01 May SEO Link Strategy
Google’s always state that good content attracts links, which to some extent is true. If you have a useful and appreciated website you will probably get someone to place a link to your content from their website. This is something of a catch 22. If no one finds your content – no one will link to you – and without links – no one will find you in the search results (unless you spend money on Adwords or other online traffic activities)
A good SEO link strategy is crucial for your SEO success!
Links are the “Gold of SEO”. SEO agencies and website owners all over the world have developed different methods to create links. On this page I will show you some of the most common methods that you can use to get links to your own site. There are of course many more methods, only your imagination sets the limits. In our SEO services we analyse your current back-links and internal link structure to understand how it helps or hinders your positions in the search results page.
I need to point out that it always involves a certain level of risk to work actively with link acquisition. In Google’s webmaster guidelines, they write the following:
All links intended to manipulate PageRank or a website placement in Google’s search results can be considered as part of a link system and a violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Google do not want you, in any way, to affect how you get links to your site. As a result of this, link acquisition is one of the most discussed and controversial part of SEO. Our experience is that the benefits of acquiring good, quality and relevant links exceeds the risk that comes with it. With that said… here are some tips and advice on how to create a strong back-link network:
Relevancy is more important than Page Rank
The first thing you should look at when selecting or creating links is relevancy. We do not recommend that you ONLY go for links with high Page Rank. There are many factors that contribute to a high ranking in search engines and only links with high Page Rank will not accomplish this. It is shown that even sites with low Page Rank can reach a good position in the search results. Relevant links are more important than links from sites with high Page Rank. Relevant links from sites that has content in the same substance or area as your site does. If your site is all about real estate the best is of course to get links from other websites about real estate. Is doesn’t look natural that a real estate website has a lot of links form websites about cars or horses.
Focus on the right keywords
The anchor text or the link text is an important factor of how the search engines assess a specific page or website. The search engines associate your site from the link text on incoming and internal links. If inbound links have “real estate” in anchor text, it will improve the relevance score of “real estate” for your website.
Vary the anchor text
Anchor texts should vary as natural links spontaneously varies. Too many links with the exact same anchor text can hurt a site in search engines. When you create a network of inbound links you want it to look natural. A natural network of inbound links contains links with anchor texts like, “click here”, http://domain.com, “company name” etc. Links to SEO Ibérica, for example, contain anchor texts like:
- SEO Ibérica
- web design spain
- SEO spain
- SEO Services spain
- Click here
- Read more
Using your main keywords to much in your anchor text is not good for your ranking, the best way to build links is to vary the anchor text and mostly use your company name, domain and mix it with generic anchor texts. Testing has shown that you can be safe of using keywords in about 30% of the anchor texts. This will give you the best chance to rank high in search engines on more search phrases.
Methods to acquire links to your website.
Link Strategy 1: Link Exchange
Link exchange is the oldest and most common form of SEO link strategy. Webmasters have exchanged links since the time before search engines used it as a variable in their ranking algorithms. Since the search engines have put more focus on links, they started to devalue reciprocal links – that is, two-way links where one website links to another which links back to the first site. Today reciprocal links are, in most cases, not directly harmful, but in general they do not really give effect. Especially not if the link exchange is used in a large scale.
For that reason, web masters instead use of three- or four-way link exchange.
A three-way link exchange is when one web master has an additional site where the link is placed. Site A links to Site B, and Site B links to Site C. This way it is not a reciprocal link, but both websites get a link.
Four-way link exchange is preferred by the majority today. This is possible when two web masters have two sites each. You link from one site to the other webmasters main project website and then you get a link back from a completely different website to your main project.
Benefits of Link Exchange
The benefits with link exchanges is that they are often relatively easy to acquire since it is such an established strategy, that in most cases benefits both web masters.
Disadvantages of Link Exchange
The disadvantage with link exchange is that because it is such simple link strategy, many web masters abused this method. This means that the link you may get, come from a website that links to many other websites. This devalues the link value you get.
Link Strategy 2: Paying for links
Paying for links is one of the most successful models for link acquisition. This can either be done by contacting SEO agencies that help with this, or simply contact the individual website owner and offer to pay for them to place a link on their website. The fact that the web master who owns the website has a clear incentive to make you as a paying customer happy, often result you get a link from a relevant website in a relevant context – but of course this can also get abused.
