Monday, August 17, 2009
I'm here to say that the majority (9 out of 10) clients I work with are not implementing a cohesive inbound link strategy on a daily basis. The good news is that about 80% understand the importance of inbound links and about 30% actually have plans for generating them, but a mere 10% are actually doing something about it.
Why Inbound Links Are Important
If you want to reach the top of major search engines, then you're going to have to tell the search engines why they should rank you. Do you have unique content? Are you a credible website? Can you provide a good user experience? These are all important questions you should be asking yourself as you consider developing an inbound linking strategy.
Tip #1: Here and Now
Start with an idea of where you are. Regardless of what type of tool you use (free or paid) to evaluate your current SEO status: rankings, keywords, sites linking in, etc., make sure you have a good idea of where you're starting from - and ultimately where you ant to get to. Additionally, plan to check your progress at least once a week. You want to see if your inbound links are helping you success on search.
Tip #2: Begin With Your Competitors
One of my favorite link building strategies is to start with your competitors. Who's linking to them? Are the links from high Google PR sites? What else can you learn about your competitors linking strategies? Start with your competitors or who is already ranked in the number one position for the keyword term or phrase you're optimizing for.
Tip #3: Focus on Anchor Text
Another great SEO tip for inbound linking is to evaluate all of the existing inbound links to your website. Whether you use the simple "link:" code via the Google search box, Alexa, or some other tool, create a list of sites linking in and work with them to apply the proper anchor text to the link associated with your keyword. For example, contacting a site and asking them to update your URL (ex: http://www.yoursite.com) with anchor text (ex: Improve search rankings) can make all the difference.
Tip #4: Quality Content and Social Media
If you provide quality content on your site or simply cover something that would be of interest to your target market, allow others to comment, bookmark and share. Quality content is what search engines like and so will your readers. Develop quality content and encourage others to share it. This creates quality backlinks to your website.
Tip #5: Three Way Linking
Okay, "reciprocal linking is dead". Yeah, I get it.. don't necessarily agree but we wont debate that here. The good news is that we don't have to talk about it since the best linking option is one-way linking. This can be achieved through a 3 way link. Trying to make a difficult to explain concept relatively simple, exchange links with another website but do it using a 3rd site, not your own. This allows one-way links in either direction.
These tips cover a great deal and have worked for me when it comes to helping my websites and blogs, as well as others, build a significant number of inbound links to their website steadily over time.
WARNING: You may be the anxious type, looking to build hundreds or even thousands of inbound links to your website(s) in the next 48 hours - DON'T DO IT! Although I successfully did this in the past, Google is penalizing sites who are too fast out of the gate when it comes to link building. You should look to ad 3 - 5 quality links to your site on a weekly basis. Slow and steady wins the race.
Find more link building tips and strategies in, "SEO Made Simple: Strategies for Dominating the World's Largest Search Engine" available at Amazon.com.