Search engine emerged from the concept of links. Link is considered as one of the most important ranking factor in SEO. Effective Link building campaign can help your website to achieve higher ranking while following wrong approach in the “panda and penguin era” can lead your website to catastrophic disaster. The search engine is revolving and changes are happening in short duration. The things that were working 2 years ago, may not work now. Let me give a example of popular WordPress website wpmu.org. wpmu was hit by penguine update on April 24th, 2012!! wpmu distribute various free WordPress theme. The free theme contains the do follow link with anchor text “WordPress Mu” which generated high volume of sitewide links on low quality sites. Thus, Google considered it as low quality links bombarded from low quality websites.
Brief Introduction about link building terms
Link building is an off page optimization techniques, that involves establishing relevant, inbound links to your website. For example you create an ecommerce website in a niche “leather shoes”. Your friend write a blog post about your business where he include your website link with your name and publish it. Apparently you get a backlink from your friend’s blog and the name he put in a link is known as anchor text. Lets assume, one of your competitors similar to yours with a big investment on same niche “leather shoes” was covered byCNN with a link of their website with name(anchor text) Leather shoes. Search Engine gives value to your competitor’s website because it got links from a trusted and reputed source with the actual anchor text that they want to target. Now you got 100 link from your friend’s website, while your competitors got 10 backlink from high authority and relevant website. Your competitor will eventually rank higher.
Getting Started on Link Building
First of all, make sure whether you are doing on your own or outsourcing it to some SEO company. It is an important decision to make. Well, if you are outsourcing your job to SEO company, here are the few things you need to know.
- Never choose cheap promising SEO agencies: Somebody who promise you to get rank for $1000 for keywords like weight loss or stock exchange.
- Always check portfolio: Know the past work of SEO agency. It is extremely important if you want to rank for high volume search keyword. You can trust companies If they had done some decent good job in the past.
- Make sure that they are not using any automated tools for link building. Google hates it, you will be tagged as spammer in the eye of search engine.
Keyword selection is one of the significant process in SEO. You should use the particular keyword as the anchor text while building the links. I won’t be talking about the elongated keyword selection process over here. But make a variation of keyword that you want to target. Always use different keyword variation during link building . It is also wise to use different URL. Don’t only focus on your homepage with same keyword. I personally take 3-5 variation of keyword put them into different order including brand name and naked URL. For example: Use the variation like mentioned in the figure above.
Set up a Google alert
Setup Google alert for the keyword you want to target. For example you want to build link for “link building guide” keyword. You can choose Google alert using several keywords like Link building Guide 2013, what is the best way to build backlink in 2013 etc. You can use several variations. There will be a lots of alerts flooding in your email. If you find suitable website like forum or question answer section, where user are asking similar question you can sign up and engage in the conversation. Use the legitimate answer and give the user choice to find more information by putting link to your website.
2. Analyze your competitors
Try to find out where your competitors are linking and you are not. There are quite good tools for it. I prefer Majesticseo and market samurai. However, you can proceed with any tools you like. Analyzing your competitors gives you tremendous amount to find suitable link opportunity. Also, always filters the spam website from the list. I prefer to use the excel file and manually add and remove the spam and unwanted link. You can use any method that you prefer. Here are some tools that assist you to analyze the competitors link status.
- Majesticseo : Free to $399.99/month , Web based
- Ahrefs: $155/month to $499/month, Web based
- Raven : $99/month to $249/month, Web based
- marketsamurai: $149 (price may varies), Desktop Based
- seomoz: $99/month to $499/month, Web based
3. Guest post Opportunity
This is the best strategy that works perfect if you are smart enough to find quality blog of your niche to target your Guest post campaign. Find quality blog in your niche that offers Guest post. myblogguest, bloggerlinkup, linknami, blogsenegry might help you to find some quality blogs in your niche. You can use alternative approach by searching on Google with the following approach.
- Keyword intitle:”write for us”
- Keyword inurl:”category/guest”
Note: Replace the keyword with the niche you want to target. Also use variation instead of write for us, example: Submit guest post, submit Guest post etc.
3.1 Use Blog directories to find Link Opportunities.
Blog directory comes handy when you are searching for special niche to find Guest post opportunities. Mostly I use Technorati and alltop for this purpose. However, there are lots of other existing directories that might be helpful for you to find quality blogs.
3.2 Use Google alerts to find Guest post Opportunities.
You can use different keyword to keep you alerting about the guest post opportunities. I don’t use this often, but it is extremely helpful. You can try different keyword like “Your Keyword write for us” For example you want to target for SEO niche try variation like
- variation 1: ”Write for us” SEO blog
- variation 2: “Guest post Link building” strategy
- variation 3: ”Become an author” SEO blog
- variation 4: “Bloggers wanted” SEO blog
- Variation 5: “Guest Blogger” SEO blog
4. Create the product and syndicate it.
This technique mostly need less effort, if you already have some decent brand or decent content related website with huge readership. The product can be anything. You can try to create something that is related to your niche that people will find useful.
