If you have been trying to get your website or blog to rank for certain keywords, then you will know that link building is the key to this, as well as on page optimisation of course. Link building will allow search engines to see that your website is a trustworthy source as they analyse a variety of things in regards to the links that you have built. Link building is surprisingly simple, but it is often done completely incorrectly or using blackhat methods. Building a successful campaign is easy provided that you put enough time and effort in and do your research.
Do your research
This is the part of link building that personally, I find quite boring and I am sure that a lot of link builders feel the same way. However, research is the most important aspect of link building by far. For example, let’s say that you have a website which sells curtains. The obvious keywords for this kind of website would be ‘buy curtains’, ‘curtain store’ etc. Sure, it would be great if we could assume this as always be correct but sometimes, you might be surprised at what you find during your keyword research phase.
For example, you might find that ‘buy curtains’ either has a low monthly search volume or is super competitive. This means that if you simply went ahead with a link building campaign, building links to optimise for this keyword, you might end up wasting your time as even if you rank high, there might not be enough search volume.
Keyword research tools
There are a number of keyword research tools out there and they all do different things. Obviously, at the very least you should be using the Google Keyword tool which is pictured above. This offers a good insight into how many people are searching for your keywords on Google each month and is usually a relatively good indication.
As you start researching more into your projects, you will find programs out there that will give you a more in-depth look at your keywords. It is also good to use the Bing Webmaster tools as this will give you Bing’s point of view on your keywords.
This is another area that is often forgotten when it comes to link building and once again, it is extremely important. When you are implementing a link building campaign, you need to know exactly how you are going to build the links and you also need a way to keep a record of the links that you already have. You should also keep a record of the links that are potential links etc.
There are a lot of different programs out there that claim to help you to keep track of your link building campaign although if you are just starting out, a simply Excel spreadsheet will suffice. You should just make sure that you have all of the information you need in the spreadsheet including where the links are coming from, what page they link to, the anchor text and anything else that is worth noting.
Using Metrics Systems
The point to any link building campaign is to attract a higher number of visitors to your website. If this isn’t the point, then there is no reason for building up links. In order to see if your efforts are having any effect at all on your sites traffic, you will need to use a metrics system. There are a lot of these available for free including the Google Webmaster tools and Bing’s webmaster tools.
Most webmasters will choose to use at least Google’s Webmaster tools, although you can of course use both if you want an even better view at what is happening in your link building campaign. These metrics tools allow you to keep a good eye on many aspects of your sites traffic including what keywords people are typing into search engines to find your website, how long they are staying and if you have an ecommerce website; how many of the visitors are actually turning into sales.
It is so important to keep a close eye on these as once again, you might find a hidden gem that you hadn’t seen before such as a low competition keyword that is easy to optimise for and has a great conversation rate or you might find the opposite. You should be adjusting your link building campaign based on what you find in the metrics tools that you are using.
Create great content
In Google’s eyes, and every other search engines eyes, this is the absolute most important thing that you need to do when you have a website. If you think about it from a link building point of view though, it is absolutely paramount if you want to attract great quality links to your website.
Let’s say that you have ‘run of the mill’ content on your website; information that people have seen before and is nothing special. Chances are that people aren’t going to be that impressed with what they read which means that they are certainly not going to link to it. However, let’s say that you have content on your website that is absolutely exceptional and that takes people by surprise because it’s so great. Chances are that if they have a website or blog, or even just a Twitter account, they are going to share your content with the rest of the world.
Now, when it comes to great content, it doesn’t always have to be an article or a blog post. It can be almost anything you like so long as it’s useful for the visitors that you are looking to attract. For example, you might have a really well made infographic or you might have an exceptional instructional video. Anything like this is known as ‘link bait’ and is great for attracting links.
Start building links
Once you have great content on your website and you have made sure to have management facilities in place, you will need actually begin building links to your website. Now, we could talk about ways to do this for days on end but so long as you remember a few simple things, you should do well in link building.
The first thing that you should remember is that you need to build a diverse range of links. This means that you shouldn’t just start submitting your website to 10,000 web directories as Google will be able to see exactly what you have done and most likely penalise you for it. You need links from directories, blogs, forums, websites, social media sites and many other places. Remember, always choose quality of quantity.
Another thing you should remember is that link building will take time. It is not something that can be done overnight and nor should it be. It is something you should spend quality time on at regular intervals.
There is a huge amount to learn when it comes to creating a successful link building campaign, but if you create great content, make sure to manage your campaign and keep track of it, and build great quality links with great quality partners, you will have no trouble ranking in no time!