The critical part of a SEO campaign is…
It’s been said that a well-planned back link strategy is a critical part of a successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign….and it’s true. Back links help the search engines understand better what your site is about and to more accurately assess its relevance for various search words and phrases. Many site owners, and even some SEOs believe that with back links it’s all about quantity – in fact, it’s all about quality. You are much better of to get 10 high-quality links than you are getting 1,000 from lower-quality sites. Before I tell you what might be a good addition to your strategy, I’ll share a few methods that do not qualify, and may do you more harm than good. Keep in mind as you read this – you create pages for people, not for robots.
How NOT to Build QUALITY Backlinks
- Link farms
Do not, under any circumstances exchange links with one of these sites. While being on one shouldn’t hurt you (nor will it help), linking to one may get you banned by Google.
- Random blog comments
Spending hours a day leaving blog comments like “great post, enjoyed it.” with a link to your site is a waste of your time. Most blogs use the “no follow” code within comments so even if you post your comment on a site with a page rank of 10, you’ll get no love from Google.
- Paying an SEO “expert” to submit your site to the “top search engines and directories”
This will often just get you listed on a link farm, or on a site that is so unrelated no one will bother to click on it. And by the way – the good engines will let anyone submit for free.
How TO build QUALITY back links
Three words; research research and more research. Take some of the time you used to spend leaving generic blog comments and locate 15-20 high quality and topically relevant web sites. Become familiar with the content, develop a relationship with the publisher. If the publisher feels your site is link-worthy, you’ll get one. One trick that sometimes works is write a review, or summary of an article on one of these sites – making sure to name the author and line to the post. Believe it or not, ego stroking is a valid SEO tool and sometimes results in a direct return link. Direct links (opposed to comment links) are the best. Both because readers will notice (and hopefully follow) and because Google will notice (and probably follow). This trick works both ways – if your content is good enough, eventually someone will want to stroke YOUR ego.
Blog comments can be a useful link building tool, but it takes some work and results may be slow. When you read an article you find particularly interesting or informative, leave a comment. Not a lame, “great post” comment, but a well thought out and detailed comment. Highlight what you did (or did not) like about the article – think “book report”. This will do two things for you; first you let the author know you REALLY read the article – this might get you a mention in a follow-up post. Second, other readers will read your comment and hopefully be compelled to come look at your site…and hopefully subscribe.
Doing, or even hosting guest posts is a great way to attract links and new readers to your site. If you can locate a related and willing author, their readers will more than likely stop by your site and look things over and may come back again if they like what they find. Plus, the intro and/or byline should contain a link back your site.
Clearly, none of the tactics is terrible difficult. But, like must other SEO tactics, they just take time to complete properly, and time to bring about results. But, I never said SEO would be fast, right?
If you have a question about any of this or anything SEO for your site, send us your questions big or small by clicking the “submit tip” button at the top right corner of the page. We also welcome topic suggestions and tips.