SEO: A Six-Step Link Building Plan

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Much has changed in the world of link building. Older strategies like directory submissions, press releases, and of course buying text links are no longer as effective as they once were. What hasn’t changed is that a successful link-building campaign is the key to a winning search engine optimization strategy. Let’s review a six-step plan to start a successful link-building campaign for new websites.

Invest In General Directories:
Submitting a site to a directory nets a website its first “authority” links. It is also the fastest way for search engines to find and index pages. Submit to the following directories in order of importance: DMOZ, free; Yahoo Directory, $299 annually; Best of the Web, $99.95 annually; Business.com, $299 annually; GoGuides, $69.95; and JoeAnt, $39.99. When submitting to directories always get listed in more than one category and don’t forget about regional categories. Not sure if this investment is worth it? Check the search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords and see if competitor pages have links from these directories. If they do, make the investment. And if they don’t, this may be what pushes a site ahead of its competition in search results.

Submit to Niche Directories:
Submitting a site to directories that focus on a specific industry can provide more value than general directory submissions. Most niche directories are typically more flexible (allowing anchor text to be used), are more topically relevant and often authoritative. You will get valuable links from sources that are sometimes overlooked by your competitors.

Create Social Media Profiles:
It’s absolutely essential to build a profile on social media sites for your company name, brand and as an individual. This will allow you to promote content to a large audience which can lead to many incoming links. While most social media sites do not pass on Google PageRank, some do. Even if you don’t have the time to build out these social profiles, at least reserve your name(s). Don’t forget sites like Meetup.com, for example, which passes on Google PageRank and links to your site with the anchor text of your choice.

SERP Link Building:
This stage of link building takes time and patience. Do a Google search for your top keywords and see what websites are ranking in the top 50 or 100 positions. These are all potential link targets. Start with the top results and move down the list, because these links tend to have the highest Google PageRank. To get them to link to you, see if the website has a “Links” or “Resources” section and request a link. Also consider expanding to noncompeting but related sites to request links from their pages that complement your content. Offer to guest blog or contribute an article and you’ll build a longterm link partner.

Create a Blog:
Create a blog and after it is up and running with a few actual posts, submit it to the top Blog Directories. If you don’t link to your own domain or subdomains within posts, the incoming links won’t count and the effort will be wasted. If you don’t have time to write content for your blog, consider hiring freelance writers to write for you. Promote your blog posts within your social media profiles and watch the links increase over time.

Write Articles Targeting Social Media:
This takes the most creativity and hard work but is certainly doable. In order to be successful, it helps to build up your social media profiles and have an active friend network. The key is to create content that appeals to a social media-centric audience. The result is many more links to your website. This is a trial and error process; don’t expect every article to be a huge success. Keep trying new articles topics and link baiting techniques. When one takes off, it will make up for the others that didn’t get much traction.

The key to the six-step plan is systematically repeating the process. If you can manage to master any one of these forms of link building, you’ll be well on your way to the top of the SERPs. Happy SEOing!

WM's Directory Guides

The number of large directories that have not been penalized by Google and still pass on Pagerank has dwindled. Visit Website Magazine's Directory Guide for a list of directories that still pass Google PageRank.

Happy SEOing.


SEO Corner

About the Author:

Dante A. Monteverde is a Search Strategist specializing in Search Engine Optimization.
He founded Spider Bait SEO in 1996 and has over 10 years of SEO experience.

:: Create a local presence wherever you want to do business. Get a local phone number. ::


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5 comments

04-21-2009 10:59 PM

Pingback from  Are Paid Link Directories Worth It? | Inside the Secret Life of a Super Affiliate - Zac Johnson dot Com

05-07-2009 2:07 PM

Pingback from  The Right Tool For The Job | Boston Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media Blog | CCA

FrankP 06-17-2009 2:14 PM

For the most part I agree but Go Ant and Go Guides have lost deep page rank.

Dante Monteverde 03-01-2013 11:55 AM

Is submitting to directories still an essential step in link building?

Katie Gillott 10-21-2013 8:54 AM

In my industry the top ranking websites are our competition, therefore, aren't likely to link to us! I'm fairly new to link building and it's all a bit overwhelming, so any tips on other ways to get good links would be greatly appreciated!!

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