Google doesn’t make link building easy. Not only do you have to aim to create an organic conversation around your product, you have to make it 100 percent relevant to the site you’re building on as well as your keyword, and then you have to do it a hundred times a day.
With so much pressure from Google on doing things right, it’s getting more difficult to draw the line on the quality vs. quantity debate. We’ve been told that content is king, but there’s also that realistic expectation that you’ll be producing more than one link a day.
Bridge the expectations gap:
Your client expects a minimum of links—whatever they decide. And Google expects a minimum quality level. Bridge these two by having a solid idea surrounding every link. Keyword stuffing doesn’t work post-Panda, so why are you bothering to wax poetic for 500 words about hiking shoes when you could be giving a straightforward analysis on how to best find the right hiking shoes for individual needs. The point is, never start a post without knowing where you’re going with it and how you’re fitting the link in. First of all, it will show and Panda will notice, and secondly, it’s actually going to take more time to do it the wrong way. If you build up a solid idea around a keyword, it’s going to naturally flow and you’re not going to have to fight to fit it in a post that wasn’t meant to hold it.
Solid ideas also mean your links are less likely to be removed. Moderators don’t mind an active discussion that has a link or two dropped in it if it looks natural. They see hundreds of spam posts a day, though, and they’ll see yours if you write it that way. Having a link removed is a waste of your time and energy, so it’s better to do a little research pre-writing to ensure it stays up.
Bridge the page to the links
On page content can mean the difference between a term ranking on the first page and not even showing up. After all, if you’re building for a keyword that Google doesn’t think you have anything to do with, it’s not going to recognize you for it. One of the most effective SEO methods is to simply look at your home page and make sure all of your keywords are there. Your landing page needs to say exactly what you do. Leave off the cutesy flash intros, and get straight to the meat and potatoes of the business.
Unfortunately, as smart as Panda is, it really doesn’t care that your art gallery client wants a simple intro page and just a smattering of images. You’re going to need text on every page. Drape each page with relevant words like you’d drape tinsel on your Christmas tree—just don’t go overboard. It needs to look good, but not be so overbearing that you miss the point of the tree and only see shiny attempts to grab their attention.
Chances are good that you have a handful of clients, so you deal with the same batches of keywords over and over. A good way to save on time and boost rankings is to take a popular subject and write about it. Then spin it exactly .05 percent, and write about it again. Spin, rinse, and repeat. If you’ve picked a good, solid, interesting subject, you can keep milking it. Writing about something once and moving on is like tossing out a paper plate every time you want a new slice of pizza. Yes, you can do it, but it’s a terrible waste of resources and time. Get your full use out of it before moving on.
Rand Fishkin, of SEO Moz, points out that rankings don’t come exclusively from good content. But Google definitely penalizes for poor content. So be sure that you’re spending about a quarter of the time on page and three quarters doing off page link building to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness.