In this part, we will move on to more practical topics that will help you set up a successful link building campaign.
How to design a link building strategy
For search engines we must try to get links in a natural way, so it is important to design the right strategy to make it look that way. First, we must make it clear that for the strategy to be successful it is necessary to think in the long term as everything in SEO. In addition, designing a strategy allows us to do things right and avoid possible penalties. These are the steps to follow to design your strategy:
#1 Analyze your website
As in any other matter, the first thing you have to do is to see how your website is and where you are starting from. To do this you must find out what is the authority of your website and what are the existing links pointing to your website in order to know what you need. For this, we will show you some tools later on.
It is recommended that you rank your links. For example, ow quality links from 0 to 30 DA, medium quality links from 0 to 60 DA and high-quality links from 60 to 100 DA/strong>. You can give it a percentage, so you know exactly what percentage of links you have in each of the link splits you have made. There is no set formula for this, you will have to adapt it according to the results you get.
Also, check if your page already has links that could result in a penalty (high Spam Score), and “disavow” those links through the Google Disavow tool.
#2 Analyze your competitors
Once you know exactly where you are starting from, the next step is to find out how your competitors are doing in order to know how far you have to go or how to beat them. To do this, you have to look for the best positioned websites in Google in your sector or subject and do the same as when you analyze your own website.
Find out the authority of the domain and how are the links pointing to that website. To do this, use the tools we are going to show you. It is also important that you divide them as we have shown you so that your strategy is based on them.
Try to find out what kind of links they are (if they are from profiles, directories, blogs, websites, newspapers) to know more or less what to do. With the list of links you get from this analysis, you will be able to find websites where you can also put a link of your own.
CAfter all, if they link to your competitors, it might be interesting for their users to link to your website as well. Ahrefs is probably the best tool on the market to find these links. You can also get them with Moz.com’s Link Explorer, or through Link Assistant.
#3 Design your estrategy
Once you know everything about yourself and your competition, it’s time to design your link building strategy. To do this, try to build a link profile similar to the most successful sites in your sector. Be aware of the types of links and the quality of these links, it’s all about imitating only what they are good at.
Then, organise in a monthly calendar the links that you should be getting. You should do it little by little so that they look as natural as possible for Google, otherwise you take the risk of being penalized. Get links of all types and of different qualities, but always giving more weight to those of better quality. It is natural to have links of all types.
It is also essential to have a precise control of the links you are trying to get and the ones you have achieved, either with a simple Excel template or with specialised programmes such as Link Assistant. There are other interesting tools that will help you find link prospects and organise your contact with them, such as BuzzStream or Link Prospector.
#4 Get the links
Now it’s time to get to work and get the links to boost your website’s Page Rank and achieve a better positioning.
Some can be obtained for free or naturally, but there will also be some that can only be obtained through some kind of negotiation. So, it all depends on your time and how much you are willing to invest.. In general, link building requires a lot of effort, which is why most companies, including some SEO agencies, usually hire a link building service.
Link building techniques
Now that you have defined your strategy and know the most important concepts and factors of a link and a website, it is time for you to learn how to get links. You can do it in different ways, some take more time than others, some are free, and some are expensive.
We recommend you to try all the available techniques so that you can achieve the naturalness that Google demands and see what works better for you. However, it always depends on your time and budget. Some of these techniques are considered obsolete or dangerous, but if used together with moderation and wisely, they can all contribute to a successful link profile.
- Ask, ask, and ask: After all, asking is free, right? You don’t lose anything by trying. Ask for links to any and all websites that meet the requirements to provide you with a good link. Most of the people you meet know about the value of links so they will most likely ask for something in return or won’t even answer you (80% of them, let’s say). But there are always people like us who are willing to link to quality content if asked, because linking to quality sites also benefits the linker.
- Link Baiting: Link baiting consists of creating content that attracts a lot of attention, with an interesting headline, so that people will share it on social networks or on their own website. Google and many agencies insist on the mantra that says “create quality content, and they will link to you”. Well, don’t hold your breath… Because nobody goes around linking to other websites as a hobby. But it is true that some (few) contents end up achieving a certain virality, either because they are very useful, very controversial, funny, or something like that.
- Guest articles: Many websites or blogs offer the possibility for other people to write articles for them, either for free or for a relatively low price (“sponsored articles”). In these articles you can add one or more links to your website. Interestingly, Google still accepts this type of technique as long as – of course – you don’t pay for it or put the “nofollow” attribute on the links. It is important to remember that abusing this technique can also lead to a penalty.
- Mentions: It is part of the “ask, ask, ask” technique. If your name or your company’s name has been mentioned, find out where and ask for a link to be added as you are being mentioned. This is normally applicable to large companies that are mentioned in the media for different reasons, but try searching for your website on the Internet, maybe you have already been mentioned there.
- Web directories: Directories are pages that offer lists of sites grouped according to categories. An interesting method of getting links in a simple way and that can also give you some traffic. There are paid and free ones, many of them allow you to add dofollow links, although many others do not. Directories are slowly falling into disuse, and are tending to disappear, so don’t expect too much from them. But it is worth having some in your link profile.
- Comments on forums and blogs:: Participate in forums and comments including your link in your signature or profile so you can get a few free and easy links. Remember to vary the topics. These links are usually nofollow or of very low quality, so don’t abuse them. But having a few in your link profile will make it more natural, after all, if you are popular, people will be talking about you. Never use automatic blog commenting software. That’s spam, and you might get unwanted effects. Do it manually, and within the context of the article you are commenting on. Especially look for blogs with a lot of traffic. That way, even if the link is nofollow, you might get some visitors.
- Link exchange: another technique considered obsolete and ineffective, along with directories and comments, since many of the links obtained this way are often ignored by search engines. Abusing this technique can also be dangerous. But it is like everything else, if it is done with moderation and consciously, it can bring you some benefits. And it is also quite natural in some cases. If you collaborate with other websites in some way (e.g., companies with their suppliers), it is normal for them to mention each other on their websites.
- Buying links: Google has always fought against link trading, claiming that it is a way to manipulate search results and that it harms the users. This is a large and controversial topic, so we prefer to develop it in depth another time. For now, our advice is: DO NOT BUY LINKS… unless you know how, when, how much and where to buy them. Profitability is normally proportional to risk, and, here, the risk is very high.
Improve your SEO through link building
Link building is still a crucial part of search engine optimization and, although it is a controversial and often overlooked discipline, it is still one of the most effective ways to take your website or online shop to the next level.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and that it has helped you. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us using the form on this page.