Whilst generating free traffic from the search engines is a dream come true for many website owners the area which can cause the most frustration when it comes to search engine ioptimization is the process of link building.
Building links to a website can be slow and boring on some occasions but even worse on others it can be totally ineffective.
The various internet marketing discussion forums are buzzing with tips and advice from self-proclaimed gurus who have managed to get their website listed in the top ten results in Google.
Unfortunately what they often don’t tell you is all the other sites they own that don’t rank anywhere and that they just got lucky with that one particular site they’re showing off about.
The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the link building advice being freely given out is just plain wrong if you’re competing for a keyword that has a decent amount of competition. Sure, most amateur website builders can rank a website for a longtail keyword phrase that nobody ever searches for like “best dentists open on a Saturday in Vancouver” but try using the same techniques to rank a site for a keyword like “quick weight loss” or “New York lawyers” – keywords that get a lot of competition, are worth a lot of money and as a result have a lot of competition and you’re not going to get anywhere.
The professional SEO companies vying for the top spots for these valuable keywords will barely notice you with your ineffective strategies. They’re playing a big game right now and if you’re following the link building advice that most of the internet marketing gurus suggest then you’re doomed to remain as small fry.
But what if you want to play with the big boys? What if you want to transform your results and rank for some keywords that are going to bring in hundreds if not thousands of visitors to yuour site every day? What if you really want to turn your hobbyist website into a full-time living for yourself and your family so you can quit your job and live “the good life”?
If you want to do that you’re going to need to up your game. You’re going to need to increase your fire power. In short – you’re going to have to bring out a whole new suite of link building techniques.
So with that said, what are the major concepts that professional SEO’s use every day to rank their multinational clients for some of the biggest keywords on the planet…?
Before you even think about a link building strategy it’s worth considering your onpage factors. After all this is the easiest element of all to control – ensuring that the keywords you’re targeting are prominently featured on your website – and so assuming you have these elements in order you should need far fewer links to rank for your chosen keywords than if you ignored the onpage factors altogther.
Whilst some SEO experts disagree on this topic, most marketers believe that getting links from closely-related websites is more beneficial than similar links from unrelated sites. That is to say if you were building a website about dogs, it would be wise to focus your link building efforts initially on other pet websites – or even better those specifically about dogs – rather than sites about buildings insurance and cell phone plans.
The key concept surrounding what makes one link high quality whilst another is low quality is “editorial control”. That is to say that the more control a website has over the links they publish, the more those links are worth.
This is one major factor why most “automated” link building techniques don’t work very well at all. The search engines know that anyone can include a link in a blog comment or a forum post so these links have far less value than a link from, for example, the blogroll of a well-known and trusted blogger. Try to keep this in mind when selecting link building techniques for your next project to help you select those opportunities that are going to yield the greatest results.
Some websites are trusted far more than others in the eyes of the search engines. For example if CNN, Sky Sports or the BBC link to a website you can be pretty certain that the site they’re linking to is high quality, spam free and can also be trusted. These authority news sites simply wouldn’t risk their reputation linking to junk sites.
Whilst that’s an extreme example all sites have a degree of trust and/or authority and getting links from high high and high authority sites send far stronger signals to the search engines that they should rank your site highly than similar links from a very poor quality site.
Each webpage on the internet only has so much trust or authority, some of which is shared with the other pages it links to. However there is only so much to go around. In this way a web page linking to just you may be worth far more than a link from another page that links out to dozens of other sites too. In short the fewer other links there are on a page, the more your link will actually be worth if you can convince them to feature your site.
High Value Pages
Due to their content and their incoming links some pages are considered “higher value” than others. For example if you created a website about Zumba classes, wouldn’t it make more sense to get a link from a web page containing a detailed article all about getting started with Zumba rather than the “contact us” page of a general fitness website? Yes, I think you’d agree that would indeed be the case.
Therefore another useful tip for link building to get results is to try and get links from high-value content pages to your own site rather than from low value pages like link directories or contact us pages.
If I’m writing an article or blog post and I include a link to another website actually within the content of my article you can be pretty sure I’m linking to a top quality site that I’m recommending to my readers as a useful resource. On the other hand if I’m linking out to a poor quality site who have paid for a link from me I may try to “camouflage” taht link and place it somewhere rather less visible so I can maintain the quality of my user experience but still officially be linking to the site I don’t think much of.
Of course I’m not the only website owner to function in this way. Generally speaking most writers act in a very similar way and so once again a contextual link – one actually within the body of an article – is normally seen as far higher value than a link at the end of an article or in the sidebar of a website.
Where do most of the links pointing to your site go? If you’re anything like 99% of all the other websites out there tghe vast majority of the incoming links your site possesses point at your homepage. Whilst category pages and individual internal pages may possess a few links it’s likelty that your homepage has far, far more links pointint to them.
This means that the average homepage has more trust and authority than any other page of a website. Thus it follows that a link from a website’s homepage if worth far more in terms of helping you rank your website for your chosen keywords than links from other, less popular pages from the same website.
This article was written by Richard Adams who writes extensively about earning passive income online and living the four hour work week.