April 29, 2012
As the Web progresses, so does the refinement of the top search engines and the algorithms they utilize to ascertain important content in cyberspace. Relevant is the key word here, which means valuable to the searcher and the most likely to be exactly what they are searching for. Rolling into 2012, search engines such as Yahoo have begun to understand that keyword matching is only an aspect of the formula to determine relevancy, and that the value and the authority level of the web page is turning into a larger determinant of search relevancy.
That brings us to your link building approach as a webmaster, small business owner, or online entrepreneur as we commence 2012. The following five link building suggestions get you the backlinks and relevance you will certainly need this year:
1. Multiple, Applicable Links
All of us want a million backlinks to our blogs, and trust me, with a little bit of cash, you can get them. There are lots of linkbuilding deals at Fiverr.com and sites such as The Hoist that will sell you literally hundreds of links. Trouble is, Google is looking for quality which means pages linking to yours must be complementary, in the same market space, and in some way associated to your content. Your landing page should somehow be an offshoot of the ideas presented on the linking site. If that site has to do with gourmet foods and your page is addressed to unwed parents, that sort of link will likely not help you a great deal and in fact can harm your Google rank.
So just how can you get them?
* Get in touch with site owners wanting to swap links for starters, usually done in a resources page. This is still a strong technique and has been around for years.
* Leave blog remarks on posts with the same material as yours, specifically authority sites (more on this later).
* Distribute your original articles for publishing on news and blog sites that are a normal match to yours.
* Post relevant links to your website on social media portals like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The best are links to blog columns or landing pages relevant to Twitter trends or hash-tag lists and LinkedIn discussion groups.
2. Neighbors Like You
The world of online search is going local and is placing more and more focus on local sites. Even if your company is not constricted to where you reside (like an online SEO website that may be able to work for clients globally), it is more useful than ever before for local companies to be linking to yours. Socialize in your Chamber of Commerce and encourage link exchange, keeping in mind that the more similar these companies are to yours (and they’re local), the better off you are. If your SEO establishment is in San Diego, encourage your local links to say “SEO San Diego” to ensure your link is pertinent to their audience.
3. Submit Your Work
There are two primary kinds of authority sites in the internet world: big, highly trafficked, content specific sites (consider Inc.com, Wall Street Journal), and educational and governmental sites. Search engines are still giving lots of credit to university .edu sites and .gov pages, especially the federal government (who knew).
The major ways to obtain backlinks from these sites are to provide valuable, one-of-a-kind content in the form of articles or to post comments to content already on these websites. If you’re lucky enough to hand in great content and get yourself published on a high-authority content site, that is worth its weight in gold to your link building efforts.
Don’t throw away your time with auto-posting, scraping applications that are going to write nonsense responses for you. They’ll post, but in most instances will be deleted in the monitoring of the site. You can browse the web and find listings of good PR .edu and .gov websites (ones with a PR of 4, 5, 6, 7) that allow for forum postings with backlinks. Buyer beware and regularly test the domains, applying PR Checker.
4. Anchor Text Strategy
This is one thing you can most easily control using Article Marketing tactics, where you submit content for syndication and publication on high ranking sites. The actual words in your hyperlink, called anchor text, have to be pertinent to both the page on the site that is featuring your work and also to the destination website that the link goes to. That means that, if you are linking “click here,” you’re skipping half the benefit of this linking technique.
So how does this work? Going back to our example of the gourmet cooking site, you publish an article on that blog about your favorite ways to use cooking sherry, then throughout the body of the article you link your red wine reduction recipe to, you guessed it, a webpage that consists of exactly that. Give that guy a prize!
5. Landing Pages
We just talked about how your landing pages ought to be pertinent to the link. You ought to also be linking to various pages on your website, commonly referred to as deep links, and not only your homepage. This method ought to be easy if your website is structured properly with a product page for each product and an article for each idea you may be linking to. This informs the search engines that your domain is material rich on numerous pages, and that is vital to you earning the relevance trophy.
Is doing these things simple? Nope, but that’s exactly the point. You are doing it the right way, and that practice will reward link builders in 2012.
Karl Walinskas is the CEO of Smart Company Growth, a business development firm that helps small to mid-size professional service firms build competitive advantage in an online world of sameness. His Smart Blog covers leadership, business communication, sales & service, online marketing and virtual business, and was recently named by Buyerzone as one of the Top 20 Business Blogs of 2011. He is the author of Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership, has been a featured expert for Inc.com with articles published in Selling Power, America Online, and SiteProNews to name a few, and blogs frequently for Rank My Website, a top San Diego SEO Services firm.