Link Strategies and Tips
Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Finding new opportunities for backlinks is one of the most challenging parts of running an SEO campaign. Sure, you can always use the old standbys like guest blogging, article marketing, and press release distribution, but these can be very taxing as they involve content creation. That’s why it’s also important to look for easy linking opportunities that others might be overlooking.
Here are 6 creative (and easy!) ways to get more backlinks.
- Submit testimonials for products and services you love—On my website, I have a testimonials section where I allow some of my satisfied clients to submit a brief testimonial with a link back to their website. Obviously, I’m not the only one who does this. There are a lot of companies that will give you a link back to your website when you submit a testimonial to them. Just remember, you’re putting your name on the line, so only submit testimonials for those services and products you truly love.
- Ask employees who have blogs and websites to link to you—With hundreds of millions of blogs and billions of websites online, there is a pretty good chance some of your employees have their own web presence. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind linking to your website, but never try to force them to do so.
- See who’s linking to your competition—Backlink Watch is a neat little tool that makes it easy to see not only how many backlinks competitors have, but also where they’re getting them from and what the quality of the links is. By seeing where your competition is getting their links, you may be able to discover new backlink opportunities for your website.
- Look for company mentions that don’t include a link—Not only should you set a Google alert for all future mentions of your company name, but you should also do some digging around for old brand mentions that don’t have a link to your website. When you find these, simply email the webmaster and ask them if they would turn them into a link for you.
- Get interviewed on podcasts—You already know about guest blogging, but many people overlook the power of podcasting. Podcasts are still very popular, and if you can land an interview on a podcast, not only do you increase your visibility, but you’ll also likely get a link back to your website.
- Become a speaker or sponsor at industry events–In almost every industry, there are big conferences and events all throughout the year. If you have the opportunity to speak at one of these events, you’ll be listed on the conference’s website with a link back to your website. But landing a speaking gig isn’t always possible. In that case, most events accept sponsors, and they give their sponsors listings and backlinks typically.
What are some other creative ways you get backlinks? Share your best tactic by leaving a comment.
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Over the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve had an aggressive link building campaign going for my website. Link building is always something I’ve worked on when I had the time, but running a one-person show, it was difficult to find that time. Finally, I decided that I had to make the time if I was serious about wanting to grab top search engine rankings.
With the help of my good friend Gerald Weber (the_gman) and a consistent creation of content for guest blogging, article distribution, and press release marketing, I’ve started to see some truly amazing results. I’m in the top 5 for many of the targeted keywords, and I’m close to getting top 10 rankings on some keywords I thought I had a snowball’s chance in hell of ranking this high for.
And while it would be easy to pat myself on the back and take my foot off the gas pedal, the truth is I still have a long way to go. When it comes to link building, the battle is never really over.
- You can always climb higher—I don’t know about you, but I’m sure as heck not ranking #1 for every keyword I’m targeting. And I never will be. That’s the point though. There is always room to go up. Sure, the higher you get, the harder that climb will be, but if you don’t keep building links and implementing sound SEO tactics, you’ll get stuck or even start to slide down.
- There are more keywords to rank for—I’m doing really well with a handful of keywords, but I know there are many other keywords I should be focusing on achieving better rankings for. There are always other keywords to target. Some new keywords may have even popped up since the last time you did your research due to changing industries or new consumer behavior.
- The people behind you want your spot—The higher you get in the search rankings, the bigger the bull’s-eye on your back becomes. There will always be people behind you who are trying to surpass you in the SERPs. And if you take your foot off the gas, they’re going to get by you eventually.
- Current links may go away—That link you got from the PR 5 blog yesterday? It could disappear in the future if the blogger decides he’s tired of blogging and wants to shut down his site. Links come and go. That’s why you need to keep getting new, high-quality links on a consistent basis.
- The search engines love relevance—The goal of the search engine is to provide searchers with the most relevant, up to date results possible. If the search engine sees you haven’t had links coming in in a long time, your website could be viewed as irrelevant or less useful. Continuous link building helps you stay relevant.
- Algorithm changes could shake up your rankings—Finally, you never know when Google is going to switch up its algorithm. Ranking factors could change, and you could find yourself needing to do more work to climb back to the top.
How do you keep finding new ways to get links?
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
I interact with a lot of PR types, and without fail, any time the subject of SEO press release distribution comes up, there is a lot of eye rolling and scoffing at the idea. That’s not to say they’re against the idea of optimizing press releases; they aren’t. What they’re against is the SEO press release distribution strategy that’s become the norm: 1) Write a keyword-rich press release; 2) Fill it with back links ; 3) Publish it on a few PR directories; 4) Repeat a few days later.
So, just why do PR gurus frown on this practice? Here are 4 reasons SEO press release distribution has earned a negative reputation.
