In my previous post, I discussed the basics of search engine optimization and went over some practical internal SEO. Now we will focus on external SEO, primarily building a variety of different links for your website.
What are aspects of a successful link building campaign?
Link building is the process of reaching out to other website owners and bloggers and securing links back to your site. This can be done by simply asking for a link, giving away free content, exchanging widgets, exchanging links, and a variety of other ways. Google and most search engines have taken a strong stance on purchasing links and spamming, however, and your site can be removed from listings if found in violation.
What kind of sites should I target when link building?
There are a variety of factors to consider when looking at sites you may want to link to. I would recommend using a tool such as SEOBook’s Toolbar to determine Google Page rank and the number of back links a particular site has. When deciding what to blog about or which sites to target, consider these link building factors:
- Relevance of the site/topic. For example, a law that has recently affected my company has been the SAFE Act and its effects on the military community. So I leveraged this news story by building links around it thus making our business more relevant.
- Authority of the site. Certain sites have more authority. For example, you should spread out links between .com, .gov, .edu, and .org extensions. Dot Govs are generally seen as authoritative sources and are great links to get.
- Anchor text. The actual text that you link your site to matters. If your site seems to follow a pattern by linking the same text over and over, you may very well be flagged by the search engines.
- Link volume. Work on a good balance between the quality of websites linking to you and the number of sites linking to you. I’d stress quality over quantity but to keep it fresh, it’s always nice to have new links frequently.
- Deep links. Link to other pages besides just your homepage. These are referred to as deep links.
For a link building strategy to be effective, you will need to focus on all of these factors. Remember, internal SEO also matters, and should not be overlooked. But to really gain traffic, you will need a heavy and diverse link building strategy.
Rob Stretch is a blogger and search engine optimizer for VA Mortgage Center.com. VA Mortgage Center.com is based in Columbia, MO and has helped over 500,000 military families discover their VA benefits.