It’s still true – external links to your site still very much affect your search rankings. Having a good link building strategy is essential for your campaign, and if you’re not clear on what you’re doing and what you’re going to do, you could end up wandering into trouble.
The whole point is, you need to create good linkable content. As long as it’s worth linking to and not just spam, there’s no reason for Google to penalise you.
First off, think about how you’re going to generate yourself some links. There’s a number of ways you can do this:
- Conduct blogger outreach, and have posts and guest posts placed on other logger’s sites. You can offer to write them yourself, and sometimes bloggers will be willing to write them on their own. A certain amount of personable skills is required to create a good rapport with a blogger – when you contact them, mention something about their site. Give a conversation point, don’t make it all about getting that link.
- Think up something that will get natural links on it own. Content which is especially linkable tends to be interactive – if there’s a call to action, such as ‘take this quiz’, there’s more likely to be click through if another blogger or webmaster mentions it naturally on their site.
- Another thing to do, which takes a little more time, is to offer to replace broken links with links to your client or site. You’ll need a tool such as SEO Spider to do this.
Anchor text is more important than you might think. Use a keyword-rich anchor text, and Google won’t like it. At the same time, it’s good to be able to link back to a client homepage and product naturally.
In order to avoid a manual penalty, choose natural anchor text. Of course, exactly where the post is going changes the text.
For example, if you had a link from a blog:
This leotard from A Dance Shop
This anchor text is poor. A Dance Shop (which, by the way, is a fictional company I’ve made up for the sake of example) is highly likely to be trying to rank for ‘leotard’. And why would A Dance Shop be chosen to link to, when there’s plenty of other places which sell them?
Here’s a better version:
I went to A Dance Shop the other day with the kids, and didn’t expect to find anything nice for me; but when I saw this leotard I had a brainwave to make it into an outfit.
The personal touch makes it much more natural, and there would be no particular reason for the blogger to link to anything other than the product itself.
For a non-blog site (usually written in second or third person), you’d need to be a bit more careful with anchor text. For the above example, the content hosting the link must be relevant. Shoehorning a link in unnaturally is asking for a penalty.
Content is king for non-blog sites. Whilst personal blogs would naturally link within short paragraphs or sentences, shoehorn a link into a piece of content irrelevant to your brand and you’re asking for trouble.
Make sure there’s an actual reason to link back, or incur the risk of a penalty.
One excellent way to support the building of links is to create something of interest, which can be used as a reason to link to your site. For example, an infographic, or a selection of facts which can’t be found elsewhere.
You can do links to images too if you have them hosted on your site – this isn’t necessarily an unnatural way of doing it.
As far as link building goes, avoid making spam content. It’s not all about rankings – it’s about creating a good brand image and giving readers an enriching experience by reading your content!
In other news…SEO Kitty is now on Tumblr!