Link building is an important part of a complete SEO strategy, but it is important to ensure that your off-page work is just as tailored as your on-page work.
Not every link building technique will be affective for every type of client, but there are a strategies that you can adopt for all new clients that generally produce good initial results.
With any link building profile, it needs to be varied both in terms of link type and anchor text. For further information on how a healthy link profile should look; take a look at our Penguin-Friendly Link Building post.
If you’ve already conducted your initial on-page work, you should know who your client’s main competitors are. Using a tool such as MajesticSEO or Raven; conduct a back link search for each of the competitors. If one of the competitors tends to rank highly and you just can’t get above them; analysing their back link profile may go some way as to explaining why.
If the competitor has a healthy back link profile then there is most likely something here that can be useful to you. Firstly, work your way through the list of links and check out each of the linking sites. If any of the sites have a good page rank and generally meet Google Penguin standards (i.e. not filled with ads, good quality content, ethical SEO on site, etc) then it is worth contacting them for a link. It may be that your competitor has written a guest blog or they may just be added to a “useful links” page. If you can’t actually find the link anywhere on the site, or if it’s clearly a paid banner ad, for example, then steer clear. You need to be quite ruthless here; remember, its quality, not quantity that matters.
This process does take time but it is a good starting point. It may also give you an idea of sites or niches that you can target for links in the future. During a session of competitor back link analysis recently, I found one site that had been featured on a high-profile television channel and had a link from the channel’s website. Unsurprisingly, this link was passing on the most authority out of all of the links within their profile, so it goes to show how much influence just one link can have if it’s from a good quality site.
Another good strategy that tends to work for most clients is an industry roundup. This is where you take all of the industry news from various sites and write them up into one single blog post. For example, your client is a car dealership. You search the net for all news about cars and car dealerships and then compile all of the news into one post. Once you’ve published the post on your blog; you then contact each of the sites that you got the news from to let them know that you’ve mentioned them, and say that they are welcome to link back to your post for their own publicity purposes. And voila…they’re happy because they a bit of publicity and you get your link! Now let’s be realistic, you’re not likely to get a link back from someone like Sir Alan Sugar just because you’ve mentioned him in a post, but smaller, high-quality sites are going to give you a nice slice of authority all the same.
The last strategy does work really well, but it’s normally much more effective for bigger companies with a strong brand presence. Try conducting a brand name search in Google, for example, “Polaris Agency”. This will bring up any site that has the words “Polaris Agency” in it. Obviously, you’re going to get our own site and social media profiles up first, but keep scrolling through the SERPs and you’ll come to any other websites that mention “Polaris Agency”. What you can then do is contact the site owner and ask that they make the mention into a link. Again, you won’t always get a response but if they’ve already mentioned you in their article then they’re more likely to agree to make it into a link.
So there you have it, 3 techniques to get you started. This should give you a nice mix of websites and link types, as well as a variation of brand and non-brand anchor text links.
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