Link Building Basics

July 25th, 2011 10:17am CDT by Scot Small

By the RevTeam Experts

Link Building

To get your website ranked for the most competitive terms, it is necessary to carefully develop a link building strategy. As you will learn, link building is a crucial part of SEO, without which your site will never dominate the search results.

We’ll get into some of the details of how to build quality links on your site, but first we need a flying overview of how link building works. When someone links to your website, Google treats it like a “vote” for your website. This link gives TrustRank (also known as “Link Juice”) to your site. More Link Juice generally means higher page rankings, and as such it is worthwhile for sites to pursue ways of obtaining it. However, without the right mix of links, your quest for a higher page rank through linking can be unsuccessful (ignored) or even backfire (marked as spam).

So how do you build links on your website? Before you begin considering how to best build your links for SEO, you need a couple of things. First, you need links! Start conversations about your site with other websites, and make sure that professionals are in fact talking about you. Second, you need quality content discussing the links ready for publishing on your website. Without this, the best link building strategy will be prevented from working to their fullest potential.

Once you have these things, link building becomes a matter of applying a few basic principles as much as possible: creating natural patterns in your links, working on your link growth profile, submitting backlinks to feed directories, and creating anchor text which reads as though a user, not an SEO marketer, wrote it.

Natural Looking Patterns for Link Building

If a website has hundreds of backlinks with the same text (for example: “Online Printers”) it sounds unnatural to Google and other search engines. Such a pattern is more likely to hurt your website than help it. Instead, it is better to mix text and image links on your website. Below is an example around the Keyword “Online Printers” for brand “Crox.” It is possible to adopt and adapt this for your website but it’s important to remember that there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all formula.

30% of your links should link on your brand rather than your keyword. So, for our example: All my Crox printers do a fantastic job.
20% of your links should mix your keyword with other content: Crox is not a very famous name but their online printers in our office are all working well for us.
30% of your links will be just your keyword: I bought 20 online printers from Crox and am very happy with their performance.
20 % should be image links with your keyword (in this case “Online Printers”) as an alt tag.

Let me emphasize one more time that this is not necessarily the exact mix which should appear on every website. Rather, it is best to take it as a rough idea. There is no magic formula, but there should definitely be at least some of each of these link types on your site. From there, you should do what feels natural on your specific site and search engines will reward you for it.

Link Growth Profile

Rather than trying to get a whole bunch of links at once, it is better to start off slow and increase the numbers of created links every month. Trying to get a lot of links at once is more likely to yield lower-quality links. Such links will not help your business, as search engines are now looking at the reputations of linked sites in order to determine page ranking. In other words, low-quality links can hurt your search engine ranking! By not seeing it as a race and building your credibility slowly, you will find a greater return on each link.

Submit Your Backlinks to Feed Directories

So you have a few backlinks for your website. Great, but there’s a catch: Creating these links is only the first step in utilizing them to promote your site in search rankings. Google and other search engines are not necessarily going to automatically recognize all of your links. Therefore, in order to make sure that the search engine finds and recognizes the value of your created links, you need to create an RSS feed of every single direct or indirect link you have created, and then submit the feed to feed directories. Some example RSS feed directories to get you started are feedest.com, plazoo.com, and findrss.net.

Natural Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the text which is clickable to a given link. What you choose to use for this text is incredibly important. Without natural text, search engines will ignore (or worse, punish you for) the links, essentially flagging them as irrelevant. All that time you spent link-building is worthless without natural-sounding anchor text!

Such a natural-sounding link looks like it was built by a user, not by someone who was researching SEO keywords. Since normal users don’t care what keywords show up in their discussions, any content which is obviously built around SEO keywords will always look unnatural and forced. So it is incredibly important that you make sure you are not over-optimizing your anchor text. Letting a few of your links have anchor text which is not optimized at all (for example, linking on a longer phrase or linking on a brand name) is one way to keep your anchor text from sounding forced.

The truth is that natural-sounding content is central to quality SEO work. Without natural-sounding content, linking is easy to make look forced and over-optimized. By creating your content with a message in mind, and linking in a manner which is in line with that message, you will have already won half your link-building battle. From there, it is just a matter of slipping the occasional keyword into your links, and you will be watching your site’s traffic explode in no time.

Link building is a continuous and dynamic process, and can be overwhelming for the small business owner. If you are unsure of how to proceed in creating links for your website, or if you are sitting on a ton of low-quality links, give RevBuilders a call. We will develop natural, quality content and create links which will build your site’s online presence.





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