MediaWhiz, a leading digital media and strategy agency with expertise in all facets of search marketing, has collected the best of its insight and perspective on search marketing for this new, informative white paper. Each concept comes from MediaWhiz’s stable of search marketing experts. Each represents a new way of thinking about online search and an innovative way to grow your business.
Link building is hardly something you learn overnight. It requires specialized insight and SEO knowledge in order for a plan to be implemented effectively. Adhering to the following ten best practices for effective link building will optimize your backlinks:
1. Alter Your Anchor Text
Search Engines still heavily weigh SERP’s towards the anchor text of links to your page. Anchor text should always reflect the content. By altering your anchor text, you will keep your site highly relevant and highly ranked.
2. Deep Links
Incorporate your link building strategy throughout your site, not simply to one or two pages. An average link pattern shows links to various destinations of the site. However, there is no average deep link ratio. Most sites behave differentially. For example, blogs tend to have more deep links than the average household name website.
3. Indirect Linking
Link building success can also be supported by utilizing an indirect link strategy. Instead of solely pointing links to your page, it’s also helpful if you boost sites that link to you.
4. Create NoFollow as do follow links
The no-follow attribute of a link has been designed to tell search engines that a particular link should not give any credit to the linked site. Even though no-follow links don’t pass any juice, it is important to create a balanced backlink structure to your site.
5. Build Links on High, Medium and Low PR websites
Remember Best Practice Rule #1, alter anchor text? The same notion applies to link building on a range of PR sites. Authority links are great, but a mix of high and low PR sites is the way to go.
6. Smooth Out Your Link Growth
Effective link building should be a marathon, not a race. It is important to balance the amount of links you acquire daily.
7. Diversify Your Links and Link Mentions
Strategic link building isn’t an all or nothing proposition. So why would you put all your proverbial eggs in one basket? Create links and spread your link mentions across the online landscape.
8. Use Various Tactics
Devise a strategic link building plan that ensures your goals are in line with reality. Consider a top ranking with a long-tail keyword combination. It could be way more profitable than trying to shoot for the stars.
9. Engage in the Conversation
For good rankings, industry relevancy is the key to success. Make sure that you and your site are heard from. Listen and engage in the online conversation.
10. Run, Don’t Walk From SEO Spam-Havens
Today, link farms and tons of link directories are mostly deemed worthless. Don’t seek success in spam-havens or link-exchange networks. When you’re ready to incorporate link building into your Organic Search initiative, you need to consult with experts who understand link building best practices.
Readers, I came across this site today and it definitely gave me a chuckle and I had to give it a link: JohnCow.com It is a spoof off of the popular JohnChow.com domain and a great example of a way to get links and traffic by piggybacking off the success of another website.
Now getting links to a parody site may not be a big money maker itself but once you have a popular parody site you have the option of diverting some of the link goodness off to some of your other sites. I know there are many more examples of parody sites on the web but I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head, what about you?28 Comments
Readers, the following is a guest post from Tom Clitchlow of Distilled.
1) Ensure you pick up all pages that mention your site but donât link to you.
Iâm going to let you in on a secret
here…. Not everyone on the internet links to external websites, and when they
blog about your site or mention your site they may not link to you. Thatâs
right, some people donât know how to, some people donât feel the need to, some
people havenât even thought about it and some people are just plain lazy. This
means that if you can find these people that talk about (but donât link to)
your site then contact them, ask them to simply add a link to your site where
they have mentioned it and hey presto, you have a nice relevant and topical
link! Getting these links is like taking candy from a baby and in some cases
you can even get decent anchor text.
So how do you go about finding these pages
which mention you but donât link to you? The manual way is to run searches such
Donât forget to run these searches in
Google, Yahoo, MSN and Technorati (and anywhere else with a search function!).
Just remember that often the top results will all link to you anyway
(especially with the full url searches) so be sure to crawl all the way through
You can also set up some automation to
automatically find new pages/blog posts about your company. Google Alerts is
one way, I prefer our Reputation Monitor which is a tool for monitoring your online reputation but has some interesting
applications as a link building tool.
2) Gain links from people trying to hot-link your images.
If you run a site of any size or any worth
then you will almost certainly have plenty of images on your site which people
will want to steal, borrow, pilfer or just blog about. Patrick Altoft has written a fantastic
script which allows you to gain links from anyone who is looking to use your
images. Go read the post here.
Just try it for yourself, click the link then right click the image at the top!
Note: This script doesnât prevent people
hot-linking images, in fact it actively encourages it but makes sure that people
give you a link back at the same time. For sites with many images, and in
particular sites with striking images itâs a must to install this script
Patrick recommends only showing this script
to people who come via Google images, I think it depends on what kind of site
youâre running. You could probably build an entire site around image
optimisation and using this script to generate back-links. Read more about image optimisation
3) Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.
This tip comes courtesy of SEOmoz. The idea is very simple and plays on peopleâs
egoâs. In a nutshell, the sites which already rank for your target key phrases
are the holy-grail of links, but it can often be difficult to get links from
them since you are by definition in competition with them (in the SERPs at
least!). So how about creating a competition, or award and handing it out to the
top ranking sites in your sector? Everyone loves awards and the chances are
that people will then link back to the source of the awards. If you want to get
a bit more crafty about this you can even host the awards on a separate domain,
to make it look like youâre not affiliated with it then simply 301 the domain
back to your site at a later date.
Matt was the first one to publicly
announce this trick in one of the whiteboard
Fridayâs but itâs clearly been something SEOmoz have been doing for a while… Case in point? Which built over 100,000 backlinks. Wow!
4) Flamebait â like linkbait only flame grilled.
This one is slightly more left-field than
the others and I wouldnât recommend doing this unless you were sure what youâre
doing and also donât mind a bit of a word-fight! The basic premise? Find a way
to get sued. Working on the any PR is good PR (and equivalently, any links are
good links) Andy Beal blogs about the subject in more depth here.
The holy-grail for this tactic is to get sued by a company who no-one likes,
that way you can get the social media crowd on your side! Other, slightly less
dangerous, ways of doing this are to just be controversial or get threatened by
someone who doesnât understand the internet.
Aaron Wall also mentions this tactic
briefly here. Number 63 on the list.
5) Keep it funny schmuck.
Iâll leave you on a high note with a little
bit of humour. Next time someone famous in your industry makes a big
announcement spend 30 mins with your favourite photo-manipulation software
(mineâs the gimp) and come up with (something funny) .
Note that to make this work you need to
ensure that the you donât offend the original poster (unless youâre looking for
a fight, see point 4) and to keep it light-hearted. Spread the word about your
post and as the original announcement grows, so does word of your amusing
pictures. The ideal candidate for this is a blogger who likes to have a chuckle
â aiming this at someone serious probably wouldnât have as much of an impact
(thatâs why we picked Rand!
If this gets a good response you never know, I might be invited back to post
again! Either way, if you liked what you read then you can read more from me
and the Distilled guys over on our blog.
Readers, Jennifer Slegg has a great post on anchor text strategy that you should check out. From Jennifer’s post:
So definitely ensure you have variety in your anchor text, even going
so far as having some links linked with âclick hereâ, your
company/website name or simply your URL. Then make a list of all the
possible anchor text combinations and when you get a new link, choose a
different keyword combo off the list. Then once you get more than a
handful, you can go back and get additional links for your most
important phrases, but again being careful to unevenly distribute the
anchor text of those links. Yes, you can definitely give more links to
your most important keyword phrases, just resist the temptatation to do
them all on your top phrase.
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