4.1 Ebook syndication:
Create pdf guide, eBook and distribute it to various eBook directory. There is a chance of getting high quality link from authority website if your eBook is good. Sometimes it doesn’t require syndication, it might viral anytime.
4.2 Infographic syndication:
Hire some good graphic designer or Infographic designing agency. Find the relevant blog and write proposal. Note: Popular blog might charge you to publish your infographic with link. However, I think its totally worth . There are other infographic website that is especially made for this purpose. You can try them as well.
4.3 Video syndication:
Create a video and upload it to various video sharing website. Always add related URL of the website to the description. There are good tools that simplify the video syndication process. Here are the list of tools that automatically upload your website to multiple video sharing websites.
5. Online Press Release
Press release is the most effective method you have some tangible product. I advice you to choose premium press release website by investing few bucks to outreach large number of publisher. It is an awesome way to build high quality authority links. Here are some 50 awesome press release website
Giveaway works most of the time when you have some awesome things to offer in your niche. If you already have huge readership, giveaway works the most to go viral. The engagement practice in social media like sharing giveaway post, tweeting giveaway post works perfect. Moreover you can choose these awesome website to promote your Giveaway.
7. Social Media
Search engine started evaluating different social media metrics for ranking website. Use social media effectively. Run different campaign. Try to go viral in social media implementing different strategy. Here is a perfect guide by copyblogger to go viral in twitter.
9. Social Bookmarking Website.
Social Bookmarking website comes very handy when you have some excellent content. Stumbleupon, reddit and delicious are my favourite social bookmarking websites. They work for me to build authority and also helps to drive awesome traffic. However, it may not work for you. There are 100′s of social bookmarking website. Some are specialized into special niche. Try to find out that works for your niche. submit your content to social bookmarking website.
10. Create Content that people want to link
There is an old proverb “content is the king”. Indeed it is. Try to create content that people want to link. It helps to build link naturally without less effort. If your website is about product and service and you don’t have much space left for try. Try with a blog for your website. If you don’t have time for blogging. hire some efficient write or outsource your content writing stuffs.
11. Forum Posting
Try to find relevant forum on your niche. Don’t care much about no follow and do follow. Never spam to the forum. Try to build connection with the people. Only put links on the related question asked by people. Don’t bombard forum with only link. Try to describe something about the issue before throwing away your link. Use variation while using anchor text, also provide naked URL.
12. Question and Answer Website
Try to find out the question and answer website on your niche. Quora and Yahoo answer are some perfect choice for getting started. Find the relevant question on your niche and provide the solution to the user’s question. Don’t bombard it with all your website link. You will be tag as a spammer by the website as well as search engine.
13. Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is mostly used to build two or three tier link. Choose the list of Web 2.0 website and create a series of article about your niche and start publishing it in different web 2.0 website. I won’t be talking about link pyramid and other techniques. Don’t comprise on content while submitting to web 2.0 website. Always target the right keyword during your submission.
14. Broken Link
Use the different tools to find the competitor’s backlinks status. Find out the broken links, contact the webmaster manually and notify them about the broken link. Meanwhile you can let them know that you have some relevant content on your website and ask them to link you in order to fix it.
15. Internal links
Internal links is backbone of SEO. Each time you write or publish content try to link back to a related page of your website . If your main website is not content related, create a blog and link the related category to the website.
16. Blog commenting
I don’t prefer this techniques personally, but its a good way to build relationship than link. Don’t use any automated software for this purpose. Provide the legitimate comment. Try to build relationship than link to the blog . Don’t comment just for shake of backlink. Try to include your name and your anchor text while commenting for example saugat@Enhanceseo
17. Quality Directories Submission
Directory doesn’t have much value now. But, there are list of directory that still carry weight. However, its necessary to separate a little budget for directory submission. Before starting the submission, make sure it’s not penalized by search engine. Yahoo directory, business directory are the some that I prefer, by spending few bucks. If you have a blog try to submit it into blog directories and RSS directories.
18. Offer something free and ask people for a link.
People love free stuff. Offers something for free that you are good at. For example, Offer free WordPress installation, logo design and ask people for link for your generosity stuff that you offer for free.. This might work best if you are renowned for something or people already trust you.
19. Viral content
Viral content is anther great strategy to grab natural link. This is not the easy task that everyone will succeed. Carson ward wrote an awesome post with full statics and theory to make your content viral. Controversial topic, how to related stuff and in-depth review about certain products work best for me.
20. Article Directory:
Article directory has been a hit list in Google eyes. But also there are some good article directory that still worth it. Write quality article. If you don’t have enough time to do that you can try odesk , elance or fiverr where you can hire some efficient article writer at low price. If you have outsource your article writing process. Make sure they aren’t copied from other source, always keep quality in your top priority
Final Conclusion: Link building process has change completely. Never use any automated software or black hat SEO techniques for quick link building. It may seem the job pretty easy for instant, but later your website may be the one in Google penalty list . Try to make your link building process natural. Try to implement several strategy. Its all about experimenting with the different techniques and find out which work for you best.