Today we take a look at effective link building, which should be a key part of any SEO strategy. In fact having other websites link to yours is rated by Google as one of the key parts of your quality score.

So how can you build strong good quality links? You need a good number of linking domains to impress Google but quality is important too – no spammy links here please. The incoming links need to have good quality scores themselves (eg from PageRank) in order to be helpful to you in Google rankings.

So you need both quality and quantity: but how do you do this? There are five fundamental steps you need to take:

  1. Plan Ahead
    Whatever your position and sector you need to plan carefully what you are going to do. Ensure that this links into your company or client’s mission statement. Determine exactly what your link building campaign is aiming to accomplish and do not divert from that. Keeping clear and focused will avoid you getting diverted along the way.
  2. Be Specific
    Rather than try and grab every link that is vaguely relevant, you would be better to focus on a specific aspect of the business and get that one sorted first; you can then move onto other aspects later. Decide on your most important target audience and start by building up links that are relevant to those people. You can also focus on content aimed at that audience so that when the links bring in traffic there is something there for them to see.
  3. Be Strategic
    Once you have decided the purpose you are trying to achieve and the aspect of your business that you are starting with, you can then form a strategy to move forward. Research the websites that you want to gain links from and then go about making contact, building relationships and earning those links for our client. This is rather like the modern day equivalent of the business lunch! Alongside this you then need to make sure that your UX and content strategy is ready to wow the additional traffic that will come from these links.
  4. Document Everything
    Clear and shared documentation of all you are doing will give your team real-time access to all the information and documentation that they need and enable everyone to work together effectively. Whether you use a CRM system to do this or some kind of project management system is up to you, and it would be worth investing some time evaluating what kind of system would work best for you and your organisation. There are certain advantages of a CRM, such as being able to assign contacts and tags to specific campaigns, and also set reminders to follow up with link prospects. Tools such as this enable you to gradually develop and nurture relationships on a long term basis and increase the potential for earning links from them in the future.
  5. Network Network Network
    Earning links can be hard work and one potential way to shortcut this is to use your network of contacts. Do you know someone who already has a link to a company that you are interested in? There are tools around such as Screaming Frog that you can use to identify outbound links from a website, which can help you to identify potential link opportunities. You may be able to use your contact to gain an introduction to someone in the company that you are interested in; and also this new contact may be an open door to further contacts and networking.
  6. We hope that these steps will help you move forward with your link building and SEO strategy. If you’d like any further information or would like advice on boosting your link building campaign(s) then please get in touch; we’re happy to help!