Any digital marketing agency can and will tell you that link building is a necessary aspect of the Internet marketing business. Think about it—marketing requires reaching out to other people and places in order to display your product or service to the widest possible audience; in an online environment, this reaching out takes the form of linking.
You’re probably familiar with the main types of link building such as guest posting, directory submissions and commenting on blogs, but it’s more important to know how to utilize these methods in the most effective way for your client. Follow these basic dos and don’ts below to ensure that you are link building in the most productive possible ways. Let’s start with the don’ts.
We’ve all seen those links in the comments of blog posts—the ones where the article is about computers and the commenter posts a link to buy shoes. There are some in every blog post but they all have one thing in common: they rarely get read and they most likely never get clicked. Spamming your links to unrelated sites is not an effective method of link building; you could spam thousands of sites, but if none of them relate to your product, service or intended audience, you’re not going to get views or traffic as a result. Even worse, spamming can get your site a bad reputation and can even get it reported, which is the opposite kind of attention you want from link building. Simply speaking, link spamming is a waste of time for everyone involved, so don’t do it.
Rely on only one approach
We’ve already addressed different link building methods but you should not view the various methods as a list to pick and choose from. The best link builders use all of their resources—the more links you send out, the higher chance there is that your site will get noticed. A good SEO company will keep in mind that greater client success leads to greater company success; using every possibly outlet for link building will be a much more effective and ultimately successful strategy than blindly relying on a single approach. But remember to link build thoughtfully and don’t spam; using multiple outlets for link building still means you have to make smart choices about where your links are going.
Reach out—within reason
Expanding the number and types of places you link build is crucial for brand visibility, so don’t be afraid to approach sites that are higher ranked than the one you are marketing. Sending a respectful reply can never hurt—the worst the website can do is reject your request—but aiming for sites slightly more visible than yours will help increase brand visibility more quickly. Be careful though—only attempting to link to high profile sites will be a waste of your time. Try to create a balance of safe sites that are easy to link to and sites a little beyond your current reach so that you have somewhere to grow from. Starting lower and moving up slowly will benefit you more in the long run than only aiming for the top and ignoring potentially helpful sites a little lower in the rankings.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is one of the best ways to reach a broad audience and can be an easy way to connect with specific social circles that may not otherwise view your link building efforts. Not taking advantage of social media means missing out on thousands of potential customers, so don’t be afraid to put your brand out there. Use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to post interesting links relating to the company you are link building for. If the company has a blog or a newsletter, be sure to link to exciting news tidbits or posts that people will then read and share with their own social circles. Simply linking to the company or product website will likely be ineffective—people share things that are new and exciting, so constantly creating fresh content from the inside will help increase visibility across the web.
Image credit: Ahd Photography.