Building SEO Backlinks: Keys to a Successful Link Building Strategy
By Penelope Hibberd Last updated: November 12, 2018
Link building is an important part of any SEO strategy, whether it be the beginning optimization process or as part of your ongoing efforts. Sometimes I am asked “when do I have enough links?” The simple answer to knowing when you have enough links is “you don’t.” You can never have too many links, and you should never stop concentrating on a continued link building strategy. Keep in mind that link building should always be combined with a good technical optimization, on page SEO and off page marketing strategies to achieve not only higher, but lasting rankings. A higher ranking in the SERPs is not much use if you can’t keep it there.
Think of your link building and marketing efforts as a race track that never ends. You have to keep an eye on your competitors and what they are doing in an attempt to stay ahead of the game. You should also keep in mind that your customer’s needs and habits may change over time. You have to be ready to evolve with the changing marketing to meet those needs.
Here are some excellent strategies and tips to link building.
Creating good, useful and relevant content is the crux of any optimization strategy – including link building. You cannot attract natural, organic links to your website if you lack interesting content that satisfies your users.
Market yourself, and your site to gain authority links from around the web. This not only helps with your link building efforts, but is great for networking and getting you and your brands name out there. Do research, find relevant blogs in your industry and contact bloggers to ask if they are looking for guest posts. Issue press releases, write articles for wider syndication, sponsor contests, events or conferences.
You should also find relevant directories within your industry to be listed on (don’t just submit your site to any free directory you find). Find local business directories and add your listing, being sure to include your company name and address as well – these citations across the web will help your local optimization efforts.
Existing Link Optimization
Once you have built links, don’t just forget about them. Always review your current backlink profile and look for ways that it can be improved. Also sign up for alerts when your name, website or brand is mentioned. If a site mentions your website or URL without linking, contact them to see if they wouldn’t mind making it a link.
Find links that are full URLs and not your website name. Contact the webmaster and ask if the existing link can be updated to include anchor text. Use tools to research which existing links bring in the most traffic, and see if those links can be optimized with better anchor text. Monitor Google Webmaster tools to spot any links that lead to 404 pages and contact the webmaster to let them know the current link is broken, providing them with a new address.
Don’t forget Internal Links
When monitoring 404 errors in the step above, it is likely you will find some links from within your own site. Be sure to correct these links as well.
Internal linking strategies and proper site architecture is often forgotten or tossed aside when considering link building strategies. Website architecture is a critical component of SEO.” Your own site is the best place to start – it is important to do frequent housekeeping and start with a strong foundation. I highly suggest optimizing your own website before embarking on any serious link acquisition campaign.
Important Link Building Tips to Keep in Mind
Vary your anchor text as you correct and build new links. Using the same anchor text for the majority of links pointing to your site is a spam signal, and looks as if the links have been purchased. Google values links earned from good reputation and offering useful information.
Don’t judge a sites worthiness to link to you based on its PR or DA. Having a variety of links from a variety of different sites is more natural, and a better link building strategy than seeking out high PR/DA pages alone. Plus, as a link ages its value increases. Getting a link on a low PR site now, may pay off in the future as that site gains authority and your link ages.
Don’t seek out only followed links. While no-follow links won’t pass juice, they are still important to have in developing a varied backlink portfolio. A combination of many different types of links from many different types of sites is the best way to go.
Don’t just link to your homepage. Create better domain trust by linking to pages deeper inside your website.
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