Simple Link Building Strategies for Business Owners
If you have a website for your business and you have had any kind of exposure to SEO (search engine optimization) you will have no doubt heard about how important it is to have other websites linking to your website. But are all links the same? Or do you just go and find any website that will link to you and create as many links as you possibly can.
There are some important factors to consider when planning a link building strategy for your website. And there are some other factors that are thrown around the internet as being really important, that seem to have little or no importance at all. So, I am going to talk about the factors that I have found to be most important, and some of the other factors that are talked about as being very important but don’t really seem to be that important.
If you are considering link building for your website, then the questions that you are probably asking yourself are how many links do I need to build to get the coveted number one position on Google, and how long is it going to take to get there? The short answer to that is ‘it depends’. It depends on the strength of your competition, and it depends on how long it will take for Google to find your links. Obviously in very competitive environments it takes more work and a longer time to improve search engine rankings. And, maybe just maybe your competitor’s are also doing some SEO work to their websites as well.
One of the first things I look at for a website’s backlink profile is the number of websites that are linking to them, not the number of links. Your website might have 500 links all from the same website. As opposed to another site that has 500 links from 500 different sites. Which is the stronger backlink profile? I would much rather have 500 links from 500 sites, than all from the same site. That doesn’t mean that if I can get 500 links from one website that I won’t take them, but I count it more like 1 link than 500.
Is PR (PageRenak) Matters?
I am going to talk a little bit about PageRank, but not because it has anything to do with search engine rankings. PageRank (PR) is an indication of how important Google sees a website, or how much authority it has. I take a site with a high PageRank as having more importance in Google’s eyes, than a site with a low PR. So, I count a link from a site with a high PR as being more important than a link from a low PR site. That does not mean that I only look for links from sites with a high PR, as they are often much harder to get.
The final thing I am concerned about is ‘Does the link stick?’. If I build this link now is it going to be there in 12 months time? Often times, forum links or blog comments will have their links deleted because the blog owner or moderator sees it as spam. It is very easy to post a whole lot of links across different forums and blogs, but do the links stick? Do they get past moderation?
Forum links and blog comments are often seen as an easy way to build links to a website, but they can often involve a lot of work for not much return if all of your links get deleted as spam. Effective forum and blog linking will often involve building a relationship, by demonstrating that you are a valuable member of the community first, and then you will get your links to stick.
There are a couple of things that seem to float around the internet as being really important when it comes to link building, but are they really that important? The first of these is the ‘no follow’ link. Whilst each of the search engines treat ‘no follow’ tags a little differently, it is basically supposed to mean that the robots will not follow the link, and the link does not pass any value to your site. Firstly not all of the links to your website will be ‘do follow’ links no matter how hard you try. And secondly personal experience tells me that these links do seem to count as I have had websites move rankings when the only links that have been added to the profile have been ‘no follow’ and nothing else has changed. If you can have a no follow link or no link at all I would take the link every day of the week.
Relevance is another factor that is given great importance but is it really that important. Common sense tells me that it could be somewhat difficult for a search engine robot to determine relevance to any great degree. For example, what is a site like Wikipedia or CNN relevant to? I would take a link from Wikipedia every day of the week even though it might be from a page that has no relevance to my website at all. Relevance is great for building relationships with people in your industry, or related industries, and if this helps you build more links to your website then that is great. But don’t focus too much on relevance as a criteria for link building or you will be missing many great link building opportunities.
Later in the week I am going to deal with things to avoid with link building, and also where you can find great links for your website. Link building can be a tedious exercise, but it is an exercise that is critical for your search engine rankings, and something you must give due consideration to.