Google’s search algorithm can compute how many websites link to your site – and the quality of those links – faster than one can blink an eye. This process happens millions of times daily, and during this process, Google can immediately recognize the authority of your website. Read our white paper on the evolution of link building.
This authority – along with relevant content – is the foundation of Google’s search engine. Basically, if the websites that link to your website are of low quality, Google will recognize your site as having low authority, and you’ll be low in SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
With link backs having one of the most important hands in SEO, you’ll quickly want to not only build the links pointing to your site, but also the authority of these links. There are a few step-by-step strategies around link building that are shared below. How effectively you build your link backs will determine how well your website will ultimately do in the SERPS.
Link Building 101: Evaluate the Competition/Acquire Quality Links
The most effective way to find quality links is to analyze your top competitors through a link back profile. The best – and most accurate – tool for this is Majestic (http://majestic.com/). Simply visit Majestic.com, and insert the URL you are looking to analyze.
Majestic requires a free sign up, and quickly displays the top link backs to your competitors and the “trust flow” of those links, which is Majestic’s way of measuring the authority of that site. Once you insert the URL of your competitor’s site, you’ll see some info regarding the top-linking sites.
Find the ones with the highest trust flow, and continue the research. Make sure that the website has incoming links relevant to your content, and it ranks well for keywords that you are targeting. Remember, if you acquire a link from a website that is linking to hundreds of unrelated websites, the search engines will likely ignore this link.
After you analyzed the competition, and begin to acquire links, remember that a few high-quality links are worth far more than hundreds of low-quality links. Google, Yahoo and Bing surely act this way, so be weary when acquiring links.
Link Building 101: Use Effective Anchor Text
Anchor Text, the clickable asset attached to the hyperlink, is vital to any linking strategy – both outbound and inbound.
When acquiring links, try to garner ones with highly-descriptive anchor text; search engines use this as a factor to its ranking algorithms, and also to determine the theme of the page.
But don’t stop at analyzing the anchor text of just new back links; also analyze all the anchor text currently used by others linking to your site. A great tool for this is the Moz Open Site Explorer (http://moz.com/researchtools/ose/), which offers a free 30-day trial period.
Simply insert your domain’s URL, and the Moz Open Site Explorer page will provide some high-level metrics, such as domain authority, page authority, root domains, and total number of links. But the slick part of Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool is the information of the inbound links; it offers title and URL, link anchor text, spam score, and page and domain authority. If you see a link anchor text that is not descriptive, such as a “click here,” reach out to the webmaster and ask for a change.
Remember, these anchor texts should be descriptive, such as this page featuring an “LSEO back link service,” or the homepage’s anchor text simply “LSEO.”
If you are a local business you can check out our local link building guide.
Link Building 101: Content Marketing with Guest Blogs & Infographics
One innovative way to build back links is through guest blogging. The link back to your website is usually placed in the bottom “About the Author” section or whatever its titled. Besides link building, guest blogging is also great for brand building. One of the best places to connect with publishers in your space is MyBlogGuest.com.
A great tactic for guest blogging is to also link to other past publications you have guest blogged on; this also provides a more powerful link source to your website.
Content marketing with infographics creates another way to attract links. You can use infographics during guest blogging, or by having them on your personal blog. Infographics that will attract a social sharing will be the biggest hit.
Link Building 101: Encourage Community Participation
Online communities like forums are another place to build links and traffic. Forums exist for just about every industry out there, from digital marketing to Tesla owners to fisherman. You can join most forums for free, and they will allow to interact with like-minded people in your industry. This is the best place to share blog posts or infographics, or simply add some value to conversations that will have others not only visiting your site, but linking back to it.
Also, the forums don’t have a “nofollow” attribute such as those found on blog comment links. Depending on the authority of the forum, this can help with your search-engine rankings. Most site moderators recommend placing the link to your website directly in your forum signature instead of in the posts themselves.
To find forums within your industry, use the query like “inurl:forum” then the name of the industry. A good example would be “inurl:forum seo”.
Link Building 101: Request One-Way Links
It may be one of the most difficult ways to attract links, but it’s surely the most effective. By requesting one-way links, you reach out to the webmaster via email or message and ask him or her to link from your website from a particular page.
An optimal tactic is to reach out to the top-ranking websites from your competition evaluation described in the first point above. This will ensure you are not wasting efforts. When approaching the webmaster, give them a thorough description of your website. Another great way is to find a mistake or something similar that can be easily fixed.