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
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
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.
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.
About the Author:
Dante A. Monteverde is a Search Strategist specializing in Search Engine
Spider Bait SEO in 1996 and has over 10 years of SEO experience.