It has been established that there are three types of links, editorial, manual suggestion and approval, and self-created/non-editorial. It has also been established that SEO’s before to do the basic Search Engine Placement have a hard job of working out what search engines consider important when it comes to active links, the best guesses are that globally popular, local, topic specific, anchor text and trusted links are the most important factors the website SEO setting.
How can this knowledge be used to start ?
The first thing that must be established is a clear set of goals. Here are some simple questions; what is the nature of the website? What other websites are suitable for linking-in? What types of link are most appropriate for the website? What is the link building schedule? How many links need to be achieved?
One of the best things about the Internet is the amount of free tools that exist to aid computer users in a number of tasks. From anti-spyware to mp3 splitters, any task that can be thought of probably has a piece of freeware that allows this to be done. In the case of measuring the weight of a link there are plenty of tools and techniques to help with that. It is quite simple, all that needs to be established is how popular a given webpage is on the Internet. It is no secret that that the BBC News website is very popular and so a link from them is much more highly rated over a link from a smaller and unknown news agency.
How can you tell if a link is a good one (the popularity of a webpage)?
- Try searching in a search engine for search terms relevant to the blog or business that the links are being built for. Of course the pages that rank the highest in the search engines are valuable and will carry more weight when linking in.
- Checking the Google PageRank of a page is a good indicator of the strength of a given page. PageRank is not by far the be all and end all of measuring the strength of a webpage, Google only updates this status every 3-5 months and this can leave some sites unranked which in turn is misleading.
- Of the hundred of rank checkers out there one of the most popular is Alexa which gives a good indication of the overall global ranking of a webpage. Alexa is not perfect but with its handy toolbar and easy to use traffic stats it is the best for beginner SEOs.
- Ever heard of blogging? The blogs are taking over and they should not be ignored. Try searching in the Google blog search for the relevant search terms related to the blog or business being promoted. The blogs and feeds that appear at the top can be considered as authoritative information in that particular field.
- Yahoo! has a nice tool called Site Explorer, this tool shows the links that point to a given site or page. If a site or page ranks well, use Site Explorer to see who is linking in, these links may well be useful for the linking building campaign.
- One factor that can be taken into consideration is the amount of links on a given page. If a page has a hundred links then these links have lost value, if the page only has 3 links then those links are considered to be more valuable. This factor has only little importance, but it is worth keeping in mind.
- Search engines are great at indicating what websites are popular but be careful not to miss those pages that could potentially have high amounts of direct click-through traffic. Not all pages rank well but this doesn’t mean that they cannot deliver lots of targeted traffic to the blog or business in question. Again, Alexa can be used to show the type and amount of traffic coming through a given website.
Here are some great link building ideas.
- Trawling through directory sites and add the blog or business to gain inbound links.
- Businesses that have a customer base already can use this as a link resource. Find out if the business has loyal customers and business partners, and if these people have websites. More than likely they will be happy to link to the desired landing page. If the business has a logo then it is great to include that logo with a link on the customer’s or partner’s webpage.
- How about making a blog page for the business website. The blog can be a great source of information that will attract more visitors in the hope that these visitors will then share the link with their friends.
- Going viral is the holy grail of Internet marketing for small businesses. Try thinking up a catchy idea that encourages people to share virally also known as linkbait. These ideas are normally more than just text; they are video, music or game based. The main ideas for linkbait are info graphics, funny outside the box videos, top 10 lists, controversial topics, complete guides and reports, interesting polls and surveys, topic specific recaps and roundups, interviews, free tools and software, awards, giveaways and freebies, original discussions, breaking news and previews. Examples: Volkswagen fast lane campaign, humans vs. search engines and herding cats by IKEA.
Don’t sit around, the sooner the campaign begins the sooner people will link in and the page rank will start to rise.