Over the past few weeks most of the blog posts were about link building. With this post we will conclude the link building series as the main topic. We will cover some new grounds and revisit the ones we already covered, basically we will focus on everything a link building campaign needs from start to finish.
Getting Ready for Link Building
Preparing for a link building campaign is the essential ingredient for a successful campaign. Going around creating links out of the blue will certainly have some effect, but if you want to achieve something you need to lay the proper ideas, basically create a link building checklist to go by. You can use the one we created a few weeks back, but to make it even more complete you need to focus on the following factors as well:
- Have working pages without broken links
- Fresh content that can attract linkerati
- Pages you wish to link for need to be optimized for your linking keywords
- Does the page have the keyword in the title
- Is the keyword used in other variations
- Are there obvious links from your main pages pointing to the landing page, from homepage, category pages etc (basically, is the page crawlable by the search engines following internal links)
- Are your pages easily sharable (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media buttons)
- Do you have pages and profiles on important social networks (Facebook Page, Twitter and LinkedIn Profiles as well as niche profiles and associations)
- Create Google Alerts for your main keywords, brand name and your competitors
- Easy linking options (embed a “link to us” form on your pages with simple copy and paste)
You need to set all of these things before you start with your link building campaign. There is no “if” here; these are the very basics to get started properly. Most of these things are easy to implement even later, but starting with them will make your life a lot easier and your link building process smoother.
Obvious Link Opportunities
When starting a link building campaign with your targets and phrases already laid out you first need to focus on obvious link opportunities. We are not talking about competitor backlinks only, so pay attention.
In most cases obvious link opportunities are often neglected, these can include everything from:
- Hosting provider
- Website Design Company
- Memberships, Associations
- Events, Charity, Donations
- Office Space Complex
- Friends and Family
- Business Partners
- Clients and Customers
- Media and news mentions
The idea behind going for these types of obvious link opportunities is to get some quality links going for you from the start. You can find many more obvious opportunities by engaging in your targeted social networks. Start with local networks, focusing only on Twitter and LinkedIn has its benefits, but for the ultimate success and proper branding you need to think and act local. Try to connect with each and every of associations and partners you have so far and try to find new ones to connect to and get links from.
Next are directories. Links from high quality and niche directories are essential and in most cases not so hard to get. Aside from few top directories which can be hard to get in, most niche directories can offer you some quality link love and even some traffic. But there is a trick to using directories, and we are not talking about a direct link from directories, but actually looking for prospects.
Although a few links from directories are great, the best benefit to directories is that you actually have a list of related sites that you can try to get links from. Before you start with keyword searches your best bet is to go to DMOZ or other top directories or choose a niche directory and start browsing.
We already stated how competitor backlink research can go a long way in several posts. But to sum things up:
- Identify the most linked pages
- Identify linking patterns
- Find linking opportunities (start with websites linking to more of your competitors)
- Look for outdated pages on competitor sites
- Find 404 pages and find pages that link to them
The last step regarding obvious link opportunities in your link building campaign is news and media mentions of your brand. Unlike setting an alert for your main keyword, having alerts for your brand name is one of the best ways to score some easy links. This doesn’t only apply to news and media, but also blog sphere. Monitoring your brand is an essential step in online marketing, this why whenever someone mentions your brand you can drop by and leave a comment or ask for a link directly. The same goes with brand images and logos that are used but not linked to your website.
Link Building through Search Queries
Once you go through the obvious opportunities and score some links the next step and most of your link building will fall on using search engines to find link opportunities. We covered some search query examples to find related sites and linking opportunities using your main keywords and MDK keywords.
You can start with easier link opportunities by going for queries that include “add site”, “add url”, “suggest url” at first, one of the best ways to go about it is to look for guest posting opportunities:
- Keyword “guest post by”
- Keyword “guest post”
- Keyword “contribute”
- “* guest post” keyword
- Inurl:*keyword*.com/blog “guest post by”
- Keyword “submit a guest post”
The next part you should focus on are lists and resources. These are very easy to find and they can lead you to some great pages with plenty of website you can use, just like directories.
- site:.com/links “keyword”
- site:.com/resources “keyword”
- site:.edu/resources “keyword”
- site:.com/partners “keyword”
- “keyword” inurl:resources site:.gov
The rest is simple keyword searches for your area of focus, like “keyword community” or “keyword blog” and “keyword directory”.
Link building is not as hard as some people make it to be. If you want to have a successful link building campaign you first need to lay done some fundamentals, create a plan with right targets in mind and get to work. If you follow the tips in this post or the blog in general you should already be able to run a successful link building campaign on your own. And one last note, be creative, think about new opportunities and things I might have missed, there is always something new to explore, and that is up to you to find it. And make sure that you use the power of social networks; they are the link building platform of the present and the future.