While link building isn’t an exact science, what makes it difficult to keep up with is how it seems to always be changing. What worked in 2010 may not work in 2011, and what worked in 2011 may not work in 2012! Search engines (Google in particular) are constantly updating and changing the way their search algorithms, so it’s important that companies stay “in the know” about how to build links the right way TODAY and not bother with how links should have been built yesterday.
For more on optimizing your site for Google, check out our FREE eBook, "Google's Latest Algorithm Hates Your Website."
Where to Start – Keywords
If you have any experience with internet marketing whatsoever, then you’ve heard the word “keyword” more than once. When it comes to link building in 2012, you will find no better friend than a quality keyword suggestion tool, like that offered by HubSpot.
The keyword or keyword phrase that you choose is exactly what you’ll need to find out how you can compete against your competition and rank higher than them in the search engines. The higher your search engine rank, the more likely you will be the site pulling in the quality backlinks – and not your competition.
HubSpot also offers a unique “Competitors” tool that will allow you to take a good look into what your competition is up to. Definitely use this to your advantage and tailor your online marketing keyword campaign around the results of both the Competitor’s tool and the keyword suggestion tool.
Now on to the Content
Want to get quality backlinks? Then you need to deliver quality content. There are websites out there with a ton of content that’s essentially garbage, and though they do gather links, their links aren’t really of any significance. Which brings me to an important point:
Search engines will place a value on the type of link that you receive.
Links obtained from sources that search engines have deemed credible (i.e. NYTimes.com) are more valuable than a link obtained from some random Lycos URL.
You want to create content that credible links want. You want to capture their attention and draw them to your site. This isn’t as easy as you may think. Keep in mind that the vast majority of internet users have a fairly small attention span, meaning that if you don’t grab their attention right away, you’ve lost them. Keep them interested by having a catchy title and a winning opening paragraph that tells them exactly what the content is about.
For more on creating quality content, check out our FREE eBook, "How to Start a Business Blog."
Web Design Matters, Too
Nothing’s worse than landing on a page that’s messy, out of sorts, and a pain to navigate. As we stress in our FREE eBook “Website Redesign 101”, make sure that your site is organized. Make sure that it’s easy to navigate.
You want to make sure that everything is easy to find for your users. You can do this either through a navigation bar, a drop down menu, or a “Search” box – or all of the above! Keep your website clean, make little tweaks here and there (but no major changes without giving your regular visitors ample warning first) and you’ll be sure to get some great links.
Advertise Your Site
You have great content, your site’s looking good and you’re fully optimized and ready to go. Rather than depend on those search engines to bring you to the forefront of the search engines, get out there and proactively advertise your site! One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a blog that has regular updates. Post a link to your blog update on your social media accounts, on forums, and in the comments you leave for other blogs.
It’s also a good idea to add a link to your web address to your email signature, business cards, pamphlets… anything you can think of. Subscribe to RSS feeds and include your blog.
Link building is never an overnight success. It takes time to build up quality links, so don’t be too surprised if weeks or months pass before you see any significant changes. But once those changes do become apparent, you’ll sure be glad that you made the effort to create a quality site that people want to see, and you’ll be grateful for the time you put in advertising your blog and website.
If link building is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.