Building links towards your site is the basic idea behind ranking in search engines. Optimizing your web structure as well as your content should be done with care, as these are things we do once and modify only if necessary, but link building is an ongoing process that needs to be dealt with care.
Massive link building is not good; campaign link building is also not good. When we build links we need to think of link quality, link velocity, link anchor text diversity, which also goes for the do follow – no follow ratio. Actually there are plenty of things to keep in mind when building links for your website, which is why you need a link building SEO plan. It makes things easier and with time you will get better at it. Let’s go over the idea of link building step by step and help you create the link building plan for your website or blog.
The first thing you need to consider is the type of links you need, brand links, anchor text diversification and placement. You also need to think of the no follow vs do follow ratio, going only for do follow links can hurt your site, no matter the popular belief. Keeping the 80/20 ratio is a great breakdown that will signal the search engines about your natural link profile. And of course there are the landing pages you need to consider, not all of us can benefit from linking only to our homepage, so make sure you identify your linkable assets right.
With all this in mind let’s go over certain things in detail, the things you should consider individually when creating your link building plan. The first thing to think about is usually the anchor text and the landing page. Make sure that each landing page has a few anchor texts to cover the natural link building side, also keep the 80/20 ratio in mind regarding do/no follow links.
After that comes the link placement. Google as well as other search engines have a value system for link placement. Links in sidebars and footer are least appreciated, the most relevant links come from the content, but like with everything else a good variety is needed here as well. So make sure you have a few footer links, don’t go just for in-content link types.
To make your link profile even more natural you should also pay attention to branded links. Going for the desired anchor text is great, but too much can hurt, so make sure that you use company name as the anchor text here and there or just use the URL as you link.
There is of course the relevance to worry about. Now you don’t need to be really specific about this, even close relevance counts. In other words if you have an internet marketing blog you can get a link from an SEO blog or affiliate blog, both are highly relevant, but you can also get a link from a tech or web design blog.
So now you have your SEO link building plan, you know what type of websites to look for and what links to go for, the next step is to get those links and find real link opportunities for your linkable assets.
The first thing I always look for are competitor links. You can use SEO tools like Yahoo Site Explorer or Open Site Explorer to gather required data, or you can use advanced operators to look up your competitors manually. Going for competitor links will boost your link profile, but to rank up your competitors you need to find new links that you competitors don’t have, for that you will definitely need to do advanced searches.
Aside advanced link building you need to follow the simple lines that every website needs to have. The first thing is directory submission, although people tend to avoid this lately you shouldn’t. Submit your website only to a few but highly relevant or directories of high quality. That will give you brand links that will add to your natural link building profile.
Next step is blog commenting, this will add to your no follow link percentage. But don’t spam or post general comments, add value in your words and people might notice your comments and follow the links, which will lead to a certain amount of traffic each month.
The last things are guest posting vs article marketing and contacting webmasters. Article marketing can be beneficial for you, but the idea is to get quality articles submitted so you can hope for syndication. The second part of the article marketing strategy is submitting to various article directories, you will gain more from submitting 5 articles to various directories than submitting 5 articles to one directory.
Guest posting can be a great way to get the best possible links. By providing a quality guest post on a blog considered as authority in your niche you will get a quality link from the content that will be a great asset to your link building profile. You will also get direct traffic from that link. Needles to say, this is my personal favorite form of link building.
And the mother of quality links is contacting real webmasters. Now this is the tricky part and everyone has their own approach. The idea is to go for a personalized mail each time suited for the website you are contacting, going with templates stopped working a few years back. But then again, my guess, from a personal experience, is that most of your mails will be ignored, the only way to get such links is if you make some connection first. That can be done either by commenting on a certain blog often or through social media, in most cases people that don’t know you will ignore you, so keep that in mind before approaching webmasters.
The only thing left is to track your progress from month to month and tweak your link building strategy here and there. The only thing you should actively think about is the link velocity, so plan ahead the number of each type of link you wish to get from month to month.
This is pretty much everything your link building SEO plan needs to have. Remember that every website needs to have a personalized approach. Even the same niche websites will not benefit from the same strategy, so make sure you understand your own website, your landing pages, your audience and your market before you start implementing this knowledge.