Everyone knows the importance of links in search engine optimization. What people are less familiar with is the best way to go about building these links. Although there is no single right way, SEO link building can be made a lot more effective with the right strategies.
Basic SEO link building principles Whatever strategies a webmaster follows to build links, keeping the right basic principles in mind will make those strategies more effective.
- Keep it natural: Over time, the best SEO link building is done with white hat SEO. That is, not using spam techniques to try to fool the search engines. Always strive to add value to the web and the right kinds of links will follow.
- Deep link to internal pages: Just as people do not necessarily link to the top page of any site, those building links to their sites should not always direct them this page either. For most sites, at least half of the links should be directed towards internal pages when link building.
- Vary keyword-rich anchor text: Remember that much of the value of a link lies in the anchor text that describes it. Use keywords in the anchor text, related to the content of the page, to describe what it is about.
- Informative, grammatically correct content: The search engines do consider grammar and content quality in their search results. They also consider factors to include how long visitors usually remain on a site. Therefore, it is paramount to create good content for the search engines before doing any linking. In addition, keep in mind that content people want to read is the best source of natural links.
- Relevancy and site quality: It can be relatively easy to build a lot of low-quality links from sites with little or nothing to do with the targeted niche, but these often count for little or nothing with the search engines. Sometimes, a single link from an authority site in the same niche can make a much greater difference in the rankings.
SEO link building techniques
While the best sites tend to rise to the top over time, this can take years and competition is usually fierce. Therefore, even virtually all sites need some SEO link building to get them noticed and ranked higher. The following are all tried and true, yet effective techniques.
- Article marketing: Many are familiar with the basics of submitting articles to article directories in exchange for a link but do not give it the effort they should. The value of article directory links usually lies more in people republishing the article on other websites than does the link at the article directory. Therefore, the goal needs to be to create content that others will want to republish on their sites. While it is ok to submit the same article to more than one directory, the SEO link value is higher for unique content. To keep content unique, one can rewrite each article into several variations. It is then possible to “spin” these variations into a large number of articles for different directories to get the maximum value.
- Blog commenting: This is a good way to build both links and knowledge when done properly. Use tools such as Blog Commenting Demon to find popular blogs that allow comments. Intelligent posts based on the articles are likely to be approved. In addition to the SEO value of this link, good comments on popular blogs will probably bring in direct visitors from the link.
- Forum posting: Since people should follow forums to stay on top of their niche anyway, select forums that allow backlinks in the signature and contribute meaningful comments to them.
- Links from related websites: While most people no longer bother with simple link exchange pages on their sites, links from related websites is still a great SEO link building technique. Find good sites (looking at where a competitor’s links are coming from is often a good place to start). Then, write to the site with a letter requesting a link listing the site, page to be linked to and full linking code. Because most webmasters want something in return, it will be necessary to offer a link from another site, a guest article, payment or some other service for the link.
- Pay Per Click: While PPC is not a direct method of SEO link building, it can help get a site noticed and eventually bring in links.
- Press releases: Since they have the potential to go viral, press releases can bring in a lot of visitors and really help a site with links. However, they need to be compelling, newsworthy information that people want to read to have any real chance of success.
- SEO outsourcing: With so much to be done, at least some outsourcing is often in order. To make sure these outsourcers are doing their job and not using black hat SEO tricks, always choose outsourcers that offer transparency.