- SEO press releases are typically stuffed with keywords—Take a look at any free press release distribution directory. You’ll likely find a lot of press releases with awkward headlines and difficult to read copy. Why? Because the people distributing these press releases are only concerned with targeting specific keywords to help boost their search engine presence. The result is keyword-stuffed press releases that are anything but legitimate news.
- Many choose quantity over quality—Because the links from press release directories don’t carry a lot of authority, marketers are forced to get huge volumes of these links if they want to see any results. As a result, they end up pushing one awful press release after another, hoping that eventually all the keyword targeting and link building will amount to something.
- Links usually don’t add to the story—SEO press release distribution is usually all about link building. So, these press releases are littered with keyword-rich links pointing at various pages on the company’s website. The problem is the links are usually placed in there just for the sake of squeezing them in, rather than to add to the story by directing readers to quality content that supplements the news.
- SEO press releases don’t usually end up in the hands of the media—The biggest reason PR people look down on SEO press release distribution is because most marketers just publish the press releases on free directories and leave it at that. They never make an effort to get their press releases in the hands of journalists, bloggers, podcasters, and other influencers. If they did, they may find their stories would get spread a lot further, and they’d enjoy even more benefits from their press release distribution strategy.
Personally, I see and agree with all of the points made by my PR friends. The SEO press release has become like the online article that gets bounced around from directory to directory. However, I don’t think that it has to be like this. I think you can achieve a healthy balance by writing quality optimized press releases and distributing them more efficiently.
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Linkbaiting is an important part of building a successful blog and a well-ranking website. That’s why we regularly write posts offering you tips for creating linkbait and even template linkbait headlines.
Recently, I came across a really cool tool that’s designed to help all bloggers come up with linkbait ideas for their blog. The tool is called Linkbait Generator. The way it works is you enter your own subject into the box, and you click “submit” to generate linkbait. Just keep clicking the “generate” button to get more and more headline ideas for your blog.
Here’s an example. I entered the subject “dog training.” Here are some of the linkbait ideas that this tool generated:
- The 7 most controversial videos of all time about dog training
- 10 ways people have gotten rich exploiting dog training
- 5 amazing things you probably didn’t know about dog training
- 6 shockingly evil things about dog training
- 5 insane but true things about dog training
You can go on and on generating ideas, but you get the point. I’ll say that I’m pretty impressed with some of the ideas this tool generates. I could see any of the above topics working as a successful piece of linkbait if written and promoted properly.
Now, there is something you should know when using the tool. Not all of the headlines it generates will be great. In fact, there are some that just won’t be relevant to what you do at all, but the majority of them are pretty good.
The whole point of this tool is to show you some of the proven styles of linkbait. The truth is there are certain types of headlines and ways to phrase things that gives a blog post a better chance of getting hot. So, even if you don’t end up using any of the ideas this tool generates, I still think it’s good for putting you in the right frame of mind for coming up with successful linkbait.
Give it a try. Check out Linkbait Generator and let us know if it works for you.
Monday, March 29th, 2010
Link building is one of the most important aspects of any SEO campaign. It’s time consuming, and it can be a total pain in the butt, especially if you’re making any of these 5 link building mistakes.
- No keywords in your anchor text—There’s nothing worse than getting a high quality backlink that has completely useless anchor text like “click here” or just your actual web address. It’s crucial that you build keyword-rich back links. Why? Because the keywords in these links tell the search engines (and humans for that matter) what the target page is about. As a result, keyword-rich backlinks can improve your page’s search rank for the terms being linked.
- Getting links from low-quality websites—Whenever you get links from websites that are viewed as spammy or that have bad reputations, you become associated with them. Some people call it hanging out in a bad neighborhood. If you’re connected with a bunch of low-grade websites, the search engines will start to see you in the same light as those websites. So, watch who you hang out with.
- Focusing on quantity instead of quality—I’ve always said that I’d take 10 quality links over 100 bad ones every time. Sure, quantity does matter, but link building isn’t strictly a numbers game. If all your links are from low-grade websites, they won’t carry much weight, and much of your link building efforts will be wasted. Instead, focus on getting links from relevant, trusted websites.
- Ignoring websites with a low PR—Too many link builders get too caught up with trying to get links only from websites with a high Page Rank. This is a bad idea for many reasons. See, PR isn’t everything. Just because a site has a low PR doesn’t mean it’s a bad website. Remember, a website that has a 0 PR today could have a 5 PR a year from now.
- Not linking out—You have to give if you want to receive. You can’t expect everyone to link to you if you never link out to anybody. And whatever you do, don’t buy into the myth that you lose link juice whenever you link out. That’s BS. Linking out will attract links in return, and it helps you build your network with other bloggers.
What are some other costly link building mistakes? Leave a comment with your thoughts.