Do you consider link building a task for an SEO person that you shouldn’t be involved with?
Off page SEO is the process of getting relevant links back to your site from other sites. It can get quiet complex but the basics are straight forward.
Business objective of this article
If you understand more about link building you will be able to increase relevant traffic to your website. This article covers some of the basics.
What terms do I need to be familiar with?
There are so many technical terms but here’s some of the basics you need to be familiar with:
What is a link? – Somebody mentions you in their content and you can click on this to bring the reader to your website.
What is link juice? – This is a common term used in the SEO industry. It means that when a website links to you it can pass on some benefit to you. The higher the profile the site the more benefit (link juice) the better.
What is the difference between a follow and a no follow link? If a site links to you with a ‘follow link’ this means you get some link juice. If it’s a ‘no follow’ link that means that no link juice is passed. For example, a lot of blog comments have ‘no follow’ links. This means that when you comment on a blog and put in your website address you don’t get any link juice!
What is anchor text – If someone links to you on a website the text they use in the link is called the anchor text.
What is off page SEO? - If you optimize content on your website for Google that is considered on page seo. If you do things not on your website (e.g. link building) this is considered off page seo.
Tips to build links (off page SEO)
Here are 5 tips to build links before you bring in the SEO experts!
1. Guest post on other blogs
When you guest post on other blogs they will generally allow you to have an author bio and in this bio you should include a link back to your website. But don’t just guest post on any blog. Find a website in your niche that has been established for many years, has a lot of traffic and is appearing high in search results for the most relevant terms for your industry.
Here is an example of a guest post on Social Media Examiner from my friend Kim Reynolds.
A couple of years ago it would be important to include keywords you wanted to rank on in your anchor text. This is not as important any more. Brian Dean (Link Building Expert) suggests to include the text you want to rank on close to the link but don’t use the text as the link. Here is an example:
a). Ian Cleary runs a website about social media tools. – The anchor text is ‘social media tools’.
b). Ian Cleary runs a website about social media tools, see here. – You are not using keywords in the anchor text but ‘social media tools’ is still mentioned.
2. Create Link Bait
Link bait is when you create some content that people will automatically link to. For example you create a fantastic guide on your website. If it’s good enough people will link to it.
3. Internal Linking
Linking from other pages on your website to a blog post can improve the ranking of that post. When we talked about passing ‘link juice’ earlier this is also possible within your own site.
a). When you create a new post try to link to at least one other post that you want to rank higher. This will benefit the other post. The other benefit is that if someone copies your content and puts it on their site you’ll still have a link back to your site.
b). When you create a new post go back through old posts to see which one you can link to your new post. Ideally you want a post that has discussed the topic you want to rank on. So go to Google and search your website for the keywords you want to rank on to see if any other post mentioned these keywords. If they did then you could link to your new post.
Note: On Google if you only want to search a specific site then you add ‘site:<name of website>’ just after your search.
4. Link to other people
If I create a post about the top 5 tools to do x I’ll link out to each of the tool providers. I’ll then reach out to them on twitter and let them know that I linked to them. I don’t get any immediate benefit but they get to know about me if they don’t already and they are more likely to link to me in other posts.
5. Write Great Content
If you build relationships through social media with relevant people in your niche and deliver fantastic content they will link to it. You don’t ask for the links but you just get them. Great content always wins!
What tool do you use to check what links I get to my blog?
There is a large variety of tools available for checking to see what links you have to your blog. For example, Monitorbacklinks provides a free version which lets you see the links to your site based on priority.
Link building can be quite technical and complicated but the basics are quite straightforward. Focus on producing high quality content and building relationships with influential sites and links will naturally come!
What is your process for link building? What has worked for you?