supporting pages for your landing page.
Remember, improving search ranking certainly requires some technical knowledge, but there is also a creative aspect to the process. This means that no two SEO campaigns will be the same and you are free to develop a strategy that works best for your client. Moreover, it is important to recognize that Google and other search engines are always updating their algorithms which may require that you adapt your link building strategy. For example, footer links used to be a useful method for improving search ranking, but today they may actually damage your search ranking. Today, the most effective form of link building involves acquiring links from within content as this is a more natural approach. Furthermore, you want to ensure that you’re always aware of changes in the industry that will ultimately impact how you address link building.
Tips for your Link Building Strategy
Your site should have a solid mix of nofollow and dofollow links.
Look for Brand links to your homepage and the landing pages throughout your website.
Distribute your landing page links appropriately so that one section of your website isn’t over-represented.
Always review the quality of the content on a website before publishing to those sites.
Once you’ve developed a solid link building strategy for your SEO campaign, it is time to start sourcing or generating links. While it is easier to source links so that your client can see immediate results, generated links are much more effective in the long term. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make valuable connections with webmasters. Some online tools such as Open Site Explorer, Advanced Search Operators in Google, and Mozilla Thunderbird may help.
In addition, you might consider competitor back-link mining for developing links. Especially when you first start sourcing links, you can check competitor sites to see which links they have. Stick to the highest quality links to avoid problems with Google.
Unfortunately, some standard practices for link building are no longer useful. Directories, for example, are not as effective as they were so focus your energy elsewhere. You may derive some value from well known directories and small niche directories, but the benefit will be minimal. Similarly, blog and forum commenting generally comes across as spam and is not a great way to engage your community.