Last updated on May 25th, 2013 at 11:11 am
Link building, when done correctly, is advantageous. Not only does it build connections that lead to higher rankings in major search engines, but it also makes the internet a more navigable system. However, due to Google’s continued evolution and progress, link building as an SEO strategy is becoming increasingly dependent on quality over quantity.
Webmaster’s note: This is a guest post by Clay Christeson
A link builder needs to be calculated and genuine. The methods of spray and pray have been replaced by relevancy-first tactics. To acquire a link that impresses Google’s algorithms while simultaneously helping the users of the internet, a link builder needs to possess and utilize certain skills:
1. Have a Relevant-First Mentality
Non-relevant and spammy links are being devalued more and more by Google with each new update. They should be. Not only do they complicate the purpose of the internet, they are deceitful and pointless. A quality link builder should always be relevant with both intent and content. Both resource link builders and content link builders should only be building links to their website from relevant domains. Relevancy impresses Google and makes sense to the end user.
If you build links, regardless of how you do it, make sure your processes are relevant. Even ignoring the increased ranking potential, the principle of morality applies within the SEO industry as well. The internet is built from links, and if you plan on contributing to the construction of the World Wide Web, make it worthwhile. Just as it’s a common expectation for people to contribute to society in their lifetime, you should strive to improve the internet as well. It’s a service that has totally changed our perspective on the world and our ability to communicate. Don’t hamper it with irrelevancy.
Takeaway: To make sure your link is relevant, put yourself in the position of the end user. Would the link help you in a click through situation? Does the link (in any way) try to take advantage of Google’s algorithms? Is the landing page that your link leads to, a legitimate, genuine page, full of great content? Does the content of your landing page match the hyperlink text in relevancy? These guide questions can help ensure your relevance. The important thing is to avoid settling. When links are concerned, anything shy of relevance could be dangerous or useless. Take your time and really analyze deep down whether your link building efforts make sense. If they do, good for you and good for the internet.
2. Possesses a Knack for Communicating Effectively
Most situations in life require communication, and link building is no different. A person who wants to succeed in this specific SEO niche needs to be an effective communicator, but more so in the sense that they understand how to converse effectively in a plethora of varying situations. For instance, a link builder attempting to guest post will need to outreach much differently than a link builder trying to get a resource link. The two separate strategies require innovative outreach, but with differing angles and purpose.
If you build links, make sure that you not only utilize effective communication, but that you do so in a way that tailors to your specific task. If you are reaching out to write content with the goal of providing a useful article and acquiring an author bio link, show your contact that you are a trained writer. List down particular reasons the host website would benefit from if you write for them. Provide published samples that will showcase your authority.
Strive to be multifaceted as a link builder. As the internet evolves, the need to do so will only increase.
Takeaway: Link building is a process that requires you to communicate with a variety of webmasters, oftentimes from all over the world. To do this effectively you must, and I mean must, take this information to your next outreach:
– Who you are
Any webmaster needs to understand who you are. This doesn’t just mean a name, but rather exactly where your identity fits within the niche you are building links for. If you’re a real estate agent that wants to write about DIY home improvement to acquire a link back to a certain domain, make it clear to the webmaster that you know what you’re talking about. They would rather have a real estate agent writing about roof renovation than a cosmetology guru. Show them that you are a human being that knows what you’re talking about.
– Your intentions
Most webmasters know your intentions even if you don’t tell them. It’s better to be up front and tell them what you want. A great idea is to send the webmaster the URL that you want your link to point to before they even ask for it. This eliminates several emails from the process and makes the acquisition of a link much more efficient for everyone. The most actionable advice is to tell any webmaster that you’re in communication with why you reached out in the first place. Be clear, concise and honest.
– Follow up mentality
Just like you, webmasters that run blogs and business websites are busy people. They’re also human. Busy people have a hard time juggling all of the emails and phone calls they receive. If you genuinely want to build links for a specific domain, be prepared to follow up several times. Four emails are usually the maximum recommended before it becomes interrupting. The more information you provide, the less follow up you will have to do overall. Keep it succinct and to the point.
3. Has Legitimate Knowledge in the Niche
A successful link builder should be more knowledgeable than the average person when it comes to the specific niche they are building for. If someone is building for a golf course website, they better understand the industry. It takes knowledge to acquire links. A wealth of knowledge on a subject is particularly critical when acquiring links through content writing because people don’t want to read unfounded material.
Spreading legitimate and well researched information makes the internet a better place.
Takeaway:A great way to acquire quality links is to earn it. If you’re an industry guru, provide professional-grade advice. If you’re not, do some serious research. You have to know what you’re talking about to teach people anything. It’s up to you to come up with adequate ideas that people can actually utilize in their daily lives.
The SEO industry treads in the footsteps of major search engines like Google. Updates and algorithms pushed out periodically that require SEOs to adapt are designed to decrease SPAM and manipulative processes while concurrently increasing legitimate linking. You can do your part as a link builder by staying relevant, communicating effectively and being knowledgeable.