Last updated on December 14th, 2011 at 04:24 pm
A site’s linkabiity highly depends on what it’s capable of offering to its audience – content. However, most of the time, authority and already established sites are the ones who get the most attention when it comes to link commendations.
For nearly all newly published sites, obtaining natural and content-driven editorial links is quite a challenge, given that most linkers on any industry are more likely to link or cite authority and trusted websites as sources than to new sites that haven’t proved anything yet.
There are several options and avenues for a newly launched website to survive the competition as well as to achieve faster growth in terms of natural links, brand awareness, web popularity and authoritativeness (which all eventually leads to the site’s profitability):
- Through creativity, wherein your site can offer something that can’t be found or available anywhere else (could be your site’s offered product, tool, information, services, etc…).
- Extensiveness of provided content, product or services can leverage the site’s reputation to be immediately perceived as an authority in your field.
- Time vs. budget – knowing all the steps you need can definitely overwhelm you when you start to realize how much work is needed to be implemented. Minimizing the time you spend on monotonous tasks by getting help from others, and spending your spare time to do all the big tasks (more planning) can accelerate the project’s productivity and scalability.
These options are shortcuts for sites – whether you are in a not-so-interesting niche or a highly competitive one – to be an authority, to attract its target audience and to be link worthy, since most of these are able to materialize results if done accordingly.
Putting tasks in order prior to launching your website is imperative to running an efficient marketing campaign for your online business. It is apparent that a well-researched plan and the precision of putting those plans into effect are the most significant components to any successful business strategy you’ll find on the web. In conducting the initial stages of your site creation, it should include:
- Use Google Adwords’ External Keyword Tool to find keywords or search terms fitting to your site’s content to specifically target your market through search engines.
- Choose 15 – 30 keywords for the initial stage of your SEO campaign. This stage of the research should include major or exact phrase keywords, longtails (3 – 7 words with low competition), informational (ex. “how to”, “what is”, “tips”, etc…) and actionable keywords (ex. “buy”, “cheap”, “affordable”, etc…).
- Plan your important landing pages’ content such as headlines, call to actions and element placements (for homepage, services page, sales pages, product categories, etc…).
- It’s best to designate each of your targeted keyword to different pages of your site or to simply create pages that target a single keyword in particular, for them to have higher chances of ranking on SERPs, as each page will have high relevance scores for their targeted search terms.
- Research and list highly linkable content or link bait concepts that are strictly about your site’s major keywords.
- Strategize on support contents for your important landing pages. These support pages can be in a form of blog posts that link to your site’s important pages, information pages that support sales pages, or externally hosted content such as guest blog posts to pass more link juice, generate targeted traffic and to improve the visibility of your important pages.
- Distinguish your top competitors by searching on the top ranking sites for each of your major keywords via Google search.
- Track the sites/pages linking to your competitors using Yahoo Site Explorer and observe the methods they have used to acquire those links.
- Analyze your competitors’ link profile and top pages through Open Site Explorer. Examine those pages and list the things you think are missing on those pages that you can offer on yours.
- Track the top keywords that are sending traffic to your competitors through SEMRush.
- Study their social activity and relationships through their Twitter accounts and/or blog interactions (regular commentators or the ones they mostly mention on their blog posts).
Site Structuring and Conversion Funnels
- Clean and user-friendly site navigation.
- Strategic internal linking structure.
- Removing advertisements or other distracting page elements on the site’s important landing pages or sales pages.
Link search and prospecting
- Create a list of link opportunities for your site by implementing a thorough link search before actually launching the site.
- Craft a template for your link request outreach that can be easily personalized.
- Make a list of the sites and/or blogs that you’ll need to socially engage with.
Visually Appealing Design
Design is a vital aspect to any form of website, as this alone is capable of generating interest to readers as well as to possible linkers. Investing on an exceptional design for your site signifies trust to those who will be able to see it, as it is a signal that the site means business and that it will be staying on the web for a long time.
Most internet users these days have low attention span, but having a visually appealing layout and images on your site can increase the chances of your visitors to stay on the page.
Once you have captured your visitors through your site’s psychologically alluring design, the content must be able to follow through in captivating your traffic to stay. The quality of the information that your site is offering is perhaps the most crucial part of the site’s overall marketing strategy, since this is the stage where people can judge if it’s really worth sharing or linking to.
