Nowadays, the first place people look for anything, from answers to trivia questions to the best deals on new shoes, is online. Every day another 140,000 sites are launched, so it’s important for anyone serious about their online presence to find a way to make their site stand out.
Site-owners do their best to increase traffic to their domains using Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, which is a practice that maximizes the number of visitors to a site as well as how highly the site is ranked in searches. Since search engines use links to understand the connections between different sites, one SEO method is link building campaigns.
These campaigns work by getting outside websites to link to your site. The more links and the higher quality those links, the better your web presence and the more likely your site is to be found in searches.Here are some helpful tips on how you can implement this strategy yourself!
- Link Targets
Links that direct people from an outside site to your site are clearly going to be most effective if both sites share a similar audience. If you sell kids toys, you don’t really need a link from a site that sells data analysis software because there probably isn’t a big crossover between the two audiences. Instead, you want to find sites with an audience that overlaps with yours. Those sites become your link targets. But getting links to your site that are not indexed in search engines is worthless; you can easily avoid that problem by using link indexing services like linkprocessor.com.
- Link Power
Not all links are created equal. Some links are more powerful or effective than others. Powerful links usually have some or all of these qualities—they are:
- Popular: Not surprisingly, the more popular the link, the more powerful it is. But there are different fields in which a link can be popular. A link can have global popularity by being highly ranked across the internet, butit can also have local popularityby being linked to by many sites within a certain subfield such as gardening supply stores or makeup tutorials.Similarly, links can have neighborhood popularity if they are linked to by many sites from similar spheres, like news sites that link to other news sites or spam sites that link to other spam sites.
- Trusted: Certain sites are deemed more trustworthy than others. These include mainstream news sites, official or government websites, and similar sources. Being linked to by one of these sites can make your site appear trustworthy, too.
- New:Links degrade over time, so generally newer links are more powerful than those from a number of months or years ago.
- Viral: Links that are shared many times in a short period of time (going viral) experience a big jump in rankings, if only for a short period of time.
Depending on your site’s focus, you may want links that are powerful for different reasons. If you are an online news source, trustworthiness will likely be important to you. On the other hand, if you have a small, specific sales specialty, you may be more interested in cultivating local popularity.
- Link Types
Not all links go straight to your main homepage. To use links effectively, you may want to use links that connect in different ways or to different parts of your site. Links can be directed to your homepage or to other pages connected to your site. Similarly, they can use the name of your site directly or they can use a relevant keyword to bring in interested individuals who might not know your site but are interested in the topic.
- Domain Metrics
Part of SEO through link building requires knowing where your site stands in the rankings. Domain metrics are statistics that measure and showthe strength of individual links or link targets. Two main domain metrics to use are Page Rank and Domain Authority. When deciding on link targets, you can use the information from these sources to see how highly ranked certain related websites are before you decide who to contact for possible links.
- Next Steps
Once you’ve taken the time to figure out your link targets and types and you’ve used metrics to find the most likely sites to link to, it is time to create a plan of action. You need to decide exactly who you want to reach out to, what your message to them will be, and the action you need them to take.
Or, if coming up with a plan and putting it into action seems too daunting, you can always find an expertto spearhead your campaign. This can save time and effort and will likely improve your end results. Whatever route you choose, don’t worry if you don’t see immediate effects—sometimes link building needs time to work.