Advantages of paying for links
The big advantage of paying for links is that you can scale up your link building in a time efficient manner. If you pay for a link you should demand to see where the link is placed so that you are able to remove it/change it if you suspect that the link causes you to drop in positions.
Disadvantages of paying for links
In Google’s own policies state that they do not want the website owners to actively acquire links – and paying for links is therefore against their guidelines.
Link Strategy 3: Link Bait
A successful link bait can be more effective than any other way to build links. A link bait means simply that you are creating content that is so attractive that you get links from other site owners who want to tell their readers about your content.
A link bait can be anything from creating a completely separate site with a unique feature that many will benefit from an educational video that many appreciate. An example of link bait is actually the SEO school that you are currently reading at.
Once you have succeeded in creating content that you think will attract many links you have to make sure to reach out with it to increase the circulation. For the example, you can use social media or simply contact the site owners that you think may be interested in writing about what you created.
Benefits of link bait
If you manage to create an attractive link bait, it can at best be an inexhaustible source of new links.
The disadvantage of link bait
We are awash today with an infinite number of messages on the Internet, so that manage to create content that stands out can be both time consuming and costly. And even when you put both hours and money are you sure you’re able to reach out with your content.
Link Strategy 4: Guest Blogging
The guest blogging to get links is becoming a popular strategy in recent years. The guest blogging involves contacting another website owner and ask to write a post on his site. I post links you back to your own site.
That guest blogging is often appreciated from both side, then you get a link to your site and you get blogs with new content that can potentially lead to new readers, new inbound links and the opportunity to appear on the new search phrases. It may also mean that you will have a relationship to build on that could eventually lead to more and new partnerships in the future.
When you guest blog, it is important that you write unique content and do not offer many site owners to publish their names.
Benefits of guest blogging
By guest blogging, you can choose the anchor text of the link, the text is in and on which site it is. This means that you have good control over your link and can design it according to your own preferences.
The downside of guest blogging
Like many other link strategies have guest blogging from Google’s perspective abused. Therefore, they have gone out with that guest blogging on a large scale is against their guidelines and can be harmful for your site.
Link Strategy 5: Link Directories
Link Directories are sites that exist only to link out to other sites. Often they purport themselves to be portals or “home pages” with links to interesting content, but it is almost always on link directories created with SEO in mind.
Previously, link directories a great way to get links to their own site, but today there are few directories that are worth registering for. If you want to register to a directory so make sure it is a Swedish directory and that you have the ability to remove the link if you change your mind.
Benefits of link directories
If you work in a narrow segments with low competition in the search results may be sufficient to enroll in one or a few link directories to quickly take positions.
Disadvantages of link directories
The link power you get with you via link directories is usually very little, if any, then the link often end up far down the structure or along with many other links. For registrations to many link directories your site may additionally cause damage, especially if you register your site to the Swedish foreign catalogs when catalogs themselves often have a poor link profile will spill over to your site.
Link Strategy 6: Blogging
Blogging can be a great way to build relationships with other bloggers or people who are interested in your area of specialization and thus build up your authority and credibility in the subject. This in turn may lead to other sites referring to your blog through citations and in some cases links.
Benefits of Blogging
Do you have a popular blog with well written content can be a good source of links. Writes also very often the opportunities to vote on more phrases in the search results to increase, in that you have more text and chances are someone looking for a phrase or a topic that you are treating increasing.
Disadvantages of Blogging
Blogging only for the purpose of getting links is rarely cost effective. It’s hard to blog and it takes particular time. You need to have time to do research, you have to have something engaging to write about and there must be an audience that is interested in what you are dealing with in the blog.
Link Strategy 7: Social media
Links to social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) does not bring any link power. Many “shares” or “likes” does not directly improve your SEO or positions in the search results. But these channels are excellent for spreading it’s content and create relationships with readers. In the long run this may give you links from your followers that engage in your content.
Benefits of Social Media
Social media is just what it sounds like – a social medium. It is about building relationships and encourage involvement. If you succeed in doing this, the possibilities of getting links from individuals and organizations who appreciate your work relatively large.
Disadvantages of Social Media
It takes time and effort to work with social media. Merely work with social media in order to get links is not the way to go. You should have a broader perspective and a different agenda than just links whatsoever to begin working with social media.