Well, here we go. How do we tackle the most intensive and time consuming part of any SEO job? Just like any other job, the best way is to just hunker down, roll up your sleeves and take it step by step, bit by bit until you’ve completed the job – no matter how long it takes and how much you sweat. Hopefully in the end it will all be worth it. If you know what your goals are and where you need to go, simple focus, organization and sheer power of will will always get the job completed.
Building and managing a high quality link campaign will take exactly this commitment. It’s not something that you can just dive into without a plan and a system for organization. Actually, besides the knowledge of how to build a high quality and honest link campaign, organization is the most important part. We’ll discuss this more on this site as we progress but know this up front, if you start building links without the proper knowledge and a proper system, you’ll almost always assuredly fail.
Take the time to learn before you begin because a successful link campaign is decided in the details and nuances of the techniques and your strategies. It’s not all about sheer quantity as some might think. If you know how to do it right, the rankings will come. So, if you’re just starting out, spend the majority of your time right now learning what works and what doesn’t. It will end up saving you time in the long run.
It’s about quality, not quantity.
As I mentioned previously, if you know what you’re doing before you start you’ll definitely improve your rankings in half the time vs. diving in and going for a massive collection of links from everywhere. One of the most basic rules of link building is that quality matters. If you get links from your brother’s blog about Britney Spears or from your uncle Bob’s car dealership that’s all well and good usually. For the most part these links will not hurt you. But a quality link has a couple very important requirements.
First, the link should be from a site with relevant content. If Google arrives at your brother’s site about Britney and all it see’s is information about Ms. Spears, then it’s probably going to conclude that this is a site dedicated to B.S. (I mean Britney Spears). If the search engines see a link within the site to your site and it’s not related to B.S. then it’s not really going to help you a lot. The search engines know that this link probably won’t help the people that frequent sites about Britney either. If your brother’s site is not a highly regarded site (or worse) a site that’s been banned or flagged in a negative way, it could actually hurt your ranking. So the bottom line is this, don’t ask for links from sites that revolve around a subject that’s not related to yours and make sure the site that you’re requesting a link from is a reputable one. This is obviously the perfect solution so don’t pass up links if someone wants to link to you. Just try to make sure that they’re a reputable site and try to control the link text they use when providing the link. More on this below.
A high quality link is not just a link from a high quality site.
When you get the opportunity to be on the receiving end of a link from another site, see if it’s possible to get the link with your keyword(s) embedded in it. For example, when I link to a site that I read on a regular basis about top news stories I build the link as shown. This will tell the search engines what the link relates to without it even visiting the site. It will tell the search engines that this is something of interest and something that I think is important enough to link to and therefore showing that the site has merit.
As a general “best practice” you should link to external websites with words that pertain to their subject and hopefully in return they will learn to do the same. As a general practice this builds a better “web” by helping search engines link relevant content together. This also helps to improve the experience of your visitors and it also helps to improve the usefulness of your content.
In a nutshell, the worst thing you can do is request a link from a site that links out to external websites with a “click here” statement. Obviously, if it’s a good site we’ll take the link any way we can get it. But this doesn’t help the search engines and they’ll grant more relevance and quality to the link if it clearly states what the site is linking to.
In a perfect world you’d have a choice as to the words used when others are linking to you. But alas, we live in the real world. Whenever possible though, try to provide others with link text to use, recommend wording and try to make sure that your keywords are used when linking.
One easy way to do this is to choose a website address built around your target keywords. A url like ibusinesspromoter.com is not as targeted as seobook.com. If someone is looking to learn about promoting their website in the search engines, I’m betting that someone is going to search for a book on the subject or at least use the words SEO in the search. So by using these words in your site address other sites will have no choice but to include the important keywords in the link. That is unless they’re plain lazy and link to your site with an old fashioned “click here”.
Hopefully this has been a good primer for you. These suggestions are the basic nuts and bolds of SEO. This is only the beginning though and we have a lot more ground to cover as well as great ideas for getting links. I hope you’ll check back for more in part 2.