A highly linkable content have two major components – research and effective copy. In my experience as an SEO, the most efficient way to create a linkable content, whether it’s a blog post or an independent page on your site, is to make it as unique, comprehensive and educational as you can to make it extremely interesting.
How to easily conceptualize and create a link worthy content:
- Search for similar theme of content through Google search, by basically keying in your content’s headline or title (ex “how to create a link bait”).
- List all the topnotch content from the results that you’ll find in an excel sheet and examine these pages. Identify the strong points of each content and the area of the subject that’s commonly missing.
- Gather all the information and make yours more comprehensive and competent compared to those that you have found, to amplify its quality. This will improve the response rate when you start requesting for links, seeing as it is unquestionably offering more value.
Building noise to your site as soon as it goes live will get your content out in the open. It is given that making your high quality content more visible to your target audience will enable it to attract more quality and natural links. And as you build noise, you are essentially developing your site’s linkability, natural link growth as well as your market’s awareness of your brand, because of its growing reputation across your industry.
Below are some of the most common methods that are used to build noise to your site (without the motive of acquiring links, but rather to attract linkers and natural links):
1. Participate and leave comments on socially active blogs
- Add value to the discussion by generating conversation mainly to make you look more interesting to other readers and commentators.
- Use your name and not your keywords in leaving your comments to make it more personal and trustworthy, since the main intention is to engage the blog owner and other readers.
- Use Gravatar to establish a brand that’s socially active and approachable. This is also beneficial when readers start to notice that you are commenting on other authority blogs in your industry.
2. Forum participation
- Contribute on forums in your niche by offering your site’s content as solutions to relevant questions posted on forum threads.
- Establish yourself as an expert or a helpful contributor to engage people in visiting your site.
3. Guest blogging
- Offer to write content on popular and high traffic blogs related to your site’s theme to absorb relevant traffic/followers and to build relationships with other bloggers.
- Showcase your expertise through this method to build up a good reputation for your site.
- Plan ahead by listing your target blogs to submit a guest entry at and by also writing your guest content ahead. Being precise with your schedule of submissions and if it’s possible to have them all published on a given time can definitely generate a good viral effect for your site, which of course can attract more people in seeing your site’s prized content that can possibly get you more natural links.
4. Social Networking
- Genuinely connect with the right people in your niche on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites by sharing their content and making conversations (not necessarily the influential ones).
- Recommend useful tips or resources to them that they might be interested to know.
- Growing your network through these social media channels is very advantageous, given that social signals are highly influencing search results for relevant and popular sources on the web. This can as well improve your site’s performance on social voting sites if you’ll be able to utilize your network well.
5. Contributing on Q&A sites
- Promote your informative content by using it as a resource in answering questions related to your industry posted on Q&A sites such as Quora, Aardvark and Yahoo Answers.
- Questions posted on these sites usually show up on search results for long-tail keywords, and it can surprisingly help your site’s brand and visibility, particularly if those who have found your answer to be useful shared or linked to your content.
6. Communicative Blogging
- Get the attention of people/bloggers/websites within your industry through sending trackbacks – basically by linking out to them through your own blog posts.
- Linking out to other sites in your niche can be done by citing them as a resource or by creating a blog round up post series (Curation).
- Organize contests to enrich your own community and site’s user activity.
- Interview industry experts and let them know once it’s live.
- Converse with your readers through comments or social networking sites.
- Linking out and encouraging your readers/visitors to participate can help shape a good reputation for your site (one good example of this is getting votes on social voting sites).
- The main advantage of this method is that it can naturally attract links, as it is physiological to web linking that linkers opt to link to spaces that they are a part of. It’s in nature that people are more to share, link to or follow a site/brand if they are benefiting from it, if it’s socially active and if it’s approachable.
Measuring the linkability of a site is usually based on three parts – design, quality of information and reputation. Managing to excel on all these vital aspects can tremendously make your link building efforts/link requests a whole lot easier (why beg for links when you truly deserve it).
It is known to most web marketers, that a highly trusted website has bigger chances of getting higher search rankings, knowing that Google is continuously keeping their result pages clean through consistent algorithm updates – such as this recently announced change in SERPs. Good results are certain to be within reach if you just focus on creating and offering a highly commendable site that’s worth linking to.