Some folks say link building is dead. I beg to differ. May be, I’ll rephrase it. Link Building as we know it, with its traditional methods, is dead. But that’s how its always been. Someone finds a method to link building, a lot of SEO folks exploits it. And then Google finds out. End of story.
But in my opinion, if your link building strategy is genuine and natural, it will always be relevant and long standing. Just don’t try to manipulate the search engines.
Before thinking about link building, think about yourself. Ask yourself these questions.
Is your website worthy enough?
Be genuine. Don’t fall for the rat race. If your competition is up there and you think they’re not worth it, let Google know. Or wait for it. If they’re not worth being on the top spot, Google will take it down eventually. Trust me, they know. Think of SEO and link building as a long term strategy not an eight weeks rat race.
Will you be able to sustain the traffic you build with link building?
This is very important. For all the time and effort you put into link building, if your website cannot sustain it, it is like pouring water over an inversed cup.
And especially at a time when Google knows a lot about your website, like the bounce rate for specific keywords over various channels or the number of back button hits from the landing page. Do you really think you’ll be able to keep all the traffic you get from being number one on Google for that term.
Is there a better way to utilize your time and energy?
Like create a better website or a product, may be? It might be worth all the time and effort in creating a better website with better navigation or better UI, rather than focusing on link building. Because that way you enhance or amplify the signals with whatever little search traffic you’re enjoying in your niche.
With all these questions being asked, its important for search marketers to find out what’s the best use of their time.
Link building is an advanced level SEO tactic. It sure if important, probably the most important but blindly starting a link building strategy would only hurt you than help you, if you don’t have the basics covered.
So, having figured out that link building is your top priority now (and rest of the things are taken care of) let’s find out how you can make it effective.
1. Don’t just stick to your niche
This might come off as a surprise to many. I agree that it makes sense to build authority to your domain by building relevant links and references from your niche. But there is a risk here. The risk of following a pattern. If your website is genuine and the authority is natural, then you should be getting links from everywhere, not just a category.
Its a bit awkward getting links from very similar categories, right? I mean, if you have not been doing link building, what are the chances that you’ll get a 90% success ratio in building links from the same categories/niches?
So blend it in a little. Its okay to be natural.
2. Get some help from PR
2. Don’t stick to a pattern
The last thing you want on your link building strategy is a trail of identifiable patterns. But for most folks, who try to keep it real, this shouldn’t be a problem as there is no particular pattern they would develop from natural link building.
But if you’re doing a lot of “pushing” with content promotions and link buying, then you better watch out for that penalty.
3. Get an authority to endorse you
This is tough. It ought to be. And that’s why I like it.
If an authority should endorse you on social media, you better have some damn good content. If you don’t you end up being yet another guy on the wall, trying to be.
But create amazing content and get someone (many if possible) to vote for it, tweet it, recommend it. The best thing about reaching out to authority folks is that once they make the first move, rest of the traffic just trickles down all throughout. Be really wise in selecting the right person though.
4. Keep a tab on what your competition is doing
I don’t mean those fancy, elaborate backlink analysis report from your SEO software.
But a more refined one with your thoughts and analysis. See where your competition is getting the most important links from. See if you can replicate it. Even better, over do them.
From my experience, if you can kill the top 5% if your competition’s best links (by overdoing or matching them that is), then you can pretty much level the ground for rest of your SEO strategy.
5. Focus on quality, not quantity
Classic, isn’t it? Well, I can’t emphasize this just enough. 1000 backlinks from directories to your competitor is worth 20 from relevant authority folks. Its only so much that takes to beat the competition.
Again, its not a number game. I see link building as a way to bring in attention to your awesome website that others might not have known otherwise. Not the desperate attempt to “market your stuff”.
So, what do you think?